For Revenue Marketers, strategy to execution is the process of moving from “Wow, this Revenue Marketing stuff is what we need and where we need to be!”, to “How in the heck am I going to make this happen?”, and then to “Wow, we’re Revenue Marketers!” Some marketing executives refer to this as operationalizing the strategy; others refer to it as making and executing Playbooks. Whatever language you use, the process is the same and requires a careful balance of vision, change management, and outstanding execution skills.
On October 17th, we ran a Revenue Marketing University session entitled “Strategy to Execution” and explored this topic more thoroughly. In that session, I identified what I called an “Accidental Revenue Marketer”, meaning someone who does not have a medium-to-long-term plan on how to take this journey. Reflecting on that led me to the “Intentional Revenue Marketer”, meaning someone who has an identified place to be and a detailed plan on how to get there. The “Intentional” marketers are the ones who are excelling at Strategy to Execution.
Here are three secrets to success that are common to all Intentional Marketers:
Strategy to Execution begins with a ROADMAP
In the webinar, I called marketers beginning the Revenue Marketing Journey and not having a plan “Accidental Revenue Marketers”. They don’t typically get where they need to go because they have no roadmap. Choosing to become a Revenue Marketing organization requires a multi-year plan and uses quarterly milestones that are reportable to senior management. There is a fast and easy way to approach building the plan using the RM6 as a model, and there is the more holistic and transformative way to build the roadmap that encompasses:
- Executive re-education on the revenue value that marketing can drive
- Gap assessment of the required Revenue Marketing capabilities, structure, and compensation models
- Financial model of what this costs and what and when the returns will be delivered
- A multi-year Revenue Marketing Roadmap
Strategy to Execution is characterized by QUICK WINS
Just because it takes time (more than one year) to be fully realized as a Revenue Marketer does not mean you cannot have quick wins along the way. In building any Revenue Marketing Roadmap, you need to have a Quick Wins focus. Quick Wins do several things:
- Provide visible, tangible financial returns
- Help cross-functions gain first hand experience in the power of Revenue Marketing
- Set expectations that this is a Journey, not a sprint, and that simply buying software is not the answer
Strategy to Execution must be VISIBLE
So often when marketing begins something new, it is viewed as a project. Transforming from a cost center to a revenue center (Revenue Marketing) is more than a project, it is also a strategic initiative that takes time. Compare it to transforming a sales organization from a group of order takers to a group of solution providers – the change is massive. In this context, visibility and constant communication around KPIs to senior management is critical. One company I know began a journey of transformation about a year ago. In every North American senior management quarterly committee meeting, the marketing journey is a topic. This visibility into how the journey is going helps the company understand that marketing is transforming, delivering value and meeting the pre-established KPI’s. Without this level of visibility and interaction among senior executives, your Revenue Marketing journey can easily lose steam and that all-important advocacy.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen the initial reactions of marketing leaders as Revenue Marketing has emerged as a requirement of marketing. What we are seeing now is just how challenging it can be to take a good idea, a necessary idea,
and execute it while keeping the company on-board throughout the process. It can be done, and in fact, we see companies of all different sizes and across all industries doing it well. They are what I would call Intentional Revenue Marketers.
Which are you – an Accidental or Intentional Revenue Marketer?