B2B Marketers Point to Email As Their Most Important Digital Tool

BtoB-Most-Important-B2B-Digital-Marketing-Activities-Mar2013Modern B2B marketing – increasingly reliant on digital marketing – has been shaped by forces such as tech-tracked ROI and the rise of social media, but one tried and true digital marketing channel remains most important, according to [download page] a study from BtoB magazine, sponsored by Eloqua. Respondents to the survey, who indicate greater adoption of modern marketing practices today than ever before, indicate that email (64%) is their most important digital marketing activity.

Interestingly, social media (42%) follows email, though it trails by a relatively large margin. PR, blogging, and customer case studies (31%) and search marketing (28%) remain in the mix, while webinars and virtual events have become more important over time, cited by 28% of respondents.

At the bottom end of the scale, few B2B marketers believe that custom publishing (6%), video portals (9%), or mobile (10%) are among their most important digital activities. Interestingly, white papers (15%) are also on the lower end of the totem pole. Recent research from Software Advice has found white papers rated highly for their quantity of leads produced, but not as well for the quality of the leads. Earlier research from Optify suggested that B2B marketers find white papers to be their second most effective content marketing tactic, behind only case studies.

Other Findings:

  • The most commonly cited factors driving the needs of the modern marketers, according to the BtoB study, are the need to achieve faster and more relevant touchpoints in the market (60%), and reduced resources (55%).
  • Despite their resource challenges, B2B marketers are generally satisfied with the resources they’re provided by outside vendors.

About the Data: In January 2013, BtoB surveyed 556 B2B marketing professionals representative of the market: 54% of respondents said their company revenue is less than $100 million, 18% reported revenue of $100 million to $499 million, 8% said their companies have revenue of $500 million to $999 million, and 20% reported annual revenue of $1 billion or more. Marketers from technology companies comprised 29% of all respondents, with financial services companies (including accounting, banking, insurance and real estate) at 9% of the total, and consulting firms, publishing/media companies and manufacturing companies each at 8%.