The Marketing Strategist:

Is Your Marketing Team a Revenue Generator?

July 9, 2014

The most dreaded label in the corporate hierarchy is “cost center.” The way to prove you aren’t a cost center is to become accountable for revenue. Cisco SVP of global marketing Karen Walker explained how Cisco’s marketing function is transforming itself into a revenue engine. Profound changes in technology are enabling marketing to drive revenue. Go down the list: social media; anytime, anywhere technology; mobility; video; cloud; apps; the internet of everything; and big data and analytics. Customers are using those technologies to increasingly research and initiate their own purchases. About 85% of B2B buyers use social media during the purchase process and that percentage is growing (How Buyers Consume Information Study). The same study shows that the average buyer spends 37 minutes on a solution provider’s website before reaching out to a person at the provider. All of that is making the relationship with the customer more critical than ever. And that means marketing can no longer be viewed as a support function but as a partner of the sales function, accountable for driving revenue and growth. Marketing has been accused of being the fluffy function. We’re the storytellers, and that’s still hugely important. We have to tell the story of our strategy and our opportunity. But marketing can no longer be a fuzzy function. It has to become absolutely accountable to the business and have a very specific role to play to drive all of the changes we are seeing. And we need to learn how to use data to fuel the revolution—to turn data into business decisions in action. To learn more about how to transform marketing into a revenue generator, read Transform Marketing from a Cost Center to a Revenue Engine.

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