B2B Marketing Blog

How Does Your Marketing Stack Up Against Your Peers? [State of Pipeline Marketing Data by Company Size]

By Jordan Con
Dec 7, 2016

Finding good, actionable data to help you improve your marketing is tough to come by. Study after study shows data from datasets that may or may not apply to your specific company. We get that.

We recently published the 2016 edition of the State of Pipeline Marketing Report, a study of over 350 marketers from a wide range of companies. The data is (to our admittedly biased opinion) rich and insightful, but we also understand that the more specific the data is to your company, the more useful it is. That’s why over the last few weeks (and for the coming weeks), we have been posting deeper analysis with the data, including more specific pivots.

This post pivots the data based on company size, with 200 employees being the threshold between “smaller companies” and “larger companies.” So if you work for a company that has, say, 100 employees, your takeaways will no longer be mired with data from companies that have 5,000 employees -- their priorities, marketing channels, strategies, etc. likely have little to do with your day-to-day work. You can now see just the data for companies that are more similar to your own and place yourself among the dataset of your peers.

Let’s jump into the data.

Top marketing priority

Generating leads, and then converting those leads into customers are by far the two greatest priorities for marketers across all company sizes. However, when we look a little closer, marketers at smaller companies are slightly more likely to prioritize top-of-the-funnel demand (+5.9 percentage points) and slightly less likely to prioritize understanding marketing ROI (-3.2 pp) and sales and marketing alignment (-5.9 pp).

SOPM-company-size-charts-top-marketing-priority.png

Top marketing metric

However, when it comes to the primary metric that marketers use to make sure they are achieving their goals, the data tells a different story. Smaller companies are more likely to use revenue as their primary metric (+8.8 pp), and less likely to use higher-funnel metrics like leads (-4.4 pp) and opportunities (-4.3 pp).

SOPM-company-size-charts-primary-marketing-metric.png

Marketing channels

One of the primary challenges for marketers is figuring out the optimal combination of marketing channels. Are you using the right channels? Should you be using more channels? Are you using too many channels?

The data made it clear that larger companies use more marketing channels. The chart below shows what percent of marketers use each marketing channel, segmented by company size. Channels that are above the diagonal line are more often used by companies with more than 200 employees. As you’ll see, every channel with the exception of word-of-mouth and other are above the line.

SOPM-company-size-charts-all-marketing-channels.png

[Marketing channels above the blue diagonal line were more likely to be used by companies with greater than 200 employees compared to companies with fewer than 200 employees.]

Moreover, it’s even more helpful to see which marketing channels are the most successful at impacting revenue. Smaller companies clearly identified word of mouth / referrals as the top channel for driving revenue, followed by a distant cluster of SEO, email marketing, and content marketing.

On the other hand, larger companies were a lot more likely to be unsure of which channels are effectively driving revenue. They also identified conferences and trade shows, word-of-mouth, content marketing, and email marketing as highly effective channels.

SOPM-company-size-charts-top-marketing-channel.png

[Marketing channels above the blue diagonal line were more likely to be selected by companies with greater than 200 employees as having the most positive impact on revenue, compared to companies with fewer than 200 employees.]

Marketing measurement

Larger companies are more likely to be using more sophisticated attribution models to measure their marketing’s impact on the metrics that matter. First of all, larger companies are more likely to have an attribution model in place (+12.7 pp). They’re also more likely to be using a multi-touch attribution model by 4.1 percentage points.

SOPM-company-size-charts-marketing-attribution-model.png

But despite this, a nearly equal proportion of marketers for both segments believe that they are using the right attribution model -- just over 20%. Marketers believe that there is room for improvement in the way of getting more accurate attribution data, whether that’s moving to a more sophisticated multi-touch model (e.g. algorithmic) or a custom model.

And as far as taking action, larger companies are more likely to be at a place where they can take the next step. Nearly 40% of marketers at companies with more than 200 employees plan to change their attribution model in the next 6 months, while only 25% of marketers at companies with fewer than 200 employees plan on making a change.

Larger companies are also more likely to be using or considering using predictive analytics for marketing purposes -- 16.0% of larger companies are currently using predictive analytics and a further 38.0% are considering adding it to their marketing stack in the near future, compared to 11.8% and 33.3% for smaller companies.

So where do you stand? Do you have the same marketing priorities as companies of similar size? What about the metrics that you use to measure performance or the channels and activities that you use?

Check out the full 45-page report by clicking on the image below.State of Pipeline Marketing Report 2016  An annual study of how B2B marketers drive growth, including data on  priorities, channels, technology, and more.  Download Now

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