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How to Get 2015 Budget Approval

It’s that time of year – budget and plan preparation. For marketing, this is an especially stressful time for many reasons but chief among them is how to show revenue impact. For the last several weeks I’ve been having conversations with a number of marketing executives about planning for 2015 and it struck me that there are two kinds of marketing plans that get prepared:

1. A Marketing Plan with budgets and activities

2. A Marketing Business Case with budgets, activities, and business cases that demonstrate ROI.

Which one are you building? If you’re building #2, you have a much higher chance of approval because you are showing ROI and acting like a responsible business leaders. Here is what a part of your Table of Content might look like.

The Current State of Marketing

  • 2014 Assessment
    • Wins
    • Losses
    • Challenges
    • Opportunities

2015 Initiatives

  • Key Company Initiatives in 2015
    • Key Initiative 1
    • Key Initiative 2
    • Etc.
  • Key Sales Initiatives in 2015
    • The Numbers (Revenue and growth projections)
    • Key Initiative 1
    • Key Initiative 2
    • Etc.
    • Common Plan Assumptions (Marketing and sales uses same assumptions)
      • (This section includes the key elements from the 2015 Sales Plan
        • This is a major input for the creation of the Revenue Marketing Plan.
        • The Marketing plan needs to reference items in the Sales plan and show how marketing will contribute to achieving the objective.
        • The actual Business Cases you will build from your plan will come from the Sales plan (at least in part).
        • You will need to use the same assumptions in your plan that sales used (or show why you used something different)
          • Average deal size
          • Conversion rates through the sales pipeline
          • Key products/solutions
          • Revenue Objectives
          • Growth)

The Changing Role of Marketing

  • Description of current marketing dynamics
  • The Revenue Marketing Journey (See prior blogs for what this is)
  • The Revenue Marketing Journey Assessment – Where we are and where we need to be (and why)

2015 Revenue Marketing Goals (Need to be revenue focused)

  1. Goal – Ex: 30% contribution to sales pipeline from MQLs
  2. Goal – Ex: 60% of net new logos from MQLs
  3. Goal- Ex: 40% contribution to closed business from MQLs
  4. Goal
  5. Goal

The Business Cases (This can be the Results element of RM6 – see my prior blogs for information about the RM6)

  • This is the numbers section that is tied to the Key Initiatives
  • Investment requested
  • Return estimated
  • Includes stakeholder alignment for each business case

How We Get There

  • RM6 Assessment – How we get there – given the business cases above, this is what we need to do holistically.
    • Use Company and Sales initiatives to bake out this section of the plan
    • Initiative #1:
      • Strategy
      • People
      • Process
      • Technology
      • Content
    • Repeat for each initiative elements
    • Have one roll up of all intitiaves

Appendix

  1. Stakeholder Personas

Blog Written By: Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is a Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. She is the author of Rise of The Revenue Marketer, a doctoral student, avid CrossFitter and is passionate about all elements of Revenue Marketing – especially the leadership required to drive transformation.

Contact: Debbie@pedowitzgroup.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/dqaqish

The RM6 500

Okay racecar fans, you think the NASCAR franchise is profitable? I have another roadmap to success that’s not the Daytona 500. Let me introduce you to the Revenue Marketing 6, or RM6.

For the marketer today, it can feel like a whirlwind of change happening in our world. Our CFO’s want to know the ROI for our given budget. We’ve heard and tried out a marketing automation or an email system. Sales teams won’t pick up the leads we send to them. How can I win this race to financial accountability? I can’t afford to be last place….my competition is already ahead in prospect mindshare.

Welcome to Revenue Marketing, the right mix of strategy, people, processes, technology, content and results (RM6). The objectives of revenue marketing are: drop sales ready leads into the funnel, accelerate opportunity time to close, have a repeatable/ predictable/ scalable impact on revenue, and get you recognized for all your stellar work by showing contribution to revenue. Sound like a race you want to win?

