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2016 State of B2B Digital Marketing: Proving ROI via Digital Lead Gen Remains Top Priority

businessperson pointing at document, B2B marketingNew research from digital marketing services provider DemandWave offers a revealing look at the challenges and opportunities faced by today’s digital marketers, as well as insight into today’s most powerful digital marketing tools and strategies. While previous reports focused on the broader digital marketing market, this year’s report squarely examines the B2B space—a change that reflects the company’s recent move to service B2B clients exclusively. Late last year, the firm surveyed nearly 300 U.S.-based B2B marketing pros, investigating their current and future plans for SEO, SEM, social media, mobile and content marketing.

“The desire to invest in revenue-driven marketing is a perennial theme in our annual report, and this year’s installment is no different,” said Paul Taylor, DemandWave’s CEO, in a news release. “I’m especially proud of this year’s report, as we’ve honed the focus to closely examine the B2B space, the market subset that we believe represents the greatest opportunity for growth in digital marketing.”

Headlining this year’s report (not surprisingly) is the revelation that driving sales through digital lead generation efforts remains the top priority for 66% of respondents. Proving ROI through lead generation has been the theme atop the survey each of the five years it’s been conducted. Other key insights from this year’s report include the following:

  • Email Reigns Supreme: Nearly 75% of respondents rely on email as their primary method of gathering quality leads.
  • ROI Remains Elusive: Measuring the revenue impact from digital marketing spend remains the toughest challenge for B2B marketers.
  • Struggling to Define Goals: Roughly half of all respondents admit that it’s difficult to gain consensus internally on what constitutes a qualified sales lead.
  • Are Videos No Longer Converting?: While more than 80% of respondents identify videos as their most widely used content marketing tool, only 29% say they generate leads, and just 18% say they drive revenue.
  • Account-Based Marketing on the Decline: Of those who used account-based marketing, only 53% consider it to be effective—down from 95% just one year ago.
  • Mobile is on the Rise: Although one third of B2B marketers generate less than 20% of their traffic from mobile, nearly 80% of all respondents have mobile-friendly websites—signaling the promise of growing conversion via mobile.

DemandWave’s 2016 B2B Digital Marketing Report aggregates responses from nearly 300 U.S.-based B2B marketers across a wide range of industries. More than half of the respondents occupy director-level or other executive positions within their organizations. Download the full report here.

Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel

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