Author: Jenny Hunt

Your Ultimate “Back-to-School” Class Schedule, Part I

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New & Trending Digital Marketing Classes for your eLearning Education

What’s all this hype about going “back-to-school”? Here at OMI, we like to think we are always in school and we’re lucky enough to have access to the latest on digital marketing trends and best practices from the best and the brightest teachers in the industry. We’ve identified the top trending classes in OMI’s eLearning library to help you prep your Fall class schedule.

4 Must-Take Digital Marketing Classes

Class #1: Building Your Mobile Strategy

Teacher: Joseph Kershcbaum, 3Q Digital @JoeKerschbaum

Overview: There’s no doubt that mobile is where it's at. How many of you are even reading this post off of your smart phone right now? It’s time marketers of all shapes and sizes – small businesses and start-ups, B2B, agencies and big consumer brands – think in all shapes and sizes. Mobile is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must have. This Building Your Mobile Strategy class will give you the know-how to stand out in the most coveted location of all – your customer’s smart phone devices.

Syllabus:

  1.       How to utilize Google Adwords to effectively run PPC ads via mobile devices and grow your business
  2.        How to set up mobile ads via AdWords
  3.        How to approach mobile bid modifiers
  4.        How to create a mobile-friendly web experience

Level: Intermediate

Class #2: How To Use Big Data to Predict Sales and Forecast Revenue

Teacher: Amanda Kahlow, CEO & Founder, 6 Sense @AmandaKahlow

Overview: No, this is not a magic class. It’s a math class. By predicting when leads are ready to buy, you can leverage that information to deliver the most relevant and effective marketing, alert sales of leads and opportunities, and better measure marketing effectiveness. You’ll get hands-on experience to start to develop your own predictive analytics program by learning a proven model that works. Think of it as your very own “cheat sheet” for maximizing sales!

Syllabus:

  1.        How Cisco predicted $300M net new opportunities last year and how you can too
  2.        How to use data to optimize and predict the success of your marketing spend, deliver more relevant marketing, and alert sales with leads and opportunities
  3.        A proven formula for identifying purchase intent
  4.        How to put your data to work for you without relying heavily on IT resources

Level: Advanced

Class #3: An Introduction to Social TV

Teacher: Carri Bugbee, Social TV Strategist, Big Deal Digital @CarriBugbee

Overview: This class is one of those classes that will get you out of bed in the morning as it uncovers the exciting ways brands that don’t technically advertise on TV can begin marketing to TV viewers. So, sit back and relax, because in under an hour, you will learn how connected devices, T-commerce, TV-centric social networks, interactive TV, transmedia storytelling, TV ad retargeting, and new ratings methods are changing how marketers can find and interact with consumers and prospects. Prepare to be “wow-ed”!

Syllabus:

  1.        What social TV is and how it got started
  2.        Consumer trends and user behaviors driving social TV opportunities
  3.        Technologies that open up new venues for advertising, sponsorships and storytelling
  4.        Examples of social TV initiatives
  5.        How to get started in social TV marketing

Introduction to Social TV: Class Preview

Level: Basic

Class #4: The How-To’s of Using Google+

Teacher: Martin Shervington, Community Manager, Plus Your Business @MartinSherv

Overview: For those on the forefront of social media, Google + has by far changed the way we think about Search Engine Optimization. With the combination of Social and Search, you can now build a loyal community who will engage on your content, signaling to Google it deserves to surface in Search. In this class, you will learn the best practices for building a strong community on Google+ to improve your organization's search rankings. You’ll definitely want to be a part of this club!

Syllabus:

  1.        How to build trust, reputation and authority in your niche
  2.        How to distribute structure posts for your content when distributed on Google+
  3.        How to increase engagement you receive for your on content, and in turn give HUGE uplifts to your web traffic
  4.        How to find, and build up relationships with key influencers (who will help to distribute your content)
  5.        How to build 'opt in' lists that will help with campaigns for key content

Level: Basic

Ready to take these classes on and learn more to stay ahead of the class? Enroll today in the Online Marketing Institute and you'll have access to hundreds of e-Learning classes.

