• What the CEO Doesn’t Know About Marketing

    In a new webinar entitled “Rules for Revenue Mastery: What the CEO Needs from Marketing,” Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez and InsideView CEO Umberto Milletti offer insights into what today’s revenue-focused CEOs need from their marketing departments.  

    Fernandez and Milletti offer insights into what CEOs really value about marketing, strategies and tactics for turning marketing departments into integral units in a company’s revenue engine, how marketing departments can improve revenue forecasting, and crucial marketing metrics to present to executives and board members.

    Many CEOs lack a clear understanding of how marketing departments contribute to company revenues.  Fernandez and Milletti refer to a 2010 marketing performance measurement and management survey conducted by Visionedge Marketing and Marketo, in which 67% of the CEOs surveyed said they would give their marketing departments a B or C grade.  According to the survey, 20% of the CEOs surveyed said they weren’t sure their marketing programs made a difference, but probably had some impact; 47% said marketing programs made a difference, but their contribution wasn’t measured; and 33% said marketing programs made an impact, and the marketing program was able to document that contribution.

    Marketing can become an integral player in the revenue process, Fernandez and Milletti say, by focusing on the entire revenue cycle to deliver qualified opportunities and revenue.  This includes engaging throughout the revenue cycle, including lead generation, nurturing and scoring leads and optimizing sales effectiveness.

    Marketing can also become part of the revenue cycle by building alignment with sales.  This can be done by establishing a foundation of respect and trust, and building and nurturing personal relationships with members of the sales team. Marketing teams should work with sales to agree on practical definitions of the various revenue cycle stages to establish a common bond and avoid confusion. Marketing should also work with sales to establish Services Level Agreements (SLAs) for lead flow, attend each other’s meetings, and establish quick wins and promote each other’s successes.

    One of the most important steps marketing can take to become a more visible player in the revenue cycle is to measure and forecast metrics that matter to the CEO. Marketing is faced with the problem of making its impact more visible to CEOs. While it is relatively easy to see marketing spend, measuring marketing impact is more elusive.  According to Fernandez and Milletti, marketing should learn to speak the same financial language as the CEO or CFO.  Marketing teams can do this by using metrics that measure marketing impact against the goals of the corporation, and frame marketing investment and marketing results in terms of hard metrics like revenue and growth.  Finally, marketing should learn to forecast its impact on future revenues by filling the void where CSOs lack “bottom-up” visibility. Marketing has a long-term view and visibility into the early stages of the revenue cycle that can be used to forecast their impact on future revenues.

    Finally, marketing should work to become an active strategic advisor that drives plans for future revenue growth. Marketing can do this by becoming “thinking partners” with CEOs, engaging in strategy and execution. Marketing has several strengths that they bring to the table, including knowledge and understanding of the external market, rigorous analysis of company position and capabilities, and an intimate understanding of the voice of the customer.

    How can CMOs and their teams get started?  Fernandez and Milletti offer actionable steps toward making marketing a valuable player in the revenue cycle.  Marketing should begin by winning over sales.  This can be done by identifying marketing and online interactions with closed business, assessing the effectiveness of existing sales enablement  and requesting weekly “smarketing” working meetings.  Next, marketing should focus on optimizing its “CEO dashboard” by examining how marketing moves people through the cycle, enlisting the CFO and operations teams, and establishing a need for a common vocabulary with sales.  Finally, marketing can also boost its reputation, presence and legitimacy by occasionally presenting ideas to reduce marketing spend.

    Source:  Rules for Revenue Mastery: What the CEO Needs from Marketing, A Marketo On-Demand Webinar

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