In our Ones to Watch 2023 report, we asked our nominees for their expert insights into a number of areas, such as what skills all revenue marketers should have, and how they operate within their own roles. One crucial question we asked included what they thought revenue marketers should be focusing on for the year ahead.
You can download the full report for all the insights and expert advice, or you can read the answers to this essential question right here.
What do you think revenue marketers need to be focusing on this year?
Austin Beveridge, Head of Marketing at Arc
With the era of ‘growth at all costs’ behind us (at least for now), revenue marketers should focus their efforts on driving sustainable growth. What does that mean in practice? Well, it means that they should:
1. Reevaluate their assumptions around how much a customer is worth and how much they are willing to pay to acquire them. Then evaluate and cut all campaigns that either fail to perform or underperform based on the updated assumptions.
2. Reevaluate and adjust their financial projections and OKRs/revenue targets based on market conditions. Then evaluate their channel mix and double down on top-performing channels to hit the adjusted targets.
3. Reevaluate their MarTech stack to look for overlap between providers and ruthlessly cancel duplicates and ‘nice to haves’. For example, multiple keyword research tools, social media management/social listening tools, etc.
4. Lastly, look for efficiencies by adopting new technologies. For example, how the rise of GPT3 and Open AI has accelerated the time to produce content and visual assets.
Ultimately, they should be thinking and building for the long term. Practically speaking, this means doing the things that don’t scale like sending handwritten thank-you notes and contributing meaningfully to relevant social conversations.
Mai Fenton, Chief Marketing Officer at Superscript
I think that in 2023 we will see more revenue marketers focus on developing the right offline/online strategies, with cross-channel attribution at the core, and giving the right credit to each.
There isn’t a brand marketing approach vs a performance marketing approach, it’s not one or the other; in my opinion, they need to be connected and work together, and this will be a focus.
Brand marketing (or top-of-the-funnel) is massively important, especially for long-cycle purchases: it’s about building awareness, trust, and mental availability, to then support physical availability of the product/services when the need is triggered, and then connecting with sales to convert the lead. At Superscript, we refer to this as Audience-Based Experience (ABX), i.e. providing the right lead with the right experience - be it an ad, content, messaging, sales contact, or customer success touchpoint. So getting the right MarTech and data stack/integration to measure the performance of marketing activity and impact on revenue is key.
I also think that revenue marketers will put more effort into retention and renewal. In-life/customer lifecycle marketing is essential as customers are becoming more promiscuous (even in the B2B world), especially in tough economic times. Extending average customer tenure should continue to be a huge focus.
Charlotte Ford, Head of Brand Marketing and Engagement, heycar
Whilst it might appear like a fairly bleak start to the year with interest rates continuing to rise and a recession looming, it’s never been more important for businesses to focus on revenue marketing. But this means it comes with an element of ‘hunkering down’ and going for tried and tested strategies and targeting.
Revenue marketers will need to be confident that their diagnosis and tactics are correct before committing to plans, as in a tough year it’ll be more important than ever to demonstrate the strength of marketing on a business. That being said, we know from the previous recession and the excellent work by Les Binet and Peter Field that maintaining brand budgets can help businesses bounce back faster once a recession eases.
Adam Gleicher, VP of Marketing at Bits of Stock
With businesses tightening their belts and customer attention at a premium, revenue marketers should be expecting and responding to changing motivations from prospects and clients. Marketers need to be highlighting how their offering drives revenue and customer engagement for their clients. Gone are the days of growth at any cost. How are you highlighting that your offering is revenue positive and that helps keep end users engaged and sticking around?”
Jasmine de Guzman, Director of International Marketing at CivicPlus
With a pending recession, I think it will be important for revenue marketers to focus on two key things next year. The first is optimizing the revenue marketing processes that you already have. Take a look at those nitty-gritty conversion rates. Understand where in the revenue marketing process you’ve got drop-off and work to address it. This feeds into the other area of focus. Aligning EVEN closer with sales. If you’re not already having weekly meetings with your sales directors and sales team, then now is the time to do it. The more aligned you are, the better you’ll function as a revenue-generating organization.
