B2B marketers have a dilemma. While proprietary websites are emerging as their primary demand-generation channels, Forrester says almost all of the sites it saw were ineffective at accomplishing that goal.
So effective content marketing appears to be the answer, and marketers are investing in it. But now, they also have to get buyers to their sites, despite data privacy challenges that can hamper email efforts.
Forrester took a look at 60 websites of B2B firms. None passed the test of having basic content and capabilities, until the research company lowered the necessary passing score by 15 points — and then only four firms passed.
“More than 500 B2B marketers told Forrester that their company’s website is the most effective demand generation tactic for building awareness and increasing consideration
“This same study shows that B2B websites surpass digital advertising, search engine optimization, sales enablement, partner enablement, or events for early-stage demand-gen effectiveness. This means your website is likely to be the first place where prospects will get their first impression of your company and offerings.
“And what a sad impression you are making!”
They opine that B2B marketers need to start with content marketing to begin to fix their problems.
It appears as though B2B marketers agree. In a March 2019 study by Walker Sands, 98% of B2B marketers recognize that content’s performance justifies its cost. B2B marketers expect content to:
- generate new business
- boost sales/convert customers
- build relationships with new customers
- increase brand awareness
B2B marketers also know that improving their sites is a must, because that’s where the leads are arriving to their business.
Episerver finds in October 2019 (Opens as a PDF):
“84% of your B2B peers agree increasing digital expectations of customers and partners is the top threat to their business.”
If they don’t get moving on improving their sites, B2B marketers are in trouble. Episerver finds that by 2025, 72% of B2B marketers expect that most of their brands’ revenue will come from their e-commerce websites.
Salesforce’s March 2019 research shows B2B marketers already don’t have much of a choice — their sites need to improve immediately, because the top three B2B marketing channels are:
- 83% company website
- 73% email
- 63% display and banner ads
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.