Oracle Eloqua just published new research pertaining to B2B content marketing. One key finding revolves around the need to customize content marketing to different stages of the buyer journey and measure the results. According to the research, few B2B marketers currently excel, or are even performing sufficiently well, in these areas. The research suggests that marketers understand the need to improve their performance, however, and are working hard to do so.
The study further validates a trend that we’ve seen for many years and have also written about extensively in books (e.g., Precision Marketing: The New Rules for Attracting, Retaining, and Leveraging Profitable Customers) and articles: that marketers are leveraging technology with increasing effectiveness to deliver more targeted marketing content. According to the research, approximately 6 in 10 respondents are currently delivering content based on behavioral patterns. Of course, no behavioral pattern is easier to detect than when people search on particular keywords that speak to their desire to research – and, ultimately, make – a specific purchase decision. Serving up relevant content assets based on that search criteria is the basis for any inbound marketing strategy, and it is how Smart Decision Guides “get found” by the right decision makers.
Another relevant trend includes the repurposing of existing content assets, with 63% of survey respondents reporting that they engage in this practice. According to these marketers, the average content asset gets repurposed 2-5 times. With perpetual licensing rights to a Smart Decision Guide, marketers can repurpose the content in blogs, newsletters, social media and through multiple other channels.
Approximately 44% of survey respondents indicate that their biggest challenge with B2B content marketing is actual content production. With both quantity and quality being a major challenge, it’s not surprising that a growing number of B2B marketers are becoming increasingly reliant on commissioning or simply licensing third-party content assets – which, as is the case with Smart Decision Guides, have the added benefit of providing increased credibility, given the unbiased nature of the content, typically resulting in significantly more downloads (and higher quality downloads) than internally-produced, company-branded eBooks and other content assets.
Consistent with other recent research, the study reveals that white papers and e-books are the most commonly produced content assets (76%) and that these are most often produced to support lead generation campaigns (88%).
The research data from Oracle Eloqua is based on 205 survey respondents, 62% of which have annual marketing budgets of less than $1 million.