Digital marketing is taking on more importance at B2B organizations, although offline marketing channels continue to occupy the largest share of budgets, according to new reports from Regalix [download page] andDemandWave [download page]. The studies find that revenue and sales increases are the top marketing objectives for B2B companies, with quality and quantity of leads the leading goals for digital marketing efforts.

Objectives and Challenges
Turning first to the DemandWave study that focuses exclusively on digital marketing, the survey results indicate that while the delivery of quality leads is marketers’ top objective, measuring and proving ROI (with which CMOs are having considerable difficulty) is the biggest digital marketing challenge, with more respondents saying this is their biggest challenge than in the previous two years of the study. In fact, a plurality (35%) of respondents reported not having an attribution model to measure digital marketing ROI, though multi-channel was the most common among those with one.

Meanwhile, delivering quality leads is a much larger challenge than generating enough leads, per respondents, with that being in line with a general focus on lead quality over lead quantity this year.

Among the Regalix respondents, revenue increases (69%) represented the most common objective that marketers accomplished in 2015, followed by an increase in leads generated (68%), increases in sales (65%) and an increase in customers acquired (62%). Despite all of the attention paid to customer experience, relatively few respondents (35%), by comparison, said they had improved their customer experience.

Looking ahead, revenue increases (67%) represent the top marketing objective for 2016, with fewer (41%) again pointing to a better customer experience or improved engagement/customer relationships (54%).

Digital vs. Traditional
Digital is taking precedence over traditional as a marketing priority among B2B firms, per the Regalix survey, with 77% of respondents saying that digital and online marketing is a high priority versus just 23% saying the same about offline marketing. And while a majority (52%) of respondents report that both digital and offline marketing proved effective in meeting their goals in 2015, a much higher proportion pointed to digital (37%) exclusively than offline (11%).

Even so, more than 8 in 10 said that their digital and traditional marketing activities are either fully (17%) or partly-integrated (65%).

The digital versus traditional comparison extends to budgets, too. In the Regalix study, just 29% of respondents said that they will allocate a majority of their budgets to digital/online marketing initiatives this year, with the largest proportion (44%) allocating up to 25%. Similarly, the DemandWave study indicates that 38% of respondents are allocating up to 25% of their budgets to digital, although about an equal share (37%) are directing more than 40% of their budgets to digital. ...

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