SYDNEY: Australian B2B marketers are shifting the focus of their activities towards social media as millennial buyers make up a growing proportion of their target audience, but many have yet to see good results.

According to the B2B Marketing Outlook 2017 report from marketing agency Green Hat, millennials will account for three quarters of B2B decision makers using the web to perform product research in 2017.

That compares with just half three years ago, Marketing reported.

The study also showed that 72% of B2B marketers were active owners/publishers of social media channels for their employers, but found that few (14%) were achieving consistently good results and ROI from their activity on these platforms.

For most, it was either too early to tell (30%) or they were able to report some results but not any consistency or cost effectiveness (34%).

As one might expect, LinkedIn was the leading channel for Australia's B2B marketers, with 83% of organisations actively using it. But the use of Facebook is growing, with 66% now active on this platform – a proportion that is likely to increase further with the introduction of Facebook Workplace.

Lead generation (76%) and nurturing (75%) were the top objectives for the year ahead, followed by optimising customer experience (68%).

On the first two, the study found a disconnect between sales and marketing departments, as 23% of marketers complained they weren't informed of lead acceptance and follow up by sales departments.

And on the third, half admitted to finding the customer experience challenging in the past year. And among those regarding it as a priority for the year ahead, only half had developed buyer personas to help them.

Data sourced from Marketing; additional content by Warc staff