Strategy

Now, let’s look at our race again. Strategy is our course design. How many laps will it take? How should I situate myself against the other cars? How frequently will I communicate and get help from my pit crew? Just like you would consider what needs to happen to win in a race, you need a roadmap of how to win in revenue marketing. What are your goals for the business? Are you set up to meet them? How will you mitigate risk? How is your team structured? Activity without strategy will always be that- a cost related activity item.

People

Can you imagine a NASCAR race without the drivers, sponsors, pit crew, and fans? Absolutely not. It takes a team to enable revenue marketing. Just like the driver and his pit crew have to be joined at the hip, so does sales and marketing. This is crucial for understanding what a sales ready lead looks like for your company. Also, by having executive buy in (can you imagine NASCAR without sponsors?), you can better align your programs to the business’ goals.

Process

There are so many processes that are involved in a race: tuning the engine, pit stops, gaining sponsors, driving style. The better you are at the processes, the more of an edge you have over your racing competitors. If you can run a pit stop in record time and handle your sponsors well, you have a distinct advantage over the other drivers. The same is true for the processes of revenue marketing. They involve such flows as life of a lead, the lead funnel, life of a client, testing, quality assurance, content creation, data management, to name a few. Can you imagine if you had to recreate every piece of content to use again? Marketing leaders perfect these flows because they know it enables them to function and respond to buyers quicker and with more relevance.

Technology

Technology is your engine. Sure, you can run the track by foot if you like, but it will not be done quickly and you won’t win. Technology is the enabler of the revenue marketer. It transports your content and messaging to the world while compiling data for you to then analyze to determine what’s working and what’s not. Technology is also the component for making, like an engine, your process an automated and not manual one. This gains you the efficiencies we all seek. Buying a technology is simply not enough- what if Jeff Gordon simply bought a car and didn’t adjust it for performance? Not optimal.

Content

If technology is the engine, what is the fuel? Content. Just as fuel feeds the engine, content feeds your technology to attract buyers. By aligning content to the buyer journey to propel your prospects through their buyer’s journey, content becomes a strategic component. The old adage “garbage in garbage out” stands true here. If you have technology communicating content that is not strategically developed for your various personas for your solution, it will not elicit the responses and revenue you hope. In addition, great marketers know that content management and syndication are important areas to be able to effectively reuse well created content.

Results

And finally- we’re on the last lap! Where did you end last race? What place are you now? Is there improvement? Results are the bread and butter of a revenue marketer. If you’re on the race track and don’t take any account of your placement before the last lap, you likely don’t have the time to course correct for first place. By having metrics throughout your programs and executions, you can see ahead of time if you are off track from reaching your end goal. For us, the revenue marketer, that goal is optimized revenue contribution.

Blog Written By: Alyse Qaqish

Alyse is the Southeast Regional Sales Manager at The Pedowitz Group. Her passion for helping clients identify and solve their most difficult problems lead her to the exploration of Revenue Marketing. Her background in highly complex sales cycles allows her to bring clarity and roadmaps to success for her clients. 

Contact: alyse.qaqish@pedowitzgroup.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/alyseqaqish

Reporting and Analytics – Key Drivers in the Revenue Marketing Revolution

The era of the marketing department being recognized as a cost center is steadily waning, and a new age of predictable, scalable, revenue-driven marketing is upon us. This gargantuan shift in marketing philosophy marks a significant change in attitude about the role marketing and sales teams should play in an organization.

New and rapidly evolving technologies, coupled with the Pedowitz Group’s RM6™ methodology, are driving the Revenue Marketing™ revolution. The ways in which marketing strategies are planned, built, and executed, are shifting. But it’s easy for these efforts to become hindered by the amount of change required throughout the process. Challenges often arise as a natural part of the growing process. Thankfully, there is a way to mitigate some of that risk.

