If you’re wondering what revenue marketing is, you’re covered (hint: it’s a culture change more than anything).
But there are many questions about the term and what it means for you right now. Here’s one example of “People Also Asked” questions from a tool aptly named AlsoAsked that I’m a fan of (#NotSponsored).
Let’s get to answering many of these, shall we?
What does revenue mean in marketing?
Marketing has to prove an impact on revenue. It’s a line item in the company’s profit-and-loss statements with many expenses, so it’s responsible (just like other departments) for showing how that investment turned into revenue.
Marketers who can’t are begging for budget cuts and career progress to slow because the team becomes seen as a necessary cost, not a strategic investment.
What is revenue vs. growth marketing?
The difference between revenue and growth marketing is mostly semantics – and the primary focus of internal conversations.
Revenue marketing focuses on convincing internal stakeholders of marketing’s value to the company’s bottom-line metrics. Growth marketing focuses on accelerating marketing’s impact on pipeline and retention growth.
Growth marketing is more popular for job descriptions – showing nearly 3x as many jobs on LinkedIn vs. revenue marketing. It can communicate a more hands-on role vs. a more strategic one for revenue marketers.
But if you think about it, there’s little difference between the two. Both revenue and growth marketers understand the value of measurement and tying it to key metrics like pipeline (and closed-won revenue) and take a multi-channel approach in their go-to-market efforts.
And both feel enabled to take risks and “fail forward” to see what moves the needle.
Revenue marketing may be referenced in larger organizations, while growth marketing seems more popular with SaaS and companies targeting hyper-growth.
What are the benefits of revenue marketing?
We’ve already touched on the primary benefit of revenue marketing – cultural change – which leads to respect throughout the company for marketing’s contributions and elevates marketing to the strategic role it should be in.
But there are others, such as:
One of the most significant pipeline issues plaguing companies today is sales and marketing teams needing to be on the same page. With similar (or even better, shared) goals, these two partner teams have all incentive in the world to iron out any differences and work as each other’s biggest fans.
The result? Better marketing, robust sales processes, and more closed-won revenue for the company.
Stronger ability to say “no”
Think an idea’s a bad one? Now you have numbers to back it up – or to show how somebody’s opinion doesn’t align with your revenue-driving actions.
Easier career growth
Nothing says “I’m a candidate for getting that promotion,” like proving your impact. In marketing, this can be difficult since so many actions a buyer takes can’t be tracked (such as a podcast listen, Slack channel discussion, LinkedIn group, CMO coffee chat, etc.).
But having some form of attribution allows you to lead your resume with results, not just actions taken.
What is the difference between sales and revenue?
ChargeBee has a great resource on this topic here. The question concerns a company’s financials and the differences in critical terms. Here’s a handful worth reviewing:
- Sales – a signature on the dotted line or completed transaction where the buyer sends money to the seller in exchange for goods/services
- Bookings – the amount of sales made
- Revenue – Bookings that have been realized (a.k.a. “we got paid for what we’re providing”) in a given month
- Profit – Revenue minus expenses (such as salary, technology, and licenses, etc.)
There’s plenty more, but this is a decent starting point – especially for marketers who need to speak sales to their sales team counterparts (and the finance team!).
Is revenue a KPI for marketing?
Revenue is the ultimate KPI for marketing because it proves marketing’s impact on the metrics leaders truly cares about!
If marketing can tie its efforts to revenue, then its setup to succeed.