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Survey reveals secrets of high-performing B2B marketers

High-performing B2B marketers are mastering their customers’ journeys and leaving everyone else in the dust. This elite group outperforms peers in terms of revenue growth by as much as 122%, according to a new report from Autopilot.

The company’s “2016 State of Customer Journey Marketing,” which surveyed 505 marketers in August (with 21% B2B respondents), found that 71% of high performers, which is defined by those who meet more than 80% of their marketing goals, have mapped their customer’s journey. Eighty-eight percent report that doing so is driving better customer acquisition, satisfaction and retention.

The report also said high-performing marketers grow revenue 58% faster; generate 23% more leads – more than 500, on average, each month; are 2.5-times happier with their performance (73% versus 29%); and have more satisfied customers (86% versus 70%).

So what are high-performing marketers doing specifically to help drive that success? Autopilot says they are spending money on different channels than other marketers.

“All marketers are prioritizing brand awareness, converting leads to sales and generating new leads. But high performers are investing in customer events and marketing, referral and satisfaction programs, and analytics and attribution, rather than in online ads, to get there,” the report said.

The top three areas of investment for high-performers are customer events and marketing (35%), referral and loyalty programs (29%) and analytics and attribution (19%). In contrast, other marketers are spending on online advertising (30%), social media ads and engagements (29%), and customer events and marketing (28%).

For B2B high-performers, investing in brand assets (43%) is the top priority. “Taking control of the brand narrative and defining a strong point of view will always form a basis for competitive differentiation, as well providing many opportunities to repurpose gated content for lead generation,” the report said.

Further, 29 percent of high-performers said their company’s main measure of marketing success is raising brand awareness, followed by customer satisfaction (22 percent). In contrast, customer acquisition was the top measure of success for other marketers (19 percent), even though it was the third place consideration among high-performers.

Finally, 71% of high-performing marketers also invest in marketing automation, compared with 52% of everyone else. High-performers reported that marketing automation’s biggest impact is on lead generation (32%).