It’s Friday the 13th, last night was the full moon, Mercury’s in retrograde…I’m scared.
Be wary, friends. There are some crazy rhythms in the universe right now. And I don’t just mean at your local drum circle.
Not that I’m superstitious or anything. But I AM a firm believer in being aware of potential pitfalls and staying prepared—just in case that worst case scenario rears it’s ugly head. Not that it will. (Knock on wood.)
Truth is, this isn’t just a planetary thing. There’s been some pretty scary mojo hanging about the content marketing world, too.
Don’t believe me? Here are 13 statistics that indicate some serious problems arising in B2B organizations. And, in the spirit of preparedness, we’ve included tips to help you avoid being on the dark side of these stats.
1. B2B companies’ inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies has cost them upwards of 10% or more of revenue per year, or $100 million for a billion-dollar company. (Source)
Time to sit down with sales and get on the same page. To avoid cutting into revenue opportunities, marketing and sales need to agree on definitions of each sales stage, make sure all the key technologies are working together (i.e., marketing automation, CRM, content marketing software, etc.), and open the door for constant communication and collaboration.
2. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their interaction with the enterprise without interacting with a human. (Source)
This is scary for the companies that aren’t yet convinced that they need to focus on buyer-centric, digital content. If you’re not trying to figure out exactly how your buyers make purchase decisions and how they engage with your brand, you’re just going to fall farther behind. Look at buyer behavior. Dig into how they enter your marketing and sales funnel. Get to know the science behind their movements, then optimize accordingly.
3. 60% to 70% of B2B content created is never used. Most cited reason why B2B content goes unused is that the topic is irrelevant to the buyer audience. (Source)
Again, signs of a wasted investment. Sales needs buyer-centric content. Marketing needs buyer-centric content. If you’re wasting resources creating content that extols the values of your company or the benefits of your products, time to switch gears—because that content isn’t doing anything to help you organization generate revenue.
4. Only 44% of B2B content marketers have a documented content strategy. (Source)
“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there,” said Yogi Berra. Truer words have ne’er been spoken, content marketers. If you’re not sure how you’re going to execute your content marketing efforts and if you don’t have a strategy for reaching your goals, forget trying to get there.
5. 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. (Source)
SEO is a critical piece of the content marketing puzzle. If your content isn’t showing up in search results, then you’re missing out on a major opportunity to provide your buyers with answers to relevant, valuable questions. Optimize, optimize, optimize.
6. Only 32% of marketers say they are effectively executing enough content. (Source)
Content is at the center of modern marketing—every channel depends on it. But the key to creating enough content is to be strategic. Focus on creating major content assets, such as eBooks or guides (we call them content pillars), then break these assets into many smaller content assets, which can be shared across channels and fuel your editorial calendar for months to come.
7. Only 10% marketers say they’re in advanced state of unified content creation. (Source)
Your organization is a goldmine for content ideas, and you’re most likely missing out on some valuable internal resources. Find a way to source ideas from across the company—sales, customer service, support, internal experts—and get them all involved in your content process.
These next three stats go together:
8. 22% of companies who have invested in marketing automation cite creating content as one of the biggest obstacles to using the technology. (Source)
9. 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. (Source)
10. Only 44% percent of companies are using any kind of lead scoring system. (Source)
These stats point to a very serious issue that remind me of this three-fold full moon, Friday the 13th, and Mercury scenario. Three separate yet related issues are putting your marketing automation investments at stake: lack of understanding of the tool, lack of content to fuel the tool, and the inability to deliver targeted, relevant information to buyers.
If you’re investing in technology like marketing automation, but you’re not taking advantage of the opportunities it provides (lead scoring, nurturing, segmentation), you’re missing out on revenue for your organization. You’ve invested the money, now get to know the tools you’re paying for to see the returns.
11. Less than 1/3 of email marketing companies regularly test their email campaigns. (Source)
Hello [First Name]. Make sure you test, test, test. Every communication is an opportunity to reach your audience and impact their decisions. Don’t botch it with broken links and images, or incorrectly organized segments.
12. 76% of content marketers are forgetting sales enablement. (Source)
Sales needs content. With the advent of the Challenger Sale philosophy, they’re expected to provide in-depth insights that push their prospects to think differently about their organization. Marketing, on the other hand, is creating content that speaks directly to these topics. Yet sales doesn’t know when that content is produced or where to find it. Close the gap by giving sales visibility into your editorial calendar, empowering them to contribute content ideas, and delivering information on valuable content assets.
13. 27% of B2B marketers say they are effectively tracking content utilization metrics. (Source)
If you don’t know what’s working, you won’t be able to improve. Also, you won’t be able to show what kinds of results your marketing efforts are driving. Don’t lose budget over lack of proof. Learn how to measure what matters, and start doing it ASAP.
Now, don’t get too scared, friends. There’s a silver-lining here. When Mercury’s in retrograde, it’s a great time to break old patterns. The full moon sheds light on previously unacknowledged challenges. And Friday the 13th…well, just avoid getting lost in woods and you should be fine.
Questions? You’ll find me at my local drum circle.