The most successful B2B enterprise marketers focus content creation on audience needs and expectations rather than pushing an independent brand story, and it is this factor that distinguishes them from their peers, a new study published by the Content Marketing Institute has found.
The CMI’s B2B Enterprise Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America report is a snapshot of current marketing practices and how they have evolved during the last 12 months. It highlights the ongoing tug of war for marketers as they try to juggle delivering a core brand message with serving up content that clients want to consume.
Just over half of the study’s respondents said that their enterprise puts the target audience at the forefront when creating content, but that number is much lower than the 69 per cent of marketers who do so across all company sizes and industry types. This suggests that enterprise marketers still have some way to go to catch up with engagement leaders and recognise the importance of bespoke, targeted content.
“We’d like to see more B2B enterprise marketers creating content for their audience versus their company’s products and services. Yet in all fairness, they may face internal pressures that prevent them from doing so,” CMI Director of Research Lisa Murton Beets said. “However, it’s that laser-focus on putting the audience first that will sustain long-term content marketing success.”
The latest report again reinforces the theory that the most committed and experienced marketers are the most successful: 97 per cent of top performers said that they are either “extremely” or “very committed” to the activity, while 92 per cent focus their attentions on the audience over the brand. Meanwhile, three-quarters are clear on what is required to deliver an effective content programme.
In contrast, just three per cent of the least successful marketers have a clear plan, and no respondents in this category deem their current efforts to be either “sophisticated” or “mature.” Top performers are also measuring their return on investment, prioritising content placement and providing unique news, videos and blogs in the right place at the right time.
Finally, 84 per cent of B2B enterprise marketers who have enjoyed success in recent months claim that creating higher-quality content and becoming more efficient during the process have been central to the upturn.