Top B2B news stories from this week

Our weekly B2B news roundup features a new Instagram feature, the growth of the mergers and acquisitions sector and marketers struggling to approach tech investment strategically.

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5. Instagram introduces ‘featured’ video channel

Instagram has introduced a new feature that places videos in a personalised channel.

Part of Instagram's 'Explore' feature and entitled ‘videos you might like’, it collects videos from across Instagram’s community, and selects clips for users based on their likes and interests.

This comes a month after Instagram announced it would be introducing a Facebook-style feed based on user algorithims.

It demonstrates the burgeoning power of video, and represents Instagram’s evolution from an image-sharing tool to a multimedia app.

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4. Two-thirds of senior marketers under pressure to demonstrate their contribution

New research produced by B2B Marketing and Marketo has found two-thirds of senior marketers say the pressure on them from the rest of the senior management team to produce metrics that demonstrate marketing’s contribution has increased. Thirty per cent say this increase has been significant.

The report Are marketers using the metrics that matter? also found this is not an issue that’s going to go away: 75 per cent agree marketers are likely to face more pressure to produce metrics that prove the department’s contribution to overall business growth over the next five years.

This kind of pressure should not necessarily be seen as a negative. Currently, senior management only believes the marketing department is a growth driver in 49 per cent of organisations.

For this figure to be higher, more marketers will have to commit to determining and using metrics that prove their strategic business importance.

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3. Mergers and acquisitions market set for growth surge

The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market will experience a growth surge this year, according to a study from KPMG and Fortune Knowledge Group.

The research found over a third of US executives said they will initiate four to six M&A deals this year.

A conclusive 91 per cent of senior executives said they will set in motion one or more deals in 2016, compared to 81 per cent last year.

Entering into new lines of business and expanding customer base and geographic reach were the most commonly cited reasons for initiating acquisitions.

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2. Only a third of companies approach tech investment strategically

Only a third of B2B companies approach tech investment in a strategic manner, according to research by B2B Marketing and Squiz.

The report, Who owns the Customer Journey?, asked marketers how they approach technological investment, with only 35 per cent of respondents stating investments are strategic and implemented in advance.

Over half (52 per cent) said investments are made as and when need arises, while the remaining 13 per cent admitted investments are made as infrequently as possible.

Marketing automation (MA) will experience the most investment over the 12 months, with 47 per cent of respondents planning to review/purchase MA.

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1. Senior marketers lack the metrics needed to prove success

Only 43 per cent of senior marketers feel they have access to the right metrics to evaluate the success of marketing efforts, a new report by B2B Marketing and Marketo has revealed.

The report, Are marketers using the metrics that matter?, uncovers the even more concerning statistic that only 34 per cent feel they have the right metrics to prove marketing success to the board.

The factors limiting the ability to gather and interpret data demonstrating the performance of marketing are familiar barriers: ‘poor tech integration’ (39 per cent), ‘lack of time’ (34 per cent), and ‘lack of data analysis skills’ (29 per cent) were the top three answers, with a mere 18 per cent of senior marketers stating they had nothing limiting their ability to measure.