Move over ABM; revenue marketing is the new buzzword taking over B2B as marketers are increasingly pushed to prove ROI. To investigate the state of revenue marketing maturity in B2B, The Pedowtiz Group released its first annual Revenue Marketing Index Report, which reveals that B2B orgs have some room for improvement as overall market maturity rests at a 2.3 out of 4.
Kevin Joyce, VP of Strategy Services at The Pedowitz Group, sat down with Demand Gen Report to discuss the report, how ABM fits into revenue marketing and what B2B companies can do to make sure they have the right organizational structure and talent management process to prime themselves for revenue growth.
Demand Gen Report: Tell me about the Revenue Marketing Index. Why did you create it and how did you decide on the six pillars and 30 capabilities that make up the Index?
Kevin Joyce: I think the powerful thing about indexes is that they tell you the state of the state. If you think about the S&P index or a lot of the other stock market indexes, they’re used by people to say the state of the state, or where things are going. The reason we published the Revenue Marketing Index is we wanted to give people a yardstick to measure themselves over time and help them in their revenue marketing transformation.
Use it as a tool to say, “What do we need to work on?” You can’t work on all 30 capabilities at once, so pick the ones that are the low-hanging fruit and that are going to make the biggest difference to revenue this year, and work on transforming them. That was why we published it and why we did it — we thought there is no yardstick out there, no tool to help people in their transformation to revenue marketing.
We started working on this five to six years ago and it took months and months. There are some obvious things we wanted to include: the people, process and technology. But we asked if data should stand on its own or does it get embedded in one of the six controls? We ended up putting data inside process more or less. Once we arrived at the six controls if you will — people, process, technology, customer, results and strategy, then you have to say, ‘OK what is the capability?’ We recognize that with marketing, you can’t measure an organization by skills or by talent alone. It has to be capability. What is it capable of doing? What level of maturity do they have for these capabilities? In the end, we came up with 30 capabilities, so five for each of the controls.
DGR: According to the report, the market has a RMI score of 2.3. What does this mean for B2B marketers today?
Joyce: It’s 2.3 out of 4. So that means that, in general, the market is not as mature as you might imagine. If you think about how fast and furious new technologies are coming in and bringing new techniques and new capabilities, you would think, “Boy, we must all be brilliant whiz kids and we’re all customer centric and holding ourselves accountable.”
But this tells us that no, that’s not the case. People are not moving nearly as fast as we, who are the service and technology providers, want to think they are. In our business, we see that all the time. We come across companies that are very product centric, but marketing isn’t held accountable for producing anything. The main message is that it’s more prevalent than you might imagine. What’s funny is we’re here talking about AI, and it’s all the buzz and AI is going to change marketing, but the reality is there’s still so many firms out there that haven’t figured out how to do nurturing campaigns.
DGR: About 60% of CMOs said organizational structure was fairly-to-very important to their revenue marketing success. What are your tips for achieving this?
Joyce: We end up with all these silos. So we have a silo of the website people, a silo of the digital marketing people and we have a silo of the inbound people who are kind of closely associated with the website people. The reality is when you say, “I want to use demand generation and I want to do multichannel in how I work,” all of those silos are a killer because now you have to try to get people to work across them. Trying to coordinate all these channels if they’re in different silos doesn’t work.
You’ll also probably want to centralize content. You’re going to have some debate with yourself as to what to distribute versus what to centralize — how much of a center of excellence should I build in headquarters versus how much power do I give out to all my field officers? How are they going to leverage best practices? There’s a lot of questions in there. My main message is put the customer at the center and think about the customer experience first. If you were to start from scratch ignoring everything, what would that look like? Then ask yourself, how can you get there? You may not do it overnight, but how can you evolve to that?
DGR: Another important capability noted in the report was talent management. How can B2B companies improve their talent management strategies in 2019?
Joyce: If you look at the universities, I’m sad to say it, but very few have figured out revenue marketing. They’re still teaching the 4Ps of marketing, so finding young people coming out of college who truly understand modern demand generation is hard.
My first message would be to cultivate it internally. Do what you can to grow it, learn it, train it and set yourself on a course for revenue marketing transformation, which really just means learning modern marketing. Don’t expect that you’re going to hire people that know it and are using any of the technologies from Uberflip to Marketo and Eloqua, because you’re going to pay a premium and you’re going to have to go out and use a headhunter to try to find those people.
And don’t go and deploy all the shiny technology without having the people in the right place. It’s so easy to say, “Well, I’ll bring in new technology and it will solve everything.” But we all know that’s not the case. It really is about the people and the talent and the training and development. Whether you call it content marketing, revenue marketing, accountability marketing, it’s got many names. But it is in any sense modern demand generation, and you have to train your people how to do it.
DGR: How would you say ABM fits into revenue marketing and how can it help accelerate sales and marketing alignment?
Joyce: I tend to not get caught up in the buzzwords. We run into organizations that want to do ABM because they think it’s cool. ABM is good, but it’s only appropriate for firms that have a few, larger, strategic accounts they’re either selling to or want to sell to and they’re going to build very, very targeted marketing campaigns for them.
We go into firms where they say, “We want to do ABM to these 100 accounts,” and we’ll smile because that’s not really ABM. That’s picking a segment, the top 100 accounts — and hopefully they’re all in one industry — and targeting them. You can call it ABM if it makes you feel better. There’s lots of destinations with ABM and people want to say they’re doing ABM. But really, it’s about choosing some target accounts, and it is an appropriate and a very good strategy for some firms who have large, strategic accounts they want to go after.
There’s no better way to get sales and marketing aligned than to do an ABM campaign because it means they have to work really closely together and all of a sudden, it can open sales’ eyes up to, “Hey, marketing can do all of this stuff for me. I never realized that before.” It’s actually quite a powerful campaign idea when it’s appropriate for the firm.