A New Conversation

If we are going to truly embrace the Revenue Marketing methodology, however, we need to re-structure the conversation. In order to become a results-driven unit, we need to make reporting and analytics the driver, not the destination (the destination, by the way, is revenue!).

Even before you launch a single campaign, you can – and should – begin reporting. Just as there is nothing traditional about Revenue Marketing though, there is nothing traditional about the way we should look at analytics.

On your Revenue Marketing journey, a database and systems health check is the first set of reports you should seek. Operational reporting is an absolutely critical step in driving change.

The Power of Data Analysis

In the story of Revenue Marketing, reporting is both the hero and the dragon. When automation tools integrate with powerful CRM systems, the true power hidden within our data is unleashed. With an expanded ability to dissect, manipulate, and examine our data in new ways, we begin to experience the chaos that an onslaught of information can deliver. Quite often, early reporting reveals any number of issues, from broken processes, poor communication among team members, lack of consistency, and the general bad habits that secretly sabotage our efforts. This kind of disruption can create a lot of discomfort and confusion, but it’s important to remember that any information is good information – if you know what to do with it.

Intimate knowledge of your database is what’s needed to drive a Revenue Marketing Strategy. Arguably the most difficult part of this is being honest about what our data tells us. The activity metrics that have long been the cornerstone of reporting are now just a single piece of the puzzle. Now that our data resides in integrated systems that communicate in real time, it becomes organic and will appear to take on a life of its own. Let it. Listen to it. Ultimately, we mustn’t try to control what our data tells us, instead, we must respond to it.

When you enter into your Revenue Marketing Journey™, you must do so with an open mind. Your marketing dialogue will evolve, you will be forced to review your data from new angles, and you will be tasked with relinquishing control of your results. It’s not as scary as it sounds. Instead of being held accountable for meaningless metrics, you will be able to focus on interpreting results and providing valuable feedback that the company can use to drive policy and product/service development, and that you will use to generate revenue.

Blog Written By: Alyssa Hewitt

Alyssa Hewitt is an Associate Revenue Engineer for The Pedowitz Group and a Marketo Certified Expert. With a passion for reporting and analytics, she loves to dissect data in an effort to better understand the genetics and behavioral tendencies of a lead database; knowledge that eventually translates to revenue-driven marketing strategy.

Behavior Modification for Marketers

“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein

  I see it everyday and especially during budget season. Marketing talks the game of connecting to revenue, marketing talks the game of aligning with   sales, marketing talks the game of wanting a seat at the table, but marketing is often not willing to change themselves in order to accomplish these goals. Too often I see marketing looking for a quick fix by obsessing about the latest piece of technology or the latest trend in marketing. What I see is a lot of talking and very little concrete change in behavior. Yet, we all know that to really change, we must change our fundamental behaviors.

Let me share a story.

A technique used by therapist to help modify many negative behaviors is the snapping of a rubber band worn around the wrist. When the person is faced with the choice of a bad behavior (eating that piece of cake or smoking that cigarette), snapping the rubber band brings them back to reality and can help them make a better choice. This technique helps the wearer become aware of the bad behaviors while learning new behaviors designed to improve their life. I used a similar technique for my own recent transformation.

In 2013, as a busy executive, I had let my health slip. The usual stuff, over-weight, over-tired and over-stressed. In July of that year, I decided to take back that control and knew I had to modify my behavior as it related to food and exercise. I joined a CrossFit gym (something I had done in 2004) and began working out 4-5 days a week – even with my hectic travel schedule. I stopped eating sugar and most grains, added organic whenever possible to my diet, and re-discovered how great food is as a fuel for your body, not just a hobby. The results were impressive in several areas. I lost weight and dramatically improved my strength, endurance, flexibility and fitness. I love Olympic lifting and found the strength training at CrossFit to be particularly effective. (I can clean 125 lbs and snatch 95 lbs). From a mental perspective, I found myself to be sharper at all times of the day, not just in the mornings. My stress levels decreased and I was no longer tired all the time.

