On August 16, the “State of Pipeline Marketing 2017” report was released. The report, produced by Bizbie, Heinz Marketing, LinkedIn, Radius and Uberflip, covers trends in B2B marketing, including pipeline marketing, content marketing, account-based marketing, and sales and marketing alignment, among other topics. For those who may not be familiar with the term, “pipeline marketing” is an approach that measures success by revenue driven and influenced by marketing, instead of leads produced by marketing. Put another way, it’s lead generation that focuses on connecting marketing and sales data to enable decision making and goals based on revenue.
Who was surveyed? The report includes responses from 350 marketers, of which more than 90% respondents are B2B marketers. The majority of respondents are in the Internet, software and technology industries, and nearly 60% are directors, VPs, or C-level executives.
Some of the key findings include:
- Content marketing continues to grow with 91% of respondents saying they either planned to increase spending on content marketing (71.3%) or maintain their current level of spending (19.7%) in the next year.
- Content marketing was named as having the second most influence on revenue (behind word-of-mouth referrals), and is the third most frequently used marketing channel (behind email marketing and social media).
- When it comes to account-based marketing (ABM), 62.2% of respondents said one-quarter or more of their marketing included ABM. Of those using the technique, nearly 30% rate ABM as very effective or extremely effective.
- The survey also indicated that sales and marketing are more likely to be aligned than not. On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being “tightly aligned” and 1 being “misaligned,” 46.4% of marketers gave their sales-marketing alignment either a 4 or 5, while just 21% rated their alignment as a 1 or a 2.
Is your business’ marketing practices in line with these trends? If not, you may want to consider keeping up with your competitors by investing more in content marketing in the coming year. To learn more, check out “Why Manufacturers Must Embrace Content Marketing.”
To make the most of these trends, it’s important for sales and marketing teams to be following the same game. Looking for ways to better align sales and marketing? Try some of the tips in “Synchronized Sales and Marketing: The New Dream Team.”