Just 1 in 8 (13% of) marketers at B2B organizations would rate their company’s current ability to measure and analyze marketing performance as excellent, and some 40% think that it needs improvement. So finds a recent study [download page] from Demand Gen Report, outlining the challenges and priorities associated with measuring marketing’s impact.
Here are a few highlights from the research.
Data and Resources Present Challenges
With such a large share of marketers showing a lack of confidence in their measurement, it’s worth looking at the challenges that are potentially holding them back. The most commonly cited challenge is an inability to connect and analyze data across applications and platforms, experienced by nearly half (47%) of respondents. Close behind is a lack of resources (42%), followed by the inability to measure and track activity between specific buyer stages (37%).
For a similar proportion (36%) of respondents, the struggle is not simply an inability to connect data, but that their data is a mess. This issue is not new, as a Demand Gen Report survey from 2018 found the issue of data quality within marketing to be almost as serious then.
This year, a similar proportion (35%) report being challenged by an inability to measure impact across campaigns and channels, while 3 in 10 (29%) struggle with a lack of reporting. For some respondents, not being sure what to measure or lacking clear KPIs is a big challenge (19%), and 5% simply don’t know where to begin.
Increased Focus on Account Engagement
When it comes to preferred metrics for measuring impact, there is some alignment between sales and marketing focus, albeit with some disparities. Naturally, marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) are the primary focus for campaign measurement among marketers (59%) while this ranked at #4 for sales (37%). That said, the report highlights an increased desire among marketers to focus on account engagement – deals closed/won was cited as a preferred metric by a majority (55%) of marketers, and was also the top metric used by sales (53%).
Activity-based metrics remain important to marketers’ campaign measurement, with email (83%) and web traffic (83%) emerging as the top two areas currently being tracked and analyzed.
Marketers are certainly keen on improving their importance in these areas. The survey, which was carried out between April and June this year (and thus in response to an increased significance of digital-only strategies), highlights marketers showing a greater interest in tracking engagement to gain a deeper insight into buyer activity. As such, respondents reported tracking engagement metrics including form completion (54%), social engagement/shares (48%) and content engagement (40%). In the wake of the pandemic, other research shows that social media engagement appears to be moving up the agenda, compared to a few years back when fewer marketers prioritized such data points.
Majority Not Using Attribution Analysis
Although manual reporting remains a common method for marketers, cited by 53% of respondents, a majority are relying on reports from web analytics (59%) and CRM (58%). Other common areas used for reporting include marketing automation (46%) and email platforms (37%).
Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) respondents are not carrying out attribution analysis in their marketing measurement. But, among the remaining 41% that are, multi-touch attribution is the most commonly tracked type by some margin (67%). Roughly 4 in 10 (39%) are using single touch-last touch, with slightly fewer using single touch or first touch (34%).
Notably, more than one-third (36%) of marketers are not tracking metrics related to the middle of the funnel. Those that do predominantly focus on lead conversion from MQL to SQL to opportunities and closed/won (46%). Of the 82% measuring at the bottom of the funnel, 7 in 10 are tracking opportunities converted to closed/won.
The full report can be accessed here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey conducted April-June 2020 among 192 B2B marketing executives, 83% of whom are based in the US.