Channel markets, IT management, Enterprise, Sales and marketing

How to Adjust B2B Marketing KPIs in 2022


As a new analyst at Forrester, I had the chance to participate in the B2B APAC and B2B EMEA Summits, both in a new virtual format, and I enjoyed attending the various and diversified sessions, keynotes, and client case studies, which led to discovering lots of valuable insights. I just want to pick out one theme, as it was of high interest as a former CMO and is important to many marketers: proper measurement and marketing ROI.

Leadership's Role in Marketing Performance

One of B2B marketing leadership’s main responsibilities is to ensure transparent measurement of marketing performance for the team and its critical stakeholders but also to show marketing’s holistic value to the organization. A relevant KPI set is key to navigate against goals, allocate and manage the budget and investments, measure the performance of activities, and manage tactical execution. The need for a new set of demand KPIs is caused by changed and more complex buying behavior, customers requiring information transparency, and an overarching fluid and integrated process experience across the company. An evolving (technical) infrastructure supports this by putting information at employees’ fingertips, improving ease of use for data management. In parallel, the B2B senior marketing leader might be confronted with diverse challenges, such as the coverage of different stakeholder requirements, inconsistent or unreliable data, and, furthermore, the necessity to mirror relevant KPIs against an evolving environment.

At Summit, I gained interesting new insights and recommendations from a presentation called Beyond Sourcing: The Case For New Marketing Performance Indicators. Based on in-depth conversations with CMOs and marketing leaders, there is a clear finding that the focus on common sourcing KPIs is insufficient, as they are one-dimensional and don’t support increasing the effectiveness and ROI of the complexity of marketing activities. To drive a successful (measurement) change, marketers must follow three simple yet effective steps: Assess the current status quo, conduct a stakeholder analysis, and, finally, build targeted action plans based on the results of the previous two steps.

Redesigning KPIs

There are great opportunities to redesign established KPIs, improve their fit in terms of new requirements, and make them even better! Measurement of KPIs will be the fuel to efficient marketing management. Therefore:

  • Leave the comfort zone of existing, “beloved,” and perpetual sourcing KPIs.
  • Initiate the change to more successful measurement by including relevant leadership needs and involving stakeholders to develop a valid instrument that fuels decisions. Forrester has identified a new vision of demand KPIs, helping clients address four key questions:
    1. Do marketing efforts help the organization be present in more of the right deals?
    2. Is marketing creating meaningful interactions/engagement that positively impacts buying experiences?
    3. Does marketing’s involvement produce better outcomes?
    4. Is marketing’s involvement economical with efficient ROI?
  • Establish an evolving learning system to meet future changes and stay future-proof.
  • Reach a new vision of marketing performance and optimized ROI!

Blog courtesy of Forrester Research and authored by Christina Schmitt, principal analyst. Read more contributed blogs from Forrester here.