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A majority of B2B marketers expect to see their demand generation budget increase in 2019, with some 3 in 10 expecting that their demand gen budget will increase by more than 20%, according to the latest benchmark survey from Demand Gen Report.

So, with these increased demand generation budgets, where are marketers putting their priorities this year? The survey found that a leading 68% named improving conversion rates/campaign results a priority.

Marketers in the recent past have indicated that they have encountered challenges when it comes to measuring and demonstrating the impact of their marketing efforts. An earlier Demand Gen Report survey revealed that tracking activity between specific buyer stages and measuring impact across channels are specific challenges they face. It’s no wonder then that two-thirds (66%) of respondents to this new report said that improving the ability to measure and analyze marketing impact was a priority for 2019.

The report also noted that reaching a fair balance between demand generation and account-based marketing (ABM) efforts is a challenge. With that being said, another top priority for demand generation marketers is generating the right contacts and shareholders at target accounts (62%).

Furthermore, in 2018, almost three-quarters (73%) of B2B content marketers were prioritizing their audience’s informational needs. This year, marketers are continuing this trend with nearly 3 in 5 (59%) saying that expanding their content library to drive campaigns was another priority.

Other elements demand generation marketers are putting at the top of their list of priorities this year include improving marketing and sales alignment (59%), focusing on lead quality over quantity (58%), improving the depth and accuracy of their database (49%) and leveraging intent/signal data to identify new priorities (42%).

Tech Being Deployed to Meet Priorities

Demand generation marketers are aligning their technology solutions to meet these priorities. With goals like generating the right contacts at target accounts, focusing on lead quality over quantity and improving marketing and sales alignment, along with a trend towards integrating ABM and demand generation, almost one-half (46%) of marketers report that they plan to test ABM tools.

Multichannel lead nurturing tools will be tested or deployed by some 38% of marketers in the survey in an effort to monitor campaign performance. Another one-third (34%) plan on testing content planning, syndication and measurement in the coming year.

Marketing automation will also be implemented by more than one-third (37%) of respondents. The benefits of marketing automation go well beyond lead generation, and have been found to increase sales and marketing alignment as well as improve prospect intelligence.

Despite predictive analytics being considered very effective when it comes to personalization, only one-quarter (25%) of those surveyed plan on testing and deploying it in 2019.

Databases Remain Incomplete

B2B marketers experience many database challenges, and one of the most common is outdated data. One-third (34%) of survey participants said they are actively reviewing their database, with only 1 in 10 saying their databases are current and complete. However, to help remedy this, a little more than one-quarter (28%) of respondents plan on deploying data enrichment technology.

More survey findings here.

About the Data: Demand Gen Report’s 2019 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey used responses from more than 150 B2B marketing practitioners from the software/technology industry, business service or consulting, financial services, retail, manufacturing, telecom and healthcare. The majority of respondents were from the US. About half are from companies with at least $50 million in revenues.

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