[ Updated Jan 31, 2024 ]
B2B marketing measurement is facing a major turning point.
With stricter privacy regulations, growing pressure to drive revenue, and a lack of tailored tools, marketers are dealing with a tricky situation— how do you measure the impact of B2B marketing?
In this article, we’ll discuss the future of B2B marketing measurement and how you can best prepare.
Navigate this post:
- The major shifts affecting B2B marketing measurement
- How marketers can prepare for the future and succeed in B2B marketing measurement
Watch the full session here.
The major shifts affecting B2B marketing measurement
We’re seeing three shifts affecting B2B marketing measurement:
- Signal loss due to stricter privacy regulations
- Increasing pressure on marketers to drive revenue and prove marketing impacts
- A lack of tailored tools for B2B measurement
Watch the full session.
Signal loss due to stricter privacy regulations
In recent years, there have been many big changes around customer data privacy. For example, following Europe’s GDPR, more US states have started enforcing stricter privacy laws. In 2024, Google will deprecate third-party cookies, leading to signal loss and making it harder for marketers to prove the results of their work.
Going forward, marketers need to find new ways to measure marketing in a privacy-first world.
Increasing pressure on marketers to drive revenue and prove results
According to LinkedIn’s B2B Marketing Benchmark report, almost half of the marketing leaders surveyed reported that they’re expected to show marketing’s impact on revenue.
Even though there will be more focus on bottom-line metrics, it’s important to keep building a strong brand and measure its impact. Let’s take mental availability as an example. It’s when someone thinks of your brand in a potential buying situation. This is very difficult for B2B brands to achieve in the same way as B2C, but anything you can do to get your name and brand in front of people should be a major focus for your marketing team.
A lack of tailored tools for B2B measurement
On average, the B2B sales cycle is around 16 months long. This makes it more difficult to track an outcome from the moment someone sees an ad to the sales team closing a deal.
Additionally, there aren’t many tools that are purposely built for B2B. Most existing tools are built, or at least started, with B2C in mind. They often use shorter lookback windows.
The good news is that LinkedIn is working on solutions specifically for B2B measurement—Revenue Attribution report. It can help marketers understand the impact of investments on B2B outcomes like pipeline and revenue generated by connecting to your CRM data. You can also compare engagements on your ads to those outcomes.
How can marketers prepare for the future and succeed in B2B marketing measurement?
So, with all the uncertainties and changes, how can you future-proof your B2B marketing measurement and succeed in 2024 and beyond? We suggest you follow these steps:
- Get aligned on business goals
- Invest in first-party data strategy
- Layer different measurement methods
- Make sure everyone in your business gets the data they need for success
Get aligned on business goals
It first comes down to having alignment on your goals and priorities across an organization. Even though B2B measurement is a long game, having the right short-term strategy is equally important.
So, what outcomes are you ultimately looking to drive in the end? What are the things that lead up to those outcomes? And then, what are the frontline indicators you should look at immediately to evaluate performance?
Getting everyone aligned on those goals and the metrics that matter underneath them is the starting point for doing B2B measurement well.
Invest in a first-party data strategy
First-party data provides valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, which helps marketers create personalized campaigns.
You should look at all your touch points with customers and the data you already have in various channels and bring that into one centralized location. Once you have consolidated your data, this unlocks new measurement applications that won’t require access to privacy-restricted data.
You can also partner with vendors who can help you connect to that first-party data using privacy-enhanced technology, such as a data clean room. Data clean rooms are where advertising platforms share aggregated customer data with advertisers while adhering to privacy regulations.
Layer measurement methods
Rather than relying solely on one type of measurement, consider layering multiple types of measurement on top of each other. For example, marketing attribution is great when tracking what channels your audience engages with before purchasing. However, if you have a lot of different marketing channels and want to measure the incremental effects, then marketing mix modeling is a better choice.
No single solution will be perfect, but when paired with others, you can get the best views of your marketing performance.
Make sure your team has access to the data they need to succeed
Giving everyone in the organization access to clean data is important to improve campaigns and make better decisions. When it comes to making data accessible, we’re seeing two common models:
- Centralized data access: This is where you take all your data and centralize it in a larger-scale storage solution like a marketing data warehouse. Typically, the data team takes care of data modeling and management. This allows future-looking measurement applications such as marketing mix modeling and predictive algorithms, which isn’t usually possible unless you centralize your data.
- On-demand data access: This is where you get data straight from sources, for example, Facebook Ads, to reporting and visualization tools, for example, Looker Studio. This allows your team to grab any data they need quickly whenever they need it to make quick, real-time optimizations on the fly.
For more advice on adapting and future-proofing your B2B marketing measurement, check out the podcast episode with Chris Mercer.
The future of B2B marketing measurement is undergoing a significant transformation. However, by embracing a data-driven approach, investing in first-party data strategies, layering measurement methods, and ensuring data accessibility, you can navigate these challenges and future-proof their measurement strategies.
To learn more about what’s in store in the future of B2B marketing measurement, watch our full talk or any other SuperSummit sessions.
About the author
Emily is leading LinkedIn's measurement and attribution partnerships, focusing on helping advertisers understand their business and improve advertising performance. Prior to her role in Product Partnerships, she worked in customer-facing roles at LinkedIn where she helped customers of all sizes implement measurement to improve their outcomes, from lightweight techniques in Campaign Manager type tool to sophisticated API integration.
Aleks is a Director of Product Marketing at Supermetrics. He's responsible for driving the global go-to-market strategy, messaging, and promotion of the Supermetrics suite of marketing data solutions. Together with the product team, he works closely with customers and helps them solve their data challenges using Supermetrics.
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