February 08, 2021

Why You’re Missing Your B2B Marketing Goals (and what to do about it)

Goal-setting is a crucial part of any B2B marketing campaign. Driving towards a cohesive objective creates focused and measurable marketing campaigns. However, many marketers find themselves falling short of meeting goals.

CoSchedule found that goal-setting marketers are a whopping 376% more likely to report success than non-goal-setters. The study noted that 76% of marketers set goals, but only 3% “always” achieve them. Roughly half of the marketers reported meeting goals half of the time, and 41% noted they achieve goals “sometimes.”

While every marketer fails to meet goals at some point, if you find yourself not meeting goals consistently, it’s time to look at common reasons why this may occur.

Goals not measurable

First, take a step back and ask yourself: Are my goals even measurable? A significant reason why B2B marketing campaigns fail is that goals are not tied to data. If your objectives are vague and not measurable, it’s a challenge to define success.

Create SMART goals instead.

  • Specific: A clear and well-defined goal.
  • Measurable: Tie the goal to data.
  • Attainable: Don’t try to boil the ocean; make sure you can meet the goal.
  • Realistic: Try to avoid making the goal too easy or too difficult.
  • Time-Based: Put a timeline on the objective.

If your goal has each of these elements, you can more accurately measure success.

Sales and marketing misalignment

There are numerous benefits when your sales and marketing teams align. Yet, many B2B companies struggle with this. In an Informa Engage study, one out of every three B2B marketing teams reported the biggest obstacle to converting leads is the misalignment of sales and marketing teams. 

Converting leads is a common aim for any marketing campaign, but a significant hindrance is that sales and marketing teams work in silos. If your marketers do not receive information about what happens in the sales funnel, they cannot tweak campaigns to target prospects better. If your salespeople do not know what marketers are doing to build awareness, they may not truly understand the pain points marketers are trying to solve.

If these two teams are not working together cohesively, both departments will likely fall short of goals.

Internal skills gap

You may not have the right skills on your team to complete goals. Or, perhaps the people working on the project are not a fit or struggle to work together. For example, if your objective is to get people to convert on a specific landing page, and your team consists of digital marketers that do not have strong content writing skills, this is a problem. You need content specialists to understand what content will convert people on the page. It’s one thing getting prospects on the website, but it’s an entirely other skill to get people to engage.

You can solve this problem through hiring or upskilling. Alternatively, it may just require rearranging teams based on core strengths. Use constructive feedback internally to figure out a solution to this issue.

Lack of budget or hours 

Did your team have enough time to complete the goal? Did they have the resources necessary? For example, if your LinkedIn ad campaign did not receive many clicks, perhaps your budget was too low or timeline too short. Or maybe the team didn’t have a digital marketer specialized in targeting that understood how to reach the right audience. If you begin making SMART goals, this problem will likely resolve itself, but examining if your team is set up for success or not is crucial.

B2B marketing goals for success 

B2B marketing goals should focus on leads and conversions in the sales funnel. You want to ensure campaigns bring in marketing qualified leads, those leads convert, and the leads become opportunities. Stay away from goals around vanity metrics. If you measure success by website traffic, but visitors do not convert on the page, you may end up leaving an unsuccessful campaign running, eating away at vital resources. Reviewing goals is also crucial and part of the process. Like any part of a marketing campaign, you should never set and forget goal setting. 


CoSchedule, The Marketing Management + Strategy Statistics You Need to Know in 2019, 2019.

Informa Engage, B2B Marketing Trends Report, November 2018.