Marketers are usually a paranoid bunch, we've come to learn. Will I go extinct? Does my work even matter?

Bizo says it does. Its annual State of B2B Lead Nurturing Report revealed 60 percent of marketers deliver at least 20 percent of B2B company revenues — and almost 25 percent contribute more than 40 percent. 

"Marketing organizations everywhere are taking on more influential roles when it comes to supporting company revenue growth targets," Jennifer Agustin, senior director of marketing at Bizo, told CMSWire. "Data like this supports the idea that marketing is more accountable than ever, and can play a more active and strategic role in the way companies are run."

Examining Numbers

Bizo's survey of 500 B2B marketers, conducted in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud, also reveals:

  • 72 percent of respondents say they currently have a marketing automation platform in place, and 75 percent of marketers feel adding other technologies can provide even greater optimization
  • More than 82 percent of respondents indicated they have plans to maintain or spend more on additional marketing technologies in the second half of this year
  • Only 30 percent report they currently have fully implemented effective and well-integrated multi-channel marketing programs
  • 79 percent of respondents say their email open rates, on average, aren't exceeding 20 percent, and more than 40 percent of marketers believe that only up to 5 percent of anonymous website visitors provide an email address in the first place
  • Approximately 89 percent of marketers would be interested in technologies that support the ability to nurture anonymous and known prospects as well

What kind of capabilities do B2B marketers want to have on top of marketing automation?

Agustin described it as support for a true "full-funnel" marketing approach. It is one that "enables brands to get in front of their target audiences as early as possible, engage these audiences through effective content, and finally convert them into qualified prospects and leads."

Marketing automation, Agustin added, provides a "critical foundation" for this approach, but marketers are still seeking ways to go beyond email marketing when it comes to nurturing and converting their target audiences.

"As such, I think marketers are placing a growing importance on channels including display and social advertising to help them get in front of more of the right people that matter to their businesses -- early on and throughout the buying process, and even into the customer renewal stage," she added.

Automation Still Working?

Heck, yes. Where marketing automation has been around for some time now, Agustin said, B2B marketers are becoming increasingly savvy to reach the right audiences with the right message at the right time.

customer experience, How Much Do B2B Marketers Matter Toward Bottom Line?

"Marketers can segment their audiences by business demographic profile, levels of online engagement, and even sales process stage," Agustin said. "This level of precision gives marketers the ability to reach prospects in only the most relevant ways."

Reaching and nurturing these prospects is no longer limited to solely to email, she added.

"Marketers can now use display and social advertising," Agustin said, "to sequence and optimize messages and essentially reach prospective customers anywhere online, and not just in the inbox."

Looking for More

Only 30 percent of B2B marketers surveyed feel they currently have fully implemented effective and well-integrated multi-channel marketing programs. 


"It takes a lot of work and supporting resources to achieve a truly integrated, multi-channel marketing program," Agustin said. "In most cases, I think marketers have every intention of making their programs fully integrated -- but they may not have all the right technologies in place to support this effort, or their existing technologies may be siloed."   

Things like email are still very much a part of every B2B marketer's toolkit, and rightly so, Agustin said.

"It is often the primary way in which marketers and salespeople can communicate and build meaningful relationships with prospects in a one to one fashion," she said. 

Asked whether marketers should move beyond email, Agustin said no because it's not going anywhere.

"It is, however, time to start asking more from our marketing channels, including email," she said. "As marketers, we need to be everywhere our prospects are, from their inboxes to social networks to anywhere on the Web. Only then will we be able to meet our prospects needs' in a timely and relevant way."

While B2B marketers rely heavily on email marketing, it's no surprise that the average open rate does not exceed 20 percent, she added, or that only 1 to 5 percent of anonymous website visitors actually provide their email address.

"Our survey results confirmed that these are common challenges," Agustin said, "but the good news is that three out of four marketers also believe there's plenty of room for optimization."