The rubber band snap for me everyday was my daily weigh-in. First thing in the morning, I weighed and recorded my weight on a pad attached to my bathroom wall. This allowed me to be totally honest with myself and helped me to seek, learn and practice the good behaviors that allowed me to adopt a new life-style.

It’s All About Behavior Modification

When people ask me how I accomplished my transformation, I tell them – not from a “diet” and not from a quick fix, but from modifying my behavior. And, I have a list of specific behaviors that I live by. For example, I know that if I don’t shop for fresh and organic foods on Saturday, cook and test new Paleo recipes on Sunday, and have my refrigerator stocked with Paleo goodies on Monday morning, my week is not going to go well. This is a set of concrete, observable, and measurable behaviors. I know that I cannot go to McDonalds or any fast-food restaurant – it simply something I do not do. I also know that going to the gym is a behavior that I must do. I know that if I miss more than two days of working out, I am going to be in trouble so I plan my work-out every week. It is an appointment I place on my calendar. When I travel, I make time to work-out. When I book my flight and hotel, I also find the closest CrossFit gym, check out their hours and schedule in the time to visit a new gym.

How Will You Modify The Behavior of Marketing in 2015?

What I am really talking about here is a life-style change that is fueled by a new set of behaviors. Behaviors that are concrete, observable, and measurable. As marketing begins to transform from being a cost center to a revenue center, it is a life-style change and needs to be fueled by a new set of behaviors.

In 2013 I published Rise of the Revenue Marketer. The crux of the book is that as the role of marketing changes in relationship to revenue, marketing leadership is floundering on how to lead this transformation. I interviewed 24 marketing leaders who were having success in driving this transformation and the common thread across all of their success stories was how they changed their own behavior. Now, they did not go around wearing a rubber band on their wrist, but it wouldn’t have hurt. What they did do was recognize the new behaviors needed to be a new kind of marketing to the organization.

So, you have to ask yourself, are you practicing the behaviors that are going to transform your marketing group from being a cost center to a revenue center? If not, it’s time to take a behavior inventory. Make a list of behaviors that will produce the outcomes you need to achieve. Make a list of behaviors that are the “bad” behaviors and practice getting them out of your department.

Remember, talking the talk won’t get you there…you need action and a new set of behaviors.

Blog Written By: Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is a Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. She is the author of Rise of The Revenue Marketer, a doctoral student, avid CrossFitter and is passionate about all elements of Revenue Marketing – especially the leadership required to drive transformation.

Contact: Debbie@pedowitzgroup.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/dqaqish

Developing a Marketing Event Capability Model

It’s budget season and for many marketers, a big portion of the budget is spent on events. For many marketing organizations, events are a key tactic for building awareness and for generating leads. From a Revenue Marketing perspective, events are carefully planned to maximize revenue opportunities. What we have seen is marketers building an “Events Capability” as they take the Revenue Marketing Journey. At each stage of the Revenue Marketing Journey, how marketing drives financial benefit from events matures.

Let me do a quick reminder of the four stages of the Revenue Marketing Journey.

 

Event Capability Descriptions

As you read through the following descriptions, identify where you are today and where you need to be!

Stage 1: Events at the Traditional Stage

In the Traditional stage, there is no holistic strategy based on customer orientation. Marketing is still working in highly departmentalized siloes, both within marketing and across the organization. In this scenario, events are managed by an event team that is responsible for execution. Events are not part of a holistic, integrated, customer-focused strategy. Marketing is not involved with sales around the events and actually does not have a relationship with sales. Technology used is the standard event technology based on an execution mindset. Content is product focused, like the strategy, and metrics or KPIs are focused on activities – how many registrants and how many badge scans.

