Have business to business (B2B) marketers been slow to adopt digital marketing technology? Can programmatic advertising be used effectively by B2B marketers to reach potential customers early in the buy cycle? If B2B marketers have been slow to adopt digital marketing technology, what channels are they currently spending on?

To get the answers to these questions and more, AdRoll commissioned Forrester Research to conduct a global survey of B2B marketers in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Australia.

Here are some of the key findings:

Early Adopters of Retargeting and Programmatic See Success

Forrester Consulting found that most B2B marketers have yet to adopt technologies like programmatic ad buying and retargeting. However, those who do are more likely to successfully engage early-stage prospects before they are ready to identify themselves.

Only 17% of B2B Marketers Self-Identified as Marketing Technology Experts

Over 80% of B2B marketers consider marketing technology comprehension and use as a core requirement of their job. Despite growing adoption of digital channels and enthusiasm for technologies that support their use, most of those surveyed are novices at leveraging them to effectively engage prospects.

Smart B2B Marketing Technologists Are Efficient and Effective

Marketers who utilize appropriate technologies that navigate multiple touch points, anonymous exploration, and nonlinear purchase journeys are able to generate more qualified demand.

Programmatic Ad Buying Helps B2B Marketers Increase Lead Generation

Mature automation strategists are more than twice as likely to report a high degree of benefit when using retargeting. They are 29% more likely to see benefits in using behavioral targeting and 24% more likely to benefit from programmatic ad buying than their less mature counterparts.

Technical Knowledge is Increasingly Important in B2B Marketing

B2B marketers see technology as an enabler of positive results. Almost three-quarters (72%) of the B2B marketers we surveyed said their role has become more technical, and 78% expect that trend to continue.

The Benefits of Programmatic Ad Buying Are More than Expected

Marketers who plan to implement programmatic advertising underestimate the level of benefit they’ll reap in developing leads. On average, those marketers who use programmatic ad buying are 65% more likely to rate it as having a “major benefit” on one of the six early-stage metrics we explored than their soon-to-adopt counterparts anticipate.

B2B Marketers Still Have Room to Grow

Despite appreciation for technology’s role in new engagement dynamics, only 17% of the B2B marketers we surveyed ranked their organization’s marketing technology maturity in the top-tier “expert” category. The remaining organizations we surveyed fall short in their ability to engage with online prospects and customers in more relevant, personalized ways.

Levels of Marketing Expertise Vary Widely Internationally

Germany holds claim to the only significantly higher-than-average levels of regional maturity, with 43% of respondents from that country claiming top-tier status. In contrast, only two of the thirty- one marketers we surveyed in Australia have expert levels of marketing technology maturity.


For more insights into how B2B marketers are using technologies and the results they see, download the full Forrester research report for free.