Despite numerous attempts, many organizations have yet to successfully align marketing and sales. Most understand the benefits, yet few have the infrastructure necessary to facilitate this connection. Thus, as 2015 gets underway, companies continue to pursue this enterprisewide alliance.
Webmarketing123's "2015 State of Digital Marketing" report investigates the top objectives, toughest challenges, and hottest trends in the space today. The study, which polled more than 600 U.S. marketing professionals from both B2B and B2C companies, highlights that, while revenue-driven marketing remains top of mind, driving sales stands as the leading challenge for more than 27 percent of those polled. However, marketers still seek to align their digital strategies with sales tactics in an effort to maximize customer experience and enterprisewide profit.
The following statistics explore the habits and tactics digital marketers plan to invest in throughout 2015 as they work to create this cross-departmental synergy:
- For B2B marketers, lead generation (47 percent) remains the top digital marketing objective for the year, while B2C marketers prefer to focus on driving sales (35 percent).
- B2B marketers agree that proving ROI (24 percent) continues to be the biggest digital marketing challenge, while B2C marketers struggle with lead conversion (33 percent).
- Twenty-seven percent of all marketers polled spend only 25 percent or less of their total budget on online marketing.
- While B2B marketers most commonly practice email marketing (93 percent), B2C respondents gravitate toward social media (87 percent).
- Overall, 33 percent of marketers don't know which channel makes the biggest positive impact on revenue. However, B2B marketers site email (31 percent) and B2C marketers site paid search (24 percent) as the leading marketing method.
- Both B2B and B2C marketers use conversion rate (25 percent), website traffic (20 percent), and total lead volume (14 percent) to measure digital marketing performance.
- Though 36 percent of B2B marketers continue to ignore mobile, 78 percent expect to invest in responsive design next year. B2C marketers, on the contrary, have already embraced the mobile trends (75 percent).
- B2B (76 percent) and B2C (74 percent) marketers employ video as part of their content strategy because both (68 percent and 73 percent respectively) believe video to be an effective medium for increased engagement and satisfaction.
Key takeaway: To effectively align marketing and sales, organizations must establish strategies that allow both teams to feed off one another's success. Marketing and sales cannot operate within silos, for these departments must be able to tap into information from all touchpoints throughout the customer journey in order to convey seamlessness and value. Account-based marketing, for instance, is on the rise, because marketers recognize the power behind targeted, personalized communications. While only 29 percent of B2Bs have tried account-based marketing, 95 percent consider this tactic effective, for treating individual prospects and customers as markets of one foster higher conversion rates. In today's market, relevance reigns supreme-an indispensible differentiator-as this approach reinforces customer value and builds loyalty. Therefore, those businesses that wish to achieve enterprisewide synergy must embrace digital marketing tools in order to ensure satisfaction and boost sales.