Gartner released its latest “Best Performing Marketing Channel” survey, and while it’s not as informative (to me at least) as its CIO and Cloud reports, there are a few interesting learnings:

A few learnings on getting those MQLs:

  • Email is #1.  Email, done right, has always worked and continues to work.  Now, Gartner’s survey looks back at a period without IRL events, so email looked to be the #1 channel that took events’ place in 2021.  Events are now coming back strong.
  • PPC and Paid Social Getting Harder.  This is consistent with everything I see and hear.  Between Facebook costs going way up, and being harder to target; Apple blocking more mobile access; and the continued escalation of AdWords prices in crowded category, it’s harder and harder to get ROI here.  These channels aren’t gone, they’re just harder to develop MQLs and ROI from.
  • Real-world events should have a huge 2022 and 2023.  With no budget going to IRL events in 2021, marketers pushed more into email, in particular.  But events are roaring back, and that’s will be the bigger change for many marketers in 2022 and 2023.  Our own SaaStr Annual 2022 and Europa 2022 will have record attendance; they’re already ahead of any prior years by far.

But perhaps the biggest reminder is this:

  • At Scale, You Probably Have to Do Everything.  Yes, email is up for marketers and PPC is down.  But ultimately, you probably have to do it all, and just lean the most into what works best.  But eventually, your search for more and more leads will lead you to do everything, from events to webinars to drip campaigns.  Everyone above is still doing … everything.  They’re just more focused on some channels now than before.  PPC is more expensive, and thus harder to hit ROI goals.  IRL events took a pause.  But as you can see in the above chart, in the end, everyone runs the whole playbook.

Email is Amazing. You Just Have to Use It Properly.

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