By Joe Pulizzi published April 22, 2014

Enterprise Content Marketing Research: Where Does Success Lie in 2014?

cover image-b2b enterprise content marketingOver the last several months, there has been a lot of discussion among marketers and industry thought leaders around the challenges involved with integrating content marketing across the enterprise. At Content Marketing World Sydney, CMI’s lead strategist, Robert Rose, even presented a new Content Creation Management (CCM) model that you’ll hear a lot about from us over the upcoming months.

The latest CMI research confirms that integration is indeed the most often cited challenge among business-to-business (B2B) enterprise marketers (i.e., at companies with 1,000+ employees). These and other findings appear in our new report, B2B Enterprise Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America, sponsored by Marketo. The study looks at how the content marketing habits of enterprise marketers have changed over the last year, and how the approaches used by marketers at these companies differ from those of other B2B marketers.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

Enterprise marketers’ effectiveness stays flat

Only 32 percent of enterprise marketers say they are effective at content marketing, compared with 42 percent of B2B marketers overall. This is the same effectiveness rating enterprise marketers gave themselves last year.

chart-rate effectiveness

A documented content strategy improves effectiveness

B2B enterprise marketers who have a documented content strategy are more effective than those who do not have a strategy (49 percent vs. 32 percent) and are more likely to be producing “significantly more” content than they did one year ago.

chart-content strategy comparison

Enterprise marketers are using more tactics and social media this year

Enterprise marketers are using more content marketing tactics (17 vs. 16) and social media this year than they did last year (6 vs. 4). In addition, they use more tactics than their B2B peers overall.

bar chart-tactic comparison

Lack of integration and producing engaging content are big challenges

Sixty percent of enterprise marketers say they are challenged with a lack of integration across marketing, making it their most often cited challenge. Furthermore, 15 percent said it was their biggest challenge. While enterprise marketers have made strides this year with producing enough content and a variety of content (when compared with last year), producing engaging content remains their biggest challenge, just slightly surpassing lack of integration (16 percent vs. 15 percent). 

bar chart-challenges

chart-biggest challenge-percentages

They’re outsourcing more content creation

Among marketers at companies of all sizes, enterprise marketers outsource the most content creation. This year, 73 percent are outsourcing content, compared with 65 percent last year.

bar chart-insourcing vs. outsourcing

Download the full report to learn more, including:

  • What social media platforms enterprise marketers consider most effective
  • What metrics they use to measure effectiveness
  • What percentage of their total marketing budget is allocated to content marketing
  • How much content they are producing compared to one year ago

Watch for CMI to announce more original research on enterprise business throughout this year, and let us know how you think these numbers match up to your experiences in the comments below.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • NenadSenic

    “B2B enterprise marketers who have a documented content strategy are more effective than those who do not have a strategy (49 percent vs. 32 percent)” Joe, what are your thoughts on these numbers. I see the difference, but is it significant enough? And how do they rate effectiveness?

    • Joe Pulizzi

      50% more effective? Yes, I would say that’s enough of a difference. I think the bigger issue is that those with a strategy still aren’t effective enough. So challenging in a larger company to get product groups on the same page.

      As for rating effectiveness, it’s totally subjective…not sure of a better way to do it since enterprise objectives are so different.

      • NenadSenic

        Oops! Right. Was too fast with numbers.

        You sound angry though. 🙂 I was just asking, not complaining. I am just wondering what is effective for them, do they look at it differently than campaign effectiveness, etc.

        • Joe Pulizzi

          You crack me up. I’m never angry. I’ll make sure to put a 🙂 after my comments.

  • Doug Kessler

    Really interesting study. Feels like there are some early indications of a maturation and flattening out of the market.

    I wonder if big companies will look at how much they’re spending and the difficulty of measuring ROI and start to reconsider content marketing – especially once they’ve got a fairly full content library. The effectiveness numbers are a bit worrying.

    Of course, they’re in a new world now. And stopping doing content may not be an option any more…

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Doug…I guess I feel like there is a maturation of the “5 tips to” and how to stuff…but real, consistent storytelling that makes an impact is still completely lacking for the most part. Almost no integration or leadership on this in most organizations, although it’s on the way. Feels to me like we are just getting started (after 100 years in).

      • Doug Kessler

        I hope you’re right. In fact I know you’re right but worry that many companies will abandon ship before it really sets sail.

        I’m paranoid.

    • Poustman

      I wonder, Doug, if a clue isn’t there in your last sentence. If an entity is “doing content” it seems much less likely that anything they publish will have the genuine connection to consumers that is required to grip and spread. A few outliers will have the chops to manufacture resonance, but most who try will end up with the kind of crap you have warned us to expect.

      • Doug Kessler

        Yeah, maybe you’re right!

  • BigcomDevloper

    Great blog, According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 Enterprise Content Marketing Research report B2B marketers allocated 24 percent of their total budgets to content marketing last year.

  • Rob TheGenie Toth

    I’m not surprised that 72% of enterprises are outsourcing content creation. Sure they can (and many do) maintain their own departments for this, but unless they make the shift to build their own media studio (or similar), their moderately-trained staff would pump out “content that doesn’t engage”. Which seems to be, understandably, a top worry.

    Of course many, like Red Bull etc went all in and have a real media-company effort.

    Without something like that, the content coming out from the regular marketing department will be lack-luster at best.

    Enterprises should be focused on building systems for the effective marketing of each content asset (as they’d know this better than an outsourced agency assuming their marketing department is dialed in) and leave the high-caliber content creation to qualified studios and agencies.

    While my statement is obviously biased, it does seem like the best way to dive into the content-marketing game without trying to build expert teams for every facet internally.

  • Majestic MRSS Complaints

    Content marketing has already changed much of how we approach inbound marketing, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Here are a few big changes I think we’ll see in content marketing over the next five years