A relatively new concept is the idea of asking Marketing to take a revenue number. Scary as it might sound to marketers (this one included), it makes a lot of sense for companies looking for better, more reliable ways to track results and keep everyone focused. Plus, the pay-off can be huge for marketers who finally get a definitive way to show their successes.
Is your Marketing group taking a number for 2013? Three considerations for why it should:
- Marketing already impacts revenue. Surely this is not news to you—but it is all the more reason to track success and set goals accordingly. Instead of getting half the story from Sales and half from Marketing, give everyone the visibility and accountability to see where Marketing dollars actually go. Not only will it make it easier to see ROI, it can streamline budgeting cycles going forward.
- Everybody’s doing it. Even though your mother taught you not to be a lemming, there’s something to the idea of following the crowd in this case (just do a simple Google search and you’ll see pages upon pages of sites and blogs talking about this topic). It may soon be standard practice to give Marketing a revenue goal annually and to track and report on it in standardized ways. Ramping up a new process over time gives you breathing room to work out the kinks and figure out what will work best for your organization.
- It can help Marketing focus on the right things. Some might worry that asking Marketing to align with revenue numbers will take time away from the creativity and content necessary for successful marketing efforts. I’d wager the contrary. When marketers know where the revenue goals lie, they can better pinpoint the customer personas and themes that will lead to top-line growth.
Wherever you are in the budgeting cycle (and even if you started your fiscal year October 1), there are easy ways to start moving in this direction. Perhaps this is the year you ensure Marketing leaders have full visibility to track leads from the top of the funnel to the bottom. Or you spearhead an alignment workshop to get Sales and Marketing working from the same playbook.
There are many ways to start—the important thing is that you do.