2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

Introduction
Here at Optify, like in many B2B marketing organizations, we develop personas to help us better direct our marketing efforts and hone our messaging. One marketing persona was easy for us to identify—the hard-charging marketing all-rounder that masters all relevant tools and channels to fuel their organizations’ growth. We called this persona the marketing athlete. We knew that this was a pivotal player in most B2B marketing organizations and wanted to get an in-depth profile of these individuals to learn:
» » » » What makes these marketing superstars successful How they spend their time What tools they use to get the job done What other B2B marketers can learn from them to drive more business

To get this insight and to recognize marketing athletes everywhere, we recently conducted our first annual marketing athlete survey. Using email, our web site and social media we invited those people that identified themselves as marketing athletes to participate in the survey—269 of marketing’s finest obliged. We learnt a lot, got a few surprises along the way and gained some valuable insight into B2B marketing’s most dynamic persona. We hope you enjoy reading the results! Thanks to everyone that participated Optify

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

Key findings
1. Demographics: » Most marketing athletes are in their thirties and have 5+ years in marketing. » There is a pretty even gender split between men and women. 2. Characteristics: » Athletes generally feel very good about their productivity and have a great attitude. » They are great at multitasking and enjoy juggling lots of lead generation channels. » They embrace technology and use tools in all areas of marketing to get the job done. 3. Time spent: » The majority spend most of their time executing programs as opposed to non-revenue generating activities. » More time is spent on content development than lead generation. » Social media is the leading lead generation tactic in terms of time spent. 4. Lead generation: » Social media is a big area of focus both in terms of time spent and level of expertize. » Time and budget are their biggest lead generation challenges. » 71% think their lead generation goals are realistic. 5. What sets star performers apart from less successful marketing athletes: » » » » More time spent on planning and execution, less time spent on non-productive activities like admin. Greater focus of time in key areas such as content and lead generation. Deeper expertize across lead generation channels. A more positive, ‘can do’ attitude.
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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

MOGRAPHIC DE

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Most athletes are over thirty, with a pretty even gender split
Almost 70% of marketing athletes surveyed were over thirty, with almost 40% in their thirties. This 30+ crowd are seasoned marketers with 83% of them reporting 5+ years in a marketing role. By analyzing responses from other questions in the survey we discovered that the older athletes felt accomplished at many marketing activities and were very well versed with both traditional outbound tactics and inbound marketing channels like social media and SEO. Those under thirty felt confident in online tactics, but were less sure of themselves than their older counterparts when it came to offline tactics and PR. The youngest (20-25) and oldest (50+) age categories were both evenly represented at 11%. The percentage of male respondents only just beat out the women by five points showing that the split between the genders was pretty even.

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

MOGRAPHIC DE

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Most marketing athletes have 5+ years on the job
The majority of marketing athletes (65%) had 5+ years of marketing experience, with only 3% of respondents being rookies with less than one year on the job. Those marketers with less than 5 years’ experience in marketing felt a little less confident in their knowledge of lead generation tactics across the board than their more experienced counterparts. The biggest knowledge gaps appeared in PPC, email marketing (rented lists), PR and offline tactics.

1-5 YEARS IN MARKETING

5+ YEARS IN MARKETING

SEO PPC Email marketing (rented lists) Online advertising Social media PR Offline tactics

81% 64% 75% 75% 91% 70% 75%

83% 73% 81% 79% 91% 86% 93%
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%age of respondents that felt they had sufficient or expert knowledge of these lead gen tactics.
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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

MOGRAPHIC DE

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Athletes are managers and individual contributors
A little more than half (57%) of the marketing athletes managed at least one full-time employee (FTE), the remaining 43% were individual contributors. As we’ll see later in the survey results, marketing athletes are ‘doers’ and happy diving into to all aspects of the role to get the job done. The evidence shows that even those athletes with direct reports are still very ‘hands on’ and make significant direct contributions to revenue. Only 10% managed more than 5 FTEs—a fact that correlated with the small size of most marketing teams (see page 9 for details). Not surprisingly the more experienced marketers managed more people, both in terms of FTEs and contractors. See page 7 for details on contractor management.

