The world of B2B marketing is awash with innovative trends.  Marketing Automation, Predictive Analytics, Artificial Intelligence…the list goes on.  But are innovative ideas like these being embraced by the average B2B marketing team?  Or are they sticking with the status quo and what they know best?

Well, according to a survey by Circle Research and our friends at B2B Marketing, it seems that B2B marketers are split down the middle.  Half believe that their approach is innovative and half admit that they’re old school.  Those in the latter camp are missing a trick and they admit as much – 90% say that it’s important (53%) or critical (37%) to regularly innovate their approach to marketing, but despite this, they don’t do it.  That’s costing them. Almost all of those who do describe themselves as innovative (93%) say that it has made their marketing more effective.

Recognising that they’re missing out, these laggards of the marketing world have resolved to change their ways.  88% are planning to become more innovative in their approach over the coming 12 months.  Two areas are a particular focus here – the way in which prospects are engaged throughout the buying journey (20% name this as the most important focus area for innovation) and the adoption of marketing technology (20%).

They can learn some lessons from their more innovative peers when embarking on this journey.  Marketing innovators report that three things are important in driving successful innovation:

  • Support from the Board and key leaders (18% name as the most important contributor)
  • A wider culture of innovation across the organisation (15%)
  • A willingness to accept failure (15%)

They also warn of three barriers to overcome:

  • Insufficient budget (17% name as the biggest barrier)
  • Insufficient time to reflect or generate ideas (18%)
  • Skills or experience gaps in the marketing team (13%)

And remember, innovation is a journey not a destination.  Almost all of those who describe their current approach as innovative (94%), plan to become even more innovative in the coming year.

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About Andrew

Andrew has specialised in B2B research for over a decade and co-founded Circle Research in 2006. He is a columnist for B2B Marketing Magazine, a regular contributor to Research Live and frequent speaker at leading events such as the B2B Leaders Forum, Customer Experience Live and the Social Media World Forum. Andrew is a Chartered Member of the MRS, teaches the MRS B2B research course and holds an MA in Psychology from Aberdeen University alongside an MSc in Marketing from Strathclyde University.

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