David McGuire – Ignite 2020 session, said that 68% of B2B marketers are not proud or confident about their content.
At the beginning of this year, Radix Communications released its research reports showing
that only 32% of B2B marketers are proud of just half the content they create. But this isn’t just another post accusing the B2B marketers of aiming low, as the effective content needs to be clearly written, original, packed with value, and aligned to the customers’ priorities. And the research has proved it.
The evidence shows that marketers already have a good idea about what great content looks like.
There’s no lack of knowledge, ability, or will; the problem starts when marketers need to fight their own organization. According to the research, that’s surprisingly often. In fact, 81% of all respondents said they need to “fight harder” to produce great content – and that pretty much remains the same regardless of the seniority, business size, location, or sector. Specifically, about the business impact when the organization gets in the way of the content.
Most of the B2B signoff processes can actually harm content outcomes. A surprising 59% of B2B marketers – basically 60% – agreed with the statement that if nobody else had to sign off the content; the results would be a lot better. And in larger enterprises, it’s over eight out of ten.
And that’s correct, respondents who agreed with the statement were indeed markedly less
likely to be satisfied with their content’s customer alignment, writing quality, reader value,
emotional impact, and – crucially – business results.
Business results get worse when stakeholder’s interference is a problem. Marketers who confirmed that stakeholders’ intervention is a significant problem were 26% less likely to be satisfied with their content’s business results. And that’s a concern because over half of respondents (54%) agreed to that answer.
It’s perhaps is not surprising, as just 14% of people could confirm their organization’s
agreement on what good content is. That lack of alignment is not only annoying; it also comes with a measurable business cost.
Cheap B2B content is 18% less likely to work. Satisfaction with the business results remains 18% lower among respondents who cited partial resources as a big problem. It’s the clearest possible example of the false economy.
Resource issues have also marked impact content originality and the quality of copywriting – which is possibly why 80% of respondents confirmed facing a trade-off between content quality and quantity.
When marketing is overworked, the content tends to be unoriginal. Respondents who
confirmed workload being a significant problem were 25% less likely to say their best content had an original, smart, intelligent concept. This makes sense – when time is less, and the company needs to stick with what they can deliver, and get signed off quickly.
But this does nothing special to differentiate the brand, achieve cut-through in an over-
crowded market, or – crucially for the stakeholder conversations – to create talking points for the salespeople. More than anything else, content is capable of achieving those things that take time.
Ultimately, the most crucial reason why the quality of the content matters is their own sanity. In the same way, the customers’ working lives are also too short – and too important – to waste on reading content the company didn’t really want to publish in the first place.
But hopefully, this research can help enterprises to make the case to the stakeholders too, and get on with the publishing of content that the marketers actually want to create.