What’s the difference between highly effective marketers and those who are struggling to increase their impact?

Since we came into a treasure trove of data — The State of Pipeline Marketing Report 2016— we’re able to dig into this question. We segmented the survey data to only show respondents who reported marketing ROI greater than 2x, which was about one-third of the respondents. To see how they differ, we then compared them to the overall average.

Here is what we found:


Marketing Channels

Out of the 15 marketing channels included in the survey, high performing marketers are more likely to use 11 of them. The four channels that high performing marketers are less likely to use are PR (-5.1 percentage points), video advertising (-5.1 pp), outbound calling (-2.9 pp), and conferences / trade shows (-0.5 pp).


On the other hand, the three channels that had the greatest positive difference between marketers with ROI greater than 2x and the average are SEO (+10.7 pp), word-of-mouth / referrals (+6.8 pp), and content marketing (+6.1 pp).

When it comes to top performing marketing channels, the same three channels stand out. High performing marketers are more likely to say that word-of-mouth / referrals, SEO, and content marketing have the greatest impact on revenue.


Marketing Priorities


We also found that while high performing marketers and the average marketer had largely the same top marketing priorities — to generate more leads/demand (48.3% vs. 45.7%) and then convert those leads to customers (35.0% vs. 34.1%) — they did differ in how they prioritize marketing metrics.

In other words, while the overall goal is similar, the metrics that they are accountable to — how they achieve those goals — offer a little more insight. High performers are more likely to say that down-funnel marketing metrics (opps, pipeline, customers, revenue, and ROI) are their primary metric by about 10 percentage points.


Marketing Measurement

High performing marketers rated their ability to measure their marketing performance much higher than the overall average. Marketers with ROI over 2x are nearly twice as likely to rate their ability to measure marketing performance a 4 or 5 out of 5, compared to the overall average (55% vs. 28%).


Let’s dig into why they may be able to better measure marketing performance.

The survey data also shows that high performers are about 25% more likely to use multi-touch attribution than the average (a 6.2 pp difference). They’re also 20% less likely to not have an attribution solution at all (a -7.4 pp difference).


Furthermore, the survey also gives us data on why they are using their attribution model. High performers are using their current attribution model because 1) it accurately gives revenue credit to marketing activities, and 2) it is easy to implement and set up. They’re about 15% more likely to give these reasons compared to the average (a 4.4 and 6.0 pp difference, respectively). They’re also 30% less likely to use their current attribution model because it was the default option (a -7.6 pp difference).


All of this results in greater confidence in the accuracy of their marketing data. On average, high performing marketers rated their confidence in the accuracy of their marketing data 0.6 points higher than the overall average (3.52 out of 5, compared to 2.92 out of 5).


Sales and Marketing Alignment

Sales and marketing alignment is a fundamental element of pipeline marketing. When there is alignment, marketing is no longer throwing leads over the wall for the sales team to try to close. Instead, they are working together to target the right prospects and nurture them with a unified and coordinated message.

Looking at the data, we see that there is a correlation between high marketing performance and alignment. High performing marketers, on average, rated their alignment a 3.75 out of 5, which was 0.59 points higher than the overall average (3.16). High performers were also more than twice as likely to rate their alignment a 5 out of 5.



So what do you do if you want to give yourself the greatest chance of being a high performing marketer?

According to the data, there are several things that you can do.

  • Use as many marketing channels as you have the resources for
    • But specifically focus on SEO, word-of-mouth referrals, and content marketing
  • When it comes to marketing metrics, you need to be prioritizing down-funnel metrics, like pipeline and revenue
  • Measure your marketing efforts with multi-touch marketing attribution
  • Tighten your alignment with sales — both in team culture and process

The State of Pipeline Marketing Report 2016 is filled with dozens of stats and insights about how B2B marketers drive growth. We will continue to publish deep dives on the data, so subscribe to the Bizible blog, and be sure to download the report below.