I recently came across an article that placed a great deal of emphasis on getting your definitions right. Of course, ‘defining’ things — roles, processes, objectives — holds plenty of value. From providing clarity and purpose to qualifying breakthrough ideas, a good definition can help teams go a long way in reaching their goals. And yet, even the most precise definitions are bound to change.
With that in mind, this post discusses the elements that define the new and improved Revenue Marketer. In particular, we explore six pillars of Revenue Marketing and highlight the value of data, technology, and organisational alignment in effectively driving revenue growth.
But first, let’s quickly run over the fundamentals of Revenue Marketing.
Like many others, I learned about the term 'Revenue Marketing’ through Dr. Debbie Qaquish. About 10 years ago, during a transition from a long career in sales to a role in marketing, her CEO sat across her desk and posed a single question: “What are you going to do about revenue?” Long story short, this set off the development of a significant approach that transforms marketing teams from flowery cost centers to high-performing revenue machines. This approach, we've come to know as ‘revenue marketing’.
“Revenue marketing is the combined pillars of strategies, processes, people, technologies, content, and results across marketing and sales that drop leads to the top of the funnel, accelerates sales opportunities through the pipeline, and measures marketing based on repeatable, predictable, and scalable contribution to pipeline, revenue, and ROI”
That was a mouth full.
Now don’t get me wrong; this continues to remain the foundation upon which Revenue Marketing is built. But back then, the market looked very different from what it is today. We’ve had major changes that mandate an updated definition of revenue marketing. Accordingly, here are three additional challenges that redefine what it means to be a revenue marketer today.
Challenge #1 - Digital transformation
In 2011, the average number of technologies available to the marketing industry was about 150. Today, that same measure stands at an astonishing 7000. It’s becoming increasingly normal for marketing teams to employ upwards of 30, or even 40 different pieces of MarTech products. But digital transformation isn’t just about getting your hands on the hottest new tech toy. Now, Marketers have to choose between all-encompassing platforms like SalesForce and specialised best-in-class solutions for each use-case. The key challenge here is to centralise customer data and orchestrate these platforms to deliver a personalised customer experience.
Challenge #2 - Customer centricity
It's no secret that as an industry, marketing has been progressing towards customer-centricity. Now more than ever, a firm’s customer experience signals its competitiveness in the market. Again, at the root of this change is digitalisation and technology. Digital customers are in control because your competition is now a single click away from you. Accordingly, identifying and employing the appropriate marketing channels — and distributing relevant content within those channels becomes a key challenge.
Challenge #3 - Revenue accountability
A 2019 report by Duke University found that 80% of CMOs are under pressure to deliver ROI, revenue, and growth. However, only about a third provide any financial reports as a result of technological inaccessibility and an overall lack of training. Though we have countless programs and platforms to crunch marketing data and derive revenue metrics, they can be a little too inaccessible for marketers without analytical backgrounds to make effective use of.
And so, we arrive at three challenges — each one based to varying extents in data, technology, and alignment — that are driving the new definition of revenue marketing.
The new and improved Revenue Marketer
Teams in leading B2B companies continue to transform themselves from cost centers to predictable and scalable revenue machines. Except now, they have an additional focus on digital transformation, customer-centricity, and revenue accountability. As an outcome, marketing is driving non-linear growth in a world where buyers are averse to direct sales.
Okay - so far, we’ve established our basis for the contemporary definition of revenue marketing. But let’s go even further. Not only is data, technology, and alignment fundamental in defining revenue marketing; it is essential to every capability within every pillar associated with the approach as well.
In revenue marketing, strategy involves understanding your team’s readiness for change, aligning your company’s key business initiatives, and most importantly — forming revenue synergy with sales. While a large part of this ‘getting everyone on the same page’ process involves planning, communication, and leadership; technology is playing an increasingly important role as well. Though instinct and qualitative responses can complement strategy, data, metrics, and indicators are crucial ingredients in developing accurate customer profiles and journeys. And as all three merge across sales and marketing, teams require ecosystems that are conducive to a symbiotic, well-aligned workflow. An easily accessible analytics platform (*ahem* Factors.AI) enables sales and marketing folk to speak the same language — revenue.
