B2B Marketers: This Year, Be Classic—Not Trendy

12 Nov

2016 B2B Trends Report Proves the Need to Get Back to Basics

B2B Benchmarks

There is often a tendency for B2B marketers to get caught up in the latest technology and trends. I get it; they’re new, they’re exciting, and they can even be effective when paired with the proper strategy. But flair is only as good as the foundation it’s built on. The recently released 2016 B2B Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report from Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs proves that B2B marketers focusing too heavily on the latest trends sometimes miss the bigger picture when it comes to strategy and planning.

I’ve written recently about how B2B marketers need to remember time-tested methods of direct marketing so as not to miss out on proven opportunities to reach their audience. But what that post was referring to was purely tactical. After reading some of the stats from this report, I’m convinced that there are some bigger issues B2B marketers must address head on before attempting to incorporate the latest trends into their campaigns.

Here are a few of the statistics that led me to that conclusion:

  • Only 28% of B2B content marketers have a documented editorial mission statement.
  • Only 30% of B2B marketers say their efforts are effective, down 8% from 2015.
  • Only 32% consider their content marketing to be sophisticated.
  • Only 32% have a documented content marketing strategy.

What these stats reveal is that there is a clear lack of upfront planning and strategic thinking happening before launching a campaign. As is often the case, there is a mentality that B2B marketers need to hurry up and put out as much content as possible, often without taking the time to think about it beforehand. B2B marketers would do well to take a beat and reassess their overall mission, approach, and strategy. They must also establish the measurements by which they will determine ROI.

I know it seems obvious, but these numbers prove that it’s not. These are basics. But every B2B marketer out there has fallen victim to losing the mission due to heavy workloads, an attempt to stimulate creativity with a new trend, or a lack of clear communication.

So here’s an idea for 2016’s top trend: be classic, not trendy— before you buy into the latest software or marketing platform, how about documenting your strategy first?

Get more statistics from the report here as you fine-tune your 2016 strategy.

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