The Shortest Distance Blogs

The results are in! Our survey said…

The results are in! Our survey said…

Slack and Company | August 31, 2017

Earlier this month, we polled our readers with a three-question survey.

Our goal: to discover the gaps in educational B2B marketing content and fill them.

Over the next four months, we’d like to be the ones to answer that call. So, without further ado, here’s what you said…

Question 1: Which 2 of these 5 topics interest you the most?

Based on our conversations with clients, we settled on the five article topics included above. They are indeed the ones we have been encountering in our work every day lately.

We weren’t surprised to see that digital marketing and content marketing came out on top in our survey based on prior client input.

In fact, the Content Marketing Institute found that, on average, B2B marketers dedicate 28% of their marketing budgets to content marketing. That same study also found that the percentage of marketers who felt that their organizations were effective at content marketing fell from 38% to 30% between 2015 and 2016. So, while content marketing makes up over a quarter of the average B2B organization’s marketing budget, only three marketers in 10 believe they’re putting that investment to good use.

What we found in our survey seems to back that assertion, with 68% of respondents expressing interest in using content marketing throughout their customers’ experience with them.

And that’s not even getting into how content marketing can relate to topics that got fewer votes! The most effective use of content as a vehicle for brand awareness? Balancing content and messaging alignment? You can bet we’ll be coming back to these topics in the future.

We’re also excited to see that so many people care about how they’re working with their agency partners when it comes to digital marketing.

Martech and digital marketing, especially as a function of demand generation, is something we love talking about because of how integral it is to successful B2B marketing.

Add this to the push of Agile project management methodologies and how that will impact all of the above, and it looks to be a fascinating finish to our content year.

Question 2: What topics would you like to see us write about more often?

Once again, the desire for data and digital is demonstrable and decisive.

Don't despair, we're done.

B2B marketing analytics and digital strategy continue to be chief concerns. We were a bit surprised at how few votes business consulting won but, admittedly, it was up against some stiff competition.

Question 3: In your opinion, what current B2B trends aren’t getting enough attention?

Here’s the really fun part. This question asked respondents to write in their own answers. It's qualitative research at its best because we get to see exactly what people are thinking and feeling in real time.

The responses for this question were pretty diverse at first glance but after some analysis, we saw topic groupings start to form and found that most responses fit into at least one—sometimes more—of these groups. They were:

Response pattern %
Requests for commentary on a trend or tactic 31.8%
“Standing out from the noise” in digital marketing 18%
Content marketing 18%
Better cooperation between sales & marketing 13.6%
Business consulting 13.6%
Leveraging brand 9%

We’ve already covered the continued importance of B2B content marketing but what caught our attention was how many people were looking for advice on how to stand out. Or, to use a direct quote, “cutting through the digital noise.”

That such a specific issue ranked so highly in the number of similar responses really says something about the challenges facing B2B companies today. What is truly needed to stand out in today’s digital-first world? Where do the big topics—branding and demand generation—come in here?

So, be sure to keep an eye out for future articles from us; one of them might just come from your idea.

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