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How are B2B Marketers driving revenue? That’s the ultimate question we answered in the 3rd annual State of Pipeline Marketing Report, through a variety of questions surrounding Marketing in 2017.

Over 300 marketers answered questions about the channels they use, how they measure success, their top marketing priorities, and more.

In the infographic below, see how 2017 trends compared to those of 2015 and 2016.


A majority of respondents came from software/tech or marketing/advertising industries, were overwhelmingly B2B, and are Executive/VP level marketers. 

Most Popular Marketing Channels

Email, Social Media and Content Marketing topped the list of most popular marketing channels. Marketers can execute within each of those channels without spending any money (except salary) so it makes sense that they came in as the most popular.

Primary Revenue-Generating Channels

In 2017, Word of Mouth remains the top revenue generating channel according to survey respondents. This was followed by Content Marketing, which did not appear in the top three in 2016, but was number three in 2015.

Additionally, 71.5% of marketers said they expected to increase content marketing next year. It’ll be interesting to see if the percentage of marketers who list it as a primary revenue driving channel also increases.

Primary Metric for Measuring Performance

Opportunities/Pipeline came in as the top metric marketers are using to measure performance in 2017, at just over 30% of respondents. It’s encouraging to see this down-funnel metric continue to rise year-over-year while Leads continues to decrease.

In the future we hope to see Revenue take over the top spot, as we believe it’s the ultimate measure of success in business.

Effectiveness Measuring Marketing Performance 

In this section, we’ve segmented how effective marketers feel they are at measuring performance based on the use of a single- or multi-touch attribution model.

Single touch models give 100% of credit to a single marketing interaction, so it’s not surprising that only 5.8% of single-touch respondents say they’re Extremely Effective at measuring marketing. Compare that to 28.6% of multi-touch respondents who answered with Extremely Effective—it’s clear that marketers who use a multi-touch attribution model are more confident in their ability to measure marketing performance.

Top Marketing Priorities

For the first time in the State of Pipeline Marketing Report, a response of Converting Leads to Revenue/Customers came in as the number one marketing priority. This response garnered 42% of responses, a jump from 35% in 2015 and 34% in 2016.

Additionally, Sales and Marketing Alignment and Improving Performance Measurement also increased from 2016 to 2017, while Generating More Leads decreased.

Account-Based Marketing and Sales and Marketing Alignment

It’s widely known that marketers who are doing account-based marketing are strongly aligned to their sales teams. Data from the 2017 State of Pipeline Marketing confirms this, with a difference of +15.9 percentage points for a response of 4 or 5-Tightly Aligned from marketers doing ABM verse those who are not doing ABM.

On the other end of the spectrum, 7.2% of marketers who do no ABM reported a 1-Misaligned while not a single marketer doing 50% or more ABM responded that their relationship was Misaligned.

For more data on how marketers are driving revenue in 2017, download the full State of Pipeline Marketing Report below.