Build ‘Revenue Marketing’ on Digital Foundation

Massive changes are under way in marketing organizations today. According to a recent IBM study that interviewed 1,700 chief marketing officers, the number one measure for the CMO in the next 5 years will be return on investment. And guess what? You can’t get to an ROI without impacting the “R” or Revenue in this equation.

A parallel trend to this research is how marketing groups are connecting to revenue as part of their business model and are actually transforming their marketing organizations from cost center to revenue center. We call this “Revenue Marketing Transformation” (RMT).

RM6 (Revenue Marketing 6) is how the revenue marketing transformation occurs. Having worked with more than 900 marketing automation clients, we have identified six key controls (RM6) that are applied uniquely for every organization to make this transformation. RM6 includes: Technology, Strategy, People, Process, Content and Results. So, where do you begin this journey and what is the key role of digital technology?

Technology is the strategic use of systems such as marketing automation integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) to create a digital dialog with your customers. Without these two integrated systems, you can’t proactively establish smart and helpful digital relationships with your customers.With only 6,000 companies using marketing automation and CRM, this category has a long way to grow. The good news is this category is one of the fastest growing areas in business-to-business marketing.

Client focus in this element is about the brand new client versus the repeat buyer. Depending on your overall sales plan, does marketing need to focus more effort on gaining new customers or cross-selling and upselling to existing customers? Get clear on this point and the associated revenue number to move forward. Sounds simple yet I bet that 80 percent of the people who read this article will not be able to accomplish this simple task.

Once you have defined your focus, net new or existing customer, ask yourself, what do I really know about this customer beyond demographics? Who are they? What titles do they have? How long have they been in their jobs? These are questions to which you probably have the answers. The challenging part of identifying people is to develop a full digital profile that includes a deep understanding of their digital behavior. Your customers are online and you need to set up interactions with them online that invite them to take an action so you can see a behavior and respond the right way. I guess that 85 percent of all marketers do not understand the full digital profiles of their customers -“ especially on the digital behavior side.

Process needs to be a mantra for you to be a Revenue Marketer and to focus on your customer. First, you need to map your customer’s buying cycle. My bet here is that 70 percent of those reading this article have not done this. Once that buy cycle is mapped out, you will overlay the unique digital profiles. (More on this in content section.) Another key process that parallels the buy process is mapping the life of a lead. From your organization’s perspective, how does a lead move from being a cold name to a closed piece of business? This process will help you understand where, when and with what you need to engage your customer to add value to their experience. If you haven’t taken the time to map these processes, you probably struggle to show the value of your decisions. I guess that 80 percent of the people reading this article do not understand life of a lead in their company.

Content is the fuel for the Revenue Marketing journey and how you customize your dialog to add value to your digital relationship with your client. Providing the right content, at the right time, to the right digital persona and being able to read their response and then provide the appropriate response yourself is how to have a meaningful digital dialog. You will need to map content to the customer buy cycle, to each digital persona and to each channel. My bet would be that 75 percent of you reading this article have not yet done this.

At its most fundamental level, customer relationships are about a revenue result. I’ve seen many companies go out of business because they were great with customers but could not make the financial model work. Make no mistake about it, the role of marketing today is to deliver profitable, long-term relationships. If this is not in your mission statement, you are really missing the mark. I’d guess over 90 percent of the people reading this article can’t show ROI from a customer relationship. Don’t be one of them!

Debbie Qaqish is principal partner and chief revenue marketing officer for The Pedowitz Group, a thriving demand generation agency. She coined the term “Revenue Marketer” in 2007. Contact her at www. or [email protected].