 


How to Build a Modern Marketing Team

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Q&A with Paul Roetzer, Author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint

The marketing talent gap is very real. As we found in our State of Digital Marketing Talent study, “only 8% of those surveyed believe their employees are strong in all areas of digital marketing.” As a result, there are tremendous opportunities for those organizations that are able to differentiate through talent acquisition and retention, digital marketing training programs and solid agency partners.

In this interview, Paul Roetzer, author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint (Wiley, August 2014), discusses the future of marketing talent, including core challenges and opportunities for organizations to achieve competitive gains.

Q: What does a modern marketing professional look like?

A: Modern marketers are tech-savvy, hybrid professionals who are capable of building, managing, and executing fully integrated campaigns that produce measurable results. They are able to deliver services across multiple marketing disciplines, including analytics, content, email, mobile, search, social, PR, and web.

These marketers also understand that marketing is half art, half science. Because of this, they blend creativity with data and automation to drive true performance.

Q: What challenges exist for CMOs looking to recruit and retain top marketers?

A: The biggest challenge is that top marketing talent is in high demand with everybody (agencies, corporations, technology providers, publishers) vying for the same skill sets. Much of this is due to the rate of change within the industry, which is making it hard for individuals and universities to keep pace.

For example, in the book, we looked at the top 10 undergraduate marketing programs in the U.S. according to the 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings and found that only one has a required digital marketing course.

Because of this talent gap, businesses are forced to compete for the limited number of pre-qualified professionals and/or train those with potential through their own internal academies. The positive is that there are a lot of free and paid resources online (like Online Marketing Institute) that can be leveraged for this purpose.

Q: What tips do you have for building an internal academy?

A:  My biggest recommendation is to not reinvent the wheel. As mentioned, there is an endless array of secondary resources that already exist, which could potentially fit your team’s educational needs.

When building your internal academy, start first with a point person who will champion the program, goals of what you hope to achieve and an assessment of your team’s current capabilities. These items will help shape your curriculum, which could include industry certifications, conferences, books, webinars, internal topic experts, guest lecturers and exercises.

With a curriculum in place, map standard paths by career stage, skill set and performance goals. These can then be customized based for personalized advancement plans by individual. You’ll also want to consider feedback loops and support systems to ensure that the academy continues to deliver value to employees over time.

Q: Where do agencies fit into the marketing talent conversation? 

A: For some organizations, it may make sense to outsource certain marketing functions instead of training professionals in-house. If that’s the case, it’s important to make sure you’re partnering with the right marketing agency or freelancer.

Look for those that are performance-driven, tech- and digital-savvy, and who have strong systems and processes in place. It’s also a good idea to assess partners on culture and talent. When all else is equal, that’s what will determine whether they will be able to positively impact your business.

What challenges and opportunities exist in regard to marketing talent? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Or, for more on the intersection of marketing talent, technology and strategy, purchase Paul’s new book, The Marketing Performance Blueprint, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. 

Designed to help you strategically approach digital and successfully relay its value to clients, the Agency Digital Strategy and Planning Certification will help you capitalize on opportunities to grow and retain your accounts. Enroll today!

 


How A/B Testing Strategies Can Help You Make Better Decisions

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A Q&A with Chris Goward, Author of "You Should Test That!"

This week, we are sitting down with Chris Goward, the author of "You Should Test That!", a book that teaches the processes, frameworks and techniques of scientific marketing to make better decisions and achieve industry-leading results. Featuring case studies of real tests plus many more examples of how companies are succeeding and failing in their websites and their marketing, we're eager to learn more.

What’s the premise behind your book, “You Should Test That!” ?

Too many businesses still use antiquated methods for decision-making with their marketing. They seek out so-called “best practices”, copy competitors tactics, and redesign their websites without A/B testing, to name just a few examples. I wanted to write a book that would provide a dose of inspiration in the new scientific marketing discipline as well as practical processes and frameworks marketers can apply directly to their marketing strategy. It really does contain detail on a lot of the methods WiderFunnel uses to consistently achieve winning results for our clients.

