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Latest Research: Crucial Marketing Measurements Lag Behind Actual Marketing Practices

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A B2B digital marketer examines KPIs

Many B2B marketing teams are measuring the wrong metrics. MQLs and leads — which focus on the behavior of individuals — remain the most popular performance metric.

But, groups, not individuals, make most B2B purchase decisions. More than a dozen people within a single account can influence the decision to buy.

We sought to understand whether marketing organizations are evolving their strategies to better reflect the reality of B2B buying and selling. Our survey of 398 B2B practitioners revealed how marketing’s contributions to pipeline and revenue growth are measured across organizations. 

Key Findings

  • While over 75% of respondents practice ABM, just over half have adopted account-centric metrics
  • MQLs are still the most common attribute tracked by marketers, with 71% using them as an indicator of success
  • 48% of practitioners use buying-group level engagement to measure marketing’s influence on revenue
  • Sellers that measure ABM metrics and tie performance back to those metrics see better results

These findings demonstrate a misalignment in strategy and measurement. Even teams who have implemented ABM practices are still behind in adopting the KPIs to indicate the effectiveness of those practices. 

Implications

Over five years ago, Gartner predicted the “slow, necessary death of the MQL.” This survey demonstrates that this death is moving at a glacial pace. 

ABM and buying-group centric metrics contribute to better financial performance, yet adoption is lagging. Without the right insights, marketing teams fail to achieve the full potential of their efforts.

Read our latest report, Doing One Thing, Measuring Another, for a deep dive into the ways marketers are currently measuring success.

The 6sense Research Team

6sense Research applies objective statistical analyses to primary research that delivers data-driven insights to B2B revenue teams. We empower revenue teams to more effectively plan, execute, and measure their go-to-market strategies, informed by the latest insights about what works, what doesn’t, and why.

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