What Are B2B Marketers’ Most Critical Challenges Right Now?

June 7, 2021

Ascend2Intentsify B2B Digital Marketing Challenges June2021Some 45% of B2B marketers say that identifying target audiences or accounts is one of the most critical challenges to their digital marketing strategies. This is per a recent report [download page] from Intentsify and Ascend2, which looks at intent data and how it’s impacting B2B marketing.

The survey of more than 250 US B2B marketers working at companies with more than $10 million in annual revenue revealed that other critical challenges to their digital marketing strategies include cross-departmental collaboration (36%), reaching target audiences through digital channels (35%), scaling program results with current resources (34%) and establishing appropriate messaging for specific accounts (32%). About one-quarter (23%) also say that the age-old issue of sales and marketing alignment is a barrier to a successful digital marketing strategy.

Overcoming the Barriers with Intent Data

Earlier research from Ascend2 shows that marketers are using intent data to overcome some of these same challenges. This more recent survey found that 94% of respondents believe that intent data is effective at solving the most critical challenges named.

Additionally, the report points out that those who are using intent data are concerned about challenges that are associated with a more mature marketing strategy such as scaling program results with current resources, while marketers not using intent data cite challenges associated with less-developed strategies, such as reaching target audiences.

Intent Data Adoption and Its Challenges

Some 3 in 5 (59% of) respondents say they are actively using intent data, with the largest share (46%) saying they have an intent data strategy that is being executed and measured. About half (48%) of those using intent data use a standalone intent data solution, while about 3 in 10 (28%) use a combination of standalone, add-on features to another solution and data appended to leads and accounts.

While B2B marketers are seeing a positive impact from the use of intent data for customer account expansion (44%), account identification (44%) and lead generation (42%), the majority (64%) have found it most impactful when using it with digital advertising.

However, more than one-third (37%) of respondents say that measuring the impact of intent data is a challenge they have faced when using such data to improve their marketing efforts. That said, marketers are finding that the time they expected it takes to realize a return on intent data implementation largely measures up with the actual amount it takes to do so.

Although InsideView found that about one-quarter (22%) of companies planned to invest in intent data to improve alignment between sales and marketing teams, the report from Intentsify and Ascend2 concedes that sales and business development teams aren’t always as keen on the use of intent data. Some of their biggest complaints are inefficient hand-off processes or workflows (50%), issues with data relevancy (48%), lack of message alignment with marketing (40%) and that leads are not qualified (39%).

Reasons For Not Using Intent Data

As for the 5% of B2B marketers surveyed who aren’t currently using intent data, unfamiliarity with intent data (27%) and it not being a top priority (27%) were the most common reasons for not adopting an intent solution. Others claim to not need intent data (20%), while others say they lack the required skill set or knowledge (20%).

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a March 2021 survey of 289 marketers operating in the B2B channel, working for companies in the US with over $10 million in annual revenue.

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