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API Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Jonathan Fries, Pat Romanski, Harry Trott

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Valley Between Enterprise Marketing Goals and Execution Continues to Widen

According to a national marketing study released today by Demandbase, Inc., the real-time targeting and personalization platform, and produced with the assistance of Ziff Davis, a leading technology media company, today’s enterprise marketers are struggling to overcome misalignment between long term strategies and the tactical activities which consume budget and resources.

Crafted based on feedback from hundreds of B2B executives from small, mid-size and large organizations in multiple industries, the study analyzes a broad overview of current marketing practices and helps to create a roadmap for the future of online marketing for businesses.

“As we enter 2013, marketers must get smarter in the face of continued budgetary and resource restrictions, bridging the gap between their ongoing goals and the practices necessary to achieve those goals,” said Jason Stewart, director of marketing at Demandbase. “B2B marketers are under pressure to take advantage of new strategies to stay competitive, but long term success will only be achievable if businesses are marrying their short-term strategies with long-term priorities.”

FINDINGS INCLUDE: (Note: Detailed findings around a broad range of questions asked in the survey can be found in the study here.)

Long Term Gain, Short Term Strain: Disconnect Between Resource Allocation, Practices and Long-Term Goals
Account-based information is considered important in resource allocation, but buyer demographics dominate lead scoring and tactical efforts. The survey asked marketers to define the importance of key marketing targets, activities around those targets, and resource allocation; findings include:

  • 56 percent of respondents report companies by industry vertical as being the most important marketing targets, but less than one-half (49 percent) are dedicating the most resources towards this target audience; only 25 percent reported an increased focus on industries and vertical markets as a long-term focus
  • 35 percent reported scoring the value of leads based on targeted, named accounts, yet account-based marketing is currently only receiving 25 percent of overall marketing resources
  • 45 percent of marketers are using companies by size as a key consideration for lead scoring, but only 25 percent of marketers spend their time focusing budget and resources on targeting companies by size

“Strategic accounts scored third overall when marketers were asked about the most important marketing targets, but this ranking is not reflected in resource allocations and named accounts are not getting the attention they deserve,” continued Stewart. “Each time companies are dedicating resources to a specific department or executive title they could well be targeting the right people, but at the wrong companies.”

Social Media Rivaling Search:
B2B marketers are heeding the call for content that educates and builds prospect trust. Social media has jumped to the top of the marketing strategy mix as a delivery mechanism for that content, ranking second only to organic search optimization and just above inbound marketing/content creation.

  • 63 percent of survey respondents report that they leverage SEO/Organic Search for online marketing
  • 60 percent report that they leverage Social Media Marketing for online marketing
  • 53 percent report that they leverage Inbound/Content Marketing
  • 41 percent report that they leverage SEM/Pay Per Click strategies

Time and Money:

  • When asked “Which of the following marketing challenges apply to your company?” the #1 challenge is ‘Lack of Budget,’ followed by ‘Personnel and Resources’
  • On the other end of the spectrum ‘Measuring ROI’ and ‘Lack of Sales and Marketing Alignment’ were cited as the least prevalent challenges, showing that marketing executives could be becoming more confident in their ability to measure ROI

“Perhaps the most shocking statistic of the study is that 50 percent of respondents admitted that they only have a basic understanding of their target markets and who they can sell to. There is a process step in the creation of understanding the buyer that many B2Bs are skipping,” said Craig Rosenberg, sales and marketing consultant and Funnelholic blogger. “Overall, the study demonstrates that, while marketers have multiple new strategies at their fingertips to better target their prospects and customers, they continue to struggle with how to select the types of companies they should be targeting in the first place.”

The 2012 Demandbase National Business Marketer Survey was conducted among the Ziff Davis network. The survey was conducted online between Aug. 7-27, 2012. For more information about the 2012 Demandbase National Business Marketer Survey, go to http://www.demandbase.com/landing-page/account-based-marketing-in-2013-white-paper.

About Demandbase
Demandbase is the first real-time targeting and personalization platform for B2B, transforming the effectiveness of marketing programs and marketing’s ability to impact revenue. While personalization tools have long existed for B2C, until now, none were geared specifically to enable B2B marketers to make online interactions more effective, delivering the right message at the right time. Without the use of cookies, Demandbase’s Real-time Identification service bridges the gap between known and anonymous web visitors by identifying and segmenting the companies visiting a website, and providing detailed, targetable business attributes in real-time. Demandbase integrates with other sales and marketing technologies to deliver unique intelligence about web visitors, and better attract, convert and retain the right customers. Enterprise leaders and high-growth companies alike use Demandbase to drive better marketing performance. For more information, visit http://www.demandbase.com.

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