Stage 2: Events at the Lead Generation Stage

In the Lead Generation Stage, events still occur as an independent activity and are not part of an integrated, customer-oriented strategy. Events are like a legacy system – no one knows why you have to do all of them – “it’s just the way it’s always been done and sales expects it.” The key process is execution of the event and the customer experience, pre-during-post the event, is not part of the plan. While marketing may have some degree of lead generation as part of the event, there is not a substantive relationship with sales. Content is still product centric and key metrics are based on activities with some number of “hot leads” included.

Stage 3: Events at the Demand Generation Stage

Events begin to play a significantly new role in the Demand Generation stage. Marketing is now deploying a customer-centric, integrated Revenue Marketing strategy. This focus on the customer, versus the company, defines all elements of the Journey from this point forward. Events are defined as part of the Buyer Journey and are a single tactic across an integrated set of tactics and programs. In this stage, events have strong pre-during-post customer engagement across multiple channels. Marketing is now responsible for event ROI/revenue metrics such as MQLs, contribution to pipeline, and revenue. Providing intelligence to sales based on digital body language is also a staple of the marketing process of events at this stage. Technology in this stage is focused on creating the optimal customer experience, pre-during-post event across multiple channels. Tools such as marketing automation, CRM, BI, etc., are staples at this stage. Content is focused on messages for key personas and the Buyer Journey. Content is fresh, dynamic and customer-centric.

Stage 4: Events at the Revenue Marketing Stage

As a mature Revenue Marketer, events are used as a key tactic as part of an integrated and customer-centric Revenue Marketing strategy. Events are managed as part of a portfolio of tactics and programs that now have predictable results. In this stage, all key processes are optimized and RPS = Repeatable, Predictable, and Scalable. Marketing may have pipeline goals and may be compensated on achieving those revenue-based goals. In this stage, marketing and sales have a synergistic working relationship, meaning they work as ONE Revenue Marketing team. Event technology is used to create an optimal customer experience pre-during-post the event and across multiple channels. Tools such as marketing automation, CRM, BI, etc., are staples at this stage. Content at this stage is the same as in the Demand Generation stage, with the difference that marketing KNOWS what content works best based on prior experience. Finally, while the metrics and KPI’s are similar to those in the Demand Generation stage, marketing can now actually forecast the revenue impact from an event.

If events are a big part of your budget, as you make plans for 2015, do all you can to make your events revenue generators.

Blog Written By: Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is a Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. She is the author of Rise of The Revenue Marketer, a doctoral student, avid CrossFitter and is passionate about all elements of Revenue Marketing – especially the leadership required to drive transformation.

Contact: Debbie@pedowitzgroup.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/dqaqish

Marketing vs. Sales: Revenue Marketing is the Best Medicine

Early on in my career, I always wondered why marketing and sales never seemed to get along. Back then, I just chalked it up to that old, stereotypical ‘Marketing vs. Sales’ battle, and resigned myself to the fact that this was my reality going forward.

I thought I was doing everything I could to engage and help my sales team. I was dead wrong.

As I started learning about Revenue Marketing™ strategy and tactics, I had an “aha” moment. True alignment with sales takes more than generating leads, following up on those leads, creating resources for sales, and even understanding their sales cycle and pipeline. Think about it. Have you ever held a meeting with sales, only for it to devolve into a no-holds-barred cage match about lead quality?

Me too!

Warning – you should NOT expect your relationship with sales to be anything but combative if you’re still conducting business as a Traditional marketer. Can you have some successful moments? Sure. But they will be few and far between.

Once you learn the Revenue Marketing approach to sales and marketing alignment and employ these tactics, working and communicating with sales becomes A LOT easier.

Start by working with your sales team to create a closed-loop process. Specifically:

  • Map out the lead lifecycle
  • Define qualified leads: MAL, SAL, SQL
  • Create lead scoring
  • Integrate CRM and marketing automation
  • Define the lead handoff and sales follow-up process

Establishing this is not easy and requires a lot of work. But this work is essential. The payoff is not only a better relationship with sales, but you’ll also be driving revenue and proving marketing’s contribution to revenue at the same time.

