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Only 27% of B2B leaders say their inbound marketing efforts are very successful in helping to achieve important objectives, Some 66% of B2B leaders view their efforts as somewhat successful, and just 7% say inbound marketing has not helped their business at all. Content creation is rated as both the most effective inbound tactic and the most difficult to execute.  Nearly half (46%) of respondents say lack of an effective strategy is a top obstacle to inbound marketing success.

Source: Ascend2’s B2B Inbound Marketing Top Tactics Goals and Challenges, 2014

Some 55% of respondents make limited use of marketing automation to manage their inbound efforts.

Source: Ascend2’s B2B Inbound Marketing Top Tactics Goals and Challenges, 2014

The average customer had completed 57% of the purchase decision-making process prior to engaging a supplier sales rep directly. At the upper limit, that number ran as high as 70%.

Source: CEB Marketing Leadership Council’s The Digital evolution in B2B Marketing 2011

Todd Forsythe, VP of Marketing for EMC,  estimates that [his] Marketing’s new structure and integrated listening system is helping to reduce the acquisition cost for new inquiries by about 30%. The new structure is essential in EMC’s move to a more continuous engagement model—blending digital and live interactions—that has helped to extend its impact in key markets while containing costs. Todd believes the new approach is a major step forward in their evolution, saying that what they’re aiming for “isn’t really about tactics, it’s about community engagement…creating an evergreen environment, across platforms, in which customers can connect and learn.”

Source: CEB Marketing Leadership Council’s The Digital evolution in B2B Marketing 2011

90% of companies were driving awareness and demand generation efforts with content, relying most heavily on text-based formats including white papers/article posting, social media, blogs, newsletters, and case studies. In contrast, the more progressive companies, although not necessarily abandoning these tactics (although some are), are certainly taking a closer look at which tactics are higher in communication power and lower in competitive noise…“visual content” e.g., video, photography, custom illustrations, illustrative animation, and diagrams/informational graphics.

The behavior of progressive companies we spoke with implies movement toward more visually compelling content. Several companies specifically emphasized increasing spend on video production and graphic design talent to support an increase visualization in content strategy development. Although clearly a relatively more expensive format for content, the benefits of visual content may—in many circumstances—justify the increased cost in the form of higher engagement and influence within target audiences.

Source: CEB Marketing Leadership Council’s The Digital evolution in B2B Marketing 2011