Email Still Top B2B Channel, Study Finds

Email marketing is the tactic most used by B2B brands, according to 2020 B2B Marketing Mix Report, a study by Sagefrog Marketing Group. 

Of the firms surveyed, 84% employ email, a figure consistent with that of 2018. Second on the list, cited by 73%, is social media and social media advertising. Third is blogging and content marketing (63%).

However, email ranks only fourth among the top areas of marketing spend, specified by 27%.

Email falls behind digital marketing (56%), website development (52%), trade shows and events (36%) and is tied with content (27%). 

Meanwhile, 39% say email is a top source of leads, putting it in third place in this area. First is referrals (63%) and second is trade shows and events (36%). 

That is important because leads are the main marketing objectives for 2020. The list includes:

  1. Converting leads to customers 
  2. Increasing sales leads
  3. Increasing brand awareness 
  4. Producing thought leadership
  5. Increasing website traffic 



However, B2B marketing budgets will remain flat next year, with 56% holding steady and 41% planning an increase.

Among those surveyed, 15% allocate 20% of their total budgets to marketing, 10% spend 19% and 5% spend 25%.

The study also shows that personalization is first among the new marketing and sales strategies for 2020:

  • Personalization — 47%
  • Account based marketing — 42%
  • Video marketing — 41%
  • Inbound marketing — 39%
  • AI and automation — 36%
  • Conversational marketing (chat bots) — 33% 
  • Influencer marketing — 27%
  • Podcast and livestreaming — 22%
  • Programmatic advertising — 19%
  • Mobile-first strategy — 17% 
  • Other — 6%

The report displays some consistency with the 2018 edition. It shows that 64% have a marketing plan, and 59% use a combination of outsourced help and in-house resources. Another 41% do everything in-house. 

HubSpot ranks as the most popular automation platform, specified by 41%, according to this study. The others are Pardot by Salesforce (10%), Marketo (7%) and other (20%).

Sagefrog surveyed B2B professionals in multiple industries. 

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