4 Big Takeaways from MarketingProfs’ B2B Marketing Forum 2013

October 24, 2013 | SnapApp Marketing


B2B content marketers struggle to get out of B2C’s shadow, do more with less, and measure ROI.

MarketingProfs recently held its 7th annual B2B Marketing Forum from October 9-11, and SnapApp was a proud sponsor. While there, we took in some thought-provoking presentations, enjoyed spirited roundtable discussions, and met great people who are on B2B content marketing’s frontlines.

We’d like to call out MarketingProfs, and Ann Handley in particular, for putting together a great three days. These were our big takeaways:

B2B Content Marketing Needs to Catch up to B2C

B2B content marketers they feel like they’re being left behind by B2C companies. B2C companies are the pioneers; B2B content marketers feel like they’re playing catch-up.

Moving forward, successful B2B marketers need to innovate—and really connect with potential customers—just as if they were B2C. Their audiences might be different than B2C, but they’re made of people, too.

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And just like most people, their attention spans are growing shorter. B2B marketers need to create content that’s just as relevant, eye-popping, and engaging as their B2C counterparts—but that’s naturally more difficult given B2B products and audiences.

At B2B Forum, one presenter called this “ranting” with content. B2B content should convey the same passion and imagination as B2C. That’s the challenge.

Finding Inspiration Outside of Your Field

So, how can B2B companies create fresh content and devise bold new strategies? How can they “rant” with content?

One key is to look beyond your B2B field. Take stock of what other companies are doing, in other fields–even on the B2C side.

Find out what’s working. Then, adapt those tactics and strategies to your own market, product, and audience. You never know how a strategy in a distant field might revolutionize how content connects with your field’s prospective customers.

But keep this in mind: draw inspiration, don’t steal.

These are Stressful Times for Content Marketers

We’re also hearing that these are tough times for a lot of content creators. They might have the field’s toughest jobs. Today, many companies don’t hire people solely to create content.

Instead, that time-consuming responsibility falls on existing employees who already have crowded plates. Their bandwidth is at a minimum. Content marketers are consistently being asked to create a lot, in a short period of time, and with limited resources.

Many feel they’re being expected to execute a content marketing strategy without the dollars and human capital necessary to do it right.

Trouble Measuring ROI

In addition to stress, many content creators are struggling to measure content ROI. Their content might be generating leads, but they can’t always justify the cost.

One major challenge arises when a prospect consumes multiple pieces of content before converting. For example, she or he downloads a white paper and then watches a webinar while providing contact info to view each.

Which piece of content get deserves the credit? Current CRM and marketing automation software can’t assign multiple pieces of content a percentage of credit for lead generation. And they likely won’t in the short-term future.

Right now, B2B content marketing is posing significant challenges that require imaginative solutions.

We’re you at B2B forum? If so, what were your big takeaways?

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