That isn’t to say that you won’t still have some confrontations with sales, but they will rarely get out of hand. Why? Because in a Revenue Marketing team, everyone has bought into the same process and works towards shared, revenue-oriented goals. In this scenario, having smart and productive interactions with sales will become your norm.

My colleague, Debbie Qaqish, has a great post covering what is required for a Revenue Marketer to establish synergy with sales.

If you are not implementing these tactics currently, I would suggest learning everything you can about Revenue Marketing. Once you take the first step, you will never look back.

Blog Written By: David Reichlin

David Reichlin is a Senior Revenue Engineer for The Pedowitz Group. He has extensive experience crafting and executing revenue-generating B2B marketing strategy. Throughout his career David has helped companies: drive sales, build their brand, gain market share and retain clients.

The 2015 “Smarketing” Plan

OK, OK…this might be a tacky headline that brings to mind Papa Smurf but it represents exactly what I want to say:

YOU CAN’T BUILD A 2015 MARKETING PLAN WITHOUT THE 2015 SALES PLAN.

In my September 11th post called “How To Get 2015 Budget Approval” I presented a Table of Contents (provided by a client) for a plan that not only got acceptance but also received the requested 24% increase in budget over prior year. Why? Two simple reasons. First, this plan was a business case for what, how, why marketing could move the number. Second, it fully baked in how to work with sales. Let’s take a closer look.

Elements of a “Smarketing” Plan:

  1. Marketing uses key initiatives from sales as input to build key programs. Let me give you an example of how this can go wrong. A few years ago I was consulting with a global company and marketing’s rallying cry was to get as many net new logos as possible. This was an important element of growth for the company so they built programs to focus on this objective. However, analysis of lead conversion from MQL to close was abysmal and represented a huge waste of time, money and effort in marketing. What happened? This was NOT a key initiative for sales nor was any compensation aligned to new new logos for the sales team. Sales reps in this company made as much money on renewing existing customers as they did trying to close new customers…so where did they spend their time? You bet it was on the many, many renewals they worked.

2.   Marketing and Sales use the same numbers for forecasting/creating business cases. Marketing needs to take a key initiative from sales and create a vibrant business case through programs they can build, execute and measure. Let’s say a key initiative of sales is to launch and sell a LOT of a new product/solution. In getting to the top line revenue numbers, they assume a certain close rate of opportunities, let’s say it’s 31% for a current client (this would be an up-sell). As a marketer, when you go to create your business case for programs you will not only focus on programs for current customers, but you should also use the same opportunity to close rate (31%) to calculate opportunity to close for MQLs created by marketing. IF you disagree with this close rate, you need to state why. AND, if sales uses a different closing rate for new customers, you need to use that calculation as well. This calculation helps you also if you have a goal of contributing a certain portion of the pipeline and closed business from marketing leads.

3.  Marketing and Sales have an enabling org structure and compensation plan. One company I worked with did a beautiful job of aligning sales and marketing around a structure and a comp plan. Patty Foley-Reid at IronMountain made a conscious effort to do this every year. She called it “mirroring” the sales organization and whatever plans they had for the year, she aligned her marketing team both from an organizational structure and a comp structure. Patty also had the same quota number as the sales team..talk about alignment!

These are just a few ways you can create your 2015 Smarketing plan…what else have you done? I’d love to hear about it!

Blog Written By: Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is a Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. She is the author of Rise of The Revenue Marketer, a doctoral student, avid CrossFitter and is passionate about all elements of Revenue Marketing – especially the leadership required to drive transformation.

Contact: Debbie@pedowitzgroup.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/dqaqish

Are We Automating Ourselves Out of Our Jobs? – Part 2

When I teach the Marketo Foundation course, I often address the fear that people may have that utilizing an MA system will put them out of a job. Well, the automation part is supposed to free the marketer up to do other things that the machine can’t do and leave the tedious stuff to the processors. I think that’s still true, and will be for the foreseeable future.