You’ve become a regular speaker at the top online marketing conferences. How did you get into conversion optimization?

I’ve always questioned current ways of doing things. In the early to mid 2000’s, I wondered why marketers accepted the status quo where ad agencies used their clients’ budgets to create self-serving campaigns aimed solely at winning awards for cleverness. I couldn’t understand why digital agencies were creating websites that ignored direct response principles and really couldn’t be more than poor copies of the old TV world.

I left the agency world in 2007 to create WiderFunnel based on the belief that agencies should prove their value. Since then, we’ve been running thousands of A/B tests on hundreds of websites across all industries to discover consistent persuasion and user experience principles that maximize companies’ online profits.

Related Class: Integrating SEM, Testing, and Analytics for Improved ROI

What are the biggest mistakes you see marketers making today?

There are so many!

  • Implementing the latest “tips & tricks” they see on blog posts. I’ve already said many times why tactical marketing tips and “best practices” don’t work. The problem is that they ignore your unique business context.
  • Consensus decision-making.
  • Getting stuck behind organizational barriers. I’ve seen turf battles, silos and competing priorities hamstring some very promising potential A/B tests.
  • Acting on usability testing or other qualitative methods to make website changes without testing those insights. I’ve covered before, the many reasons that usability testing alone is not reliable.
  • Testing too conservatively.
  • Not prioritizing effort correctly and wasting time optimizing inconsequential areas.
  • Using “before & after” testing rather than correct controlled test methods.
  • Drawing conclusions from inconclusive data. Often, it’s difficult for the conversion champion to hold off the pressure to make decisions without enough data.
  • Taking advice from “experts” who don’t do a ton of testing. If their primary business isn’t testing, testing and more testing, where is their advice coming from? You might be surprised at how little testing some of the industry’s pre-eminent figures actually do.
  • Over-emphasizing optimization tool selection before developing a strategy and process for optimization. Tools don’t solve marketing problems. Smart marketers with great strategy and ideas do.

What are the biggest challenges businesses face in adopting marketing optimization as a strategy?

I’ve been running an ongoing poll of marketers asking a similar question since 2012.

Interestingly, in 2012, most respondents said they faced resistance within their organization for conducting testing. This year, that’s the least likely challenge. Companies now know conversion optimization needs to be prioritized and there’s senior-level support for the strategy.

The biggest challenges marketers face in 2014 are in getting great results from their program. They either don’t have staff with deep testing experience, don’t have a reliable process, or face technical barriers. So, it’s good to see the market evolving to having support for the strategy. Now, the challenges are more about how to get consistent results.

eConsultancy did their own survey of companies doing conversion optimization and found that those who reported having a “structured approach” to their program were twice as likely to see large increases in sales. The disciplined, rigorous process alone determines a great deal of the success.

Related Class: eCommerce Testing to Dramatically Lift Sales 

What are your favorite website elements to test?

Really, I like any testing any area that gets results. And, that can be different for every website depending on where the conversion barriers are. Every website design, structure and target audience is slightly different. Some companies are adopting WiderFunnel’s PIE Framework for prioritizing tests to answer this question based on their unique context.

That being said, however, we’re having a lot of success this year adding the “Evolutionary Site Redesign” strategy to conversion optimization for our clients.

It’s a strategy any (and I believe every) company should use. Essentially, it means we’re testing the site-wide website templates in a methodical way. It results in a redesigned website without the risks of traditional “flip the switch” epic redesign. Using A/B testing of the overall design elements, companies are finding sometimes huge revenue improvements from improved navigation, information architecture, design credibility, merchandising, etc. and the resulting design changes can be just as dramatic.

In this class, 10 A/B Test Studies, you’ll encounter 10 such tests and can guess which page won. The answers will surprise you and the knowledge you’ll gain about how to conduct these tests and what makes some pages better than others will make you a more effective marketer.   

 


Mobile Marketing Fundamentals: How to Establish a Strong Relationship with Your Mobile Customers

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The mobile device is arguably the most valuable real estate on the planet. Have you ever wondered how the most-loved apps win over loyal audiences, stay relevant and downloaded on our devices?

