10+ Essential Research Reports & Guides for B2B Marketers

B2B marketers struggle with common challenges. At the forefront are lead generation, lead nurturing, and building a brand that distinguishes the organization from the competition. A growing list of tactics and technological opportunities further complicates the process.

Research, guides, and marketing surveys help guide B2B marketers down the right path. Sometimes they provide new opportunities and directions. Other times they reinforce the existing direction of marketing tactics and strategy. Here are ten B2B marketing related research reports and guidelines we recommend for review, and a brief explanation on why they are important.

Optify’s 2013 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report

B2B Marketing Benchmark Report

Optify’s annual B2B Marketing Benchmark Report details the performance of the primary sources of traffic to B2B websites, extracted by analyzing over 62 million visits, 215 million pageviews and 350,000 leads from more than 600 small and medium-sized B2B websites.

Key takeaways for B2B marketers include expectations for seasonal traffic trends, traffic source percentages, and quality metrics associated with various B2B marketing strategies. The report also does a “deep dive” into organic search, paid search, and social media metrics.

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MarketingProfs 2013 B2B Content Marketing Report

2013 B2B Content Marketing Report

The 2013 B2B Content Marketing report, created by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute takes an in-depth look at budgets, benchmarks, and trends to watch for with B2B content marketing. The report provides insights into where B2B content marketers are focusing their efforts and the key challenges and opportunities associated with roles and budgets.

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For B2B software marketing professionals, the Content Marketing Institute just released a new study on content marketing, tailored to specifically to that vertical. We plan on having some analysis on this report in the coming weeks.

BtoB Research Defining the Modern Marketer

Defining The Modern Marketer

BtoB Research, in coordination with Eloqua, surveyed hundreds of online marketing professionals to uncover the core competencies of Modern Marketers. The results of this survey provide insight into how the marketing community views their role and how it needs to evolve in the future.

Per blog post highlighting the report, the information “underscores research from a comprehensive survey created in conjunction with BtoB Magazine, and explores the skills and technologies marketers need to improve ROI (of their marketing efforts).

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IDG B2B Lead Generation Report

2013 B2B Lead Generation Trends

Marketing professionals are under immense pressure to deliver results and justify significant program and headcount investments. The B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn conducted the 2013 lead generation survey to better understand how B2B marketers are adjusting to new challenges, and to identify new trends and best practices.

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Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector

Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector

GlobalSpec recently conducted its third annual Social Media Usage Survey of engineering, technical, manufacturing, and industrial professionals. Although the survey shows that use of social media for work-related purposes among this audience is focused on a few select platforms, adoption is steadily increasing.

This report continues to look at how these specific B2B sectors are leveraging social media for research, marketing, and business decision making in the buying process.

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Google Search Quality Guidelines

Google Search Quality Guidelines

Google relies on raters, working in countries and languages around the world, to help measure the quality of search results, ranking, and search experience. While Google indicates that search quality rating guidelines are in constant flux, this outline provides insight into how Google thinks about relevance and quality of search results. It’s an essential read for marketers that place an emphasis on their traffic from Google.

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Mobile: What Consumers Really Need and Want

Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Websites -- and the Winner Is?

While a consumer oriented survey, the data provides important usability points for B2B marketers that are investing in developing a mobile strategy to reach the B2B buyer.

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For B2B marketers looking for more depth specific to broader mobile trends, Forrester offers a premium report, “2013 Mobile Trends For Marketers” in addition to a blog post highlighting key findings.

The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation

The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automatio

Marketo’s guide provides background and overview on marketing automation technology, how it differs from other applications such as CRM and email marketing, and how B2B marketers can build a business case and convince internal stakeholders on the investment.

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Constellation Research offers a premium report, “Scaling Up with Marketing Automation Software” as well. A free 15 page excerpt can also be obtained through form submission.

MarketingSherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report

MarketingSherpa's 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report

The only premium report specifically recommended in this list, MarketingSherpa’s annual report analyzes the strategies and tactics of top performing B2B organizations, providing survey data on successes, challenges, and tactics designed to increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

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Aberdeen Group: Lead Scoring Prioritization

Aberdeen Group: Lead Scoring Prioritization

Aberdeen’s guide to lead scoring is a few years old but still relevant and frequently referenced. Per Executive Summary, “The report identifies best practices in lead scoring and prioritization by analyzing the processes, capabilities, and performance of top performing organizations.

In coordination with Eloqua’s Grand Guide to Lead Scoring, these resources are must have lead scoring references for B2B marketers.

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We hope the information found in these reports proves valuable in supporting B2B marketing initiatives. If we missed a critical report or guide, please let us know via comments below.

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