The relationship with the customer is more critical than ever. With today’s technologies – social media; anytime, anywhere technology; mobility; video; cloud; big data and analytics – marketing is now enabled to drive revenue. Karen Walker, Cisco SVP of Global Marketing, leveraged these technologies to engage with the customer and change the view of marketing from a “cost center” to a revenue generator.
Karen looked for an opportunity to show what marketing could do. She chose the midmarket customers in seven countries where there wasn’t an extensive direct-sales coverage model. Working with sales, she set expectations that it would take 12 to 18 months to drive revenue knowing it required strategic, cultural, behavioral, and process changes. And marketing’s success was measured on business impact, not just the quality of the work, enabling marketing to gain a new level of partnership with sales and earning a seat at the business table. Setting a goal for best-in-class pipeline conversions was key and slowly sales accepted that marketing had a new role.
Karen feels that marketers today need to become more customer centric through social listening and digital engagement… and need to set a revenue goal if they want to change the view of marketing as a revenue center.