Only 28% of B2B content marketers say they have the technology they need, according to a new study. Perhaps coincidentally, only 29% said their organizations are very successful with content marketing.
Those technology numbers may not change all that soon. Content technologies came in 10th out of 10 areas where marketers expected to see investment in 2023, according to The Content Marketing Institute’s annual report on B2B content marketing.
The report also found a decrease in the use of some key technologies over the last year:
- Social media publishing/analytics decreased to 71% from 80% the previous year.
- Content creation/calendaring/collaboration/workflow tools decreased to 65% from 73% the previous year.
- Email marketing software decreased to 68% from 75% the previous year.
Dig deeper: How to measure content marketing ROI and ROE
Technology also caused the biggest difficulty for B2B content marketers last year. Nearly half (48%) said their biggest challenge was problems with integrating/correlating data across multiple platforms. That’s more than said getting their organization to decide on goal-setting KPIs (45%). That was right ahead of problems tying performance data to goals (43%) and getting insights from data (42%).
On the good news front, only 23% said they didn’t have the training they needed.
What content channels will get more money
While the jury is still out on attendance at in-person events, the money is in. Some 52% of marketers expect to spend more on in-person events in 2023. That’s the same as for this year. Spending on virtual events decreased to 25% in 2022 from 33% in 2021. However, it may not drop any further as 42% expect investment on them to stay the same next year.
The drop in spending on visual events seems odd, as marketers said only in-person produced better results.
Hybrid event spending has the most mercurial numbers: While 23% expect investment to increase (down from 39% the previous year), 10% expect a decrease, but 28% said they will not/do not use hybrid events at all, compared with 18% the previous year.
Other findings of interest from the report:
- 46% said one person or group was responsible for all types of content in their organization – advertising, brochures, thought leadership, SEO content, etc.
- Use of paid content distribution decreased to 67% from 81% in 2021.
- LinkedIn is the organic social media platform B2B content marketers use the most and find most effective.
- The most reliable metrics for content performance are conversions (70%), quality of leads (60%) and website engagement (57%)
- 78% said their organization will invest/continue to invest in video in 2023, up from 69% the previous year.
The 13th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2023 report was based on responses from 925 marketers from around the globe — representing a range of industries, functional areas, and company sizes surveyed during July 2022.
Why we care. The technology issues are likely the results of two things. First, too many B2B companies are letting features and functions determine what’s in their stacks, when it should be determined by their own strategy. Second, they may not understand the level of complexity and amount of resources needed to manage and maintain their martech tools.
Let’s hope the amount of money being spent on in-person events is driven by research. What we’ve seen at big shows and conferences is that most attendees are virtual, not physical. There is a risk these spending decisions are based on what marketers are most familiar and comfortable with.
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