How Revenue Marketing Can Save the CMO

It’s this right-brained approach to a left-brained situation that has hindered the ability of CMOs to be accountable for revenue results. To make this transition requires an optimal use of systems and data that just is not part of the RBM’s makeup. That’s why as we sit here in 2017, less than a third of CMOs can show financial results.

While working with a national sports team in 2008, we learned that it dedicated an entire department to marketing technology and data analysis. This was a major eye opener for me and was the forerunner of today’s B2B model. In 2015, I interviewed 10 companies for an article about full-functioning marketing operations groups to learn how they were achieving revenue results. From this first interview set, I saw the connection between having a marketing operations capability run by RMs and achieving efficiency, effectiveness, and revenue results from marketing. Around this same time-period Scott Brinker exposed us all to the explosive MarTech industry. His conferences are growing by leaps and bounds.

The transformation of marketing from a cost center to a revenue center was fueled by the advent of marketing technologies and inspired me to write Rise of the Revenue Marketer: An Executive Playbook in 2013. The RM is a combination of general marketing skills, business acumen, and deep technical and data analysis skills. The RM works in a marketing operations structure dedicated to technology (integration and optimization), data (understanding and producing sharable and consumable insights), and process optimization. Some call them marketing technologists; while others call them data scientists. I call them Unicorns because they are still very rare. 

A few years ago, I interviewed Dan Brown, vice president of marketing operations at Verint, who said, “The mission of marketing operations at Verint is to make the global marketing team effective and efficient in pursuit of marketing objectives.” This dedicated structure indicates that technology and data play a key role in marketing and that marketing plays a key role in the business. With a marketing operations (MO) function in place run by a team of RMs, the CMO’s ability to drive credible revenue results is amplified. 

How does an aspiring CMO take that second chance? Rather than trying to lead with an RBM approach to technology and data, lead with a RM approach ensconced in a dedicated marketing operations capability. 

MO is one of the fastest growth areas in marketing because it fosters CMO accountability. Dan quotes his CMO from a recent conversation: “I cannot imagine doing my job without our marketing ops team.” 

Isn’t it time you built a RM culture and team? It is, if you want to keep your job.

Are you ready to start driving revenue? Download this white paper, “Rise of Marketing Operations Function,” here.

Debbie Qaqish is principal partner and chief strategy officer of The Pedowitz Group. Qaqish manages global client relationships and leads the firm’s thought leadership initiatives. Qaqish is the author of Rise of the Revenue Marketer and the host of WRMR Power Talk Radio for Revenue Marketing Leaders, which showcases marketing executives from companies like GE and Microsoft sharing advice on marketing transformation. In March 2016, Kapost named Qaqish among the Top 40 Most Inspiring Women in Marketing. 

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