Kristina Jaramillo, Founder of Personal ABM
As it looks like we are heading toward a recession of some degree next year, revenue marketers should be looking for the revenue leaks throughout their business and seeing how they can apply ABM strategies to fix those leaks. For example, we’ve spoken with companies who are concerned about their 2023 pipeline but they have accounts at risk. They have churn issues and they are not expanding key accounts. When budgets tighten and new customer acquisition becomes a challenge, protecting and expanding accounts should become a priority.
We talked to organizations that are building their pipeline as they are worried about deals next year but accounts are going dark after sales engagement. Instead of fixing sales and marketing interactions to ensure revenue growth, these companies continue to focus on the pipeline. As revenue marketers, we need to focus on accelerating high-value accounts to revenue.
I’ve spoken to CMOs at tech companies that had no problems winning deals that were less than $100k/year but they would consistently lose larger deals to legacy platforms like Salesforce. As revenue marketers, we should be looking to see how we can change sales and marketing interactions and experiences that are delivered so we can win high-value deals that will more than make up for reduced sales velocity in a challenging market. The focus should not switch from how much we put into the pipeline to how much revenue can we achieve from the pipeline.
Vinay Khanna, Head of Marketing, Savant
2023 is going to be a year of massive development. In the post-pandemic world, when every corporate set-up is witnessing a shake down, all the marketers are trying to establish themselves as a brand of preference in the minds of the customer. There is so much content from every brand out there that creating an identity for yourself is the biggest challenge.
As it’s said, every crisis or challenging situation comes with an opportunity to outperform. Revenue marketers need to focus on defining their short-term and long-term plan of action to achieve revenue goals, creating the brand space they desire, in the market. Their focus should extend on aligning the teams and sharing their KRAs and KPIs to ensure success.
Mona Lolas, B2B Solution Partner APAC at Forrester
Three major areas for 2023 will be closer internal engagement, a deeper focus on customer retention, and reviewing the MarTech stack.
Sales and marketing teams have traditionally been in silos. To meet their goals, sales and marketing leaders must collaborate across a series of revenue-generating activities. They should align efforts across go-to-market strategy, messaging, measurement, enablement, and operations to achieve growth impact. Shifting from a lead-centric process to a buying-group-centric process can be managed through an incremental approach to change management. Creating a cross-functional internal revenue council with clear KPIs will enhance alignment among marketing and sales teams.
To increase loyalty and protect revenues, marketers will focus on customer retention and lifecycle management. To do this they will need to formalize reporting relationships, implement joint planning processes, and adopt new shared goals with post-sale customer success teams. Success, regardless of where revenue marketing reports, will depend on marketers embracing their role in delivering experiences across the customer lifecycle. From lead-gen to pipeline acceleration, account expansion, retention, customer marketing, and brand.
Organizations will consolidate their revenue tech stack as they try to create opportunities to connect with buyers in a more automated and personalized. Too many have siloed and poorly aligned technologies and functions. This worsens the gap between the experience customers expect and the one that organizations provide for reduction.
- Balancing customer acquisition and retention
- Investing in emerging MarTech to drive personalization
- Improving digital marketing channel effectiveness
- Measuring the impact of digital on strategic marketing objectives
Eugenio Panetta, Chief Revenue Officer at AddReax Group
I believe we’ll see the rise of personalized revenue-driven campaigns based on customers’ shopping patterns and behavior. AI will enter the space and will help marketers elaborate more precisely, and advocate strategies and forecasts.
Gastón Tourn, Chief Marketing Officer at Curio
During economic downturns, the role of marketers becomes even more vital as we work to drive demand and help businesses weather the storm. Many marketing teams may face budget cuts unless they can demonstrate their value and the importance of marketing to the organization. This is the time to embrace the words of Maya Angelou: ‘I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.’
Ilias Tsatalmpasidis, Head of Growth at Superscript
I would focus on getting even more efficient on the campaigns, less reliant on burning funding budget, and in general more focused on making the business acquisition and retention more sustainable. If anything that's what 2022 taught us.
Then, on the other hand, I believe that modern marketing needs to be actually at the heart of every successful business so making sure that it's always the connecting force joining up product, finance, sales, and customer service teams. This cross-functional approach only improves outcomes and focus.