Do your marketing efforts actually have an impact on your company’s bottom line?
Many marketers assume that leads and sales generated by the business are coming from their marketing efforts. As long as the business is making money, the marketing budget can be justified.
But how can you be sure that specific campaigns are actually money-makers? How can you weed out the unprofitable marketing campaigns from those with a positive ROI?
If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will explain everything you need to know about revenue marketing, including how it works and how to get started.
What is Revenue Marketing?
Revenue marketing aligns marketing efforts with revenue goals. It’s accomplished using multiple channels and marketing methods that are highly focused on customer acquisition and sales.
Certain types of marketing campaigns don’t always focus on making money. For example, there are marketing strategies used to create brand awareness or support a new product extension. But these types of efforts don’t directly correlate to acquisition and revenue.
With revenue marketing, the tactics used in the campaign efforts must be directly tied to making money—ideally, based on quotas, benchmarks, or sales goals.
Let’s say your business is striving to reach $250,000 in gross sales for the upcoming quarter. A revenue marketing campaign would specifically strategize the possible ways to generate $250,000.
Revenue marketing combines marketing and sales efforts, aligning both departments with the goal of increasing revenue and ROI.
Why is Revenue Marketing So Important?
The most important benefit of revenue marketing is sales and marketing alignment. It forces both parts of the company to work cohesively towards the same goal—generating revenue.
Without revenue marketing, these departments each work towards different KPIs. Marketing departments might define success by organic traffic or inbound leads. Sales teams are more focused on conversions.
These different definitions of success can often create friction between sales and marketing. A marketing department may boast about doubling a site’s organic traffic. But that traffic is useless if it’s not coming from users with buying intent.
Aligning all departments forces everyone to improve goal setting and focus on the customer. It gets everyone on the same page to achieve the primary goal of any business—making money.
Key Elements of an Effective Revenue Marketing Strategy
While the main idea of revenue marketing is fairly straightforward, some marketers struggle with the terms being so broad. To create an effective revenue marketing strategy, you need to narrow your focus to the following key elements:
Effective revenue marketing requires good technology. At a minimum, you need to have a robust content management system (CMS) to track, manage, and deploy your marketing content on the web. You’ll also need a reliable customer relationship management (CRM) system to manage all relationships and interactions with current and prospective customers.
Your revenue marketing technology includes everything from email blasts to social media platforms, blogs, and mobile apps. The right technology enables you to put certain campaigns on autopilot and complete marketing tasks at scale.
Having the right technology in place often means you’ll be getting lots of data. But that data is useless if you don’t know how to analyze it or what to do with it.
In terms of revenue marketing, you want to focus on the data that gives you the best information about your customers. You need to understand their habits and behavior when they’re browsing your website, opening your emails, or engaging with your content on social media.
How can you use this information to create campaigns that entice actions to drive revenue?
It’s important to let your customers know what type of data you’re collecting on them and how that data is being used. This is not only the moral thing to do but there are lots of consumer data collection laws in place to protect the public. The GDPR in Europe and the CCPA in California are two examples of this.
Marketing teams, sales teams, decision-makers, and stakeholders must all be aligned for revenue marketing efforts to be successful.
Proper goal alignment is more than just an email thread or Slack message. It involves multiple meetings with the appropriate parties to get everyone on the same page.
The first meeting might take place between the department heads and an executive. Those leaders must effectively relay that information to their teams in a follow-up meeting.
Having clearly defined revenue goals is important—making it clear that everyone knows what they’re working towards. Each department can offer assistance and tips for helping their co-workers achieve the primary revenue goals.
Once the goals have been established, you need to take a step back and look at the big-picture revenue marketing campaigns.
What process will it take for you to launch the campaign to reach that goal?
Every business will have a different process. But the process must be defined in the early stages. You can apply agile principles to marketing efforts to keep everyone flexible and make adjustments along the way. But the core process and structure must be defined.
The process definition often encompasses targeted marketing strategies, demand management, and how customer data will be used to personalize campaigns.
Revenue marketing is results-oriented. You need to have clearly defined numbers that show what success looks like and how you’ll monitor progress.
KPIs might include sales dollars, revenue growth year-over-year, the total number of transactions, and average purchase value.
Based on this information, you can have guidelines in your process to determine how you’ll pivot if benchmarks and quotas aren’t met. You can ultimately use these results to define how you’ll adjust marketing tactics moving forward.
4 Steps to Implement a Revenue Marketing Plan That Actually Works
Once you understand the key components of revenue marketing, it’s time to put those concepts into action with a plan. Just follow these steps below to guide your revenue marketing efforts.
Step 1 — Set Actionable Goals
The first thing you need to do is establish your goals. These cannot be broad concepts like “make more money” or “get more customers.” That’s not actionable, and you can’t measure those effectively.
Examples of revenue marketing goals would be:
- Generate $100,000 in gross revenue in Q2
- Generate $500,000 in gross revenue for the fiscal year
- Increase revenue by 15% year-over-year
- Get at least 25% of revenue from new customers
Now everyone in both the sales and marketing departments knows exactly where to focus their efforts. It’s clear what numbers need to be reached, and you can track progress along the way.
Step 2 — Run a Marketing Audit
Next, you need to dive deep into your marketing data. Look at everything, including leads, site visits, qualified leads, and sales generated from different marketing channels.
The goal of this audit is to determine the ROI of each marketing campaign and channel.
This step might seem a bit overwhelming for some. So to simplify things, you can focus specifically on the data related to your goals.
For example, if you’re trying to generate sales from new customers using PPC ads, you’d want to focus your audit efforts on ad spending, conversion rates, and keywords. If certain target keywords you’re paying for aren’t generating a positive ROI, you can cut them from your strategy.
Step 3 — Create a Research-Backed Plan
Throughout this guide, we’ve talked about the importance of using data to your advantage and understanding your customers. This step focuses on both of these initiatives.
Get back to the basics. Run customer surveys, focus groups, competitive analysis, and look at industry trends.
You’d be surprised how helpful this can be in terms of guiding your marketing process. The idea here is to focus on a plan that will actually deliver results instead of just guessing and hoping for the best.
When you take the time to do effective research, your revenue marketing process will have a much clearer path.
Step 4 — Launch Your Campaigns
The final step is the implementation. Take everything you’ve learned and use it to create a winning revenue marketing campaign.
This is a time when you can let your creative juices flow. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. There’s still plenty of room in your revenue marketing strategy to stick with tactics that have worked for your brand in the past.
The only difference is that each campaign is going to be highly focused on the results of the preceding steps.
For example, you might determine that content marketing through blogging isn’t directly tied to your revenue goals. That doesn’t mean you need to abandon your blog altogether. It just means that you might focus on something else right now, like an email drip series designed to retain and convert your highest value customers.
Revenue marketing is an often overlooked concept in the marketing world. But it’s arguably the best way to align sales and marketing efforts with big-picture organizational goals.
You can use revenue marketing to scale your efforts and ensure your marketing budget is generating a positive ROI.
Success in this space is based on having a clear strategy to identify new opportunities that will ultimately increase revenue.