A new study shows that some B2B marketers are still slow to embrace the use of data-based metrics to assess their performance – although many of them are preparing to ramp up their analytics efforts.
The study, which was sponsored by marketing automation vendor Pardot, was conducted online last February. Among the B2B marketers surveyed, 37% say they don't currently track revenue generated by their campaigns, and 30% still are not tracking advanced metrics like marketing-sourced opportunities. The study also found that one in five B2B marketers today don't measure marketing-sourced leads at all.
On the other hand, the study found that nearly 85% of marketers require that leads meet a given set of criteria, such as job title or industry, before they can be passed to sales. More than half of these marketers went even further, using complex qualifiers that combine demographic factors and lead activity.
Less Guesswork, More Analytical Insights
According to Pardot COO and Co-Founder Adam Blitzer, the results show that most B2B marketers are moving steadily up the learning curve on data-based metrics, even if they aren't there just yet. "The fact that nearly four in 10 marketers are not tracking marketing-sourced revenue may seem surprising, but the good news is that a much higher percentage of them were tracking more basic metrics, like marketing generated leads," Blitzer told DemandGen Report. "Our survey confirmed that marketers are realizing their campaigns don't have to be based on guesswork, and that the focus on data-based metrics will only increase over the coming year."
In fact, according to the Pardot study, 80% of respondents said they expected to spend more time focusing on marketing metrics in 2012 than they have in recent years.
For B2B marketers this is a learning process that will require investments in data-driven marketing analytics tools – especially since 40% of the respondents said they currently lack the time or resources to create and analyze reports. According to Blitzer, however, marketers will also have to adopt new ways of thinking about how and why they measure their activities.
"The biggest challenge with adopting standards of marketing measurement like [marketing qualified leads] is really an organizational one," Blitzer stated. "It can sometimes be a challenge to shift companies from thinking about the total number of leads to understanding that it's really an issue of valuing quality over quantity," especially when a sales organization may push back against the realization that they'll be getting fewer leads.
Ultimately, said Blitzer, all of these changes boil down to one thing: efficiency. "In today's economy, small business budgets are tight, and it's crucial for marketers to show they do their part to contribute to growth," he said. "Reporting and analysis tools not only provide insight to marketers, they also confirm the importance of marketing campaigns for the organization."