Measuring marketing’s impact on pipeline and revenue are key challenges for B2B marketers, study suggests

Challenges for B2B Marketers

Measurement patterns in a marketing campaign have emerged as a top priority for B2B marketers, and one of the biggest challenges, according to a recent study is the difficulty measuring performance and impact.

The Demand Gen study revealed that most B2B marketers realize shortfalls in their current ability to measure and analyze performance and impact, with 40% agreeing it needs improvement, 36% offering an average score and 9% saying it is poor or inadequate. Marketers are steadfast, however, in wanting to review deeper metrics including the push to show impact on pipeline and revenue (72%), the push to show ROI from all investments (68%) and the need to track specific investments by channel (32%) to name some of the concerns cited in the report.

Although the study found that most marketers are making good use of the tools available through their core CRM, the survey also found that they encounter limitations with these tools for gaining deeper insight, Additionally, although 70% use reports from a CRM system and 68% use web analytics, another 51% are still generating reports manually from Excel-based reporting and 32% are relying on reports from their email platform.

While activity-based metrics top the list of what data marketers are currently analyzing, 95% of those surveyed say they often rely mainly on web traffic, 94% measure email click-through rates and open rates, 86% measure contact acquisition/form completions and 78% use paid social channels and 77% use organic search, while 60% track social engagement/shares.

When asked what kind of metrics B2B marketers would like to use within the next year, 66% said ROI by channel, 51% cited customer acquisition costs, 50% listed selected cross-channel engagement, and 49% said they would like to report on customer lifetime value.

Given the huge emphasis today on account-based strategies, the survey also showed a growing interest and emphasis in deeper reporting around engagement. While only 48% of respondents said they currently measure account engagement, 40% plan to within the next year. Sixty per cent measure social engagement and only 38% measure direct mail response.

Marketers also expressed a desire to consolidate the data they are currently collecting from various systems and channels, with one respondent adding: “We are trying to get this in one view from one reporting team,” and another adding “we are reporting from too many places, leading to confusion of results and ownership.”

Clearly, the survey shows that much of current reporting and tracking is limited to specific channels and campaigns, while marketers are clearly looking to graduate to more sophisticated metrics.

One of the biggest challenges is the inability to measure impact across channels/campaigns (54%) and the inability to measure and track between specific buyer stages (51%).

Marketing measurement is also limited by lack of resources - with forty-three percent of respondents saying they do not have enough resources to effectively measure marketing performance, while 42% say their messy database is also a challenge.

Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

All by Laurie