3 Questions To Ask For More Efficient Marketing

Published: February 3, 2023

1kevtateThe world looks a lot different these days. Amidst an uncertain economy, companies are retiring the “growth at all costs” mindset of last summer, where growth rates of 70% and burn rates of 30% were okay (and even preferred) to a much more conservative goal of, say, 40% growth and 0% burn. Call it a shift to “sustainable growth.”

For B2B marketers, this means an increased focus on targeting and efficiency. Before the economic disruptions set in, there was already growing pressure to show how marketing contributes to revenue goals. Now, in the face of rising customer acquisition costs, increasingly competitive channels and shrinking budgets, revenue-driven marketing is even more important.

Rather than focusing solely on growth, B2B marketers also need to think about efficiency. By building a sustainable go-to-market (GTM) engine that fuels hyper-efficient growth, marketers can demonstrate how marketing programs generate revenue, strengthen the partnership between marketing and sales teams and turn marketing into a profit driver rather than a cost center.

The path to more efficient and revenue-driven marketing starts by asking these three questions:

Get the latest B2B Marketing News & Trends delivered directly to your inbox!

1. Who Are Our Ideal Customers?

Defining a consistent ideal customer profile (ICP) across sales and marketing is a key step in adopting a revenue-driven approach to marketing. While a lead-centric marketing model emphasizes activity-based metrics like event attendees, conference leads or email opens with a goal of generating as many leads as possible, an ICP-centric marketing model places emphasis on prospects that are most likely to become customers who generate long-term business value. It’s OK if an ICP evolves as the business changes (it should!), but all functions should agree on the factors that define their ICP, creating both a common language and lens to look at each lead.

Prospects that are the best fit for an organization’s ICP are those that marketers should spend the most effort to reach, engage and close. From messaging and ad campaigns to their website, revenue-driven marketers should deliver personalized experiences for ICP prospects, especially if they’ve shown any buying intent. At Clearbit, we call this activating the ICP — and it is key to linking marketing more closely to revenue.

2. How Can We Better Communicate With Sales & The C-Suite?

As B2B marketers, we often speak our own language, making it difficult to communicate the value of what we do for the business. To a non-marketer, all those acronyms and jargon can make marketing feel like a black box, and the lack of common language between marketing and sales can create silos that hamper revenue generation.

Creating a shared definition of an ICP is a start, and it’s important for marketers to use the same business metrics that revenue leaders know and care about. These include customer acquisition cost (CAC), lifetime value (LTV) and annual and monthly recurring revenue (ARR and MRR). These metrics are familiar and widely understood by CEOs and CFOs and should be front and center in how companies track and measure their marketing activities.

Not only will this make it easier to get buy-in for marketing spend, but it will demonstrate that marketing is both committed to and accountable for driving revenue. The result? Stronger alignment between marketing and sales as they work together toward the same revenue goals.

3. How Do We Make Better Use Of Our Data?

“Collect as much data as possible and we’ll figure out what to do with it later” is an easy trap to fall into. Although B2B marketers have more data than ever before at their fingertips, they struggle to make it actionable either by choice or lack of technology. Today’s marketers need access to automatic, fresh, accurate and consistent data across tools and functions to contribute to revenue growth in measurable ways.

This data, which ranges from firmographic to technographic, can help organizations dial in their ICP and optimize targeting, messaging, positioning, content, scoring, routing and all other processes. With added intent signals, marketers can focus campaigns and content on high-priority, in-market buyers for even more efficient marketing.

Even as the current economic conditions make for a less certain outlook, there is still reason for marketers to be optimistic — and proactive — about growth. With greater access to data and intent signals than ever before, and more ways to put that intelligence into action, B2B marketers are primed to not only survive the current environment but thrive in it. It is possible for businesses to grow sustainably during a downturn, but it often requires building an engine for long-term revenue growth.

Kevin Tate is the CMO of Clearbit, a B2B data activation platform. He helps Clearbit reach B2B companies that are trying to better understand their customers and optimize their digital funnel. He has more than 20 years of leadership experience in sales, marketing and product, and deep expertise in enterprise SaaS, E-commerce, digital marketing, social media and the Internet of Things. Prior to joining Clearbit, Kevin held executive roles at SurveyMonkey, Chirpify and ShopIgniter.

B2B Marketing Exchange
B2B Marketing Exchange East
Campaign Optimization Series
Buyer Insights & Intelligence Series
Strategy & Planning Series