B2B tech marketers are laser-focused on winning new business, putting this significantly ahead of other priorities and making sure it gets the largest slice of their marketing budgets, per results of the most recent study from Spiceworks.
When asked to list out their primary marketing priorities for 2019, generating leads and acquiring new customers was cited by almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents. The second-most commonly chosen priority, listed by about half as many (39%), was to increase brand awareness.
This rank order is also reflected in B2B tech marketers’ budget allocation, with lead generation taking up close to half (45%) of budgets, followed by brand awareness (23%), product education and awareness (20%) and other marketing outcomes (12%).
Below are some other noteworthy highlights from the research.
ABM and Influencer Marketing Are Trending
This year looks like another good year for account-based marketing (ABM). Nearly half (50%) of identified ABM as one of the marketing trends expected to have the biggest impact on business in 2019, reflecting a growing shift towards the approach.
Another marketing trend thought to have an impact on businesses is on-demand content. One-third (33%) of respondents are seeing the benefits of providing content which buyers can access when and where they want it. This aligns with the general trend that B2B buyers want to see content packaged up for easier consumption, to make their product research easier.
And while B2C influencer marketers expecting to see their budgets increased this year, B2B marketers also recognize the potential benefits of getting well-known faces to help promote their products. For this study, influencer marketing comes in as the third most-cited marketing trend expected to make a big impact this year. Video marketing also makes a respectable showing, with about one-third respondents recognizing its potential for impact on businesses.
Content Type Varies Depending on Priority
With lead generation coming top of the priority list, marketers are using a broad range of tactics to help achieve this goal.
When it comes to driving more leads, half of all the marketers surveyed said they would produce webinars. When broken down by region, webinars were still the top content type for driving leads in North America, cited by 52%. However, in Europe marketers plan to use case studies (47%) more than webinars (44%) to drive leads. Other top choices for lead-generating content are whitepapers (48%) and case studies (45%).
For increasing brand awareness, blogs (54%), online videos (50%) and infographics (40%) are the top three content types which marketers are looking to deploy throughout 2019.
Top Marketing Challenges for 2019
Even when filled with enthusiasm for the latest marketing trends, there are always going to be a few challenges marketers will face. With some 44% of marketers reporting that they do not know what their current average marketing ROI it should come as no wonder that nearly half (48%) of the tech marketers surveyed chose measuring marketing ROI as one of their top challenges this year.
Although marketers have taken the time to map out which content they will use for each priority, some 45% identified driving conversion with content as a challenge.
Additionally, while ABM is considered the leading impactful trend this year, elements of it are seen to be a challenge. Aligning marketing and sales is considered a important priority in ensuring a successful ABM program, but more than one-third of respondents see sales and marketing alignment as a challenge they expect to face. Roughly one-quarter also pinpointed scaling ABM efforts as another challenge.
The full report with interactive charts can be accessed here.
About the Data: Spiceworks The 2019 State of IT is comprised of insights and data from a survey of 350 B2B marketers from technology companies across North America and Europe.