Join us for a free webinar, “How Mobile-First Thinking Builds and Maintains a Loyal Audience”, taking place on Friday, August 22nd at 2:00pm ET.

Mobile brand leaders AccuWeather and Urban Airship will unveil the secrets to success for establishing a strong relationship with their mobile customers.

Related Class: Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap to Social and Mobile Marketing

You will learn how to:

  • Think revenue from beginning to end
  • Scale for a cross-platform audience
  • Align your mobile teams and roadmap to your app’s business goals
  • Build for mobile vs. traditional web and SMS
  • Craft personalized messaging using automation and segmentation

Register NOW for this free webinar on Friday, August 22nd from 2:00 - 3:00pm ET.

To learn more about the basics of the ever-changing world of mobile marketing, including industry statistics and best practices, enroll in this Online Marketing Institute class,  Intro to Mobile Marketing.

 


Facebook Marketing Tactics: How to Launch a Facebook Contest

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A great webinar on everything you always wanted to know but were too afraid to ask about setting up a Facebook Contest.

Contests sound fun, don’t they? But, don’t let the game fool you. Before you embark on launching a Facebook contest, you have to ask yourself the tough questions: What are your goals? What application will you use? How much time and money should you spend? 

digital marketing strategy

Join us for a free webinar, “How to Launch a Facebook Contest: Everything You Always Wanted to Know (but Were Afraid to Ask)”, taking place on Wednesday, August 20th at 3:00pm ET.

Richard Beeson, Director of Client Happiness Enforcement at AgoraPulse, will share expert tips on how to make your contest successful.

Related Class: Fundamentals of Facebook Marketing

You will learn:

  • How to determine what contest promotion is best for your goal
  • Applications vs. timeline contests
  • What conversion rate to expect
  • How to prevent fraud

Register NOW for this free webinar on Wednesday, August 20th from 3:00 - 3:30pm ET.

 


Marketing Automation Fundamentals: How to Generate More Leads

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Are you a small business marketer spending too much time and money chasing the new shiny objects rather than focusing on the fundamentals?

You are not alone. A staggering sixty percent of marketing automation implementations fail because they are not focusing on the key marketing practices that would ensure success.

Join us for a free webinar, “Foundations of Digital Marketing for Marketing Automation Success”,taking place on Wednesday, August 20th at 2:00pm ET. 

Kim Albee, President of Genoo, will review the fundamentals of digital marketing and show you how a marketing strategy that includes automated processes can help make your marketing easier and more effective.

Related Class: Marketing Automation Strategy for Lifecycle Management 

You will learn:

  • The different stages of the buyer’s journey and give examples of engagement
  • How to Segment and target through persona profiles – What are the essential questions you really need to know?
  • How to Generate leads with effective calls to action – What makes an effective call-to-action that your leads will respond to?
  • How to Build relationships with your prospects and customers – What causes your leads to trust you, and give you favored status when they are ready to buy?

Register NOW for this free webinar on Wednesday, August 20th from 2:00 - 3:00pm ET. 

Interested in more classes by lead & expert instructor, Kim Albee? Take courses like "Defining Your Target Marketing" and 'How to Build a Lead Nurture Campaign" to help you uncover the foundations of marketing automation and demand generation. 

 

 


5 Proven Demand Generation Tactics to Help You Close More Leads

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On Monday, August 18th at 2:00pm ET, join the Online Marketing Institute, Business2Community, and 6Sense for a free webinar, "How To Increase Your Digital Marketing ROI Using Predictive Analytics".

If you’re a demand generation marketer, you’re executing various online tactics in order to create more demand for your brand and its products. Until now, the B2B marketing space has largely been a "spray-and-pray” approach—with marketers hoping their message hits the right person at the right time. B2B marketers no longer need to put up with marketing inefficiencies.

In this webinar, you will learn how today’s advances in predictive intelligence can give marketers competitive insight on which contacts and accounts to target; what the right cadence of touch-points is; and which channels should be used for maximum message delivery impact.

