B2B Marketing Blog

12 Stats On B2B Clients of Paid Search Agencies from the State of Pipeline Marketing

By Lauren Frye
Nov 16, 2015
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These twelve statistics on paid search agency clients show how these marketers approach their strategy, how they allocate their budget, which channels they focus on, how they use marketing attribution, whether they’re aligned with their sales team, and lots of other insightful info.


The State of Pipeline Marketing survey asked respondents to identify whether they managed their paid search / paid media in-house, or whether they outsourced the management of that  marketing channel to an agency. The next 12 statistics are based entirely on the responses from companies who partner with an agency to manage their paid search and paid advertising.

The stats progress from persona-based information to trends, budgets, channels, attribution models, priorities, pipeline marketing, and more. Read on, it only gets better.

1. Annual Company Revenue


The majority of companies who opt to use paid search agencies are within the $10 million - $499 million dollar annual revenue range. The next revenue bracket most likely to work with a paid search agencies are even larger companies whose annual revenue figures exceed $500 million.

2. Annual Marketing Spend


The pie is sliced fairly evenly, between the budget allocation brackets. Interestingly enough, approximately 89% of the respondents belong to budget brackets between $200,000 and $20 million. That’s an expansive budget range.

3. Budget Expectations for the Next 12 Months


Marketing budget allocations are generally expected to increase for almost half of companies working with paid search agencies. These companies are confident in their marketing practices and are looking for new and better ways to invest. Only 12.5% of marketers are anticipating a budget cut within the next 12 months.

4. Top Marketing Priority


Paid media agency clients have very similar priorities compared to the average marketer, with generating demand and converting leads to revenue being their top two priorities by far. Up from the the 6.3% of average marketers primarily interesting in improving marketing attribution, agency clients are slightly more inclined to consider attribution a top priority. Also note, agency clients have an even higher focus on converting leads to revenue (up from 34.6% of average marketers).

5. Marketing Channels


Similar to the average marketer, paid search agency clients place a huge emphasis on email marketing. Content marketing and SEO are tied for second place. Paid search and events (conferences and trade shows) are tied for third place in the channel mix. Compared marketers at large, paid search moves up from overall fifth place to third place in the lineup.

6. Best Revenue Channel

8.3% of agency clients rate paid search as their highest performing marketing channel. This is actually a slight drop from the responses of marketers at large, 8.8% of whom said the channel was their best source for driving revenue.

State of Pipeline Marketing Report 2016  Exclusive B2B marketing statistics and insights on topics like sales  alignment, attribution, and top channels. Learn more

7. Paid Advertising Channels


Seeing as the majority of our respondents were from the B2B industry, LinkedIn Ads come in second on the paid advertising channel chart. GoogleAdWords, of course, is the top-most-used channel, and Facebook finishes not far behind LinkedIn. Curiously enough, 10.4% of agency clients don’t know which paid advertising channels they invest in, specifically.

8. Primary Marketing Metric

What matters most to paid search agency clients? -- revenue and opportunity metrics. This can be a challenge for paid search agencies because their direct influence in the buying cycle is focused primarily on TOFU and MOFU.

How can these agencies show their value to clients who care most about the impact that each marketing channel is having on the bottom of the funnel? Attribution models can connect the dots between BOFU metrics and TOFU marketing initiatives. The following stat sheds light on how agency clients think about and use attribution.

9. Attribution Models


The highest percentage of paid search agency clients use opportunity creation (last touch) attribution when calculating their marketing ROI. Because paid search often doesn’t contribute to opportunity conversions, it doesn’t often receive any direct revenue credit.

Only 14.7% of paid search agency clients use a multi-touch attribution model that will parse out revenue credit to multiple touchpoints throughout the customer’s buying process. As a result, the channel can easily be viewed by marketers as an elusive, untrackable lead generation source that is just as successful at bringing in leads as the channel next door.

10. Sales / Marketing Alignment


Paid search agency clients are aligned with their sales team more often than not. This correlates to the increase in focus on converting leads to revenue (39.6% for agency clients vs. 34.6% for average marketers), as we saw in stat number 4.

11. Familiarity with Pipeline Marketing

Paid media agency clients indicated that they were more familiar with Pipeline Marketing than marketers at large. They had all at least heard of the concept before and generally understood it’s meaning.

12. Self-Identified Pipeline Marketers

62.5% of respondents who outsource their paid media consider themselves to be Pipeline Marketers, which means that they’re very interested in adequately attributing their closed deals to the specific marketing touches that brought those deals to fruition. This percentage is up from the 54.5% of marketers at large who self-identify as pipeline marketers -- also correlating with their aforementioned goals to consistently connect leads to revenue.

Paid media agency clients are an interesting subset of the overall population of B2B marketers that we surveyed. While they resemble marketers at large, there are curious shifts in the data that show how they prioritize their budgets, view marketing attribution, and strategize their marketing campaigns.

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