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13 Stats That Reveal Which Marketing Strategies Really Work

Posted in: Sales and Marketing Management

For marketers, 2020 was a year.

With businesses pivoting to virtual interactions, the digital landscape became more cluttered than ever. Marketers were suddenly left asking, “How can I make my brand stand out?”

Data from our latest research, the Marketing Challenges Survey, answers this question and more — let’s get started.

What Challenges Do Content Marketers Face?

Here are the top challenges content marketers faced in 2020:

  • 49% find it difficult to identify which assets successfully engage prospects
  • 46% found it difficult to effectively engage prospects
  • 49% found it difficult to identify which marketing assets sellers find most valuable

What Does This Mean?

Knowing which content is most likely to pique buyer interest is still a challenge for many teams. To resolve these challenges, double down on your investment in sales enablement. As these platforms track both internal and external content engagement, you’ll be able to quickly determine which assets are performing. Use our Content Mapping Toolkit to get started.

What Challenges Does Demand Marketing Face?

In 2020, demand and field marketers struggled to grab and keep attention:

  • 51% said that COVID-19 has made it difficult to effectively engage prospects through digital marketing efforts
  • 33% found engaging new audiences to be their biggest challenge
  • 27% found moving leads through the funnel to be their biggest challenge

What Does This Mean?

Demand marketers run the risk of overwhelming audiences in a digital-first world. Rather than blasting your email lists three times a week, consider breaking away from standard B2B practices and borrowing creative approaches from the consumer world. That could be anything from investing in fun, people-first content on Instagram, to launching roundtable series or casual webinars that give buyers a breather from work.

Which Type of Content Do Buyers Prefer?

With so much content suddenly being moved online, clear buyer preferences emerged:

  • 58% of content marketers found webinars to be the most successful type of content
  • 15% of content marketers found podcasts, infographics, case studies, and workbooks to be successful

What Does This Mean?

Buyers recognised the value of interactive digital content — which explains their clear preference for webinars, especially in comparison to content marketing standbys like case studies and infographics. Moving forward, content marketers should look for ways to make traditional assets more interactive, for instance by launching an eBook as a part of a multimedia package that includes a webinar or a live stream discussion.

Where Should Content Marketing Leaders Focus Next?

One key trend emerged out of 2020: uncertainty — in everything from the economy to the environment. This created unique pressure on deal cycles:

  • 28% of content marketers report driving urgency as their biggest challenge as a result of COVID-19
  • 21% of content marketers report creating awareness as their biggest challenge as a result of COVID-19
  • 12% of content marketers report engaging new audiences as their biggest challenge as a result of COVID-19

What Does This Mean?

Content marketers need a fresh approach to driving awareness, capturing new audiences, and creating urgency. To win this year, ask yourself which message is the most important to align your company around — then work with cross-functional leadership to land it as a team, leveraging sales and customer success to drive momentum and capture attention. Our experts break this down in our new podcast.

What Convinces Buyers to Buy?

Product marketers were specifically challenged to convince buyers to purchase in 2020:

  • 33% of product marketers report proving value/ROI as their biggest challenge as a result of COVID-19
  • 22% of product marketers report landing product differentiators internally and with prospects as their biggest challenge as a result of COVID-19

What Does This Mean?

With budgets being cut, businesses are reluctant to invest — unless they know your solution will drive benefit. Buyers are clearly hungry for proof that your solution will work, so arm your sellers with empirical evidence, whether that’s through case studies, analyst research, or ROI calculators.

Make Waves in 2021

Though marketers faced a challenging year in 2020, the above data reveals numerous opportunities for creativity, community, and growth. Get a head start on refreshing your marketing strategy with our guide to Overcoming 2020 Marketing Challenges.