[Research Round-Up] Revenue Marketing, Content Marketing and the New Normal in B2B Marketing

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(This month's Research Round-Up features a look at "revenue marketing" benchmarks by Demand Spring, an extensive examination of the state of content marketing by Semrush, and a report by Considered Content discussing two surveys that show where B2B buyers and B2B marketers are on the same page . . . and where they aren't.) 

2022 Revenue Marketing B2B Benchmark Report by Demand Spring 

Source:  Demand Spring
  • Based on a survey of marketers located in North America and the UK
  • 150 respondents representing a "variety of industries" and a wide range of company sizes "from SMBs to large enterprises"
  • The report doesn't state when the survey was conducted
  • Report published in February 2022

This is the fifth edition of Demand Spring's revenue marketing benchmark survey. Revenue marketing has been around for more than a decade, so it's not surprising that 91% of the survey respondents said they were familiar with the concept.

Revenue marketing has been defined in a variety of ways, but in general, it refers to an approach to marketing in which:

  • Marketing and sales are aligned on the goal of driving pipeline and revenue growth; and
  • Marketing activities are tied directly to demand generation and revenue growth.

The Demand Spring research addressed several important issues. For example:

The primary metrics used to measure marketing performance - The top four metrics identified by survey respondents were revenue (54%), total inquiries (40%), pipeline initiated (38%) and pipeline influenced (38%).

How much of the revenue pipeline marketing is expected to initiate and/or influence - The largest cohort of respondents (38%) said marketing is expected to influence 25% to 50% of the revenue pipeline.

The main barriers to driving pipeline and revenue - The four top barriers identified by survey respondents were technology (38%), budget (37%), talent (33%) and shifting marketing and organizational priorities (32%).

The primary areas of marketing spending - The top three areas selected by survey respondents were content creation (44%), webinars (37%) and SEO/SEM (32%).

Top revenue marketing priorities for 2022 - Fifty-eight percent of the respondents identified improving conversion rates through nurturing the middle/bottom of the funnel as their top priority or a high priority for 2022.

The State of Content Marketing:  2022 Global Report by Semrush

A multi-faceted report based on several data types and sources.

Source:  Semrush

  • Google search queries and questions relating to content marketing
  • Cost-per-click data for keywords relating to content marketing
  • Twitter topics and hashtags trends
  • Input from nine content marketing experts
  • A survey of 1,500 marketers
  • Data relating to 500,000 blog articles

This 115-page report is one of the most extensive resources regarding content marketing that I've recently reviewed. The data on which the report is based are primarily from calendar year 2021, so the insights provided in the report are timely. The report addresses four broad topic categories.

The first portion of the report focuses on several specific topics relating to search and Twitter topics and hashtags. It identifies the most popular search queries and questions at Google pertaining to content marketing, and it identifies the most expensive cost-per-click keywords relating to content marketing. The report also discusses the most popular hashtags and topics at Twitter relating to content marketing.

The second portion of the report contains brief essays by recognized content marketing experts discussing what they believe will be the top content marketing trends in 2022.

The report also includes the results of a survey of 1,500 marketers working in more than 20 industries. Survey respondents were located in more than 40 countries around the world. This survey addressed a variety of content marketing topics, some of which were also addressed in the latest content marketing survey by the Content Marketing Institute and MarrketingProfs. So, it's interesting to compare the findings of these two surveys.

The final portion of the report presents an analysis of the common characteristics of top-performing blog articles. Among other things, it discusses what makes headlines effective, what article structures work best, and what article lengths are most popular with readers.

Because of its length, this report requires a fair amount of time to read and absorb, but it you're involved in content marketing, that will be time well spent.

Longer sales, greater expectations, less contact:  Welcome to the new normal in B2B marketing commissioned by Considered Content (surveys conducted by Censuswide)

  • Based on two surveys
    Source:  Considered Content
  • A survey of 150 B2B buyers with companies having at least 250 employees
  • A survey of 150 senior in-house marketers with companies having at least 250 employees
  • Location of survey respondents not specified
  • Surveys conducted in December 2021 and January 2022

This type of marketing research - where buyer and marketer survey participants are asked similar (or parallel) questions - can be particularly useful because the results can reveal where buyers and marketers are on the same page . . . and where they aren't.

The Considered Content surveys provide this type of insight. For example, the survey findings show that buyers and marketers agree that sales cycles are getting longer. Fifty-six percent of the surveyed buyers said that purchase decisions are taking longer because it has become more difficult to gain agreement among the multiple members of the buying group.

Buyers and marketers also agree that buyers are conducting more research independently - before they contact a prospective vendor. Sixty-six percent of the surveyed buyers said they are self-serving more information before they contact vendors, and 74% of the surveyed marketers said customers are taking more control of the buying process.

The Considered Content surveys also revealed where gaps exist between what B2B buyers want and what B2B marketers are providing. For example:

  • Twenty-five percent of the surveyed buyers said they want to be able to get all the information they need online before contacting a salesperson, but only 9% of the surveyed marketers said they provide this level of information.
  • Twenty-eight percent of the buyer respondents said they want to be able to view testimonials, case studies and reviews from named businesses, but only 9% of the marketer respondents said they provide this kind of content on their website.
  • Forty-two percent of the surveyed marketers said they offer pre-recorded demos, but only 23% of the surveyed buyers said they want to watch pre-recorded demos.


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