There are six major controls to building and sustaining an effective Revenue Marketing™ practice – strategy, content, people, process, technology and results. You will use every one of these six controls to set your own unique path and pace for transforming marketing from a cost center to a revenue center.
In this 3-part series, I examine the controls and define what each does in terms of Revenue Marketing. Let’s start by looking at strategy and content.
While there are many sub-strategies to help run a Revenue Marketing practice (nurture, inbound, data, etc.), the overarching strategy in terms of Revenue Marketing focuses on three areas: aligning marketing objectives with sales objectives, restructuring marketing roles for a Revenue Marketing practice, and managing change as marketing moves from a cost center to a revenue center.
Align Marketing Objectives with Sales Objectives
It’s amazing to me how many times I ask marketing about the sales objectives for the company and get a blank stare. What sales number are they trying to attain? What is the focus of sales activity? New business? Existing business? A new product launch? A new territory? If the Revenue Marketing practice is not aligned to, and complementary with, the sales agenda, it will drown in a 1,001 activities. For example, if a company is hyper-focused on new business and marketing is not supporting that agenda, how are decisions made on how to utilize time, money and resources? #1 – get your marketing plan aligned with the sales plan.
Restructure Revenue Marketing Roles
The marketing VP/CMO must put their money where their mouth is. Nothing says commitment like a job description, an organization chart and a compensation plan. Too frequently, I see a marketing organization adopt Revenue Marketing by simply adding more ‘To Do’ items to marketing’s already very full list. This is not optimal. The serious Revenue Marketing practictioner looks at creating new roles, a new structure and a new compensation plan.
Adopting a Revenue Marketing practice requires lots of change management, especially in larger companies. Marketing needs to understand its new role in managing the top of the sales funnel, as prospects are loathe to interact with a company – particularly sales – in the early stages of their buying journey. Sales needs to understand the new, dynamic nature of partnering with marketing in this digital world. And executives, especially VPs of sales, need to understand there is a new way to drive revenue across a combined marketing and sales continuum. Marketing is no longer the “make it pretty” department, but is now a bona fide revenue center.
If strategy is the direction for the car, then content is the fuel for the Revenue Marketing engine. Every marketing organization produces and uses content. What is different about ‘content to fuel a Revenue Marketing practice’ is not only how it’s used, but how it’s used as a predictor of intent. For example:
- When people visit your website and download your “dry as toast” data sheet, you can pretty much assume they’re interested specifically in your solution and are in the mid-stages of the buyer’s journey. Action: Call immediately.
- If they download a white paper, you might assume they’re early in the buying journey. Action: Continue to nurture or make a soft call to ensure they’re in the right nurture campaign.
- If they sign up for an online product trial, they are far along in the buyer’s journey. Action: Call immediately.
Build a Content Roadmap
The best way to approach Revenue Marketing content is to create a content roadmap that consists of four layers: 1) the buying process; 2) the digital personas and the role each plays at each of the buying stages; 3) messaging by persona and buying stage; and 4) content by buying stage and persona.
This roadmap creates a clear picture of where, and how, to use content that invites digital behaviors that you can read and respond to. This quickly helps you see what content you already have, what content you need to update for Revenue Marketing purposes, and what content you need to build. Finally, when put together correctly, the content roadmap makes it easy to write copy for campaigns and landing pages with correct messaging and calls to action.