//Factors.AI is an AI-powered marketing analytics platform that provides critical insights into your marketing activities, decodes customer behaviour, and empowers your marketing team to focus on real strategic decisions. In short - we do all the analytical heavy lifting for you.//
The process pillar isn’t dissimilar to traditional marketing. In general, Process primarily involves campaigns and data. Accordingly, there are two aspects worth highlighting — campaign management and data management.
Campaign management involves executing, tracking, analysing, and measuring digital conversions in terms of business impact. There has been tremendous progress in the MarTech space within each of these functions. Not simply to automate the process, but to derive detailed insights as well. It’s a similar story with data management. Easy access and insight into your marketing data can make all the difference in the world. Implementing this process could be as simple as consolidating all your data under a single roof or automating any recurring analysis.
//Factors.AI enables your marketing team to consolidate and crunch marketing data from across all your sources - Google, Linkedin, Facebook, and more. Our integration process is completely code-free as well. In fact, we could have your marketing team onboarded in a single week.//
The people pillar consists of broad capacities involving the management of people in and outside of marketing. Stakeholder alignment, resource planning, and talent acquisition are important, but talent management in particular, is an aspect worth highlighting. A firm can employ all the data and technology in the world, but if the marketing team doesn’t have sound control over these tools, they won't be of much use at all. One solution to avoid this issue is to keep things simple.
//Factors.AI is simple by design. Our platform has been tailored to make the user experience very, very intuitive. In fact, our AI-powered analytics platform does all the work behind the scenes, so detailed insights into your data becomes as straightforward as a google search.//
A training program with a specific focus on revenue marketing tools can also go a long way in improving technical fluency and ensuring your team has a good grasp of revenue-oriented data.
As a revenue marketer, it is important to understand your customer across their entire life cycle. It’s no longer sufficient for marketers to get a customer through the door and call it a day. Revenue marketing encourages you to keep tabs on all the touchpoints a customer goes through. Additionally, a revenue marketer aims to optimize their customer data - not only to improve campaign performance but to access valuable business insights as well. A second aspect that’s closely tied to the customer is content management. The batch and blast approach simply doesn’t make the cut anymore. It’s just as important for content to be relevant to the intended audience as it is for that content to travel through the right channels.
//Multi-touch attribution, End-to-end customer insights, and Automated analysis are but a few of the several features Factors.AI has to offer. When coupled with highly customisable campaign analytics - our platform makes for a very simple, very powerful marketing tool.//
Finally, we arrive at Results. Results to a revenue marketer involves a variety of measures associated with financial outcomes (Shocker!). But it doesn't end there. Along with delivering an impressive ROI, revenue marketers also aim to accurately forecast their revenue. In essence, they construct a marketing machine that drives repeatable, predictable, and scalable revenue. I probably sound like a broken record at this point but analysing data, utilising the right tools, and ensuring organisational alignment are crucial elements at this stage. Needless to say, sufficient training and practice won’t do any harm either.
//Factors.AI’s explain feature differentiates us from the rest of the game. Along with consolidating your data and performing automated analytics, our AI-powered platform provides actionable insights in a matter of minutes.//
Over the course of this post we’ve discussed what it means to be a Revenue Marketer today, we’ve briefly explored the six pillars associated with revenue marketing, and we’ve highlighted the value of utilising data, ensuring alignment, and employing the right tools and technologies. At the end of the day, revenue marketing is a pretty straightforward idea — A well-organised, well-equipped approach that empowers marketing teams to bring in money in a predictable, scalable manner. So as a marketer, the only question left to ask yourself is this:
“What are you going to do about revenue?
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