Today, most marketing organizations focus on (and measure themselves by) the amount of activities they execute. The common mentality is if you send enough emails, mail enough postcards, run enough events, generate enough followers, and push enough ads, then the revenue will come. Monthly and quarterly marketing reports primarily include open rates, click performance, download numbers, attendees, followers and other vanity metrics. Focusing on marketing activity and the direct metrics tied to those activities was fine-enough at one point. Today however, according to Gartner, over 75% of marketing leaders say they now own or share responsibility for their P&L. With accountability to revenue, marketing teams must shift from an activity-driven marketing mindset to a revenue-driven marketing mindset.
So, what does this have to do with Snoop Dogg, Sean “Puffy” Combs, and Beyoncé? Listening to one of my “Made for You” playlists on Spotify, “Gin and Juice” came on, followed by “All About the Benjamins”, and then, “Formation”.
As I stood at my desk working and dancing, dancing and working, I started thinking. I’ve been planning an article on the revenue-driven marketing mindset for quite some time and I found my muse in the music. Here are key lessons from these three artists for modern marketers:
Lesson 1: Profitability Should Be Top-Of-Mind
I’ve got “my mind on my money and my money on my mind” because “It’s all about the Benjamin’s baby!”
Businesses are in business to make money. I’ve never seen a CEO direct their teams to make less money in the coming year. While the growth plan may vary, companies are always looking to improve performance. So the first lesson for Modern Marketers comes from Snoop Dogg and Sean “Puffy” Combs, which is to focus on the goal. All marketing plans should align to meaningful metrics and attribute revenue generated (at least in part) to the various marketing efforts.
I work with many of my clients on campaign planning and my advice is to begin your marketing planning process by asking yourself “what are we trying to accomplish?” and answering that question using this formula:
X% OR X# of [AUDIENCE] to [ACTION] which yields Y for [COMPANY]
- 75% of current customers will upgrade to the latest release of the software which will increase revenue by $3M and reduce the customer support overhead costs by 10%.
- 30 Net New customers to purchase the latest widget which will increase annual ARR by $1.5M.
- 17% of current customers to be using 3+ products which will increase TLV to 40% yielding $12.6M additional revenue over 5 years.
This approach gives you a quantifiable goal, defines your audience, and makes it clear that the initiative ties to something that matters for your organization. Beginning with this statement also helps you to not lose focus in the campaign development process. It serves as a reference point to ensure the effort is specific and relevant for the audience and moves them towards the desired outcome.
For example, if your objectives statement is “75% of current customers will upgrade to the latest release of the software, which will increase revenue by $3M, and reduce the customer support overhead costs by 10%”, and product marketing provides copy/content about an upcoming event or release of a new (unrelated) software, we can easily pushback because that messaging doesn’t clearly align to the business objective.
Lesson 2: Content Is EVERYTHING! And The Details Matter.
“Ariana Grande reportedly got paid twice as much as Beyoncé to headline Coachella, and fans are furious”
Listening to “Formation”, I was reminded of the headline that led readers to believe that Ariana Grande was paid twice what her predecessor was for her Coachella performance. Arguably, Beyoncé is a higher tier artist than Ariana, and fans regard her as the “Michael Jackson” of this generation. Subsequent articles disputed the disparity in pay, but despite what either artist earned, what we do know is that in addition to a salary for the performance, Beyoncé negotiated full creative control and all rights to the content. She then recorded a documentary of the performance and sold the documentary to Netflix and released it as an album. Roughly 100,000 people attend Coachella and an additional 400k streamed it during the live performance. The documentary has been viewed by more than 41 MILLION viewers.
Beyoncé had a hand in absolutely everything related to the content she was producing. She understood her audience, their interests, and the vision for what she was trying to accomplish. She also began the creative process with a plan for re-purposing the content. The show’s original format was a live performance. That live performance yielded a documentary, an album, merchandise, multiple photoshoots and endless social media content.
As marketers, we so often focus on creating such a large volume of content that it loses originality and lacks pizzazz. We end up with a lengthy list of generic content that doesn’t speak to the target audience and doesn’t move them to act. We also spend a significant amount of time and budget to create content without a long-term plan for how we will maximize the value of it. If we take the Beyoncé approach to content development and spend time perfecting the plan and focusing on the details, we can create fewer pieces of content that have a higher ROI.
My recommendation is for every long-form/high-effort piece of content, leverage it to create at least 10 additional pieces of content. For example, a whitepaper can yield 5 blog articles, an infographic, a webinar, three short videos, and possibly an interactive quiz.
Lesson 3: Revenue-Minded Marketers Focus On The Long-Game
Let’s assume the original articles were true and that Beyoncé earned less than Ariana, and that this was because of her negotiation for the rights to the performance. This long-term approach to revenue generation is insightful for marketers who have longer sales cycles. I often talk to clients with average sales cycles that are 12 to 18 months, but all their marketing plans are short-term (1 to 6 months at most). When we shift our mindset to the end goal, we start to think, and plan for moving a prospect through the entire journey and defining marketing’s role in supporting the process. My recommendation is to have marketing communications designed to stay top-of-mind in a long sales cycle, decrease stalled opportunities, and overcome objections.
Although there is more to marketing than JUST focusing on revenue, the key is to strategize with a precise goal in mind as opposed to focusing on just “doing more”.
Take a page from their songbook…
Snoop, Puffy and Bey are not only superstar artists – they make an art out of turning their popularity into real PROFIT. We can all become modern marketing superstars if we follow these 3 lessons: Keep profitability top of mind, focus on revenue generating content, and think about the sales cycle long game. Thanks for the great marketing advice, Spotify!
Did you know? Tegrita can help you develop a solid marketing strategy that is both focused on the goal AND flexible enough to respond to changing business needs. We’ll work together with your team to identify challenges and opportunities and leverage them to create your plan. It will be music to your ears!