Marketing Trends – From Cost Center to a Revenue-Driver

What happens when a dream team of marketing cloud executives, with experience ranging from big data, analytics, cloud and SaaS get together and pool resources into a startup? You might just end up with a solution that TechCrunch describes as “the Google self-driving car for marketers”

Start-up Brightfunnel, is to benefit from assembling a seasoned founding team from Salesforce.com, LinkedIn and Trulia in order to transform marketing into a revenue function. If you are scratching your head about the Google analogy, think of it this way, in marketing, you would always want be able to identify how much money to spend on a campaign and what your expected revenue targets should be. Pair those traditional aspirations with BrightFunnel’s recommendations, and your marketing plan should practically automate itself.

The revenue insights startup aims to transform marketing from a cost center into a revenue function, giving B2B boards and executives full control and visibility into marketing’s direct impact on revenue. CMOs struggle with this today,especially if they are B2B, due to the rapid pace of marketing efforts, Big Data, and the lack of tools for forecasting, benchmarking, and attribution. BrightFunnel combines a complex machine learning backend with a highly usable interface to allow marketers to tie their efforts to revenue. Through BrightFunnel’s platform, CMOs will know how much revenue their efforts will generate and which decisions will have the best impact on revenue growth. The ability to have this party trick, is all the more important as CMOs are having a greater impact on technology and may actually find themselves competing with CIOs. As a marketeer are you really going to say no to predictive revenue insights?

Traditionally, the sales team has always been a natural revenue-center due to its cycle of prospecting, educating, and closing deals. These days, more digital marketing departments deploy automated sales and education through content marketing, which gives them more ownership of the revenue cycle. BrightFunnel in a blog post says:

“Good B2B marketers are claiming more ownership of this revenue cycle, especially at the earlier stages of the cycle; they focus increasing efforts on content marketing, which syndicates education to prospective customers through well designed websites, white papers and webinars, which are promoted through, ads, email campaigns and and social media. Because all of these programs are now tracked digitally — and thus produce data that can be analyzed — marketing efforts can finally be directly related to a company’s bottom line.”

Marketing is continually evolving and is becoming more and more data driven and its prominence with the organisation may well see it steal some thunder from other cost centers. As future marketers continue to claim more ownership of the revenue cycle and build up a clear picture of performance data on various channels and tactics, they have the new ability to make forecasts that provide accurate long-term visibility – even longer than sales. The benefit as BrightFunnel puts it, is once organizational-wide paradigm shifts start taking place as marketing moves toward being a revenue-driver, “it will align all teammates — creatives and quants alike — toward the same overarching goal.”

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