B2B Marketers Open to New Opportunities; Training Could Improve Retention

March 28, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Business of Marketing | Industries | Marketing Budgets | Staffing

We’re in a time being described as the “Great Resignation,” and this trend appears to be extending to the B2B marketing world: almost two-thirds of B2B marketers are either actively looking for a new job (16%) or open to new opportunities (48%), according to a study [download page] from MarketingProfs. Something they find enticing is the possibility of more interesting work, per the report.

About half (48%) of the respondents cited more interesting work as a reason to be open to new opportunities. There were other, more broadly cited reasons, though. The first, not surprisingly, is increased salary, as noted by almost two-thirds (65%). The other is career advancement, as indicated by almost 3 in 5 (57%).

MarketingProfs argues that the desire for career advancement and more interesting work among these top reasons suggests that training can be a retention tool. In fact, while B2B marketing managers are most likely to be paying for training in order to level up skills and fill in gaps, employee retention and satisfaction was also a reason cited by a slight majority (53%).

Immediate or Long-Term Growth?

B2B marketers might be needing more from training than they’re getting. It is true that 7 in 10 marketing teams reported participating in training last year. However, just 1 in 5 (19%) respondents say they’re feeling very prepared for their future in marketing.

The most common reason for B2B marketers to participate in training is for personal growth and satisfaction, with this a near-unanimous selection among respondents. Having said that, though, respondents are far more likely to want to focus on solving specific problems related to their current role (69%) as opposed to wanting to learn about aspects of marketing that aren’t directly related to their current role (31%). The appeal for more direct and immediate benefits may relate to areas such as marketing technology use, in which lack of training has been cited as a key barrier to full use of automation tools.

Is There Budget?

Paid training isn’t a staple in B2B organizations. A majority (54%) report that employees need to request/justify training, compared to the 1 in 5 who say there is a budget set aside for each employee, who can choose how to use it. In fact, 3 in 10 marketers say they’ve paid for marketing training on their own, with the most common reason being that their organization does not have adequate training budget.

There also seems to be a deficit in measurement. Just 1 in 10 managers say they have a formal process to determine what skills their teams need next, and a full 36% don’t measure the impact of their training at all. While the vast majority want B2B training to include an assessment to see what skills the team needs to learn next, very few say their training program does this.

For marketers themselves, the top challenge with B2B marketing training is that they don’t have time, with many also saying that training is too focused on theory. Virtually all want training that will help them meet their business goals, but only 3 in 10 claim that their training currently allows them to do that. Additionally, in relation to the percentage who would like these elements from their training, few report that their program actually offers real-world examples, templates, checklists and frameworks, and quizzes/interactive components to test their knowledge.

Moving Forward

There are various paths ahead to improve training. The MarketingProfs report takes a look at a subset of respondents who are “very prepared” marketers. This group are more likely than others to say that their training is self-paced, includes real-world examples, is tailored to their industry, assesses which skills are needed, and offers personalized recommendations of which training to take.

With these in hand, “very prepared” marketers are more apt than others to feel very effective as a marketer and to be energized about their job. Importantly for the business, they’re also less likely to to be actively looking for a new job.

About the Data: The results are based on a November 2021 survey of 589 B2B marketers who work for companies that have at least 5 employees, 58% of whom said they manage someone as part of their work (“managers”).

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