Ever since the first brick-and-mortar business was built, it’s been no secret that business-to-business (B2B) marketers have had a significant impact on revenue. However, how have the new technological advancements affected marketing activities? The State of Pipeline Marketing Report has been generated since 2015. The results show tactical, strategic, and results-oriented responses of 250 B2B marketer respondents. Each year, the reports covered top revenue channels, rates of Return on Investment (ROI), primary objectives and metrics, and account-based marketing strategies over eight industries. The marketing focus analyzes the entire sales funnel opposed to just the top profits.
The reports show an insight into what marketing channel makes the most positive impact on revenue depending on the industry. Even with the ever-changing advancements, digital and in-person activities are valuable outlets for B2B marketing strategies. To learn more about how marketers generate the most revenue, check out these top six revenue impacting B2B marketing activities:
1. Word of Mouth and Referrals
According to the State of Pipeline Marketing Report of 2016, word of mouth and referrals came in first as the best impacting B2B marketing activity. In fact, this tried-and-true strategy was worth 22.3% of its annual revenue. This just goes to prove that no matter what technology has to offer, the value of a great product and wonderful customer service goes a long way. Loyal customers will love to dish about a quality business to their friends and family.
If you aren’t completely computer illiterate, don’t worry; you can still get by making sales and boosting your profits thanks to word of mouth and referrals. However, in terms of the B2B world, you should have some incentive program for your customers to get interested in this marketing activity.
In 2016, the State of Pipeline Marketing Report also explained how the health, wellness, and pharmaceutical industry benefited the most from referrals (and paid searches, which falls at number seven on this list). Logistics, business services, and IT marketers also generated revenue thanks to word of mouth and content marketing (that’s coming up next!). Marketing and creative service industries relied on referrals to impact sales the most in 2015 and 2016.
2. Content Marketing
The second best thing you can do to drive your revenue is to develop a content marketing plan. The State of Pipeline Marketing Report of 2016 revealed that this B2B marketing activity accumulated for 9.1% of growth. This category deals with writing relevant articles and posting them online to keep your website current.
This valuable content is composed with a target audience in mind. When you build an online reputation through a blog or some other writing platform, you attract attention to your product or service as well as generate future leads. You have the chance to expand your customer base throughout the globe and, in turn, increase online revenue. Besides upping your sales, you can increase your brand awareness and communicate with your online base.
3. Search Engine Optimization
This B2B marketing activity impacts your revenue in the same way content marketing does at 9.1% profit. It only makes sense, too, because Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves writing particular keywords or phrases to drive online visibility of a website. Put simply, when you go to a search engine such as Yahoo!, Bing, or Google and type something into the search bar for an unpaid result, you want your website to show up on the first page.
Local SEO is different from national databases, but they both deal with computer-programmed algorithms that read terms or keywords from search engines to better place inquires with answers. With that being said, it is clear to see why a profitable B2B marketing activity deals with writing search-worthy keywords and content.
The report also revealed that content marketing and SEO increased business the most among tech companies in the Internet, software, and technology sector.
4. Conferences and Trade Show Booths
In 2015, conference and trade show booths accounted for 9.1% of revenue impacting B2B marketing; however, on the 2016 State of Pipeline Marketing Report, it fell to 8.8%. Either way, this marketing activity is still an effective strategy. Similar to word of mouth and referrals, this is a face-to-face way to promote your business. Even if you have a website, conferences and trade show booths might be the way to go.
The education industry used trade show booths and conferences the most in 2015. This marketing channel is effective for obvious reasons as parents and students often attend campus events, recruitment talks, and other community organizations that set up a table with information. However, in 2016, education institutions benefited more from content marketing and SEO strategies.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is another strategy that shifted a bit on the report but maintained the same place, nevertheless. It was worth 8.3% of revenue affected by B2B marketing activities in 2015 but rose to tie with conference and trade show booths at 8.8% in 2016. In fact, the report revealed that email marketing is considered the most effective marketing channel in the manufacturing industry.
If you have a huge customer base online, you cannot drop off a flyer on their doorstep or barely mail one. After all, this is the 21st century. However, you can set up an astonishing email marketing campaign that automatically sends newsletters, invitations, offers, coupons, and more to your customers’ email accounts. Even though this sounds super fast and easy, it does take a mastery of wordplay and a keen attention to detail to convince people to keep clicking. With finesse in your call-to-action emails and a service you just cannot live without, email marketing is a great B2B strategy that can have a dramatic impact your revenue.
6. Outbound Calling
Outbound calling dropped from 8.3% in 2015 to 7.1% in the 2016 State of Pipeline Marketing Report. This marketing technique is similar to email marketing in the sense that you have to reach out to potential customers. Rather than contacting them through an email, however, you (or an automated machine) can call them on the telephone.
Paid searches, partner marketing, social media, and public relations round-up the list as the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth revenue impacting B2B marketing activities, respectively. As a marketer, you should know what activity is creating the most revenue for your business.
An attribution model can help you understand the customer’s journey and find the significant transition points within the funnel. Single-touch or multi-touch models are also available for pinpointing the generated leads. As a marketer, you want to distribute revenue along each funnel point to get a thorough view of the pipeline.
That way, you can completely view your marketing budget at each stage. This includes expenses, sales opportunities, revenue, and more. If you want to become a revenue-focused marketer and improve your budget, you can generate leads through these revenue impacting B2B marketing activities.