B2B Tech Marketers Focus on Revenue Influence, But Few Measure It

July 11, 2018

Influencing revenue is a top priority for B2B tech marketers, says Spiceworks on the basis of a survey of 185 B2B marketers in technology companies across North America and Europe. Fully 57% said that influencing revenue through new account acquisition is a priority, making that the most common priority cited by respondents.

Beyond influencing revenue through new account acquisition, B2B tech marketers are also focusing on increasing brand awareness (52%) and influencing revenue by cross-selling/up-selling existing accounts (39%).

While more respondents are prioritizing revenue influence through customer acquisition than up-selling existing customers, research indicates that CMOs believe that optimizing up-sell and cross-sell strategies (44%) is a significant growth factor. Currently only about 1 in 8 marketers (13%) believe that they’re realizing the full revenue potential of their existing customers, according to a study from the CMO Council and Sendwithus.

Fewer Than Half Measure Revenue Influence

Despite saying that they prioritize revenue influence, B2B tech marketers surveyed are less apt to measure that influence than to use other metrics. In fact, more than one-quarter (27%) don’t even know what percentage of revenue they’re tasked with influencing. Among those who have an idea, about one-third said they’re tasked with influencing more than 30% of revenue. (For comparison’s sake, a recent study of B2B marketers found that of those tracking marketing’s contribution to revenue, half said it’s greater than 25%.)

Revenue and conversion metrics are clearly not tracked to the same degree as traffic and engagement/lead metrics, per the Spiceworks report.

For example, the top traffic metrics – total site visits (81%), traffic by sources/channels (77%) and average time on site (64%) – are each measured by more than 6 in 10 B2B tech marketers. The same is true for engagement and lead metrics, the leading ones of which (such as click-through rates and marketing qualified leads) are measured by more than 6 in 10 respondents.

As far as revenue metrics go, though, 55% measure campaign ROI, and fewer than half measure influenced revenue (45%). Likewise, only slim majorities are measuring the top conversion metrics, which include total deals closed/won (57%) and cost per acquisition (54%).

No wonder new research indicates that just 7% of B2B marketers in the US rate their company’s current ability to measure and analyze marketing performance and impact as “excellent.”

B2B Tech Marketers Know Business Leaders Value Revenue and Conversion Metrics

To be fair, the fact that B2B tech marketers are more likely to be measuring traffic than revenue metrics is probably a reflection of the greater ease of the former rather than some kind of prioritization.

Indeed, few respondents said that traffic metrics (43%) are very or extremely important to their marketing department, and even fewer (34%) think that these metrics carry that level of importance with business leaders.

There’s a similar gap with engagement/click metrics, which respondents believe matter more to the marketing department (55% saying very or extremely important) than to senior leadership (36% perceiving that level of importance).

Marketers acknowledge that traffic and conversion metrics are less important to the marketing team than lead metrics (72%), revenue metrics (67%) and conversion metrics (66%).

But while they feel that lead metrics are most important overall to the marketing department, respondents are most apt to believe that conversion metrics (79%) and revenue metrics (77%) are prioritized by business leadership.

One problem identified by Spiceworks is misalignment of marketing objectives with organizational goals. CMOs have identified organizational alignment as an area that would provide them with tremendous help in becoming more effective, but some complain that CEOs don’t understand the connection between marketing and revenue generation.

Yet as the Spiceworks analysts note, “marketers need to speak the language of their business leaders and connect their metrics to what their executives are focused on, and in most cases, that’s revenue.”

About the Data: The results are based on a survey conducted by Spiceworks in May 2018 that included 185 B2B marketers in tech companies in North America and Europe. Respondents come from a variety of company sizes and represent a variety of titles including CMOS, brand marketers, content marketers, product marketers and demand marketers.


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