B2B Marketing: What Separates The Best From The Rest?

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A gulf has cracked open in the world of marketing and it’s only getting wider. The successful marketers are getting better, and the rest are being left behind.

So which side are you on?

Industry leading marketing automation software company Marketo, an Adobe Company, has had a look at what separates the good from the bad in Australian B2B marketing in this free report.

And it turns out successful marketing can be as easy as crunching some numbers and planning ahead.

Best-in-class marketers are those measuring ROI.

But this isn’t just spitting out a number at the end of a campaign.

It’s a clear focus on methodical, end-to-end measurement that includes pipeline performance reporting, sales qualification/close rates, campaign attribution and customer engagement.

Best-in-class marketers were three times more likely to measure ROI effectively, however, only 17 per cent of respondents described their marketing ROI as “measured and communicated”.

It is little wonder that the number one marketing challenge for Australian marketers is proving marketing impact and ROI.

Marketo, an Adobe Company, head of marketing ANZ Lauren Adam took on her role at the beginning of last year.

She described the importance of establishing clear objectives from day one.

“I was tasked with getting my house in order immediately,” Adam said.

“This meant being clear on ROI and marginal ROI to justify additional, incremental funds and finding hacks to stretch the technologies we had further.”

Betting on the future

The top marketers are adopting an account-based marketing (ABM) approach… but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s working.

ABM – defined as a strategy that focuses on sales and marketing resources on personalisation – is one of the hottest trends in 2019.

The research shows 38 per cent of respondents are using ABM, while in large companies this figure is 45 per cent.

Although popular, its effectiveness remains unproven.

Only 27 per cent of respondents said ABM is delivering ROI.

But with long B2B sales cycles, it might be wise to wait a little longer before you put a line through ABM.

Technically speaking

It is no secret digital technologies have and will continue to change the very nature of marketing.

But for many marketers, implementing these technologies remains a key challenge.

Many are unaware of the time and cost required to effectively by these deceptively intricate systems.

B2B Marketing Leaders Forum founder Emma Roborgh described her experience.

“We spend at least three times the stack cost on support and training per year, something we didn’t understand was necessary when we originally made the investments,” she said.

“These systems are complex and you must have the right skills in or outside of the business to manage them.”

What’s more, with the abundance of ‘martech’ solutions now available on the market, marketers are struggling with choosing and optimising their selected technologies.

And similar to measuring ROI, the ability to implement marketing technologies is emerging as a differentiator between best-of-class marketers and the rest of the field.

Automation is leading the way when it comes to these technologies.

The research shows 57 per cent of respondents are now using a Marketing Automation Platform (MAP), with 65 per cent of these having integrated their MAP with their CRM.

Programmatic media advertising, dynamic content marketing, chatbots, predictive data analytics and campaign recommendation engines – all systems backed by artificial intelligence technology – are now used by Australian marketers.

Think of the customer

As the balance of power in B2B marketing continues to shift from seller to buyer, Customer Experience has emerged as the ‘new frontier’.

And the research shows respondents want to understand their customer’s needs, with 70 per cent developing CX journey maps, personas or both.

Optimising customer experience was listed as a top challenge by 46 per cent of respondents, while on the flipside, 64 per cent listed it as one of their key objectives for 2019.

There is also a demand to utilise data and deliver a personalised experience to customers.

Deakin University head of department and marketing Professor André Bonfrer had this prediction for marketing in 2019: “B2B CMOs will be incorporating more B2C approaches and B2C mindsets,” he said.

“The divide between the two domains of marketing is narrowing.”

For all the answers on what separates good and great B2B marketing, you can check out the full report here.

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