Revenue-driven Marketing Practices that Will Never Let You Down

April 19, 2024
— By
Emily Brungard
happy marketer because her revenue-driven marketing strategy is crushing

What’s the goal of marketing?

Different people have different ways of answering that question, but at the end of the day, the answers trend toward one thing: MONEY. Revenue. Moola.

Sure, there are other functions of marketing — brand building is a common one — but even that is connected back to revenue. We can’t do the fun activations and experimental stuff without some sort of tie back to revenue, right?

At a recent Virtual Summit, MKTG WMN hosted Jessica Brown, a B2B SaaS demand generation leader who helps companies from seed stage to series D grow revenue by 100–200%, year-over-year.

Jessica covered a lot of ground in her chat (she has a true wealth of knowledge!), so consider this article the tip of the revenue-driven marketing iceberg.

Oh, and if you want to get access to all of the Virtual Summit content, including this session, become a MKTG WMN member today.

Let’s dive in.

What’s In a Name? Decoding Revenue Team Roles

If there’s one thing we love (or love to hate) as marketers, it’s giving things fancy names.

Grow marketing, demand generation, revenue, go-to-market. There are a lot of titles for revenue marketers, but they all do one thing according to Jessica: They help companies close more new business and make money, faster.

If you’re hunting for a marketing job, know that a “growth” or “GTM” title means you’ll be primarily focused on activities that grow your company’s revenue.

Breaking Down Marketing Activities by Company Stage

What does revenue-focused marketing typically look like for companies at different stages of growth? This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it serves to inspire your team.

Early Stage (Pre-Seed, Seed Stage)

Early-stage startups typically work with limited budgets and need to see results quickly, so they’re focused on demand-generation activities that are low-cost, and high-impact.

  • Short customer webinars for social proof
  • Co-marketing

Growth Stage (Series A, B, C)

Later-stage companies have found product-market fit and can invest in a wider range of demand gen activities, like:

  • In-depth content (whitepapers, e-books)
  • Partner marketing

Late Stage (Series D and beyond)

At this point in their lifecycle, these companies have more resources (both monetarily and team-wise) and can invest in more sophisticated demand-gen activities.

  • Personalized account-based marketing
  • Direct mail

Building Revenue Marketing Foundations That Can Scale

As an early-stage marketer, the choices you make will help or hinder your company’s future growth. Jessica shared three guiding principles to help you build a strong foundation for your future team.

Look at the Data

Don’t limit yourself to the last few quarters, especially if you haven’t been at your company for its entire history. Look at marketing data from as far back as you can to spot any trends or inspiration for new activities. This will help you decide where to invest.

On that note, experiment often! Build a culture of experimentation on your marketing team, and keep it going beyond whatever funding or revenue milestone is next. Look at the numbers and watch for patterns that can help you find what works and what doesn’t work for your unique company and product. Jessica recommends launching new experiments on a weekly or, at a minimum, monthly basis.

Don’t Overinvest in Paid Channels Too Early

The allure of paid social and paid search is a tempting trap for startups. While these channels can help your company begin to test your offer and audience, they can also obscure what’s really working or not working.

Paid social and paid search are expensive channels to experiment with when you’re still learning about what resonates with your customers, what pain points they have, and what urgency you should lead with. Instead of sinking your money into paid channels, try investing in email, social, or community. Partner webinars and dinners are also a lower-cost, yet high-impact way to build relationships and understand how your company resonates with your audience.

Invest More When You Make More

Have you ever told yourself “I can buy this once I ___” or “I’ll book that trip once I ___”? Think of your marketing in the same way.

Let marketing prove itself in one or a few channels before opening up your wallet and investing in additional channels.

As marketing generates revenue, you’ll naturally have more money to allocate to experimentation with other channels. As your marketing strategy changes and it’s level of sophistication deepens, so will the budget to add headcount or to invest in the quality of your events.

The Key to More Revenue - Faster: Alignment

Whether your title is Director of Go-to-Market or Revenue Marketing Manager, alignment is crucial to success in your role. That doesn’t just mean sales and marketing alignment, though!

As a marketer, you need to be tuned into what your customer success and product teams are doing too.

Too many marketers fall victim to the dreaded MQL hand-off, washing their hands of responsibility after a lead is handed to sales. However, marketers must map marketing activities to each stage of the sales funnel.

Take this line from Jessica to heart: “Pipeline generation is as important as pipeline acceleration.”

Don’t just toss your leads over the fence to sales and run away. Stay engaged, collaborate with all of the teams across the company, and reflect regularly on what’s working to drive closed/won deals.

-To ensure that marketing’s work is aligned with sales, customer success, and product, map your programs to each stage of the marketing funnel, from account warm-up to opportunity acceleration. Not only does this help your team communicate what you’re working on to the rest of the company, but it can also act as a reminder of marketing resources available to your outbound team.

Remember that revenue generation is a shared responsibility, and it requires buy-in from the entire team. If you can make it happen, Jessica recommends structuring your demand generation team such that the sales development team reports to marketing. Not only does this help build trust, but it also helps sales and marketing become aligned more quickly.

Jessica recommends setting up a sales council and a lead workflow internally to collaborate and improve sales and marketing efforts.

If you’re building your revenue-driven marketing chops, pivoting from a brand-focused role to a revenue focus, or just searching for new ideas to add to your demand gen toolbox, there are a few key themes to keep in mind as you grow. First, make sure that your sales and marketing teams (plus the rest of the company!) are on the same page with regards to marketing and sales activities, sales stages, and what makes a good lead.

You should also keep lines of communication open with the company, especially the leadership team, about what marketing is doing.

And, perhaps most importantly, look at the data regularly to ensure that your work is contributing to your company’s bottom line.

Get access to Jessica’s full session (and so many more from our Virtual Summit!) when you become a MKTG WMN member.