Half of B-to-B Marketers Say Content Marketing is Wasted on Sales Departments

Hal Conick
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways
​What? B-to-B marketers and sales teams often aren’t on the same page, as 52% of marketing managers say sales teams don’t know where to find content.

So what? Wasted content is wasted money; 38% of marketers say they aren’t sure if the content is serving its purpose.

Now what? A first step to closing this gap is for organizations to discreetly measure content marketing’s effectiveness so the highest-performing pieces can be elevated.
​Oct. 18, 2016

Marketers say content goes unused by sales departments because “they don’t know where to find it.” How can this be fixed?

There’s a content disconnect between marketing and sales in B-to-B companies.

A recent report by sales-enablement firm Seismic and Gatepoint Research surveyed 100 B-to-B marketing executives about their most pressing content marketing challenges. More than half (52%) of content created by marketing goes unused by sales because “they don’t know where to find it.”

The report also found 47% rate their ability to handle content as average or worse than average, while only 18% responded that they were completely satisfied with their content management methods. 

Additionally, 38% say their most pressing challenge was not knowing what content worked well. Twenty-four percent say not being able to keep up with corporate demand for updated content was the biggest challenge. 

Daniel Rodriguez, vice president of marketing for Seismic, says misalignment between sales and marketing isn’t just a B-to-B problem, but there are two factors that exacerbate the problem. 

The first problem is the increased complexity of purchasing decisions made in large corporations. Sales departments of large companies need messaging and collateral for different personas, something marketing teams often don’t do effectively. The second is that sales cycles are usually longer in B-to-B, and content is needed more often to keep potential buyers engaged.

“Ultimately, what you often see is a B-to-B sales team with little idea as to what content they should use and when, leading to reps going into important meetings feeling unprepared, unconfident and frustrated with the lack of marketing support,” Rodriguez says. “On the flip side, marketing doesn’t understand why sales teams aren’t converting their leads or why they are not using proper messaging and content.”


 Image courtesy of Seismic and Gatepoint Research

​​Improving maligned B-to-B content may mean a greater level of personalization, according to Rodriguez, as 82% of enterprises see personalized content as more effective. However, only 18% have the technologies and processes in place to effectively personalize.

“One major contributor to poor content management is a lack of transparency and insight into which content is effective and which isn’t,” Rodriguez says. “Enterprises should have specific, quantifiable ways of measuring sales content effectiveness, including content usage data, how often content is engaged with by buyers and what pieces of content help move the needle. Without this type of data, marketers may feel like sales content goes into a black hole.”

Fixing these issues can mean adopting the right technology, but that’s only part of the solution, Rodriguez says. Marketers need to examine the world outside of the top of their funnel, he says, and start thinking cross-departmentally.

“It’s not only about making sure that someone who visits the website receives the right content, but also about making sure that each sales rep has the right content, or HR rep, or customer success team member,” he says. “In today’s content-driven world, marketing cannot be a silo; it has to be the hub, helping power all departments with relevant, updated materials and information.”


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Author Bio:

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Hal Conick
Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at hconick@ama.org or on Twitter at @HalConick.
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