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One of my favorite times of the year is being able to dig into the raw results of the State of Pipeline Marketing report. Now in its 4th year, the report is based on survey responses from over 400 B2B marketers and provides a wealth of insights.

A great question this year was: What is marketing's perceived reputation in your organization: Cost center or revenue center? Overall, the question was quite polarizing. Fifty-three percent of respondents said cost center and 47 percent said revenue center.

Let's explore possible explanations as to why certain marketing teams are perceived as a revenue center instead of a cost center. And perhaps this will inspire ideas for your marketing organization. 

Mapping Investment and Marketing Spend to Revenue

We find that mapping marketing spend to revenue increases the likelihood that a company's marketing organization is viewed as a profit center. This makes sense, to be a revenue center you have to be tracking money coming in and money going out. 

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The Importance of Measuring Marketing Performance

We also find, effectively measuring marketing performance increases the likelihood of being a revenue center. 

We asked B2B marketers how effective they are at measuring marketing performance. The results are below, and pivoted by feedback on whether or not their organizations saw marketing as a cost center, or revenue center. 


We also found, being intentional about the attribution model and ensuring it's purpose is to give credit to marketing activities increases the likelihood of being viewed as a revenue center. 


While great measurement is critical to marketing being a revenue center, it's not all about the tech. It's about the people too. Having alignment with sales increases the likelihood of being a revenue center:


Not surprisingly, it's quite clear that aligning marketing to revenue in planning and measurement greatly helps the perception of marketing being a revenue center for the organization. Marketing can't operate in a silo and expect to be move the business forward. 

This was just a sliver of data we collected as part of this year's State of Pipeline Marketing. Download the full report to learn more insights.