See more on the topic, in this post, "Predictive Intelligence: The Fuel for Successful B2B Marketing"

Key Takeaways:

  • How to evolve beyond “spray-and-pray” tactics to market more precisely using predictive intelligence
  • Case study: How a multinational IT corporation improved its digital media tactics
  • Five proven demand generation tactics that you can apply to your account and contact lists to help you nurture more precisely and close more leads

Related Class: Wrangling "Big Data" to Make the Best Marketing Decisions

This webinar will be presented by Zak Garner, Director of Customer Success for 6Sense. Zak is a dedicated marketing and business development professional with experience across B2B and B2C technology sectors. At 6Sense, Zak channels his passion for marketing technologies and strategic communications planning toward helping customers maximize their return on predictive intelligence. He is also focused on building 6Sense’s data and channel partnerships. Zak was recently named one of Direct Marketing News’ 40 under 40.

Register today for this FREE webinar. 

 


How to Optimize Your Social Media Content

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Last week, we shared with you the results of the Online Marketing Institute, Forrester Research, and Business Marketing Association Content Marketing Survey, indicating that B2B content marketing has a long way to go.

Today, we are diving deeper into the content marketing debate with an interview with Jay Ivey from Software Advice, an online review firm for social CRM systems, to answer a few questions on the first ever Social Media Content Optimization Survey done in partnership with Adobe. The survey was taken to better understand the strategies marketers are using to currently optimize their social media content and to gauge the overall effectiveness of these strategies.

1. According to your survey, 65 percent of marketers schedule their social content at least one day in advance. What's the benefit of creating a social plan like that?

Having a structured social content timeline encourages you to post consistently and to be thoughtful about what it is you’re posting. For instance, when you plan in advance, you do a better job ensuring that you’re posting a good variety of content to keep all of your various target audience segments engaged.

Related Class: Tips and Tricks for Making Your Content Marketing Work

2. Are there any drawbacks or possible conflicts marketers should be aware of when scheduling social posts several weeks or a month in advance? 

When you’re posting that far in advance, timeliness can definitely be an issue. For better or worse, social media is all about keeping up with the hottest, most current topics and trends, so if your posts are consistently stale, that’s going to have a negative effect on engagement.

3. Your survey shows that nearly half of all marketers are managing their social media accounts without any software or services, such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite. Could this be negatively affecting those marketers' overall social media strategy? How?

Managing your social media accounts without tools will absolutely have a negative effect. If marketers want to achieve real, measurable success through social media, they need to treat it like they treat any other channel: thoughtfully and methodically. You come in with a clear, overarching strategy; you develop specific tactics as part of that strategy; and you measure the results of those tactics to see what works best. But without the visibility provided by social media tools, you can’t measure your success, which means you can’t optimize your tactics. If you’re going on gut instinct and “Likes” alone, you’re flying almost completely blind. Unfortunately, this isn’t Star Wars, and you don’t have mystical powers. So you might as well turn on your targeting computer. Not everyone can afford a fancy comprehensive marketing cloud solution with advanced social analytics. But there are a lot of free and affordable options out there. So, why not?

4. Of your respondents, 67 percent said using images or photos is "very important" to their social media strategy. How can marketers know exactly what kind of images will attract not just any audience, but the right audience?

I tend to agree with our expert, Liz Strauss, that prioritizing the use of images over targeting specific audiences seems to reflect a misunderstanding of how social media marketing works. You have to start with the top-down strategy before you focus on specific tactics, which is to say that you need to spend a lot of time thinking about who “the right audience” is before you worry about which images will attract them. For most companies this means putting real thought, energy, and resources into developing distinct, targetable buyer personas. Then those little tactical decisions are easy. You know what kind of content your closest friends will respond positively to, right? Once you know understand your subsegments as well as you understand your friends (i.e., as humans) you will know intuitively which kinds of images will attract them.

Looking for ways to optimize your social media content? In this class, Content Marketing + Social Media = Success, you will learn how to amplify existing content with social media to maximize customer acquisition. Enroll today!

 


Survey Results Revealed: Are B2B Marketers As Mature As They Think?

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When it comes to B2B Content Marketing, the bad news is a skills gap is emerging as most senior marketers are far behind in the effort to produce content that engages buyers. The good news is, we can only go up from here.

