“This is going to be a challenging year– but we can hit our targets if we work together.” - Every CEO/CMO/CRO/CSO ever.
You are entering this year with revenue targets, a budget, a team and a strategy to get there. But how confident are you in the leads coming in– do you know which are likely to convert to pipeline, what about revenue? As you need to reduce budgets, do you know which channels are your strongest, do you know which campaigns perform the best? And just because you knew what worked last year, do you know what will produce for your brand this year?
We’ve outlined the challenges and solutions to be more impactful with your go-to-market strategy this year. Download the whitepaper now to empower ongoing planning all year!
What Makes This Year Different?
Has any year since 2020 been “normal” for marketing strategy? No. We’ve been living under “unprecedented times” every year since we first heard of the COVID-19 pandemic and now we are in the midst of a recession. Other than the obvious, there are additional challenges facing marketing teams this year–making marketing’s contribution to revenue just a bit tougher.
Okay, yeah– the recession. Companies experienced mass-layoffs last year, are met with reduced marketing headcount and or budgets for this year– yet their contribution from those efforts aren’t decreasing similarly. Marketing is expected to produce more results and revenue, but with less program and headcount spend. This is tied to an increasing trend of marketing teams having KPIs related to pipeline creation and revenue contribution, not merely leads or MQLs.
Let’s add to that– more limited data, in the United States. Virginia rolled out a data privacy act, similar to CCPA beginning Jan 1, 2023–Colorado, Connecticut and Utah will be joining them later this year. For marketing teams who work closely with outbound sales, this could have an impact on their ability to prospect outside of publicly available data– not to mention information regarding who has been visiting your website from those states.
While navigating those challenges, marketing teams will also be working to migrate to Google Analytics 4 this year– which focuses around engagement, not sessions. This migration does take time for marketing teams to set-up, but also will change the way they are used to measuring and tracking website behavior. Depending on your business model, this could be a very heavy lift to prepare for– or burden on historical reporting for your team.
Focus on Revenue Generation, Not Merely Lead Capture
Historically, marketing teams have been tasked with creating leads for sales… which morphed into qualified leads… which morphed into opportunities… which has now moved to pipeline and revenue. Marketing teams are increasingly responsible for contributing to the bottom line, but– have you reviewed your metrics to ensure that goal is successfully met?
Marketers need to focus on campaigns, channels and lead sources that have a high-propensity to convert to revenue… and also those campaigns, channels and lead sources that convert to revenue at the lowest possible acquisition cost. That’s a lot of data to analyze at one time– but it’s more effective than patting your team on the back for creating thousands of leads… that don’t contribute to your annual revenue goals.
Lead capture, MQLs and opportunities created may help indicate what is successful– but focusing on what is creating revenue will increase your bottom line more easily. Focusing on average velocity or average-sales price allows your marketing team to understand if their efforts are baked in quality or quantity, and allow for increased alignment and partnership with sales teams.
How can we plan, when we don’t know?
There are a number of unknowns going into this year– will events that have been successful for lead-gen and revenue acceleration be successful this year, or will the lack of budget hurt attendance and success? Only time will tell.
Here are a few of our tips:
- Creating a regular audit of your go-to-market efforts will help you revisit your plan often, reinvest in what is working– and pull back from the things that aren’t.
- Partner with your sales teams. What are they hearing from prospects about events or challenges? What are they noticing in their messaging efforts that work better than other messages?
- Look at the full funnel-view, instead of focusing on top-of-funnel, bottom-of-funnel or inbound vs outbound separately. (But yes, slice and dice too!)
It’s not only okay to admit that your strategy isn’t working and needs to change, but your senior leaders would rather you recognize that and pivot to hit goals– than continue pushing on a plan that is set-up to fail. With the numbers of unknowns this year, pivot often and pivot for success!
Go Forward, Differently
There are numerous obstacles in the way of marketing teams this year– from budget, to lacking data, to team bandwidth. But, it’s the full-funnel view of the data and the feedback loop that will allow you to hit your goals this year. Focus on what is converting to revenue, not just getting into the top-of-the-funnel, work with sales on the most efficient personas and ensure your whole go-to-market team is aligned on the best ideal customer profile.
Learn how to ensure you are effectively planning throughout the year in our latest whitepaper. Download it now!