2022 has thrown up ample surprises for businesses across the globe. As economies face the rising tide of uncertainty, CMOs are under pressure to communicate the value of marketing in a more factual manner. Marketers everywhere are increasingly facing the need to assimilate data and present the ROI for every dollar spent.
What are the areas marketers need to focus on to ride out this wave of challenges? What’s the ointment to marketing’s woes?
With these thoughts we conducted a CMO survey.
What was the goal of our CMO survey
The objective of our marketing goals survey was to pull thoughts together and get a consensus on the most popular needs of CMOs. We asked 40 marketing leaders in enterprises and startups across the US and India to share their most important needs and aspirations for the next 12 months.
We asked the population to rate 11 of the hottest marketing goals on two scales – importance versus needs met. The questions in our CMO survey were around:
- Driving demand efficiently
- Sales cycle acceleration
- Predictable pipeline generation
- Effective data usage
- Engagement personalization tactics
87% of the respondents expressed their urgency for specific marketing goals. From these responses, we were able to determine where marketing trends are headed towards (at least for the next four quarters).
The meter is clearly turning towards predictable pipeline
What does marketing need to do to rise above the tide of market uncertainties? Aside from seeking a clear answer to this question, our motive was to verify marketing’s concerns.
Popular opinion has made us believe that CMOs are concerned about justifying the value to marketing within the organization. But does this really hold water?
Important marketing goals for 2023
The top 3 areas where marketing leaders in our survey put their money on are:
- Predictable pipeline generation process
- Increase the marketing contribution to pipeline
- Simple and efficient demand generation process
What does this mean?
Marketing, today, has taken the leap from a lead-focussed function to actively creating and capturing demand. Even with the looming pressure to accelerate the tediously slow B2B sales cycle and meet quota, marketing and sales have agreed to focus on generating demand.
Right now, a robust demand generation process is the best means to drive quality opportunity generation. This means more opportunities in the pipeline that will convert to closed-wons. And less of those opportunities which are not in the buying journey.
While marketing folks may be concerned about how they’re being perceived outside their function, the immediate response is to have an impact on the pipeline. This is where the much-discussed sales and marketing collaboration for revenue growth comes into play.
As marketers work on driving demand to build a qualified pipeline of opportunities, a stronger cohesion develops between the two teams. A predictable pipeline generation process becomes the bridge for sales and marketing.
And this collaboration shouldn’t end at the opportunity handoff stage, rather it should exist wherever there’s a need for the teams to engage together. With B2B sales cycles operating in a loop, this is understandable.
Are your existing marketing processes and tools meeting your needs?
Identifying the areas where you want to allocate your marketing budget or resources is primary. But are you sure of getting the ROI you want?
75% of the respondents in the survey highlighted the inability to understand and track their buyer’s journey using their existing tools and processes. This in turn affects their demand generation programs and subsequently their pipeline predictability.
Sometimes we’re dead sure of the activities, channels and programs that’ll deliver the results we want. But often we fail to deliver not because we didn’t have the data. We fail because we are unable to identify what tools and processes need to be adopted to make marketing more data-driven. Which means that there is no clear system to aggregate and understand the data we possess.
Marketing can eliminate the chaos in their pipeline generation process by setting up a single source of truth. And making it as accessible and actionable as possible.
Interesting Find: Understanding the interplay of channels remains a challenge
All previous observations aside, there is one area where all respondents unanimously agreed that marketing needs to work better. Understanding the interplay of channels across the buying journey.
Moving a target account down the funnel requires a clear strategy to help each stakeholder complete their buying jobs smoothly. To succeed at this, marketers need to engage with target personas across a combination of channels.
However, most marketing teams grapple to understand the interplay of channels for their target market segments. They don’t have the intelligence to determine the right channel combinations that will move a buyer group ahead in their journey.
Why do marketers miss out on this? Most engagement strategies aren’t devised in relation to accurate buying journeys. All your messaging and engagement tactics fall flat when they aren’t relevant to the buying journey stage of the accounts.
How to make pipeline generation a predictable process in 2023
So, clearly, the CMO goal for the next 12 months is predictable pipeline generation. And marketing leaders are looking to drive this through efficient demand gen programs.
The hindrances being the detached data systems in place and inaccurate tracking of buyer’s journeys. Every touchpoint needs to be seamlessly connected to the data ecosystem of the organization. This will enable marketers to harness actionable insights to turn their demand generation programs into predictable pipeline generation processes.