Time for B2B Enterprise Marketers to Get Focused on Their Audience vs. Their Brands [New Research]

Time for B2B Enterprise Marketers to Get Focused on Their Audience vs. Their Brands [New Research]

Author: Lisa Murton Beets / Source: Content Marketing Institute Too many B2B enterprise marketers are focusing on their brand rather than

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Too many B2B enterprise marketers are focusing on their brand rather than their audience while creating content. That’s one of the key findings in our new research report, B2B Enterprise Content Marketing 2017: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America sponsored by KnowledgeVision.

Let’s take a look at the actual stat: 53% of B2B enterprise marketers who responded to our annual content marketing survey say they agree that their organization is focused on creating content for their audience versus their brand. That’s a lot lower than the 69% of all B2B North American marketers we surveyed (across all industry types and company sizes) who focus on audience versus brand. In other words, B2B enterprise marketers are among the worst offenders here.

And it’s a turnoff. In fact, in his recent CMI blog post, 4 Content Marketing Things That Turn Off Your Audience, Neil Patel declares that making it about you, not your audience is the No. 1 turnoff.

As a brand, it can be tempting to focus on topics that you’re interested in but which aren’t necessarily of interest to your audience. For example, you may be intrigued with industry trends and decide to create blog posts, white papers, infographics, etc., about them. But if they don’t resonate with your audience, you’re going to see little to no effectiveness. In some cases, it can even drive a wedge between you and your audience.

I have to admit I’m a bit disheartened by our research finding that only half of enterprise marketers get this. I remember crafting a subhead titled, It’s Not About You, while editing Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett’s breakthrough book on content marketing, Get Content Get Customers. That was nearly a decade ago!

In all fairness, maybe more enterprise marketers do get this, but are facing internal pressures that prevent them from doing this. The sheer size of large organizations makes content marketing particularly challenging.

In any case, it’s an important shift in mindset that has to happen within your enterprise, as a focus on audience is a basic tenet of content marketing. Put simply, you won’t be able to sustain long-term content marketing success if you don’t put your audience first.

Top-performing B2B enterprise marketers DO get it

Now, let’s look only at the top performers in the sample: 92% say they are more focused on their audience than their brand – it’s one of the things that differentiates them from their less successful peers. See the chart below for other ways in which these top performers stand out from their peers.

Enterprise-Research-Top Performers

Examples of audience-focused B2B brands

Finding examples of B2B enterprise content marketers highly focused on…

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