B2B marketing is seeing a shift. More marketers and organizational leaders are starting to look at marketing as a revenue center rather than a cost center. Suddenly marketers find themselves working for revenue. And not just for traffic or leads or wildly creative campaigns.
Economic downturn over the last few years has accelerated this development in marketing. Marketing budgets have tightened, resources have dwindled, and marketers are under pressure to prove the value of their investments. Everything seems heavily tilted against marketing. But there couldn’t be a better time to earn a seat at the revenue table.
Why is it important for marketing to become more revenue focussed
The B2B buying journey isn’t the same anymore. There is a marked change in the behavior of buyers as a major part of the buying journey happens online. This means marketing has more stake in influencing the buying journey.
Most of the buying jobs are now completed digitally. In part, accelerated by the pandemic and in part due to the fact that there are more millennial decision-makers. Almost half of them don’t want to get involved with sales while making a purchase. They want to use more channels as sources of information, thereby expanding the digital footprint of the average B2B buyer. Everything that a marketer could hope for, right?
Today, the ability of marketers to impact a deal goes deeper into the funnel than it ever was. There is an opportunity for marketers to not just pass on leads but become directly responsible for closed deals.
More and more marketers are looking to not just adapt to this changing reality but also to grab the opportunity in this. However, there are also challenges to overcome.
Challenges in leveraging data for revenue focussed marketing
A requisite for marketing to become a revenue center is to become more precise. Everything has to be just ‘right.’ The right message has to be delivered to the right persona using the right channels and activities. There has to be more precision built into marketing programs. This is possible only when marketers take a more data-driven approach.
For marketers, data is ‘truly’ the new oil. And most marketing teams and organizations have plenty of it. In fact, they are inundated with data. So, why aren’t more marketers data driven?
Firstly, marketers are not known for their data analytics skills. Secondly, the quality and management of data. According to Forrester, only 12% of marketers have high confidence in the data they possess. Companies need to relook their sources of data. They must ask themselves what types of data – first party or third party, website analytics or ad analytics – is best going to serve their marketing. Data collection needs to happen from a wide angle approach.
Talking data in marketing is hard because there’s just a lot of it. A lot to process and stitch together. And going through all that data without the necessary tools and infrastructure is futile. Before marketers look at expanding their data pools, they must first become experts in successfully managing the data they already possess.
How can marketers become more data-driven to drive revenue
When you want to reach, engage and convert the right accounts, your data needs to be accurate. You should be able to track a buyer’s journey using data across all your channels and tools.
Every tool in the martech stack possesses hundreds of thousands of data points. With data spread across all your tools, viewing a complete buyer’s journey is next to impossible. Ultimately, it’s about bringing all these data together in a systematic and easily accessible manner.
One way to do this effectively is to use a customer data platform (CDP) that has capabilities to help you activate your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Such a platform integrates with all your martech and salestech to give you a single source of truth. And all the data that you pull into such a platform is arranged and sorted in a systematic manner determined by your ICP definition. So, you’re more than ever ready to reach the right target audience at the right time with the right experience.
You can choose to go for a standalone CDP platform or one that comes as part of a larger solution with engagement or activation functionalities. The advantage of the later one being insights into the buyer’s journey stages as well as next-best action recommendations that boost your campaign readiness.
Better Insights for Revenue Marketing
Marketers and organizations will have to realize that it’s hard to stitch together data and derive insights without the right infrastructure. Outdated modeling will not do when you’re going to be rated on the revenue you bring in.
Marketing data is evolving quickly. It is critical to be able to decipher and understand their bearing on your current campaigns as well on your future strategy in real-time.