optify-logo.pngIn July, we talked about what goes into being an Olympic content marketing champion. Today, Optify reveals what it takes to become a B2B "Marketing Athlete". In a survey of more than 250 B2B marketers, Optify set out to uncover how much experience, time and commitment marketers need to become successful.

A Marketing Star is Born Made

 The Optify survey included more than 250 respondents, with a majority (82 percent) working at small- to mid-sized businesses, and a little more than half (57 percent) occupying roles in marketing departments which consisted of five or less full time employees. It revealed what marketers do on a regular basis and how what they focus on can affect their overall success.

Star Performers

About half of the respondents (47 percent) rose to the top as “Star Performers” -- those that consistently met their lead generation goals. This group of digital marketing professionals invested more time per week on planning, exhibited the highest scores for attitude and focus, and felt their goals were right on target.

Marketing Athletes

Marketing athletes are rather productive individuals, with 82 percent reporting that they spent the majority of their time on activities important to their business. Nearly half (45 percent) spend over 15 hours per week in “execution mode". Not surprisingly, content creation and management was reported to be the most time-consuming activity, with 30 percent spending more than 15 hours per week on the task, and 40 percent spending 5-15 hours. To break it down even further, the survey results showed that the projects occupying the majority of marketers’ time included content (30 percent), lead generation (17 percent) and website management (16 percent).

Marketing Tools & Tactics

Marketers prefer social media, and spend more time on it -- at least 15 hours per week -- than on any other tactic. Conversely, only 16 percent reported spending no time on social media. Paid search (PPC) was the least popular tactic, with more than half (57 percent) spending no time on that area.

The primary difference between being an Athlete and being a Star Performer comes down to strategic planning. While a majority of respondents (73 percent) spend less than five hours per week on planning, 42 percent of Star Performers reported spending more than 5 hours per week on planning.

Jack of All Trades, Master of None?

Optify found that most marketing occurs in-house, a result of budget constraints and staffing challenges. That being said, many of the survey respondents reported outsourcing tasks to contractors and digital marketing agencies. The most commonly outsourced activities are those that require specific expertise in labor-intensive tactics such as web design and site maintenance (45 percent), SEO (35 percent) and public relations (33 percent).

If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

Overall, what this survey highlights is that successful marketing requires the ability to wear many hats, while dedicating a significant portion of your time to creating, managing, monitoring and publishing content. Social media reigns as the preferred platform for sharing and distributing content, while the focus on traditional mainstays of marketing such as PPC is dwindling. However, don’t think that just anyone can go from Marketing Athlete to Star Performer -- becoming successful requires spending more time on planning and execution in areas directly related to generating revenue, and spending less time in non-productive areas such as administrative work.