Fortella Releases “State of B2B Marketing: 2021” Report, Examines the Traits of Top-Performing Marketing Departments

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Survey finds that driving revenue is the main priority for most B2B marketers, while top marketers show better use of data, a segment-driven approach to marketing, and closer alignment with sales

A research report released from Fortella, a revenue-driven B2B marketing platform, found that most B2B marketers claim to drive a return on investment between 4x and 7x for their companies, with two-thirds of marketers ranking revenue generation as their primary responsibility. Titled “The State of B2B Marketing: 2021,” the survey-based report sheds light on the strategies and tactics employed by marketing executives at leading B2B companies and takes a close look at what the top performing marketers—those generating an ROI above 7x—are doing to be successful.

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Key insights from Fortella’s State of B2B Marketing: 2021 report include:

  • Goals: B2B marketers primarily get measured by how much revenue they bring in and how much qualified pipeline they generate, instead of top-of-funnel KPIs such as “Awareness Metrics” and “Lead Engagement.” Top performing marketers are 17 percent more likely than underperformers to take responsibility for upselling and 21 percent more likely to take responsibility for customer retention.
  • Go-To-Market Strategies: Nearly all B2B marketers (97 percent) go to market through some kind of audience segmentation, led by Account-Based Marketing (62 percent), customer size (57 percent), geography (55 percent) and industry vertical (55 percent). Marketers in the technology field are more likely to go to market by industry vertical than marketers in other fields.
  • Challenges: Most marketers cite Budget and Resources (64 percent) as their biggest challenge, followed by tracking and measurement (46 percent), getting quality data (42 percent), finding the right talent (36 percent), and aligning their efforts with sales (33 percent). Top-performing marketers have better sales alignment, better processes, and are more focused on getting access to high quality data.
  • Technology: B2B marketers employ at least 5 – 6 digital marketing tools in their tech stack. Top-performing marketers are 77 percent more likely to use a Customer Data Platform and 33 percent more likely to use video. They are 24 percent less likely to rely on spreadsheets.

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“Today’s B2B marketers are increasingly focused on revenue-based metrics such as qualified pipeline and bookings to drive their strategy and decision-making,” said Rahul Sachdev, co-founder and CEO of Fortella. “The rising tide of new technologies, increased competition, and shifting expectations about marketing’s role within the company presents both a difficult challenge for marketers to overcome and a tremendous opportunity to thrive if executed properly. We published this research-driven report to help marketers understand what the top-performers are doing so that they can succeed as well.” 

To prepare the report, Fortella surveyed B2B marketers from a variety of industries and company sizes during August to November, 2020. The vast majority of respondents (73 percent) were Director-level or above, including 29 percent of C-level executives and 17 percent of Vice Presidents. More than half of the respondents (56 percent) came from the technology industry, with the rest made up of an assortment from finance, manufacturing, media and other verticals.

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