“Our clients want us to do more than be a media company—[that means] lead gen, data, marketing,” Endeavor Business Media CEO Chris Ferrell told us before BIMS. Marketing services are becoming more integrated and multi-channel as we speak, enabling publishers (and others) to engage their audience 365 days a year. To learn more, Endeavor surveyed their audience. There’s a lot to learn from the results.
As successful as content marketing can be, it does come with challenges.
In a 2023 B2B Marketing Benchmark Survey (download here) of over 320 respondents from Endeavor Business Media, budget was reported as the biggest challenge—no surprise there—followed by not enough internal resources, developing a strategy, producing engaging content, producing enough content, measuring success/ROI, leadership does not understand the value and need technical writers.
Also interesting are the types of marketing content that businesses are using. The most common are press releases, followed close behind by video—a little surprising that it’s already that high—product content, website articles, blogs, lead gen (short form content) and webinars. As for the type of video being produced, 67% are product-related, 60% education and 48% company overview. (Money-Media has a great company overview video on its homepage.)
Emphasizing product content makes sense for marketing emails. In one of its top-performing letters, The Atlantic emphasized its vast topic range. Their surveys had determined that was one of the main subscription drivers. So Down Syndrome, private schools, slavery, houseplants, Amazon Prime and national parks all made it into the marketing email. “These are just a few of the bold ideas you’ll find in The Atlantic…”
The Endeavor survey represented key business sectors including: Buildings, City Services, Design & Engineering, Energy, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Transportation.
Here are more of their findings:
Budgets matter most. For most B2B marketers, budgets will remain the same [54%] or increase [37%] year over year, with content creation, content marketing, video creation, lead generation, and in-person events leading the way as key initiatives—when the budget is increased.
Video without a video person. More than half (54%) outsource their video production. This makes sense considering the growing impact of video vs. the resources available to organizations. Design (45%), digital content production (41%), marketing research (40%), copywriting (33%) and technical writing (31%) are the next most outsourced elements. Email marketing is the least outsourced service.
Customer experience and satisfaction are biggest focal points of research. Most respondents [76%] “leverage B2B research to inform their marketing strategies. Over a third [36%] conduct internal employee research and a growing number [17%] are conducting B2C research to gain insights. With similarities getting more common between B2C and B2B, that number should grow each year.
Quality over quantity. “Respondents consider quality to be the most important aspect of leads.” Almost 80% get those quality leads from input forms.
The value of in-person events. “In-person events were ranked by respondents as being the most effective tactic for generating leads with 66% touting the effectiveness, followed by website marketing,” webinars and SEO.
Taking the leads. Almost half of respondents said that measuring and documenting lead gen success is a challenge. Finding the correct tactic to drive quality leads was the next biggest challenge followed by having the resources to actually execute on the plan.
Taking the time. Almost 70% of respondents “primarily rely upon web-based/online surveys for conducting research.” But it’s interesting to see that 36% still conduct in-depth interviews, and 33% use web-based tools.
Again, you can download the Endeavor survey here.