Revenue-Driven B2B Marketing Isn’t Near — It’s Here

4 minutes
Mar 14, 2022
Digital MarketingPlanning & Forecasting

At present, most CMOs are on track to fall short of what their investors and fellow executives expect of them. The gap between what’s technologically possible with modern MarTech and...

At present, most CMOs are on track to fall short of what their investors and fellow executives expect of them. The gap between what’s technologically possible with modern MarTech and what most CMOs can deliver is widening.

As budgets rise and toolsets grow more powerful, there are fewer excuses as to why B2B marketing departments have yet to transition from cost centers to revenue drivers. In fact, 83% of CEOs now expect their CMOs to be key revenue contributors. Most struggle to meet these expectations and consequently suffer ever-shortening tenures.

Modern CMOs need to adopt an unprecedentedly results-oriented posture if they’re going to survive. Top-of-funnel strategies need to be heavily directed by bottom-of-funnel outcomes, and marketing leaders can no longer absolve themselves of what happens beyond the sales handoff.

This type of revenue-driven marketing strategy is an inevitable eventuality in the B2B world. Achieving it requires that CMOs be able to consistently answer three basic questions:

  1. Destination: What’s our marketing pipeline plan for achieving our revenue goals?
  2. Progress: How are we tracking against that plan?
  3. Direction: Which targets, programs and activities will get us there?

Since the dawn of MarTech, innumerable products have emerged that help push marketers closer to this level of situational awareness. As humble a goal as it may seem, however, we’ve only just arrived at a state of innovation where revenue driven-marketing is accessible and realistic for the modern B2B CMO.

The Road to Revenue-Driven Marketing

In 1978, a marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) earned the enviable honor of being dubbed the “father of spam” after deploying an email via ARPANET to 400 recipients. That single email generated $13 million in sales, marking the dawn of modern digital marketing.

For the next 20 years, search engines, email, and tools like Unica (1992) and Eloqua (1999) gave rise to the B2B marketing automation category of the early 2000s. It soon evolved to include SaaS solutions like Marketo that liberated CMOs from IT and bridged the gap between web traffic and lead generation.

It’s also when the promise of revenue-driven marketing began taking shape in the discourse.

In the company’s inaugural press release in 2007, Marketo co-founder and CEO Phil Fernandez wrote, “Only by driving more revenue and demonstrating accountability will marketing stop being treated as a cost center and become a valuable part of a company’s revenue pipeline.”

While the goal had been set on the horizon, conventional wisdom remained that a sufficient volume of leads would enable sales to meet corporate revenue goals. The link between leads and revenue remained murky until, in the early 2010s, marketing attribution tools like Bizible emerged to measure the revenue benefits of the most popular marketing tactics.

The value of attribution tools ended, however, at retroactive analysis. There remained no forward-looking system that could guide CMOs on the path to achieving their revenue goals and satisfying the demands of their leaders and financiers.

The Navigation Challenge

This is where CMOs find themselves today: Spending hours in home-grown spreadsheets, manually merging disparate datasets in an effort to approximate the road to success.

Their isolation means that these tools often need to rely on assumptions, estimates, and static benchmarks when it comes to conversion rates, deal sizes, and sales cycles. Budget is ballparked across owned, earned, and paid channels (each with their own unique toolsets and learning curves) in hopes of producing a sufficient volume of leads.

Despite decades of innovation and countless products spanning dozens of sub-categories, no single tool exists that can quickly and confidently answer the three basic questions required for a truly revenue-driven approach to marketing:

  • Where are we going?
  • How far have we come?
  • What will get us there?

CMOs need a modern, intuitive application that can answer their strategic revenue questions in real-time. They need an application that uses actual funnel performance to highlight the quickest path to achieving future revenue goals.

And they need an application that enables them to communicate marketing performance to their stakeholders in the language of revenue.

The Answer Is Here

This is why 6sense launched its Pipeline Intelligence capability: to help CMOs navigate their road to revenue, confident that their next action is the optimal one.

6sense Pipeline Intelligence combines go-to-market data from the most widely adopted MarTech platforms and prioritizes marketing moves based exclusively on their revenue-driving potential.

It takes your siloed enterprise data, cleans it, enriches it, and then uses our proprietary machine learning technology and AI-based recommendation models to map it back to your target market’s unique buying journeys.

The result is a fully optimized, up-to-the-minute market navigation plan that CMOs can be confident will secure their seat at the leadership table.

To learn more about how 6sense Pipeline Intelligence can help you navigate the road to revenue, contact us or check out this webinar.