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Marketing Curiosity: The Cliff Notes to 5 Recent Surveys

Marketing Curiosity: The Cliff Notes to 5 Recent Surveys

Curiosity is an attribute that serves marketers well.  Beyond understanding that something works, curiosity leads us to strive to understand why something works.

I often the find the catalyst for curiosity comes in the form of a hunch, experience or intuition.  Yet in this data-driven marketing climate, we’ve got to find ways to quantify those hunches.

For the purpose of satisfying curiosity, marketing surveys are a useful vehicle for research. vehicles.  As novelist Zora Neale Hurston is attributed with having said, “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”

To that end, this post summarizes five recent market research surveys worth of a purposeful poke and pry.

1. Marketing skills the CMO needs on the team

Marketing skills the CMO needs on the team

The top skills CMOs say they need on their team are:

a) digital marketing (62%);
b) data analytics and insights (49%); and
c) strategic thinking (48%).

That’s according to a survey of 150 marketing leads conducted by executive search firm Spencer Stuart as reported by Marketing Charts. The skills deemed least important were corporate communications (7%), direct mail (6%) and corporate marketing (1%) according to the data.

Corporate marketing types shouldn’t take the latter statistics too hard.  This is because every few years’ big business push marketing assets down to divisions. Then following a leadership shake-up, the new CMO realizes that diversified investment is getting very little penetration and moves to consolidate marketing assets once again.

If that fails to show through, try this line: “Hi, I’m from corporate and I’m here to help.”

Also see: The CMO Survey with Social & Mobile Marketing Takeaways

2. Mapping content to B2B buying stages

Mapping content to B2B buying stages

Marketers spend a lot of time thinking about the buyer’s journey. More specifically they think about how best to map the right content, to the proper persona, and as precisely the right stage in the process. That’s according to a survey of 262 business technology buyers by the Arketi Group, a PR firm based in Atlanta as reported by MarketingProfs.

The firm took the data and published a pretty incredible and interactive infographic that looks at the data by stage in the buying process and cross-tabbed by generation.

For example, here’s a look at some of the communication preferences as expressed by Generation X-ers during the middle of the buying cycle:

  • Vendor face-to-face meeting: 33%
  • Vendor website: 33%
  • Analyst content (Gartner, Forrester, etc.): 28%
  • Live, in-person demo: 26%
  • Case studies, customer testimonials: 23%
  • Industry, professional online communities or forums: 20%
  • Product brochures, datasheets, sales literature: 20%

Also see: Qualify Hard; Close Easy: Leads in Unscripted Marketing Links

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3. The Inherent Power of Visual Content

visual content

Humans are visual creatures; consider the following:

  • The ability to process images is embedded in our fight or flight instincts;
  • Cavemen drew pictures not words on walls;
  • Kids learn to draw long before they learn to write; and
  • There’s a growing body of research suggesting doodling sparks creatively.

While there’s plenty of scientific evidence as to why visuals and imagery are so important to humanity, the marketing and PR firm LEWIS commissioned research to understand it’s importance to marketing.  The firm recently published a visual communications report stemming from 422 responses to an online survey conducted by a third party (registration required).

It’s important to note this survey data has a margin of error (4.7%) and confidence interval (90%). Among the results the survey found:

  • 66% plant to create more visual content in 2016;
  • 67% of marketers produce visual content because it is more engaging;
  • 58% cited brand awareness as the top goal (lead gen followed at 49%);
  • 66% said production quality was the most important success factor; and
  • 69% cited the number of views as the most important KPI.

Also see: 3 Free PR Photo Hacks

4. Top 5 Challenges Facing B2B Marketers in 2016

Top Challenges Facing B2B Marketing

According to a survey of 266, the top challenges facing B2B marketers in 2016 are:

  1. Building market share: 62%;
  2. Innovating products or services: 59%
  3. Retaining customers or growing customer loyalty: 54%
  4. Increasing brand awareness 46%
  5. Countering the competition 43%

The survey was conducted by research firm B2B International and included respondents in both the US and Western Europe.  While B2B International focused on the top two challenges in an infographic that accompanied the survey,  eMarketer honed in on B2B challenges #3 and #4:

“According to the findings, both customer retention and increasing brand awareness had become more troublesome (10%) over the year prior.”

Also see: What BtoB and AdAge Says about Integrated Marketing; Journalism

5. It Pays to Recognize Customer Comments

It Pays to Recognize Customer Comments

Why do customers leave feedback?  They just want to help according to a survey of 1,200 consumers by SurveyMonkey and Apptentive:

“Only 7% of consumer respondents said they leave feedback for something in return. So what’s the real reason customers leave feedback? They want to be helpful.”

So imagine what that means when a customer leaves a comment in order to help, and that comment goes ignored?  In a piece covering the survey Marketing Land honed in on the answer:

“Fifty-five percent of respondents said that if their feedback is ignored, they would be less likely to remain a customer. The majority of respondents (67 percent) said that they never receive responses to their feedback.”

Yet it clearly pays to simply acknowledge customer feedback.  According to the report, “If people know their feedback has been implemented, 97% of them are at least somewhat likely to become loyal patrons to the company.”

It’s apparent that business don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to customer feedback.  Some 73% of businesses say they are “good at implementing customer feedback” while the report found “roughly two-thirds of respondents say they typically don’t get a response.”

That’s the sort of data that ought to keep business leaders up at night.

Also see: Acknowledgement: One Simple way to Turn Fans into Fanatics

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Have you seen a high-quality marketing survey published recently that piqued or satisfied your marketing curiosity? Send an inquiry via the contact form with a link in order to be considered for the next summary.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
Survey Finds Tough Grades on B2B Content Marketing 

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