1-5 YEARS EXPERIENCE

>5 YEARS MARKETING EXPERIENCE

Manage FTEs Individual contributors Manage contractors

39% 61% 57%

69% 31% 75%
N=250

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

TAGLINES
We asked the survey participants to describe themselves in the form of a tagline. Here are just a few examples of their creativity:

Gold medalist in 400m content and IT Dev hurdles

Minister of Marketing

Inbound Marketing Gold medalist The generator! Phelps Octomom Chief Revenue Enabler Marketing Champion hat wearer The man with the biz dev fist Olympiad
Gold medalist in synchronized marketing strategies

marketing expert - just do it

Chief Juggling Officer

marketingchickenwithhisheadcutoff.com

The opposable thumb of the organization You Know, That One Guy That Sits Next to Scot That Does the... He, Uh... What Does He Do?

Doer of all things with an acronym
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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

RESOURCES
Most athletes manage outside contractors
From the demographics questions and the very creative taglines, we’ve got a good idea of who the athletes are. Next we’ll look at what we discovered when we quizzed them on the resources they use to get the job done. We weren’t surprised to discover that more marketing athletes manage contractors (67%) than full-time employees FTEs (57%). As we’ll see in the next page contractors and agencies are being used to augment internal teams across the entire range of marketing activities. In line with our findings on the number of FTEs managed, the majority of athletes (52%) manage 1-5 contractors.

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

RESOURCES
Athletes do a lot in house
We learnt in the previous page that the majority of athletes (67%) use at least one contractor. Given that fact, we were a little surprised to discover that most athletes reported keeping work in house across all areas of lead generation, and weren’t planning to outsource in the next 12 months. We weren’t surprised at which activities were most commonly outsourced:
» Web design / maintenance (45%) » SEO (35%) » PR (33%)

Activities most often kept in house were:
» Social media (79%) » Email marketing (76%) » Lead generation (72%)

It seems that marketing tactics perceived as a core competencies tend to stay in-house while expertise-heavy and labor-intensive tactics, like PPC, web design and PR, are more likely to be outsourced.

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

RESOURCES
The majority work in small marketing teams
The marketing athletes work primarily in small marketing organizations, with 70% working in a team of less than 10 colleagues. As expected there is a strong correlation between the company size and the number of people in the marketing department:
» 71% of enterprise companies (500+ employees) have marketing teams of > 10 FTEs. » 71 % of small business (<25 employees) have marketing teams with 1-5 full-time marketing employees.

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

RESOURCES
Athletes use lots of tools to get the job done
The responses to our previous questions informed us about the manpower resources athletes had at their disposal. Next we analyzed the tools they used in their daily work. The majority of respondents used at least one tool in each of the categories that we inquired about. Here are some interesting observations:
» Social media was the category where most athletes reported using more than one tool (70%)—not surprising given the relative infancy of this channel and the lack of consolidation in tools marketplace. » SEO stood out as the leading category where no tools were being used (24%)—this may be due to the fact that those less experienced in SEO weren’t aware that tools existed in this area. Of the marketers that did use SEO tools, more reported using more than one tool in this category. » On the other end of the usage spectrum only 3% of athletes are not using an email tool—it’s hard to imagine doing mass emails without one! » Most athletes are okay with lots of tools—later in the survey we raised the question of tools again (see page 19 for details). Only 30% agreed with the statement “I spend too much time on tools management”.

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

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PERFORM

Sorting out the star performers
We asked the marketing athletes to rate how successful they felt they were in meeting their lead generation goals. We grouped the resulting data into two segments. Star performers were those who always made their numbers. This segment represented 47% of respondents. The remaining 53% we put into a segment called ‘less successful’. Throughout this survey you’ll see data points and key findings that we discovered when we analyzed the survey responses from these two segments. We were looking for differences that might explain why star performers consistently achieved their goals while their less successful colleagues did not. We think you’ll agree that the results were very interesting.

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

IME SPENT T
Marketing athletes are busy executing
So how exactly do the marketing athletes spend their time? The first question we asked about time management was in relation to broad job functions. Much of our premise about the marketing athlete persona was that these are the type of people that dive in and get things done. So it was no surprise to discover that more athletes (45%) spent the bulk of their time (15+ hours) in marketing execution than in any other area. The next area were they spent the most time was in marketing operations— 14% of them spent 15+ hours a week on activities such as reporting and software platform management.

