B2B Marketers Rank the Best Platforms for Reaching Customers and Prospects

August 7, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Digital | Email | Magazines | Mobile Phone | Out-of-Home | Paid Search | Radio | Television | Trade Shows & Events

ABM-B2B-Marketers-Most-Successful-Platforms-Aug2013A recent survey [pdf] from ABM asked B2B media users which media types they rely on for decision-making. The study also contains some interesting results from the marketer side: which platforms do they think are most successful in creating awareness among existing customers and generating targeted leads of prospective new buyers? It turns out there’s quite a bit of consensus: face-to-face event attendance is rated the most successful platform, by a fairly wide margin.

Asked to rate a range of platforms in terms of their success in creating awareness of new products or services among existing customers, marketers put face-to-face event attendance at the top, with 89% rating it successful. Face-to-face event sponsorship (76%) was next, followed closely by sponsored white papers (75%), and then by sponsored video on B2B platforms (69%), 3rd-party webinars and email newsletter advertising (each at 64%), and print advertising (63%).

Traditional media such as out-of-home (26%), radio (22%) and TV (17%) were rated successful by the fewest B2B marketers, behind even mobile advertising (34%).

Curiously, social media was left out of the mix: a recent report from Forrester Research found that social media use is ubiquitous among B2B decision-makers in North America and Europe.

Returning to the ABM study, when asked to rate the platforms based on their ability to generate targeted leads of prospective new buyers, marketers provided similar responses. Face-to-face event attendance (90%) and sponsorship (76%) were again the most-highly rated, this time followed by 3rd-party webinars (65%), search engine advertising (62%) and sponsored white papers (61%).

Some platforms are perceived by marketers to be better for generating awareness among customers than new targeted leads. Techniques falling into that category were:

  • Sponsored white papers (75% rating successful among customers; 61% for generating leads);
  • Sponsored video on B2B platforms (69% and 51%, respectively);
  • Email newsletter advertising (64% and 53%);
  • Print advertising (63% and 42%); and
  • Out-of-home (26% and 15%).

While fewer platforms were more highly rated for generating targeted leads than awareness among customers, mobile advertising (42% and 34%, respectively) and search engine advertising (62% and 55%, respectively) fit that bill.

There are some caveats to apply to the findings. The survey had a small sample size (74), which may impact its findings. Also, it did not measure usage of the various identified platforms, such that some may suffer from low perceived success rates due to their not having been widely adopted. Nevertheless, the results align with prior research, to the extent that face-to-face events have been previously highly-rated, while traditional media such as TV have been perceived to be less effective for lead generation.

Separately, the study finds that content marketing has increased for 57% of respondents over the past 12 months, while half as many (29%) could say the same about their B2B advertising budgets.

About the Data: The marketer survey was hosted online by Readex Research March 11 – April 12, 2013.

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