B2B marketers failing to make mobile a reality – study

21st Nov 2013

Mobile has shot to the top of marketers’ priority list in recent years but new research has revealed that B2B brands are still failing to implement a mobile strategy.

Sift Media, B2B publisher and parent company of, and digital agency Sift Digital, surveyed over 400 B2B marketers and found that whilst there was unanimous agreement that mobile should become a key priority, just 19% of organisations currently offer a fully mobile compatible site. 

Under a quarter of respondents (23%) reported they had a partially compatible site, while a further 39% stated they were still working on their mobile strategy. 

However, B2B marketers noted that mobile was an area that required more attention, with a quarter of those surveyed admitting that their mobile/tablet advertising was presently very poor for ROI effectiveness. Instead, lead generation was considered to be the top online advertising method for ROI effectiveness, followed by online events/hangouts and online research/surveys, the findings showed.

Alongside mobile, digital literacy and governance emerged as a key theme from the report. Whilst 31% said that their under-setting of digital and social media is ‘excellent’, a fifth of those surveyed admitted that they don’t have a good digital understanding with over a quarter suggesting a lack of talent or understanding/education is holding them back.

Respondents said that the biggest barrier preventing them from accelerating their digital plan was time (60%), followed by investment (45%), internal resources (45%) and talent (18%).

In terms of social, B2B marketers appeared to be confident in their abilities. Over 77% of B2B organisations were shown to have a social media policy and, with social strategy listed as the lowest priority area for improvement, it’s fair to presume that most organisations are happy with their approach.

User experience, the third key theme in the report, was shown to be either a somewhat or very important digital priority for 64% of marketers.

Notably, customer engagement via user generated content received a very mixed response with regards to user experience, with an equal split of respondents claiming to provide either an above average, average or below average experience.

However, the majority (70%) did name customer engagement via user generated content as a priority area for improvement.

So what do these findings mean for B2B marketers? Key takeaways from the report included:

Content ‘marketing’ is still king: Content marketing features at the top of the priority list for B2B marketers, both for current activity and for future improvement.

Mobile isn’t coming, it’s already here: Mobile display advertising is in the early stages of development, but evidence already exists in terms of mobile content marketing success.

Combine traditional methods with innovative tools: ‘Traditional’ digital tools such as email and lead generation top the list of effective methods of digital marketing ROI, but social tools are beginning to form a greater part of the marketing mix.

Consider benefiting from third-party expertise: Just 3% currently outsource digital marketing activity, yet there is a consistent lack of resource amongst the majority of B2B marketers

Earlier this year, shone the spotlight on the numerous aspects of mobile marketing including building a strategy, SMS marketing and HTML5 verses native mobile apps. To view the entire series, click here. 

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