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%age respondents that spend 15+ hours spent / week on These general marketing activities
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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

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Star performers plan and execute more
We decided to see if our star performers segment sliced their time any differently than their less successful peers. What we discovered is that more of the stars dedicated 15+ hours a week to planning, execution and operations than there less successful counterparts. The biggest delta between the groups was in marketing planning. It seems that it pays to spend more time upfront and taking a more strategic approach to planning. What also stood out in the data was that our stars spent less time doing admin and other non-productive activities than the less successful group.

Key takeaway
Take a little more time upfront on strategic planning then focus on executing.

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%age of respondents that spent 15+ hours on the activities above

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

IME SPENT T
More time spent on content than lead generation
We then asked the athletes to dive a little deeper and tell us how they spent their time in the area of marketing execution. The top 3 areas taking up more than 15 hours per week were:
» Content (30%) » Lead generation (17%) » Website management (16%)

We were a little surprised that content beat out lead gen to the first spot, but upon reflection it made sense given that content is a cornerstone element of today’s buyer-driven marketing environment. To learn more about the state of content marketing download the 2012 study B2B CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS. Another interesting finding came by examining where the majority spent no time at all. Lead nurturing took that dubious honor with 30% of respondents reporting that they spent no time in this area. We suspect that there may have been a little confusion around the lead nurturing term itself. If respondents equated lead nurturing with marketing automation, then the 30% makes sense. According to Forrester Research the adoption rate of marketing automation products in B2B organizations was 18% in 2011. We think of lead nurturing as all means of keeping in touch with leads, automated and manual emails, live touches etc. With that as the definition, we suspect that all marketers dedicate time to this important activity.

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

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Star performers are more focused
Seeing as marketing execution is an area where our athletes spent the most time, we thought it would be interesting to see how the time spent on various activities would vary based on our performance segments. When we analyzed where each segment spent 15+ plus hours per week we discovered that more star performers focus a larger percentage of their time in all areas of execution than their less successful peers. Where the differences between segments were most apparent were in lead generation and content—both areas directly linked of course to lead gen. success. This pattern of focus continued when we looked at how athletes divided their time between specific lead generation activities. More stars focused larger blocks of time than the less successful segment on all tactics with the exception of PPC—a channel that seems to be out of favor with many B2B marketers. The biggest focus gap was in offline tactics, an area where a large expertize gap also showed up between the segments. See page 18 for details. N=267

Key takeaway
Be more focused, especially on activities that directly relate to revenue. N=267

%age of respondents that spent 15+ hours on the activities above

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

GENERATION LEAD
Social media is in, PPC is out
Next in our survey we turned to an area that is near and dear to our hearts here at Optify—lead generation. Here’s what we found when we asked the athletes to tell us how they divided their time between various common lead gen tactics:
» Social media is the most popular tactic: • More marketers spend 15+ hours on social media than on any other tactic (13%) • The lowest percentage of respondents (16%) reporting that they spend no time on social media. » PPC is out of favor with many B2B marketers • The least number of marketers spend 15+ hours (4%) on PPC compared to other lead gen. tactics • The highest percentage of respondents (57%) reported spending no time on PPC.

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

GENERATION LEAD
Athletes know a lot about multiple lead generation tactics
We went on to ask the athletes to rate their knowledge of lead generation tactics. On the whole they are a pretty confident bunch, with the vast majority feeling that they had sufficient or expert knowledge about the tactics they were engaged with.
» The areas where most athletes rated themselves as experts were: • Social media (42%) • Offline tactics (34%) • Email marketing & SEO (28%) » Weak areas (little or no knowledge) most cited were: • PPC (25%) • Online advertising (18%) • Email marketing & SEO (17%)

It was interesting to see the correlation between time spent on a lead generation tactic and the perceived level of expertise. Athletes spent more of their time on social media and offline tactics, both areas where they felt they had a high level of expertise. Similarly they spent the least amount of time with PPC and online advertising—areas where they felt the weakest.

