The Most Important Marketing and Sales Measures to Increase B2B Revenues

The digital needs in B2B marketing and sales are changing rapidly. We wanted to know in a flash survey how B2B companies deal with the most important challenges and measures.

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Among survey participants, the most important marketing and sales measures are:

We further explored the question of what makes a successful content marketing strategy for B2B companies by comparing the results of the survey to the B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks from the Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs, which surveyed 1,798 companies in North America.

Survey participants from B2B, B2B2C and B2C

The 118 survey participants refer to different customer groups in terms of marketing and sales measures: B2B, B2C and B2B2C

  • Business-to-Business (B2B) 62.71 %, corresponding to 74 participants

  • Business-to-consumer (B2C) 19.49 %, corresponding to 23 participants

  • B2B and B2C hybrid (B2B2C) 17.80 %, equivalent to 21 participants

Sample N = 118, 19.02.2020

The following section discusses the B2B and B2B2C results in more detail.

What Are the Three Most Important Marketing and Sales Measures to Increase Sales in B2B?

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Source: own representation

Inbount Marketing / Content Marketing60.81%
Search Engine Optimization55.41%
Email Marketing29.73%
Participation in trade fair24.32%
Social media marketing22.97%
Search engine advertising (SEA)20.27%
E-commerce20.27%
Advertising in trade magazines12.16%
Direct marketing12.16%
Influencer Marketing8.11%
Online video advertising6.76%
Display Advertising6.76%
Affiliate Marketing5.41%

It was also mentioned that maintaining relationships via online and offline channels at the same time was the most important measure.

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What Are the Three Most Important Challenges in B2B Marketing and Sales?

Herausforderungen für B2B und B2B2C Unternehmen

Source: own representation

Win new customers64.47%
Website visitors (traffic)57.89%
Generate leads57.89%
Integration with existing systems32.89%
Segment customers by product23.68%
Provide ROI on marketing activities22.37%
Training team, lack of know-how21.05%
Consideration of data security and privacy11.84%
Do not know how to start6.58%
Encounter internal resistance3.95%

It was also mentioned that it is difficult to find the time for content writing internally. Or it is a great effort to find the right external content writers for B2B.

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What Do B2B Companies that are Successful with Content Marketing Do Differently?

We took a closer look at B2B companies that see digital marketing and sales as not very important and at the same time have other priorities in the company.

  • Companies that see digital as not very important didn't see a potential ROI on digital marketing projects for 2 years (compared to experienced digital companies at 1 year)

  • Similarly, content marketing was ranked as a top revenue driver by only 45% (compared to 63%) and SEO by only 36% (compared to 62%).

  • Only 9% see the task of segmenting customers by product as a challenge (compared to 32% for higher priority companies).

Content Marketing Benchmarks

We compared the results from our non-representative study to the larger Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks survey, which polled 1,798 B2B companies in North America. A comparison to find out what the successful B2B companies are doing differently in content marketing:

Successful companiesBrowseUnsuccessful companies
Use metrics to measure content performance & ROI95%80%62%
Deliver content to the right place at the right time93%71%37%
Weight informative content more than promotional content88%66%50%
Rate their own ability to demonstrate ROI as very good84%59%25%
Build a customer relationship84%63%39%
Actively nurture leads83%68%51%
Create an optimal customer experience along the customer journey83%52%23%
Have a documented content strategy69%41%16%
Build a readership68%45%30%

Source: own illustration based on B2B Content Marketing Report 2020, CMI Content Marketing Institute

Conclusion

B2B companies are focusing more and more on inbound / content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) in marketing and sales. The challenges such as gaining new customers, generating website visitors (traffic) and leads require a structured approach. B2B companies, can successfully do content marketing if they plan ahead accordingly:

  • Use metrics to measure content performance and ROI

  • Categorize and personalize content along the customer journey: deliver content automatically - when and where a person is most likely to see it

  • Prioritize customers' information needs over promotional messages

  • Documented and efficient content delivery and marketing strategy

  • Continuous building of subscriber lists