CMOs are feeling pressure to prove their value to others in the C-suite, and that desire to show marketing’s impact on pipeline and revenue is a leading reason why B2B marketers are increasing their focus on – or need for – deeper metrics, according to a study from Demand Gen Report, in association with Align BI.
Among the 176 B2B marketing executives surveyed, 62% said that wanting to show marketing’s impact was a driving force behind paying more attention to deeper metrics. An allied motivation, cited by 54%, is a push to show ROI from all marketing investments.
Further down the list, 3 in 10 cited a need to track specific investments by channel. That’s an important one, as one of the biggest challenges B2B marketers are facing in measuring and demonstrating their impact, per the report, is an inability to measure impact across channels and campaigns.
The leading problem they’re having, though, is an inability to measure and track activity between specific buyer stages. On a somewhat more encouraging note, the main problem experienced in the past two editions of the report – an inability to connect and analyze data across applications and platforms – has fallen to third this year, cited by fewer respondents than in either of those years.
Overall, the study’s results indicate that B2B marketers feel they could improve in their measurement abilities. Just 1 in 10 rated their current ability to measure and analyze performance and impact as excellent, down from 15% last year. In fact, slightly more (11%) respondents rated their ability as poor/inadequate (11%) than as excellent, with the remainder saying it either needs improvement (47%) or is average (30%).
Attribution Analysis on the Uptick
Nevertheless, there are some positive signs. This year almost half (48%) reported engaging in attribution analysis in their marketing measurement, up from 41% last year. This will be helpful to them in determining the performance of various channels, which remains a key issue.
The most common form of attribution used is multi-touch attribution (“how every marketing touch accelerates prospects through the funnel”), by 58%. However, as the analysts point out, few (14%) are conducting full account analyses for attribution.
Likewise, there may be too intense of a focus on top-of-the-funnel engagement metrics. Close to 3 in 10 admitted they do not measure marketing in the middle of the funnel, and even more (41%) said they don’t measure campaigns at the bottom of the funnel. That of course makes the stated desire to measure marketing’s impact on revenue all the more difficult.
The Metrics B2B Marketers Would Like to Use
As such, many marketers are looking to move to more advanced insights and metrics. A majority of those surveyed would like to measure the cost of customer acquisition (68%) in the next 12-18 months, and – not surprisingly – a healthy majority (58%) would also like to measure ROI by channel.
Other metrics that are cited for desired use include deeper ABM metrics (55%), closed-won deal analysis (52%), cross-channel engagement (45%), customer lifetime value (39%) and cross-channel attribution (39%).
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 176 B2B marketing executives from a variety of industries, 80% of whom are based in the US.