We asked several of our speakers at this month’s B2B Connect to Convert summit what they thought were the biggest challenges facing B2B marketers today.
For many marketers, simply getting people to stop and listen to their messages is a challenge, says Nancy Harhut, chief creative officer at Nancy Harhut & Assoc., who led a master class on copywriting at the show.
“People aren’t focusing on every word,” she says. “People skim—some studies show that many people may only read the headline. People are far less interested in what we want to say than we think they are.”
“You need to create something more emotionally engaging, rather than just talking about the product,” adds Tim Washer, a veteran B2B content producer and comedy writer who delivered a keynote on why marketers should take more risks. “At Cisco, I never like to mention the customer name. I’d rather talk about the customer and what they did—it creates a better story.”
Jon Russo, founder, B2B Fusion, notes that sometimes getting internal teams to work together is a stumbling point.
“You need people who can collaborate across sales and marketing,” says Russo, who led the session Hitting Your Targets With ABM. “Sales needs to take the lead on account identification and work hand in glove with marketing. Sales may like to own the territories and accounts, but marketing has to orchestrate [the process] and package the right information.”
Siloed data is still a big issue for many B2B organizations, says Sam Melnick, vice president of marketing at Allocadia, whose 2017 Marketing Performance Maturity Study found that only 8 percent of organizations have marketing, sales and finance data in one data warehouse, and only 28 percent of marketers feel their data is accounted for and well formatted.
Half of marketers feel they have no control over their data, according to the report, which also found that more than 55 percent of companies report that they can only run baseline reports on past performance. And, 13 percent said they don’t even know where all their data lives and can’t run any reports.
“Until your foundation is built around sound data, your analysis will be limited,” says Melnick, who presented on B2B attribution and ROI.