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4 B2B marketing trend reports to read before 2018 planning

As you’re putting together your 2018 marketing plan, there’s nothing like including some strong proof points pulled from third-party research & trend reports to build a case for a new strategy or organizational change, especially when it involves asking for more budget. Hard-hitting stats show you’ve done your homework and your decision is backed by data. But with marketing technology and tools changing at a rapid pace, it’s difficult to keep tabs on the latest research and sift through the clutter to find what’s truly relevant to your business. That’s why we’ve compiled the essential marketing reports and insights from 2017 for you. These reports contain the latest trends and data around B2B marketing, content strategy and thought leadership to help support your strategic recommendations.

 

The State of Engagement
Marketo’s 2017 State of Engagement report offers insights from over 2,000 global consumers and marketers that support thought leadership content focused on customer needs and challenges, as well as having the proper marketing infrastructure and tech stack in place to enable engagement.

Takeaways:

  • 3 out of 4 B2B consumers think brands must have a deep understanding of their needs in order to engage successfully.
  • Irrelevant content is the #1 reason consumers don’t engage more often.
  • The #1 challenge for marketers is related to the tools available to support engagement and reaching consumers using the right channels and at the right moment.

 

2017 State of Marketing Report
Salesforce’s annual marketing report is one of the most comprehensive reports you can count on for relevant data each year. Based on a survey of 3,500 marketers worldwide, this year’s report revealed top marketers are investing in the customer journey and looking into Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enable 1-to-1 interactions.

Takeaways:

  • 65% of business buyers are likely to switch brands if a vendor doesn’t personalize communications to their company.
  • 89% of top teams are aligning marketing roles to a customer journey strategy.
  • 60% of B2B marketers say they’ve been more focused on improving audience segmentation and personas over the past 18 months

 

How Thought Leadership Impacts B2B Demand Generation
Edelman and LinkedIn teamed up and surveyed over 1,300 business decision makers and C-suite executives to determine thought leadership’s impact on demand generation and sales. Spoiler alert, “most marketers drastically undervalue their company’s greatest asset: thought leadership.”

Takeaways:

  • 45% of decision-makers say thought leadership directly led them to give business to an organization.
  • 49% of decision-makers say they are willing to pay a premium for an organization that has articulated a clear vision of the future.
  • 88% of business decision makers and 90% of C-suite executives said their respect and admiration for the organization increase after engaging with their thought leadership.
  • Nearly 1 in 2 business decision makers are disappointed in the overall quality of thought leadership and nearly all feel it is a missed opportunity.

 

2017 State of Inbound
Hubspot’s State of Inbound report is unique in that they survey both marketers and salespeople to understand collaboration and major sticking points between marketing and sales. We can imagine you’ll read some of the stats and think “we’re not the only ones”. This year Hubspot survey more than 6,300 professionals to discover the biggest trends in inbound marketing.

Takeaways:

  • 63% of marketers admit that their top challenge is generating enough traffic and leads.
  • 59% of marketers say they provide salespeople with very high-quality leads, but only 25% of salespeople agree.
  • 32% of marketers rank outbound marketing practices such as paid advertising as the top waste of time and resources.

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