46% Relying on Demand Gen For Marketing Success, TOPO survey reveals
Marketing leaders are encouraging their teams to increase the quantity and quality of leads and prospective accounts at the top of the funnel. Incremental changes in a commoditized environment will not allow teams to meet their goals. There is a series of major shifts in go-to-market (GTM) teams that align with the factors of marketing success and the biggest marketing challenges.
MARKETING FACTORS OF SUCCESS
Demand generation is most responsible for marketing success
Granted that this survey was fielded before the coronavirus (COVID-19) started having an impact on pipeline generation in the United States. Marketing leaders are more action-oriented than they have been in the past and they are focused on contributing to the growth of revenue and, ultimately, the business. This is demonstrated by 46% of them citing demand generation as the top factor contributing to their success (see Figure 2). Marketers have prioritized building strong demand with content-based inbound marketing, and that is part of why it has been responsible for their success.
Alignment with sales was also cited by 46% as the key to marketing success. Alignment and demand generation go hand-in-hand because a go-to-market organization that fills the top of the funnel with new leads and coordinates with sales on the target audience is more likely to have an impact on revenue.
Another critical factor contributing to success is account based programs at 34%. More organizations are managing multiple GTM strategies and the account based approach requires an alignment with sales on building a target account list based on Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs).
The success of a marketing organization—especially one driving leads and accounts into and through the funnel—is based on meeting goals established in conjunction with sales. Whether based on demand generation volume tactics or account based programs, marketing leaders should evolve their metrics from engaged leads or engaged accounts at the top of the funnel to generating opportunities further down the funnel. This strengthens the alignment with sales and sales development, refines demand generation and account based to make them work harder, and ties marketing closer to revenue and more important results.
Managing multiple go-to-markets is a struggle for marketers
The biggest challenge indicated by marketing leaders is managing multiple go-to-markets. Thirty-five percent need help as their approach to managing the funnel is expanding beyond traditional volume and velocity (see Figure 3). This finding does line up with the result that two of the top three things that contribute to marketing success are demand generation and account based programs. The only way to close more deals is to manage the two of these approaches side-by-side to get more overall leads and high-quality accounts into the sales funnel.
Marketing leaders have never had unlimited budget to manage their programs. However, nearly a third of them (31%) said that their limited marketing budget is a challenge. Whether it is a function of our high-growth data set where marketing budgets are generally lower, or just a matter of doing more with less, leaders have to focus on the programs that yield the best results.
The pressure of their job demonstrates itself as another challenge. Twenty-eight percent said that proving the return on investment of marketing programs is a difficult process. This builds on the story of the other challenges. A leader has limited budget, needs to manage multiple go-to-markets, and has to prove the return on investment of their programs. Marketing leaders are responsible for driving a meaningful portion of revenue and are focused on running programs that generate results. Anything else is not relevant to their function. This reduces their experimentation and piloting of new technology and ideas, which limits marketing leaders from doing their jobs. The next challenge will be to discover the new programs or activities that drive revenue when the current ones stop working.
TOPO fielded an online survey to marketing leaders. It was completed by 115 respondents, composed of a mix of TOPO clients and other high-performing companies.
TOPO Senior Marketing Analyst Chris Moody with present this year’s Marketing Leadership Report during a webinar on Tuesday, March 31, at 10 a.m. PST. Register to attend or receive the recording.