Revenue generation. Predictable growth. Profitability. These are the words that CEOs care deeply about but they’re not words that come to mind for most when they think about marketing. But times are changing, and today many CEOs are starting to look to marketing to gain competitive advantage and drive business success. What happened to cause this shift? The combination of technology and data has dramatically changed how businesses engage, build trust, close deals and retain customers. And this is starting to get the attention of forward-thinking CEOs worldwide. This combination of marketing, technology and data is the core of what we call RevGen Marketing.
What’s the big deal about RevGen Marketing?
Technology has transformed the way prospects research and buy B2B products and services. According to Forrester, buyers are anywhere from two-thirds to ninety percent through the buying journey before they talk to sales. Buyers are talking to sales much later in the sales process and this transformation creates tremendous opportunity for marketers to leverage technology and data to gain insight into buying behavior. Marketing can then use this insight to feed the sales pipeline with leads that have the highest propensity to close. Marketing shifts from a cost center to a revenue center and the contribution of marketing activities to closed business is measurable and repeatable. In other words, the time for modern marketing is now and the stars are aligned for marketers to take on a highly visible role in the revenue generation process.
RevGen marketing comes with a new set of challenges
There is no question that adding technology and data to marketing are not only game changers but the future of marketing. But the road to RevGen Marketing isn’t an easy one. Nearly 2,000 CMOs interviewed by IBM revealed that “firms that can’t adapt to the combined challenges of marketing and technology can easily disappear from the landscape.” The good news is that you don’t have to adapt overnight. Here are three key learnings we have discovered along the way as we work to become a true RevGen Marketing company:
- It’s impossible to know it all so don’t go it alone. You’ll need to hire marketers to help you identify and implement the right technology that fits with your long-term RevGen marketing plan or hire external resources that can help you make the right marketing technology decisions.
- It’s still about the people. After you find the right technology, embrace it and work with it to help you achieve your goals. People power technology and drive the innovation to achieve better business outcomes so finding the right talent to help you leverage technology is critical.
- It starts with your customers. Buyers are looking for information that educates and helps them make informed purchasing decisions. An analysis of your current customer base will provide valuable insight into who your best customers are. From there you can develop personas (fictional representations of actual customers) to drive content development decisions. Personas represent your different key buyers. Developing personas will help you craft messaging and content to reach buyers at the right place at the right time in the buying journey.
Evolving to a RevGen company doesn’t happen overnight – it can take 2-3 years or more depending on where you are in the journey. RevGen Marketing requires a shift in culture and behavior. Sales and marketing teams can no longer be at odds, rather the two teams must work together to become a unified revenue generation team. If this sounds like a lot of work, it is, but I would argue that predictable scalable repeatable activities that drive revenue is well worth the effort.
So, what are your thoughts about marketing’s role in revenue generation? I’d love to hear from you!