Each year, The Content Marketing Institute surveys over 5,000 B2B marketers in more than a 100 countries regarding the trends, challenges and issues they face in regards to marketing today. The B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America, found many enlightening trends but one of the most surprising was how marketers record and document (or not) their strategic plans. Alan Lakein, a global expert on time management, is credited for saying, “planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”
Nearly half of the marketers the Institute surveyed, do not plan or track their results.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, the 2014 survey asked whether or not B2B marketers documented their plans/strategy and 49% said no. That was confusing because the institute did ask marketers if they had a strategy and 83% said yes. In the 2015 survey, the Institute asked the question a bit differently and found that while the majority claim to have a marketing strategy, only 35 percent of the marketers have actually documented it.
- Of the marketers who did have a written or documented strategy, 60-percent considered their marketing organization to be effective;
- Of the “effective” marketers, 62% reported they follow their written plans closely.
And for those who did not write or track their plans in a written form?
- Only 32% of those marketers who work from a verbal strategy felt their plans and campaigns were effective.
Researcher Joe Pulizzi with the Content Marketing Institute writes, “B2B marketers who have a documented strategy are more effective and less challenged with every aspect of content marketing when compared with their peers who only have a verbal strategy or no strategy at all.”
The Content Marketing Institute found some other interesting gems in the 2015 B2B study:
- Over ninety-percent of the marketers surveyed use social media in their campaigns and search engine marketing is number one on the list of paid distribution methods.
- Marketers work on an average of 13 initiatives in a 12-month period
- Sixty-nine-percent of marketers said they are working on more “engaging content.”
Many companies struggle with content marketing. Investing in quality content does not produce an immediate ROI like Google Adwords or other traditional advertising initiatives. However, by adding value to the marketplace of information online, the higher quality content will rise to the top. Having a blog is a great start, posting articles on your blog with regularity is a great next step. Now companies are taking content marketing to the next level by thinking about how to develop and promote quality content to their target audience in new and innovative ways.