While the algorithms, calculation engines, and optimization programs assist us, what they primarily do is provide us with more and better data, more quickly than we could manually parse it, so that we can make decisions and change trajectories (if needed). While the algorithms continue to improve, it’s because there are some people coding those improvements, based on the input they’re receiving both from the programs themselves and from – you guessed it – humans!

Put your thinking caps on

So what happens if automation removes the need for marketers to assess scoring, deploy programs, and optimize workflows? Do they also write the content? Create new products? Are they so integrated with other automated systems that they can assess, and even predict, the economy to know the needs we will have? In the near next decades, I don’t think so. Because, ultimately, when we market, we are marketing to people – and people have the unique characteristics of changing their minds, doing unpredictable things, and making choices that even the best algorithms don’t expect. I can tell from the suggestions made to me in Amazon that even with all the fancy programming, it has not yet worked out which books I might want to read. While that algorithm will get better, there are still people needed to do things like, well, write the mystery novels I like to read. I’m pretty sure neither a computer nor 10,000 monkeys will write a novel that captures my attention. And for the record, while watching the FastCo. video, Humans Need Not Apply, I thought “what dreadful music is this?” before they disclosed that it was computer generated.

Are computers creative enough?

As MA becomes more reliant on predictive analytics, I believe it will also become more reliant on people – for content, for customer feedback, for putting ideas together in the unique ways that humans do. We never seem to run out of people willing to say “what if”. I agree that there are many things that the machines can do – and I point this out to students. Marketing automation should alleviate the tedium (cleaning leads, counting things) and enable marketers to do things that are truly unique and innovative.

This definitely requires a different skill set – and we see this a lot. Those who can adapt to using marketing automation as a tool thrive, and those who can’t, often leave marketing or go to a very traditional company because they can’t make the leap. The characteristics of strong marketers in the future are the same as those today: innovation, creativity, ingenuity, and interdisciplinary thinking.

We’ve been improving technology for 10,000 years

Over generations, people have been needed less for work that automated machinery does more: from loom weaving to car assembly. Other jobs have arisen – but they require very different skills. Not the fine handwork of building the first radio, but the programming skills to automate the mass production of transistors – and put them in radios, which have now been replaced by our smart phones. But many of us use those same smart phones, built in part by machines, to do productive work and contribute to the world economy. Our unemployment crises come when we have trained people for one job – but we are desperately in need of skills for other jobs.

However, if the computers want to take over and do all my work, while providing me with a luxurious lifestyle in which I can pursue my hobbies and still live in the manner to which I’d like to become accustomed, I will welcome our robot overlords.

Blog Written By: Emily Salus

Emily Salus is the Marketo Practice Director at The Pedowitz Group. She has over 20 years of experience in Marketing, PR and Sales. Emily is a certified Marketo technical consultant, providing Revenue Marketing services and strategy to enterprise clients and best practices and training to the SMB market.

6 Keys to Building a High Performance Revenue Marketing Practice: Part 3 – Technology & Results

In this three-part series, I examine the six keys of building and growing a thriving Revenue Marketing practice – strategy, content, people, process, technology and results. In Part One, I talked about Strategy and Content and Part Two covered People and Process . In today’s final installment, I’ll address Technology and Results.

The Fundamentals: Marketing Automation And CRMRM6 Technology and Results

Technology, more specifically marketing automation integrated with CRM, is the foundation for any Revenue Marketing practice. These tools provide the ability to track and report on real revenue contribution from marketing.

More broadly, many marketing departments use multiple systems to run marketing. I was recently working in one large company, and we quit counting how many systems marketing was using at 22! Clearly, this is too many to be effective.

