Aug 5 2014
Last month, Forrester released a study that indicated B2B marketers talk a good content marketing game, but have a hard time actually translating their efforts to business value.
According to the report, Compare Your B2B Content Marketing Maturity, more than half of B2B marketing leaders rate their content marketing operations as “very mature.”
Eighty-five percent of them, however, say they fail to connect content activity to business value.
“In fact,” says Forrester, “when asked to look back at the past 12 months and rate the effectiveness of content marketing efforts, only 14 percent of those surveyed gave their content practices high marks for delivering value back to the business.”
Fourteen percent? That’s it? Hasn’t content been king since Bill Gates crowned it in 1996?
The proliferation and widespread adoption of all things digital since then has opened powerful new possibilities to B2B content marketers, but a simple truth remains unchanged.
It’s hard work.
“The majority of marketers find producing content that engages buyers to be a major challenge,” said Business Marketing Association Chair Steve Liguori, a partner in the study. “Our survey results show that the majority of B2B content practices focus too narrowly on early-stage buyer acquisition — which fails to engage buyers throughout their lifetime. To create content that attracts and builds customer relationships throughout the customer life cycle, B2B marketers must make a fundamental shift from writing about features and benefits to delivering valuable information that drives business results.”
The hard work of developing effective B2B content starts with a simple question marketers must ask: What will help us strengthen our relationship with customers and/or prospects?
HNTB, an infrastructure solutions firm and a PadillaCRT client, has answered this question correctly for years. Check out its publications, which are shared with thousands of targeted clients, prospects and influencers nationwide.