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Are Your Marketing and Business Goals Aligned?

Are Your Marketing and Business Goals Aligned?
30 April 2024
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Are Your Marketing and Business Goals Aligned?

Only approximately 25% of marketing leaders initiate the planning process by pinpointing their desired business results. This disparity lies at the heart of the discoveries in a report by Walker Sands, a comprehensive B2B marketing agency.

Examining over 150 marketing leaders and 50 non-marketing C-suite executives, the report titled "Outcome-based Marketing: The Case for a Perspective-Shift in B2B Marketing" revealed the primary hurdles B2B marketers encounter in generating outcomes that align with business objectives, particularly in light of the ongoing evolution of the B2B marketing sphere.

Amidst numerous shifts over recent years, such as the shift to remote work, the challenges of the "Great Resignation," and the current economic uncertainties including rising inflation, conventional B2B purchasing processes have been disrupted. This exacerbates the obstacles faced by B2B executives. According to the report, 98% of senior business decision-makers indicated that, compared to 2019, they and their executive teams now place greater emphasis on evaluating marketing's success in terms of its impact on crucial business outcomes. Additionally, 79% of marketing decision-makers reported feeling increased pressure from their C-suite or executive teams to measure marketing success based on these key business outcomes.

Further notable points from the "Outcome-based Marketing: The Case for a Perspective-Shift in B2B Marketing" report encompass:

- Seventy-four percent of C-suite executives expressed concern that marketing teams find it challenging to grasp the business outcomes they anticipate from their marketing endeavors, with 58% of marketers concurring that they face difficulties in understanding these expectations from the C-suite.

- Eighty-six percent of C-suite executives believe that their marketing teams encounter difficulties in showcasing the influence of marketing activities on business accomplishments.

- Although 87% of marketers give precedence to comprehensive business objectives over key performance indicators (KPIs) tied to specific channels, merely 27% initially concentrate on outcomes before proposing particular channel activations. The bulk (73%) first concentrate on implementing specific marketing channels and attaining KPIs, subsequently linking metrics back to the outcomes.

"Even though B2B marketers acknowledge the significance of business outcomes, they persist in adopting a channel-centric strategy," remarked Dave Parro, Co-CEO of Walker Sands. "This approach compels them to backtrack in connecting channel-specific KPIs to business performance, resulting in challenges meeting executive expectations. It's imperative to reverse this trend and prioritize outcomes from the outset."

Walker Sands has introduced its latest agency methodology: Outcome-based Marketing (OBM), a novel approach to shaping B2B marketing initiatives, prioritizing outcomes over channels. OBM advocates for a straightforward, streamlined method of formulating B2B marketing strategies: initially defining the desired outcome (the "Why"), then devising a strategy (the "How") to reach it swiftly and effectively, while maintaining a keen focus on the audience by considering both the message (the "What") and the media (the "Where"). Embracing an OBM mindset in every interaction, Walker Sands propels businesses and marketing endeavors forward.

Ann Hagner, Senior Vice President of Integrated, commented, "Through our research, definition, and implementation of OBM, we're illuminating a transition that marketing leaders have sensed for some time but found challenging to pinpoint."

"We aim to steer the discussion toward prioritizing outcomes, enabling CMOs, their teams, and other C-suite members to align their efforts and optimize their marketing investments."

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