It is critical, especially in larger organizations, that the entire revenue marketing architecture is reviewed and optimized. What is the purpose of each system? How does data flow from one system to the other? What needs to change in each system once these data flows are optimized? Who do these changes impact and how will they be trained? Who will update and administer the system architecture? In other words, what is the optimal set of technologies and how are they best optimized to deliver an optimal revenue marketing result?

Revenue Marketing Operations

Answering all of these questions points to the potential need for a separate revenue marketing operations group with the goal to optimize marketing effectiveness with leading edge technology, optimized processes, clean and current data, and rigorous analysis. Within this revenue marketing operations group key functions include marketing technology management, data management, process optimization, reporting/analysis/strategy and marketing automation power users/admins.

Managing this much technology is often a challenge for marketing and thus requires either the hiring of technical skills or a good working relationship with IT. One thing is clear for marketing: Technology is now the enabler; just as CRM spawned the rise of sales operations, marketing automation and other tools are doing the same for marketing operations.

Results: What Gets Measured, Gets Done

In terms of a revenue marketing practice, results are reflected in the metrics that your CEO, CFO, CSO and board care about the most: revenue. For many marketers, making the transition – going from reporting on activities such as number of leads generated to reporting on percentage and dollar amount of the sales funnel sourced by marketing — is a huge transition that goes beyond just acquiring a marketing automation system. For this transition to be successful, there must be a rabid focus on ROI.

To give you an example of the impact that an ROI focus has on results, let’s look a key data point from the recent study from the Lenskold Group and sponsored by the Pedowitz Group — In the study, of the companies using marketing automation and ROI metrics, 69% reported an increase in total marketing revenue contribution. Contrast this with the 19% increase in total marketing revenue contribution reported by users of marketing automation and traditional metrics.

This data points out that investing in marketing automation is the first step, but the more important step is focus on ROI in order to make a substantial contribution to top-line revenue.

The Revenue Marketing Funnel

In order to achieve and report on key revenue metrics, marketers must develop and manage a revenue marketing funnel. Just like a sales funnel, the marketing funnel establishes the rate of conversion from one stage of the funnel to the next. The end-game here is to become so accurate on these conversion metrics that marketing can forecast the upcoming impact on revenue.

The ability to drive repeatable, predictable and scalable revenue contribution is the hallmark of the Revenue Marketer. And now, it can be done thanks to marketing automation technologies.

Reporting Dashboards And Cadence

Developing dashboards in a revenue marketing model takes on two distinct flavors – one to help run the day to day practice and one for reporting to senior management.

Day to day dashboards usually include lots of data and will report on metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, form conversion rate, number of MQLs sent to sales and percentage of conversions of MQL to opportunity — all broken down by lead source and all key metrics the team needs to work to optimize. These metrics are reviewed in real-time and as part of a thorough continuous improvement program.

Dashboards for senior management include far fewer but more highly focused revenue metrics such as percentage of sales pipeline sourced by marketing, dollar amount of sales pipeline sourced by marketing, percentage of closed business sourced by marketing and dollar amount of revenue sourced by marketing. The best case is that the executive dashboards are available 24×7, and the next best case is that the dashboard is an automated report that can be generated at any time.

Clearly there is a huge correlation between results and technology in that technology is the enabler to drive a real revenue result from marketing. Once marketing can get comfortable with using technology as a business driver and applying an ROI focus to marketing, revenue results begin to happen.

The transformation of marketing from a cost center to a revenue center is a complex initiative that requires a holistic approach across all six elements of strategy, content, people, process, technology and results. There is no silver bullet, but marketing organizations that approach this transformation as a journey, rather than as an event, will become true Revenue Marketers.

Blog Written By: Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is a Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The Pedowitz Group. She is the author of Rise of The Revenue Marketer, a doctoral student, avid CrossFitter and is passionate about all elements of Revenue Marketing – especially the leadership required to drive transformation.

Contact: Debbie@pedowitzgroup.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/dqaqish

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