CEOs still don't see value in B2B marketing for business strategy

New Forrester, ITSMA and VisionEdge report finds fewer than 10 per cent of top executives rely on marketing input when making significant business decisions or setting strategy

B2B marketers are gaining proficiency in measuring their impact on the business, yet most top corporate executives still aren’t relying on marketing's performance results to make strategic decisions, and half don't even see the financial value of marketing.

That’s the top-line finding of Forrester’s latest research in the B2B marketing sector, B2B Marketing Measurement Needs and MBA,which found fewer than 10 per cent of top executives rely on marketing input when making significant business decisions or setting strategy.

This is despite the fact that 86 per cent of marketers either ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that the connection between marketing activities and business goals at their firm is clear today, and 72 per cent see company leadership recognising marketing’s impact on the business. In addition, 61 per cent of CMOs surveyed said their ability to measure and report the business contribution of marketing programs in the past year has improved.

The findings are based on a recent survey by Forrester in partnership with the IT Services Marketing Association and VisionEdge Marketing of 174 marketing leaders in the US in May.

The report tells a story of strong focus on ROI and operational success, but equally reflects the long way CMOs still need to go before marketing is recognised for its true business worth. Two-thirds of respondents are confident of their ability to better report on factors such as the rate of new customer acquisition, market share and lifetime value, for example. However, just 45 per cent feel as confident they know which metrics and business outcomes matter most to stakeholders, and 40 per cent are neutral. Only 51 per cent believe the business sees the financial value of marketing.

Another noteworthy statistic is that only 40 per cent of marketers surveyed believed measuring marketing’s value and contribution to the business is very important or critical.

Given the huge attention placed on data analytics in marketing today, it’s less surprising to see 60 per cent agreeing marketing has become more adept at using data and analytics to make mid-course corrections or more strategic recommendations.

According to report author, Forrester vice-president and leading CMO analyst, Laura Ramos, B2B CMOs must move past measuring reporting outputs and towards predicting outcomes. She pointed out B2B marketers are using analytics to defend new resource requests based on past budgets, measure brand health on traditional factors, and are still more likely to manage marketing programs using campaign-centre metrics derived from past performance, rather than looking at ways to predict future results.

Is B2B marketing boring?
How to navigate the data analytics path
Getting ahead with data-driven marketing: SAS's Jim Davis

Of those surveyed, 24 per cent claimed to be using data analytics to predict customer buyer behaviour, and 25 per cent are using analytics to increase cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

“We found the most successful CMOs use marketing analytics and dashboards to connect marketing metrics to cross-functional outcomes, increase decision-making agility, and show business peers where the market is heading,” Ramos stated.

“Executive management needs to know precisely which activities expand the business, capture new opportunities, and keep existing customers in the fold. CMOs that fail to demonstrate how marketing’s performance is meeting this higher standard will find their teams relegated to the role of creative cost centre or operational sales support – and themselves out of a job.”

As a way forward, Forrester provided a list of recommendations, including focusing on leading business and market indicators, setting more specific performance goals, and reporting on business consequences, not operational statistics.

It also promoted investment into marketing technologies such as better customer databases, data analytics and mobile reporting dashboards.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Data has the power to build or burn brands

A brand can be severely wounded by use or misuse of any of its assets and you could say data has the greatest power of all to inflict damage.

Lucy Acheson

Head of data strategy and customer experience, LIDA

Totto and your inorganic future

At Cannes Lions this year we’ve been treated to many artificial intelligence (AI) insights. It’s one of the major discourses of our time.

Richard Brett

CEO, opr

Personas of one and the rise of ‘always there’ marketing

I’ve got some bad news. The ‘always on’ marketing approach that many companies have only just fully implemented is already out of date.

Nigel Roberts

Founding partner and strategy lead, Yell

Promotion is difficult. You should be able to do it. Sometimes it turns out bad, and when you turn to professionals, it turns out well - ...

Jordan Samuil

Village Roadshow partners with Lion for pourage rights and promotional partnership

Read more

This is very good news for Australian SMEs as ActiveCampaign is an very powerful marketing automation / email marketing tool that costs a...

Lawrence

SMB marketing automation provider sets up Asia Pac HQ in Sydney

Read more

Thanks for the info! If you are looking for commercial real estate in Mumbai, visit us at Jagaha.com! We have over 20,000 verified proper...

Gizelle

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Completely agree! For the best commercial properties in Mumbai, visit our website - Jagaha!

Gizelle

Salesforce ups the Marketing Cloud ante with Datorama acquisition

Read more

Carisoprodol is used for treatment of pain.so it has some amount of drug use it carefully . Get its complete usage and prescription from ...

jensons henry

CMO profile: The strategy behind Cash Converters brand and customer experience reboot

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in