Where the b-to-b dollars are going (and the metrics marketers want)
March 27, 2012 – Bizo (an online business audience data provider) and BtoB magazine teamed up to conduct a survey of b-to-b marketing professionals in the United States and found that 77 percent of respondents said they’d be expanding their marketing mix this year with video and mobile. Are marketers spending more of their money on social media campaigns, paid search or email? Is there a stronger emphasis on video or mobile?
David Karel, vice president of marketing at Bizo told ABM that he believed b-to-b marketers are spending their money on paid search, e-mail and display advertising. Karel says that although a majority of funds go towards e-mail marketing, that about 70 percent of marketers are not able to meet the pipeline demands meaning they can’t afford to send mass amounts of e-mails. E-mail marketing is the more traditional form of reaching consumers and driving engagement, but that form of marketing will only reach those within the company’s mailing list database. He says that display marketing reaches a bigger audience and makes it easier for marketers to count how many leads they are getting. This is one way to assess the value of your b-to-b media, by the amount of people that click on your ad. Marketers are still assessing ad performance by “clicks” rather than more modern measurement.
Meanwhile, Bob Felsenthal, publisher of BtoB magazine, says that a good deal of marketers are spending money on their own websites with regard to content, programming, design, functionalities and e-commerce, rather than marketing through third-party channels. BtoB magazine reports that 59 percent of U.S. marketers and agencies plan to increase their social media display ad spending in the next 12 months.
Metrics: How Marketers Determine Success
In terms of metrics, Felsenthal says that marketers are using leads as their primary measurement of value for b-to-b media. This is something he believes is both a positive and a negative. “Marketers need to do more than just get leads, they need the media company to help nurture the leads. This is difficult to do at the price they want to pay.”
Karel notes that many marketers still measure value through analytical tools and click conversion. This click conversion is broken up into two categories: post click conversion and post impression conversion. Post click conversion counts how much of your conversion came through immediately and converted. Post impression measures the amount of those who saw your ad and converted later.
Social media marketing is becoming one of the most effective tactics being added to the b-to-b marketing mix. According to marketingprofs.com, 80 percent of b-to-b marketers use social media and rate it as the second most important form of digital media outreach. “Marketers need to diversify their existing channels. Mobile is where more marketers need to place their focus because that is where the majority of their audience is spending their time,” said Karel. He says that marketers need to make sure that their content is optimized for mobile. “The one question every marketer should ask themselves is, ‘Can my website be viewed on mobile?’” Felsenthal shares these same sentiments, but also remarks that the use of video on websites is huge and helps marketers to reach a broad audience.
According to a study by research company, Advertiser Perceptions, “…social media advertising will make up about 27% of digital budgets over the next 12 months, compared with 22 percent in the previous 12 months. No other digital category is expected to see in-budget share gains over the next 12 months.”
E-mail is still the most consistent form of marketing outreach for b-to-b media, but social media advertising is quickly becoming the “must have” ingredient for a successful marketing mix.
By Risa Dixon