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Raise Revenue Expectations For Marketing

Updated: Jan 28

What happens when you stop talking about marketing and start talking about marketing investment?

“We should be marketing.”


I have heard this from many startup founders and business leaders as managing the growing demands of promoting their company become overwhelming or the pressures to grow their business outgrow their organic efforts.


Unfortunately, this realization is quickly followed by the dreaded question, “what is this going to cost us?”


Marketing spend vs Marketing investment


The fact is that for many companies marketing is viewed as a necessary evil that will help, but no one is quite sure how. Even for those executives that understand the potential upside of strategic marketing, there are questions about resource commitment and return on investment.


The result is even with a dedicated marketing person many growing companies measure marketing by how many marketing activities they are doing and how much they cost rather than how well these activities help the company reach its goals.


I was guilty of implementing the “cast a big net and wait for the results” approach as a startup marketer. Innocently, I would report to our executive team a laundry list of well-intentioned marketing activities and engagement metrics that told us that people were paying attention. We were even generating “leads”.


Being cost-sensitive in execution and planning meant that the spending was never so obscene that it was cause for alarm. And the business was growing so it must be working, right?


Wrong! 


Going through the motions of marketing using a variety of activities created a false sense of effectiveness. 

The result is even with a dedicated marketing person many growing companies measure marketing by how many marketing activities they are doing and how much they cost rather than how well these activities help the company reach its goals.

We reached a point where the conversation in the boardroom shifted to revenue growth and that is when my marketing world turned upside down.


To measure marketing effectiveness as it impacts business growth, companies must have a strategic focus that aligns marketing investment to revenue generation in three areas:

  1. How we define marketing effectiveness?

  2. How we hold marketing accountable for driving revenue?

  3. How we measure marketing effectiveness in terms of revenue generation?


Making the transition


After being hit over the head with the reality that we didn’t know if the awesome marketing machine I built was working or not, the need was clear, but the task seemed overwhelming.


However, we started with 5 focus areas to position our marketing investment to make the business impact we needed to scale.

  • Define our Ideal Customer Profile

  • Understand the problem and buying process

  • Align Sales and Marketing Definitions

  • Evaluate current marketing content and activities

  • Set revenue metrics and goals


Isn’t this a lot of work?


You may be thinking, “This is going to take a long time.”


A valid concern, but also one that needs to be better understood.


Creating an organizational commitment to a marketing investment is a philosophical change more than a resource allocation change. The old adage, work smarter not harder, definitely applies here.


There needs to be a balance between strategic positioning and the need for immediate results. To activate this, organizations should:


  • Ease marketing responsibilities away from just the CEO and/or COO (You can't do it all!)

  • Have a committed resource that can help you build the strategy, optimize execution, report on outcomes and tweak as you learn.

  • Start with addressing areas that impact customers and prospects TODAY - areas such as sales messaging, lead generation, etc.

  • Commit to outcomes not activities


Building a marketing strategy focused on revenue generation does not mean that you will stop spending money on Facebook ads, no longer attend industry events, or stop writing the company blog. These are all important components of your marketing playbook.


Create greater focus for these tactics to be successful by holding the collective strategy accountable for quantifiable and scalable revenue contribution and business growth.

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Get in Touch

​Matt Shachter

Founder & Fractional CMO

Tel: 847-754-1587

matt@strategicmo.com

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