Marketing Research Purpose & Results
The purpose of this marketing research study was to answer the question: What are highest performing
marketers doing to acquire, grow and retain more customers? We found that a relatively small number of best practices deliver proportionally higher impact for top producers.
This free marketing research report is an empirical study which discovers, measures and shares the highest
impact lead acquisition practices and results used by the top rated B2B marketers. The report shares:
- How much top marketers invest in marketing programs as a percentage of
revenues and gross margin.
- The total mix of marketing programs along with budget allocation and
performance measures for each.
- The criteria used in lead scoring models, and which criteria mattered most.
- The percentage of leads received that are sales-ready, not yet sales ready and
will never be sales ready.
- The number of touches and cycle time needed to advance a non-qualified lead
- The yield of non-qualified leads that can be advanced to sales-ready with
- The most measured and most strategic marketing metrics and analytics.
- The most effective best practices—along with clear recommendations—in lead
acquisition, lead scoring, lead nurturing, lead distribution and lead analytics.
Here are just a few examples of the research performed with partial results.
The marketing investment as a percent of sales is an
oft asked question, normally by the CEO or CFO—so
we explored further by examining how best-in-class
marketers invest. Marketing budget as a percentage
of revenues varied significantly by industry. However,
viewing marketing investment as a percentage of gross
margin and not revenues became an equalizer by taking
margin out of the equation and bringing consistency
across industries (4 to 6 percent.)
Leads Sourced by Marketing
Another we examined: What percentage of leads in
the sales pipeline should originate from marketing?
Best in class marketers source a significantly higher
volume of the sales pipeline leads than do their peer
groups. Leaders generate 45 percent more of the
sales pipeline leads from marketing programs than
Medians and a whopping 133 percent more than
Laggards. This analysis also digs deeper to deliver
supporting comments and recommendations.
We examined how leads are qualified, when a lead
scoring model is used, what criteria are used in lead
scoring and how frequently lead scoring models
are updated—and we uncovered a number of lead
scoring best practices in the process. The analysis
and recommendations in this section are particularly
Our marketing research found that about about one-
third of leads received are ready to buy now. The bulk
of the remaining must be nurtured. So we then set
out to discover how best-in-class marketers perform
nurture marketing campaigns. And we discovered
their number of campaign touches, nurture cycle
duration and nurture yield deliver far greater results
than their peer groups. The data analysis, comments
and recommendations in the section share why.
Lead Management Systems
Applying technology to lead acquisition and lead
management in the form of lead management software
or marketing automation systems has sky-rocketed in
popularity. Here we examined the overall adoption of
marketing automation software, the specific reasons
best-in-class marketers adopted this technology and
the top ranked benefits they achieved after their
While lead management software and marketing
automation systems offer promise, as with all
technology systems that promise is not always a
panacea, and often not without its pitfalls. Here we
examined the specific frustrations that best-in-class
and other marketers incurred with this technology.
We also compared their post-implementation results
with their original technology objectives to discover
which goals were met and which were not.