A new breed of B2B marketers is emerging as marketing embraces new tools, tactics, ways of working, and assumes greater responsibility for helping buyers buy and driving revenue growth.
Titles may vary, from customer journey manager to go-to-market program owner, but they all share common characteristics:
- Focus on revenue growth and continuously improving on the systems they have built to get more return from their marketing investments
- Using marketing tactics as a means to an end (SEM, social, content, e-mail automations etc.) rather than an end in itself.
- Making investment decisions based on performance data rather than gut feeling but measuring their success on business results rather than marketing metrics.
The revenue marketer.
The purpose of marketing has always been profitable revenue growth and the opportunity to deliver has never been greater
In his 1923 book, “Scientific Advertising”, Claude C. Hopkins shared his definition of advertising (i.e. marketing), which rings just as true now, as it did when it was written close to 100 years ago:
“… The only purpose of advertising is to make sales. It is profitable or unprofitable according to its actual sales. It is not for general effect. It is not to keep your name before the people. It is not primarily to aid your other salesmen. Treat it as a salesman. Force it to justify itself. Compare it with other salesmen. Figure its cost and result. Accept no excuses which good salesmen do not make. Then you will not go far wrong. (Claude C. Hopkins, Scientific Advertisement, 1923).
While marketing in many B2B organisations have long been limited to the realms of sales support and awareness campaigns, recent developments are reshaping the role of B2B marketing and creating the need for a new type of marketer.
- The role of marketing as a revenue growth driver grows in importance as B2B buyers go digital, completing more purchases at increasing deal values without direct seller involvement and using a mix of digital, virtual and face-to-face engagement through the entire purchasing process for more complex purchases
- The complexity of marketing grows as they adopt a growing number of channels, tools and tactics to activate potential buyers and drive them forward in their buying process
To keep marketing from drowning in new individual tactics or technology (SEO, SEM, social, e-mail, webinars, automation etc.), marketing organisations increasingly employ a new type of marketing professional to take a holistic view on the buying journey and orchestrate the construction and ongoing optimization of a system of activities to activate buyers and guide them through the purchasing process.
And with improved marketing performance measurement capabilities, from first point of contact to point of sales and beyond, that marketing professional has never been more enabled than now to “… justify itself, compare it with other salesman (and) figure its cost and results”.
The purpose of marketing has always been growth and for those able to tie together the new tools at marketing’s disposal, the opportunity to deliver has never been greater.
Six defining characteristics of the B2B revenue marketer
- Takes a full funnel buyer journey perspective rather than the “marketing funnel”: For both transactional & complex purchases, B2B buyers use digital channels through the entire buying journey (link). As a result, marketing’s role in converting market potential into sales does not stop at “leads handed over to sales”, but extends all the way to point of sales. Revenue marketers take their point of departure in an understanding of the end-to-end buying journey and the critical tasks, questions & pains along the way
- Builds systems rather than campaigns: The majority of B2B buying happens at an ongoing basis, as a result of continuous engagement between vendor and buyer. As a result, marketing needs to focus on building “always on” systems set up to activate existing & potential buyers and guide them through their buying journey. Revenue marketers focus on investing marketing resources in building systems that can continuously deliver results rather than developing and deploying one-off campaigns. Bringing together channel specialists to optimize the buyer journey rather than channels in silos
- Focuses on financial outcomes rather than creative output: While some marketers get their kick from the brilliant creative spark and potential awards that come with it, revenue marketers weigh all decisions in the light of cost vs. outcome, ultimately CAC vs. CLTV or cost-of-sales vs. profit
- Makes investment decisions based on data rather than gut feeling: The ultimate goal of marketing is to make a sale, generate revenue and grow the customer, but with there are as many buyer journeys that leads to that as there are buyers. The revenue marketer understands this and takes a data perspective on the buyer journey to understand the “route to revenue”, the performance of each potential conversion point and where the critical points of improvement exists
- Uses sales as a channel & partner: In the new B2B buying environment, where buyers use digital, virtual, and physical channels interchangeably throughout their entire buying process, selling is a product of both sales and marketing activities from buyer problem identification to purchase. The revenue marketer focus on understanding not just the digital buyer touchpoints under their responsibility, but also those led by the salesforce, and how they can improve performance through those
- Hard-wire ongoing decision-making into a marketing operating model: Meetings happening to a set frequency to evaluate performance, identify key points for improvement and corrective action to take
Revenue marketers to lead revenue marketing
While revenue marketers have long been the standard in the world of e-commerce and SaaS, where buying journeys are predominantly digitally driven, recent marketing developments in more traditional B2B companies are now increasing their relevance in those companies as well.
The architects and engineers to build the systems that helps marketing take ownership of their new role in the commercial organisation; Revenue marketers to lead revenue marketing.
Want to learn more about revenue marketing or even become a revenue marketer? We offer a virtual training program for B2B marketers, consisting of six modules over a 12-week period, teaching participants how to act as a revenue marketer.
The program provides B2B marketers with the skills to succeed with driving strategic demand generation programs and contribute actively to revenue growth. You can read more here.