In a recent content marketing benchmark study, the Online Marketing Institute, teamed up with Forrester Research and the Business Marketing Association to understand how well B2B marketers gauge their content development skills and maturity.

113 senior marketer survey respondents provided insight on the following five dimensions. How do they:

1.) Understand customers' interests and needs;

2) Align content themes to buyer concerns and business objectives;

3) Develop content that engages buyers;

4) Distribute it to intersect with their purchase journey; and

5) Monitor how they interact with it.

Surprisingly, the results venture far from the age-old theory that “Content is King” and rather show us that from a B2B perspective, the role of content marketing is far behind showing its value when it comes to consistently delivering information with prospects and customers.

Here are some of the key findings show that most B2B Marketers:

  • Do not have Content marketing in their job description. A startling 72% of surveyed marketers say less than half of their marketing staff plays a primary role in content marketing today — leaving content to simply talk of products and features, rather than interesting insights buyers seek. It's no surprise, then, that 87% say they struggle to produce content that truly engages their buyers.


  • Are too focused on acquisition and less about the whole customer lifecycle . Sixty-two percent admit to producing content on a campaign-by-campaign basis while 47% said that they focus primarily on creating content for distribution channels like their company website, online advertising, email, and social media. Another 16% said they mainly develop sales collateral.
  • Fail to help & teach the customer how to be successful with their product. While 71% of surveyed marketers say their content features case studies or customer stories, only 3% admit this is a primary focus of their efforts.
  • Struggle to create long-term loyalty. While more than three-quarters of respondents say they frequently communicate to their customer base, only 5% make this a priority, proving that marketers are too focused on acquisition rather than creating long-term loyalty.

 

See here for full press release.

The Skills Gap

It’s hard to ignore the deficiencies the report suggests. And as long as this talent gap exists, CMO’s and Marketing Leaders will need to take a long & hard look at the skills, staff, and resources directed at content marketing development.

“The gap between content marketing awareness and good content marketing execution is not surprising.  It's something we run into every day at the Institute - what we call the digital skills gap,” said Online Marketing Institute Founder & CEO, Aaron Kahlow. “There simply aren't enough trained content marketers to do the leg work.  But the imperative for education is here and seen across the board, from entry level to CMO.”

With only 4% of those we surveyed are true “masters” of content marketing, the rest of the content marketers out there have a lot of catching up to do. Some companies leading the charge – Computer Sciences Corp, Deltek, Kapost, Sungard Availability Services, and Verizon – have shared their best practices with us, all of which can be found in the full survey report and with plenty of real life examples to learn from.

So, B2B marketers, if you are reading this, you may be asking, “What can I do to improve & raise the maturity of my content marketing strategy?”

In the spirit of our digital marketing education mission, we encourage you to invest in the advancement of your career, overall success of your team and business as a whole by educating yourself on the latest fundamentals, strategy, and tactics in content marketing. To get started, we recommend checking out OMI's current Content Marketing Classes and Content Marketing Certification.

In a subsequent post, we will talk in more detail about how you can help to fix this skills gap problem and execute smarter.

And for those BMA and OMI members, as well as qualified marketers who are interested, you can access a complimentary copy of the research report on the BMA website here.

 

 


B2B Marketers Struggle To Connect Content Marketing With Business Value

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Results Of The Q2 2014 Online Marketing Institute/Forrester Research/Business Marketing Association Joint Study

SAN FRANCISCO, July 16, 2014 - Most B2B marketers have wised up to the value of content marketing, but many are still early on in the journey from product-focused to relationship-building content marketing. According to the 2014 Online Marketing Institute, Forrester Research, and Business Marketing Association joint study, “Compare Your B2B Content Marketing Maturity,” while 51% of B2B marketing leaders rate their content marketing practices as very mature, an overwhelming 85% fail to connect content activity to business value — and, as a result, fail to retain customers or win their long-term loyalty. In fact, when asked to look back at the past 12 months and rate the effectiveness of content marketing efforts, only 14% of those surveyed gave their content practices high marks for delivering value back to the business.

