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Each year, the marketing community confronts a few dominant themes. A couple of years ago, predictive analytics was all the rage. If you ask any B2B marketer what trends dominated in 2016, you'd likely hear "ABM," "one-to-one relationships," or "managing the customer journey"; marketers were investing more in an end-to-end experience, from awareness to advocacy.

However, if you were to ask any of those marketers to put aside trends and instead identify what their continual focus has been, year after year, you would hear, overwhelmingly, "revenue."

The truth is, when a CMO is preparing for the year ahead, the latest tactical trend isn't nearly as important as continually focusing on how best to optimize Marketing's contribution to revenue and business goals.

After all, regardless of the tactics they employ, CMOs are measured on their ability to drive growth for their company.

That growth is the crux of marketing performance management (MPM)—which Forrester describes as "a discipline that governs goal setting, monitoring, and continuous optimization of marketing's contribution to revenue and other priority business goals."

As we enter 2017, all roads lead to MPM; five key changes are occurring in our business environment that make MPM a greater priority than ever for B2B organizations.

1. Greater Scrutiny Over Marketing Investments

Marketing budgets are on the rise heading into 2017, up to 12% of revenue, as marketers manage more demand, Gartner has found. And "with power comes great responsibility. By taking custody of these dollars, CMOs are promising more and more back to the business," Gartner states.

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image of James Thomas

James Thomas is CMO of Allocadia, provider of marketing performance management software.

LinkedIn: James Thomas

Twitter: @jthomas_44