B2B Demand Gen Budgets to Climb This Year; Focus Remains on Lead Quality

February 7, 2018

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Business of Marketing | Customer-Centric | Industries | Lead Generation & Management | Marketing Budgets

B2B marketers are working under strong revenue growth expectations, but should have greater budgets at their disposal this year than last, per results from a new Demand Gen Report study [pdf]. In fact, 7 in 10 B2B marketers surveyed expect their demand generation budgets to increase this year. That includes about one-third who predict an increase of more than 20%.

Those budgets will be put to use to satisfy rising expectations for marketing’s contribution to revenue. This year more than one-quarter (28%) of respondents report having specific revenue-based quotas, up 5% points year-over-year.

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Moreover, among those tracking marketing’s contribution to revenue, half said it’s greater than 25%. Given that virtually all respondents say that their organizations are projecting revenue growth this year (almost two-thirds of more than 20%), that means that marketers will be tasked with contributing significantly to larger revenue expectations.

Against that backdrop, it makes sense that marketers aren’t focused simply on top-of-the-funnel metrics. While slightly more than 6 in 10 say that generating increased lead volume is a priority for them this year, that sits behind the greater priorities of focusing on lead quality over lead quantity (73%) and of improving conversion rates/campaign results (72%).

A study released late last year likewise found that B2B marketers were shifting focus from generating leads to converting them.

Few marketers are being measured primarily on their lead volume, with conversion and revenue metrics instead prioritized. Asked which of 6 primary metrics they are being measured on, respondents pointed largely to MQLs/SALs (33%) and pipeline influenced (30%). Fewer than half as many (14%) say that total leads/inquiries are their primary success metric.

See here for research about how enterprise B2B marketers are determining if their prospects qualify as MQLs or SQLs.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey conducted in December 2017 among 160 marketing executives, the vast majority of whom are from North America (87%). Roughly two-thirds come from companies with more than $10 million in revenues. The software/tech industry was the most heavily represented.

The report was sponsored by Content4Demand, Integrate, and Selling Simplified.

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