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

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The expertize gap between star performers and less successful athletes
How much does expertize or perceived expertize factor into the success of lead generation programs? We thought that would be an interesting question to ask, so we segmented the responses to the expertize question by star performers and the less successful marketers. Here’s what we found: Star performers rated themselves with greater expertize than their less successful peers across the board. The biggest expertize gaps showed up in:
• PPC (37%) • Email marketing (25%) • Offline tactics (23%)

Key takeaway
Your level of expertize counts—even if it’s just your perceived level of expertise.

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

GENERATION LEAD
Athletes feel productive and like to juggle multiple channels and tools
We then asked the athletes about how they felt with regards to their lead gen effectiveness. We discovered that they are for the most part a confident bunch. 82% of athletes felt like they are spending most of their time on marketing activities important to their business. That perception of high productivity was borne out by the responses to all of the statements with one exception—47% of the athletes felt they spent too much time on admin. Another interesting observation was that 62% disagreed with the statement “I would prefer spending most of my time on one marketing channel”. Marketing athletes are great at multitasking and seem to like the challenge of mastering many different lead gen channels.

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

GENERATION LEAD
Budget and time are the biggest lead gen challenges
By now a clear picture is emerging as to the nature of the marketing athlete. These hard-chargers master all channels and tools they need to get the job done. This ‘can do’ attitude was further underlined when we asked them about their lead gen challenges. “I don’t have enough budget to meeting my goals” was the only statement that the majority agreed to (54%). Having enough hours in the day was the next challenge that most athletes identified with (47%). Keeping up with new online marketing challenges was also an area where many respondents felt challenged (38%). Amazingly 71% felt that their goals are realistic. This leads us to believe that most athletes have a key part in the goal setting process. Again the fact that athletes are great at multi-tasking was borne out by the fact that only 27% felt they had too many lead gen channels and tools to manage—go athletes!

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

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Star performers have a positive outlook
As we saw on the last page, all marketing athletes have a ‘can-do’ attitude and are not easily overcome by challenges. Our star performer segment have an even more positive outlook than their less successful peers and felt they had less challenges across the board. The most noticeable attitude gap between the groups was for the statement ‘my goals are unrealistic’. Only 5% of the stars agreed with this statement compared to 18% of the less successful group.

Key takeaway
Attitude counts. Having a positive outlook about your goals and challenges results in greater success.

%age of respondents who agreed with the statements above
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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

Star performers biggest challenges
We asked the athletes to describe in their own words their number one lead generation challenge. Here’s a selection from some of the star performer segment.

Tying marketing programs to business results

Being a one-stop shop for all things marketing and communications.

Keeping all the plates spinning! Not enough hours in the day! Balancing time.

The man with the biz dev fist

ROI!!

Pitching big ideas to execs and getting a lukewarm response
Evaluating resource tradeoffs
Massive amounts of data to monitor.

Getting sales to pay attention to the information we provide and following up on leads

Staying focused.

generating organic, inbound leads at a much larger scale

Time to create quality content.

Keeping up with new online marketing tactics
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Juggling changing priorities and managing the reactive nature of the sales force.

2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

We’ve learnt a lot from our survey about the persona we dubbed as the marketing athlete. Many of our assumptions regarding this dynamic and hard-working individual were right on. We also had a few surprises along the way. But what sets the star performers apart and how can we apply those lessons to drive more business for our organizations? Here’s a summary of the key takeaways we discovered from the best of the best. We hope that these tips will help to you be more successful in your endeavors to fuel your company’s growth in the coming year. We look forward to hearing how you did in next year’s marketing athlete survey. » Attitude counts—having a positive outlook about your goals and challenges results in greater success. » Expertize counts—even if it’s just your perceived level of expertise. » First plan, then execute—take time upfront for strategic planning then execute. » Be more focused—especially on activities that directly relate to revenue. Thanks again to everyone that participated! Optify

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Attitude

Planning Focus

Expertise

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Lessons learned from the star performers
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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

OGRAPHICS FIRM
Here are some of the key firmographic observations from the study:
» Technology companies accounted for 33% of respondents » Marketing agencies and other business consulting firms were the next largest segment at 16% » Athletes mainly worked for mid-sized companies, but small and enterprise sectors were well represented

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2012 Marketing Athlete Survey Report

About Optify
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