Frost & Sullivan have released their “Marketing Priorities: 2014 Global Survey Results” report.
How can you use the findings to connect with your customers?
The new marketing priorities survey by Frost & Sullivan lists the top 5 B2B marketing challenges, and their presumed root causes as reported by some 300 marketing executives worldwide:
Top B2B Marketing Challenges
- Creating content that delivers value to customers. Root cause: Inadequate headcount.
- Developing a compelling value proposition. Root cause: inadequate skills.
- Measuring marketing ROI. Root cause: Lack of process.
- Generating and qualifying sales-ready leads. Root cause: Ineffective process.
- Cultivating brand attributes (e.g. relevance or positioning). Root cause: Insufficient funding.
You might summarize these challenges like this. “If we had more money we could improve our branding. But that’s not as important as having communications with our customers that they value and that lead to increased sales. For that to happen we need to have the right people with the right skills and the right processes, and for some reason, we’re light on all three.”
I think the wrong way to use this data would be as a justification for hiring more people.
Here’s a better way to use that data. Ask your customers if they find anything worth talking about in the communications you have with them. If you need a reason to call them, mention the Frost & Sullivan report. Say “Most companies seem to have a problem with this. We want to find out if we do, and you’re the only ones who can tell us this.”
Then you can use what you learn from your customers to guide your hiring, skill development, and process development decisions.
You can also expect to be on the receiving end of vendor calls because of this report. There’s a question in this survey about “Top Content Marketing Efforts” and it shows what companies are currently working on, and what they plan to work on. And every year, you see vendors cherry picking findings like this one to “prove” that you should hire them to create content for you.
Be on the lookout for video content companies citing that the number one planned activity for content marketing according to Frost & Sullivan is video creation, and encouraging you to hire them so you don’t get left behind.
I like video. My site’s full of video. But instead of pointing at a survey to show their relevance, your vendors should spend time getting really clear about who you are, how you do business, and how their services can fit into what you try to achieve every day.
The survey also has a lot of information about marketing budgets and content marketing that you might find useful. You can get the full Frost & Sullivan report at this link, though registration is required.