2016 Resolutions for B2B Marketers
The New Year is the perfect time to start fresh and set some new goals for yourself. So in the spirit of things, I’ve laid out a few New Year’s marketing resolutions that all marketers can take into account as they look to turn over a new leaf and build on their successes in 2016.
New Year’s Marketing Resolution #1: Become a (Better) Data-Driven Marketer
Data has become an immensely powerful – and must-have – tool for modern marketers. Yet, despite its growing popularity, a recent survey from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Winterberry Group suggests that most marketers are still figuring out how to use data effectively to achieve their organization’s objectives. Where are marketers having the best luck influencing customer behavior? Through the “collection and segmentation of first-party data,” according to this same study.
So in 2016, get smarter when it comes to gathering the right data and using it most effectively. Think less about the generic use cases of data and focus more on how you can leverage data in ways that are unique to your own company goals. And when seeking out a potential data provider, make sure you’re using one who is providing you with first-party data, like TechTarget’s own Priority Engine, vs. third-party data.
New Year’s Marketing Resolution #2: Create a Symbiotic Relationship with Sales
According to a report from Sirius Decisions, B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieved 24% faster growth and 27% faster profit growth over a three year period. Unfortunately, sales and marketing alignment remains one of the more elusive – and costly – challenges in organizations today, as studies show that failure to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies costs B2B companies 10% or more of revenue per year.
In 2016, take the necessary steps to create a better working relationship with your sales team through better communication and a clearer understanding of each other’s goals. Come together to define your target buyer and create buyer personas. Ensure you’re both in agreement on common metrics and lead definitions. Meet regularly to discuss the status of your campaigns. There are countless best practices you can adopt. But once you’re on the same page, the results can be incredibly rewarding.
New Year’s Marketing Resolution #3: Develop a More Robust Content Marketing Program
As Courtney Kay recently mentioned, 67% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions than they did a year ago. Yet, only 30% of today’s B2B marketers claim to be effective at content marketing (down from 38% last year). So if more buyers are in demand of content, and marketers are becoming less and less competent with their own content strategy, the door is open for you to shift past the competition with a carefully constructed content marketing strategy that resonates, informs and influences those buyers in need.
So in 2016, take advantage of the low hanging fruit and build a more effective content marketing program that meets the needs of your customers and attracts more prospects. Get started by adopting some of the foundational elements of successful content marketing, and use some of the findings from our latest Media Consumption study, which dives into the media and content preferences of TechTarget’s vast audience of IT buyers.
New Year’s Marketing Resolution #4: Get Real About Millennials
It’s hard to believe, but nearly half of all of today’s B2B researchers are Millennials. What’s important to realize with this younger generation is that they tend to research and make decisions different than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. And before you know it, Millennials will have the most spending power in the B2B business world, so now’s the time to gain their attention and loyalty.
In 2016, put a much greater emphasis on marketing to Millennials and target their needs and wants accordingly. Be authentic. Use their language. Get creative. Engage them through social media. Build trust and relationships with them. Just be sure to keep Millennials top-of-mind; doing so successfully could pay off for many years to come.
Happy New Year!