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In November, we unveiled the 2016 State of Pipeline Marketing Report. The second annual report surveyed over 350 marketers across various industries, on the topics of marketing channels, priorities, tech and more. We learned a lot about the marketers of 2016, but wanted to know how our new learnings compared to those of 2015. In other words, how the marketing industry has grown over the last year.

This post dives into marketers’ shift in priorities, goals and success metrics from 2015 to 2016.

Marketing Channels that Impact Revenue

In 2015, “Email Marketing” took the top spot from responders who said it was the channel with the greatest impact on revenue, followed by “Conferences/Trade Shows” and “SEO.”

However, 2016 saw marketers list “Word of Mouth/Referrals” as the channel with the greatest impact on revenue (not listed in 2015 survey). “SEO” and “Content Marketing” round out the top three spots, with “Email Marketing” falling to fourth, tied with “Conferences/Trade Shows.”

Channel Revenue Impact

Overall, it seems marketers in 2016 are less confident in the channels impacting revenue. An answer of “Unsure” received the second most responses and “Word of Mouth” was the only channel to be selected by more than 10% of respondents. Compare that to four channels with more than 10% in 2015.

Marketing Priorities

Marketing priorities seemed to remain constant over the last year, with “Generating more leads” and “Converting leads to revenue” staying as the top two selections.

marketing priority


The biggest shift was the increase in marketers prioritizing sales and marketing alignment. 

Alignment jumped from 1.0% of respondents in 2015 up to 6.5% (tied for third) in 2016. This increase could be due to the rise in the adoption of an account-based marketing strategy, which has a known benefit of creating strong sales and marketing alignment. As more marketers continue to invest in the strategy, expect alignment to rise.

Metrics used to Measure Success

In the SOPM 2016 report, a majority of marketers selected “total revenue” as the primary metric used to measure success. At Bizible, we believe marketers should be measured and incentivized on the same metrics as their sales teams, so we’re happy to see more marketers making the switch to total revenue as a measure of success.

ROI, CPA and CPL also increased in selection percentage from 2015 to 2016. While total opportunities/pipeline, total leads, and total customers decreased as success metrics.

Channels Marketers are Investing In

Social media as a channel grew the most over the last year. It rose from approximately 58% of marketers investing in the channel in 2015, to 84% doing so in 2016. Social channels are making big strides to keep pace with marketers’ needs. For example, LinkedIn added a bulk upload feature and improved its targeting parameters over the last year.


marketing channel

Using a threshold of a 70% response rate, marketers in 2015 invested in four main channels, while marketers in 2016 were investing in six channels.

As channels continue to improve and the benefits of use are clear, marketers will feel more confident spending time and money in new/additional channels.

Attribution Model used by Marketers

Lastly, how do marketers measure all of the above? 

A single-touch attribution model remains the top choice for marketers in 2016. However, the percentage of single-touch users decreased by a little over 16%, while those using a multi-touch model rose to a quarter of respondents

201516 Attribution Model-1_1.

The increase in multi-touch adoption goes hand-in-hand with the increase in the amount of channels marketers are investing in. The more channels you use, the harder it is to track what’s working and what’s not. A multi-touch attribution model solves this problem.


It’s exciting to see the changes in marketing priorities and metrics over the last year. The industry is constantly evolving and we look forward to the growth that will happen throughout 2017.

To download the complete 2016 State of Pipeline Marketing report, click the link below.