Driving More Sales Through Leads Tops List of B2B Marketing Priorities for Fifth Straight Year

The majority of B2B digital marketers (66 percent) consider driving more sales through quality leads as their top priority for the fifth year in a row, according to DemandWave’s “2016 State of B2B Digital Marketing Report.” Researchers also found that marketers are focusing on the quality of leads over quantity of leads.

Thirty-eight percent of B2B respondents are aiming to deliver quality leads, while 28 percent are aiming to drive more leads with their digital marketing efforts.

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However, measuring and proving the ROI of digital marketing efforts is the biggest challenge for 29 percent of marketers, along with delivering quality leads for 27 percent of marketers. Compared to the past two years, B2B marketers are finding it more and more difficult to prove ROI. In 2015, 24 percent of marketers said that proving ROI was their biggest marketing challenge, while only 16 percent cited this as a challenge in 2014.

According to the authors of the report, “Measuring what digital marketers are getting in return for all their outreach efforts continues to be a struggle.”

Currently, over 80 percent of B2B marketers are using a combination of email, social media and organic search channels as a part of their digital marketing strategy, while only 64 percent use paid search and 47 percent use display ads. More than half of respondents plan on increasing budgets for paid search in 2016.

Of all the content marketing tactics employed by B2B marketers, white papers and webinars are the most effective for driving leads, while videos and infographics lag behind.

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Sixty-four percent of B2B marketers also indicated that digital marketing budgets will increase in 2016. For the coming year, 62 percent of B2B marketers plan to invest at least 26 percent of their budget to online marketing efforts.

2015 State of Digital Marketing

DemandWave’s “2015 State of Digital Marketing Report” found that marketers were unsure whether email, paid search, or social channels were most effective for generating leads and contributing to overall revenue.

The authors of the report commented that, “While overall digital marketing spend is increasing year-over-year, marketers struggle to win more budget because of their continued inability to tie ROI to digital.” They found that because of this challenge, half of B2B digital marketers were spending less than 25 percent of marketing budgets on online tactics.

Other challenges cited by B2B marketers included converting leads (23 percent), producing content (22 percent), and generating leads (23 percent).

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