B2B Marketers Use Anecdotal Insight Frequently, But Believe It Is Inefficient

InnovationThe type of insight-based content created most frequently by B2B sales and marketing professionals is believed to be the least effective.

This information comes from a survey conducted by Corporate Visions Inc., a marketing and sales tool provider. The survey received 400 respondents, all of whom were B2B professionals.

In the survey, insights were broken down into four categories. “Anecdotal” insight, which was defined as in-house created content that focused on best practices or day-to-day issues. In contrast, “Authoritative” insight was referred to as content that leverages the work of third parties. “Current” insight was defined as content that centers around original research, and “Visionary” insight was positioned as content that leverages in-house expertise.

When asked to list how frequently these types of insight appear in marketing collateral and sales tools, survey respondents ranked them in the following order: “Anecdotal,” “Authoritative,” “Current” and “Visionary.” However, “Visionary” was at the top of the list when respondents were asked to rank them at how effective these insights are at driving engaging conversations and sales decisions. “Anecdotal” was at the bottom of the list, although it appears frequently within marketing collateral and sales tools.

“What’s surprising about the survey results is that the insights marketers and salespeople feel are the most effective are exactly the opposite of the insights they believe their companies produce,” said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer for Corporate Visions. “Regardless of the category, however, the real power of an insight comes from using it in proper context – identifying relevant market data points and then interpreting that information to make it meaningful to the challenges prospects are facing. In order for companies to be truly successful, they must take these insights and turn them into provocative questions and a distinct point of view that breaks the status quo bias and differentiates their solution.”

The survey also determined that 81 percent of B2B sales and marketing professionals use an insight-based approach to their strategy.

Reaching B2B Decision Makers

In addition to the Corporate Visions results, a survey conducted by CMO Council and NetLine of B2B decision makers in 2013 showed that B2B executives are paying attention to the content being put out by product providers. In fact, 58 percent said that content played a role in their purchasing decisions.

About 47 percent of respondents said that the depth of information was most important in the content they viewed, while 44 percent said that readability was most critical.

The researchers indicate that marketers will need to take these factors into consideration when crafting content in order to reach out to decision makers.

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Rebecca Johnston-Gilbert' — Rebecca Johnston-Gilbert, Marketing, Postman

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