I love this time of year. So many great research reports coming out of last year that provide us with a chance to reflect on our B2B marketing strategies and compare it to our peers.

One new set of insights published by DemandGen Report and Marketo is the 2015 Demand Gen Report Benchmark Study. (Registration required – no they didn’t ask me for a promo, but I respect a good lead capture!)

Overall, more than one third (38%) of B2B marketers expect their demand generation budgets to grow by 20% or more in 2015. In addition, 36% report that their budgets will increase 1% to 10% in the coming year.

But with greater budgets come greater responsibilities. (I think that was the takeaway of Spiderman.) Don’t let these 5 common B2B marketing mistakes trip you up this year.

  1. Putting off Buyer Personas

Interestingly, the study found that 31% of respondents don’t have buyer personas in place today – but plan to build them in coming year to help boost the effectiveness of their demand gen efforts. As noted in a previous post, B2B buyers have never been so difficult to understand. But it has never been so important to try and understand them.

  1. Not Actually Using Buyer Personas

One of the top three priorities for marketers in 2015 is improving campaign performance. However, only 27% of respondents said personas were aligned to their messaging and 30% noted that there will need to be some fine-tuning of their efforts.

Often, mistargeted or irrelevant content and messaging contributes to campaign failure. Detailed buyer personas offer a fantastic opportunity for marketers to ensure content is relevant for its intended audience, on the channels they prefer.

  1. Forgetting to Optimize Content for a Mobile Reader

With 42% of B2B buyers using mobile specifically to do research for business purchases, it’s alarming that more than two thirds (67%) of respondents in this study reported their content — including emails and E-books – to not be optimized for mobile devices. As said in the full report:

“While more B2B buyers are turning to their tablets and smartphones to engage with and research vendors, marketers have not made mobile optimization a priority.”


  1. Being Top-Heavy

Top-of-the-funnel heavy, that is. You may think webinars, events, and white papers are great top-of-funnel lead generation tactics. You’re right. When asked to choose the most successful engagement tactics in 2014, webinars (73%); events (64%); and white papers (59%) were in the top three when it came to top-of-the-funnel lead generation.

But don’t neglect the mid-and-late-stage funnel needs of your leads. Once they’re passed to sales, our job isn’t done. Survey respondents indicated that these tactics were also the three most-used tactics in mid-and late-stage funnel efforts.

  1. Neglecting your Database

You know that big .CSV file in the sky full of your customers and prospects? The one you sometimes you think about, maybe when your email service provider pings you for high bounce rates? It makes a big difference in the performance of your campaigns.

When asked about their current database performance and capabilities, only 7% of respondents reported their database was current and provides complete coverage in key segments. Ouch. The good news is that 37% are reviewing their database to ensure they have full and complete contacts.

Are you making any of these mistakes? If so, 2015 could be your chance to turn things around.