Do B2B Demand Gen Priorities Differ This Year?

March 1, 2023

B2B marketers continue to have high revenue growth expectations. According to the latest Demand Generation Benchmark Survey [download page] from Demand Gen Report and ON24, about three-quarters project revenue growth this year, including almost half who predict increases of more than 10%.

These expectations come amid a rather tepid budget outlook, at least relative to last year: 42% indicate that their budget will increase (down from 69% last year), while 32% note a coming decrease, up from just 7% last year.

Still, about half will be increasing their investments specifically in marketing operations, with revenue-based quotas the most likely to be set, ahead of lead-based or account-based quotas. Moreover, reflecting the emphasis on revenue growth, the top metric that marketers are measured on is revenue generated, ahead of opportunities generated, marketing-sourced revenue, and pipeline influenced. As for revenue growth, 59% said that it is attributable to marketing-sourced leads.

To meet their goals, B2B marketers are interested in improving the depth and accuracy of their databases, generating the right contacts/stakeholders within target accounts, and improving their ability to measure and analyze marketing impact, among other goals.

Notably, while some demand gen priorities have shifted somewhat, the main one continues to be the same. As the report’s author notes, successful action around various tools and tactics “requires a hyper-coordinated team effort across multiple departments.” As such, the leading demand gen priority for respondents this year is promoting better sales and marketing alignment around go-to-market initiatives, as cited by 45% of respondents. This was also the top priority for respondents to last year’s survey.

Beyond alignment, 41% of respondents said that a priority is to better measure the ROI of their demand gen initiatives, with this rising from the 4th-ranked priority last year. Increasing conversion rates on MQLs to opportunities remains a top priority, while shifting from lead volume and MQL generation to generating more high-quality leads rises into the top 5 this year, which presumably will help with increasing conversion rates.

By contrast, there seems to be a little less emphasis on nurturing leads to avoid missing opportunities. This dropped to the 5th-ranked priority, after being the second-leading one last year.

Other Highlights:

  • Account-based marketing (46%) and content marketing (43%) are the areas that are most likely to see increased budget prioritization this year.
  • Webinars and lead nurture campaigns are the engagement tactics considered to perform best at the top of the funnel, while case studies rise to the top for middle- and late-stage engagement, ahead of webinars and lead nurture campaigns. (More on the most effective tactics by funnel stage can be found here.)
  • Intent data is being put to use in go-to-market strategies, and in this latest survey, intent/signal data is a top tool/tactic that B2B marketers plan to test and/or deploy this year.
  • Still, fewer than 1 in 5 (18% share) have an intent data strategy being executed and measured, while others are using intent data but not as part of a fully designed strategy (25% share) or are currently developing an intent data strategy (27% share). Just 11% have no plans to use intent data this year.

For more, download the report here.

About the Data: The results are based on a January survey of 157 B2B practitioners, most of whom are based in the US.


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