B2B Marketers Choose Quality

According to a new study of U.S. B2B, from marketing managers to C-level executives, by DemandWave, B2B marketers chose lead quality over quantity. This year’s survey solidifies the trend with a 26% YoY increase in marketers choosing “deliver quality leads” as their top marketing goal for 2017.

Despite representation from a diverse group of industries, including software, manufacturing, telecommunications, healthcare and more, for the second year running the #1 objective of B2B management surveyed is digital marketing efforts to deliver quality leads.

2017 Marketing Objectives


% of Respondents

Deliver Quality Leads


Drive More Leads


Increase Marketing ROI


Improve Brand Awareness


Increase Website Traffic


Source: DemandWave, February 2017

“Delivering quality leads” emerges as B2B marketers’ top challenge, bumping “Measuring and proving ROI” down from its two-year streak at the top. And, as seen in the chart, B2B marketers are showing the first signs of improvement for measuring marketing ROI, a struggle that has long plagued B2B due to the revolution of digital, says the report.

Biggest Digital Marketing Challenge


% of Respondents

Deliver Quality Leads


Measuring and Proving ROI


Generating Enough Leads


Producing Quality Content


Securing Staff and Budget


Source: DemandWave, February 2017

63% of B2B marketers say organic search drives revenue, tying email at the top spot for the first time. The report suggests a couple factors playing a role in the rise of SEO-driven revenue.

  • First, though it’s been historically tough to prove the ROI of organic search, the perceived value of the channel is inherently increasing as marketers improve their ability to measure ROI.
  • Second, B2B marketers have become more adept at leveraging SEO to drive leads and sales as the channel has moved from an emerging trend to digital marketing staple over the years.

Also of note is the disparity between how many marketers use social media (95%) versus paid search (71%), and how many marketers find resulting revenue for each channel, 37% and 44%, respectively, says the report. Considering paid search is the top channel for which marketers outsource agency help, the report opines that B2B marketers are less comfortable managing paid search campaigns.

Concluding, the report summarizes the 2017 Survey highlights:

  • Frustrations about proving ROI appear to be waning. While it’s still among the top challenges for marketers, 22% named ROI as the number one metric they use to gauge performance, a 77% increase from last year
  • The top objective in 2017 for digital marketers remains cultivating sales- qualified leads over raw leads, also named as this year’s toughest challenge
  • Despite email retaining its throne as a top channel for revenue gains (63%), more marketers are waking up to the financial benefits of SEO. This shift is reflected in organic search pulling even with email for the first time as the biggest revenue driver, a 28% increase from last year
  • Despite the hype, just 37% of B2B marketers have tried or are currently engaged in ABM (account based marketing). Of those who have had experience with ABM, 42% say they find it effective, while another 40% say they’re not sure
  • Nearly half of B2B marketers expect to invest more in digital marketing this year, while just 6% expect a decrease in budget. Even more telling, 38% of marketers plan to spend 60% or more of their marketing budget online, as opposed to onine marketing investments
  • Considering the most-widely produced forms of content, marketers equally chose blogs and videos at 82% each. This represents an interesting content split, given the relative cost disparities in video production versus blog writing
  • Despite blogs and videos being the most popular forms of content for marketers, 40% said white papers produce the most revenue. Last year’s top revenue- driver, webinars, finished a close second with 37% of the vote
  • 64% of marketers feel they have clear guidelines for what constitutes a sales-qualified lead, up 28% YoY, as 58% of marketers are now responsible for a sales-qualified lead goal, representing a 38% boost from 2016

For more information from DemandWave, please visit here.



2 comments about "B2B Marketers Choose Quality".
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  1. Robyn Mattern from Ovation Solutions, February 17, 2017 at 12:14 p.m.

    I believe if Videos are done correctly, they will produce the much revenue and quality leads.  The problem is so many opt for a "cheap version" or "get it done quick" video and then business results aren't achieved. makes sure each video produced is achieving substantial business results.

  2. Jack Loechner from Mediapost Communications, February 21, 2017 at 7:23 p.m.

    Thanks, Robyn... jack

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