“The majority of marketers find producing content that engages buyers to be a major challenge,” said Business Marketing Association Chair Steve Liguori. “And that’s for good reason. Our survey results show that the majority of B2B content practices focus too narrowly on early-stage buyer acquisition — which fails to engage buyers throughout their lifetime. To create content that attracts and builds customer relationships throughout the customer life cycle, B2B marketers must make a fundamental shift from writing about features and benefits to delivering valuable information that drives business results.”


Marketers Struggle To Create More Powerful Content That Customers Value

B2B marketers have more work to do when it comes to using content to consistently deliver a valuable exchange of information with prospective buyers. To start, too many marketers continue to downplay the importance of content as marketing’s main job. A startling 72% of surveyed marketers say less than half of their marketing staff plays a primary role in content marketing today — leaving content to quickly degrade to talk of products, features, and what the company has to offer, rather than cleverly packaged bits of the interesting insights buyers crave.

“The gap between content marketing awareness and good content marketing execution is not surprising.  It's something we run into every day at the Institute - what we call the digital skills gap,” said Online Marketing Institute Founder & CEO, Aaron Kahlow. “There simply aren't enough trained content marketers to do the leg work.  But the imperative for education is here and seen across the board, from entry level to CMO.”

Currently, content production:

  • Fails to highlight how products and services help customers become successful. While 71% of surveyed marketers say their content features case studies or customer stories, only 3% admit this is a primary focus of their efforts.
  • Lacks forward-leaning insights that buyers can turn into action. Only 12% of respondents make publishing research and perspectives the main focus of their content marketing, and no one said they engage external experts to validate those ideas.
  • Focuses on closing the deal, not on building relationships. While more than three-quarters of respondents say they frequently communicate to their customer base, only 5% make this a priority, proving that marketers are too focused on acquisition rather than long-term loyalty.

Business buyers can now access an abundance of digital information to research and shop for solutions on their own terms,” said Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst Laura Ramos. “That means many B2B firms risk losing more empowered customers to more responsive competitors — if they don’t take the time to assess the true maturity of their content marketing engines and make sure that content connects with what concerns and interests buyers.”

The good news, says Ramos: “Once marketing leaders have made the shift to relationship-building content marketing, they will find that it regularly fuels the demand generation engine, boosts brand visibility, and attracts buyers interested in the problems their company can solve.”

About The Survey

This study uses data based on a survey of 113 B2B marketing executives, fielded in Q2 2014. BMA and OMI members, as well as qualified marketers, can access a complimentary copy of the research report on the BMA website at http://www.marketing.org/BMAForresterContentSurvey. 

About Online Marketing Institute

Founded in 2007, the Online Marketing Institute offers the world’s largest online library of digital marketing classes taught by leading practitioners. Over 41,000 professionals, entrepreneurs, agencies, students, and teams across the globe use their Online Marketing Institute education to advance their careers and drive business results. Unlike traditional and generic education sources, OMI provides high quality, affordable, on-demand classes covering the most innovative and proven best practices in all areas of digital marketing. To learn more, visit www.OnlineMarketingInstitute.org.

About Forrester Research

Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR) is a global research and advisory firm serving professionals in 13 key roles across three distinct client segments. Our clients face progressively complex business and technology decisions every day. To help them understand, strategize, and act upon opportunities brought by change, Forrester provides proprietary research, consumer and business data, custom consulting, events and online communities, and peer-to-peer executive programs. We guide leaders in business technology, marketing and strategy, and the technology industry through independent fact-based insight, ensuring their business success today and tomorrow. For more information, visit www.forrester.com.

About the Business Marketing Association

For more than 90 years, the Business Marketing Association (BMA) has dedicated itself exclusively to the discipline of business-to-business marketing. We enrich the lives of B2B marketer by providing a forum to connect them to learn about new trends and network with peers to exchange ideas. As the largest organization in the world dedicated to B2B marketing, our 18 chapters and 2,500 members represent corporate professionals, agencies, small businesses and suppliers committed to advancing the practice of B2B marketing. To learn more, visit www.marketing.org.

 

 

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