B-to-B Marketers Cling to ‘Familiar Approaches’
Despite hype, less than a third venture beyond conventional lead gen tactics.
There have been plenty of predictions that Web 2.0 and social networking tools are the wave of the future for marketers. And they still may be. But according to a study from Forrester’s Research, b-to-b marketers continue to cling to familiar approaches and are less likely to engage in new lead generation tactics.
Results from the study, called "Making Social Media Work in B2B Marketing,” show that more than 60 percent of the 189 b-to-b marketing professionals (across seven industries) reported using conventional lead generation digital tactics, including e-newsletters, Webinars, microsites and online display ads. Only 31 percent reported using tactics like blogs, podcasts and social networks as new ways to engage buyers.
But just because marketers aren’t using these tools doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. More than 95 percent of executives maintain a high interest in learning about and investing in new products and services, the study says. Twenty-five percent of respondents believe that Web 2.0 features are integral to building brand awareness, and indicate they want to avoid alienating socially adept early adopters.
However, less than 10 percent of respondents said they are including social media applications—widgets, mashups, advergames, mobile ads and virtual worlds—in their marketing plans.
"[B-to-B marketers] lack confidence that these tactics engage prospects and turn them into opportunities," Forrester chief author and analyst Laura Ramos said in the report.
Ramos wrote that b-to-b marketers should focus on audience and objectives first to avoid deploying social technologies as just another communication channel that customers will choose to avoid.