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Survey Shows B2B Sales Cycle Lengthening, Increasing Challenges For Online Marketers

SAN FRANCISCO, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Crain's BtoB Magazine today shared results of a comprehensive survey of business-to-business (B2B) marketers across the U.S. developed in conjunction with business audience marketing company Bizo. The data shows that the sales cycle has lengthened for many B2B companies, increasing pressure on the marketing organization to boost brand awareness to help deliver leads and effectively nurture them through a prolonged buying process.  At the same time, marketers are struggling to optimize their online marketing mix, with many unable to segment and target the right decision-makers or measure program success across the entire marketing funnel.

Crain's BtoB Magazine and Bizo will host a free webinar on April 25, 2013 at 2pm ET to discuss in-depth findings from the survey. To register for the webinar, please visit http://bizo.me/lTq6O.

"These latest survey results reaffirm that most B2B marketers still need a better way to identify and convert the strongest influencers in the buying cycle," says John DiStefano, research director at Crain's BtoB Magazine. "Brand differentiation is the key to success, but this will only be attained when marketers have the ability to reach the right buyers and measure every marketing touch point appropriately."

Key conclusions from the survey include:

1. The marketing mix is still not meeting the needs of the sales pipeline.

The survey shows a continued gap between the needs of sales organizations and the ability of online marketing to deliver and nurture leads.  Less than half of respondents (40 percent) say that their online marketing mix is meeting the needs of the sales pipeline; this measurement has been consistent for two consecutive years.  In fact, 60 percent say that their greatest marketing challenge is generating more leads, while 55 percent say that reaching more of their target audience is their biggest challenge.  Only 36 percent feel that their current marketing programs very effectively address stakeholders in the buying decision.

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