How Pipeline Marketing is Changing The B2B Marketing Role [Interview]

marketing, sales, sales enablementThe “2015 State of Pipeline Marketing” report from Bizible shed light on exactly how B2B marketers are aligning with sales to drive revenue. We had an opportunity to discuss the findings of the piece with Dave Rigotti, the director of marketing at Bizible.

WHAT WAS THE KEY PURPOSE OF YOUR RESEARCH?

Dave Rigotti: “The full report is about the state of content marketing. It’s about focusing less on lead generation and more on the outcome of the marketing, which is business and revenue. The more revenue-focused you are as a marketer, the more aligned you are with sales. It makes a lot of sense when you say it out loud, but it’s surprising that there are still people who feel like they aren’t aligned at all with sales.”

JUST 30 PERCENT OF MARKETERS ARE FAMILIAR WITH PIPELINE MARKETING. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS THE CASE?

DR: “It’s a newer term and concept for many B2B marketers. I think the fact that 30 percent of marketers are familiar with it is a great start. The 30 percent will be much higher next year.”

HOW ARE MARKETERS CHANGING THEIR VIEW OF CRM?

DR: “I think most people feel like CRM is a sales tool. However, B2B marketers are realizing that it holds all of the deals, revenue and customers that they need to make the best marketing decisions. Marketers are waking up to the data in CRM.”

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR MARKETERS, INCLUDING THOSE WHO ARE ALIGNED WITH SALES?

DR: “I think the biggest challenge is marketing attribution. You can’t be a revenue-focused B2B marketer if you don’t have attribution. Without attribution, you are unable to understand the outcomes of your marketing. One of the questions we asked in the survey was ‘What attribution models are you using?’ Surprisingly, most people (24 percent) said they aren’t using any attribution models instead of citing the models we gave them. The fact that 24 percent of marketers don’t have an attribution model is kind of scary. I was most shocked by this statistic in the report. The three most popular attribution models that companies were using were single-touch attribution models. I think it’s great for B2C companies with relatively short sales and marketing processes, but it’s not great for B2B companies with sales cycles that span many months and involve several decision makers. When you’re using a single-touch attribution model, you’re only looking at one of those people involved in the deal. You’re taking a pretty narrow sliver of understanding and tracking your marketing revenue.”

JUST 7.4 PERCENT OF MARKETERS ARE FOCUSED ON DETERMINING ROI. DO YOU SEE THIS CHANGING?

DR: “One of the biggest things that B2B marketers need to do is believe in their attribution models. You have a significant chunk of B2B marketers who don’t think they’re using the right attribution model or are only using one because it’s simple. When you’re optimizing for “simple” and not what’s right, you’re going to get mixed results and probably not make the best decisions. B2B marketers really need to look at how they’re measuring their efforts and attributing it to revenue. Once they’re confident in that, they’ll become more confident in measuring ROI.”

NEARLY 43 PERCENT OF MARKETERS ARE USING SOME TYPE OF AUTOMATION TOOL. WHY DO YOU THINK NOT EVERYONE HAS CAUGHT ON YET?

DR: We did not specifically research this question in our report. If I had to guess, I would say that maybe they’re too small of a company to see the impact of automation, or they haven’t decided it’s the right investment for them yet.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST TAKEAWAY FOR B2B MARKETERS?

DR: “I was excited to see that inbound marketing channels are having a significant impact on revenue. The takeaway I had there was that tried-and-true channels – SEO, email, paid search — are still driving revenue for companies.”

The 2015 State of Pipeline Marketing report included responses from 370 marketers, a majority of whom come from the B2B space. Access the full report via form submission here.

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