The Future of B2B Marketing Leaders

October 9, 2023

Leveling up your marketing career, even during uncertain times? It’s totally possible if you follow these two pro tips everyone else seems to be missing. 

According to LinkedIn’s Global B2B Marketing Benchmark, roughly two in three CMOs/CFOs say the importance of the CMO has increased in the eyes of the C-suite. And half of all CMOs agree that they have a more direct role in driving revenue and growth now. As we move forward, we’re likely to see these trends continue to grow. 

It’s easy to get comfortable with one idea of what being a marketer is or should be. But 2024 is around the corner and seeing data like this means we have to get a little more creative if we want to forge a path forward that both a) outshines the competition and b) puts our name top of mind among brands we most admire. 

So what does a modern marketer have to do to get career sustainability around here, anyway? 

In a word: revenue.

But… marketers don’t own revenue!

We believe they should. Metrics don’t matter if you aren’t making money. And in order for marketers to future-proof themselves, they’ll need to get comfortable with getting their hands a little dirtier than before. 

A strong understanding of finances allows marketers to assess the profitability and viability of different strategies. It also enables them to allocate resources effectively, measure return on investment (ROI), and justify their budget requests. Owning revenue even helps marketers communicate more effectively with other departments such as sales or finance.

But don’t just take our word for it. We spoke to our marketing peers across all levels of experience about what the landscape looks like now and what it could look like in the not-too-distant future. 

The role of modern-day marketers in driving revenue

The days when marketing is seen as a cost center are long gone. Today's account-based marketers play a pivotal role in generating revenue for their companies. They're no longer just responsible for creating awareness and interest—they must also convert that interest into tangible sales results.

Want to become a successful marketer? You’ll need to get started with a modern account-based marketing approach just to get in the game. That means gaining an intimate knowledge of your customers' wants and needs to craft tailored strategies that engage and convert. It’s the baseline requirement many of today’s marketers are still catching up with or learning to conquer. 

Want to level up even further? Become a successful revenue-driving marketer. To do this you’ll need to use data analytics to get an understanding of customer inclinations and tastes. This essential differentiator will generate personalized marketing tactics that prompt engagement and sales. 

Becoming a successful revenue-driving marketer requires adopting certain key strategies, including…

  • Data-driven decision-making. Use data analytics tools like RollWorks' Account-Based platform to identify target accounts and measure program effectiveness.

  • Cross-functional collaboration. Work closely with sales teams to align on shared goals and ensure seamless handoff from lead generation to deal closure.

  • Focused targeting. Concentrate resources on high-value accounts likely to yield significant returns.

  • Persistent testing and optimization. Continually test different approaches, learn from results, and adjust tactics accordingly for maximum impact.

Plus, it's important to communicate your successes clearly within your organization, especially how they relate directly back to the company's bottom line. Demonstrating clear ROI will help cement your position as an integral part of the revenue team rather than being viewed merely as a support function.

The 3 most important tools for future B2B marketing leaders

Marketers who want to effectively own and drive revenue need two things: a multi-signal buying approach, access to revenue impact reports, and journey stage tracking plus events.

  1. The Multi-Signal Buying Approach

B2B marketing leaders are navigating a complex landscape. The old ways of targeting and reaching potential customers have evolved, creating a more nuanced approach: the multi-signal buying approach. 

This strategy involves understanding and responding to various buyer signals including everything from digital engagement metrics to direct inquiries. The goal? Empower marketers with a more holistic view of their potential customers.

Understanding Different Types of Buyer Signals

To leverage the multi-signal buying approach effectively, you must understand different types of buyer signals. These can range from online behavior such as: 

  • Website visits

  • Social media interactions

  • Offline activities like attending trade shows or seminars

  • Direct communication through emails or phone calls

  • And many more

Digital engagement metrics play an important role in this process by providing valuable insights into customer behavior online. By tracking these metrics using tools like RollWorks' Account-Based Platform, you can gain a better understanding of your target audience's interests and preferences.

Leveraging Multiple Signals For Effective Marketing

Leveraging multiple signals requires strategic planning and execution. Be proactive in identifying key buyers within target accounts across multiple channels—whether that's on social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter, industry forums or blogs, etc.—before engaging them with personalized content based on their specific needs and interests. Here’s how:

  • Data Analysis. Analyze data collected from various sources to identify patterns in customer behavior that can inform your marketing strategies.

  • Cross-Channel Engagement. Engage your audience across multiple channels both online and offline

  • A/B Testing. Use A/B testing techniques to determine what type of messaging resonates best with your target audience.

This combination not only ensures you reach out at the right time but it also builds meaningful relationships leading towards conversion goals faster than traditional methods could ever achieve.

  1. Revenue Impact Reports

In today's shifting economic landscape, having access to and the skills to understand revenue impact reports is crucial for modern marketers. These financial tools provide insights into how marketing efforts directly contribute to company revenues. With this knowledge, B2B marketing leaders can optimize their strategies to drive more significant results.

Importance of Revenue Impact Reports in B2B Marketing

The role of a marketer has evolved beyond creating compelling content and managing campaigns. Today's B2B marketing leaders need to be data-driven decision-makers who understand the financial implications of their actions. Data is a key component in the current marketing landscape, particularly for gauging effectiveness.

  • Accountability. Revenue impact reports hold marketers accountable for their initiatives by providing tangible proof of what works and what doesn't.

  • Budget allocation. By understanding which campaigns yield the highest ROI, marketers can allocate resources more effectively.

  • Credibility. Demonstrating a direct correlation between your efforts and increased revenue helps establish credibility with stakeholders within the organization.

Interpreting Key Data Points in Revenue Impact Reports

Navigating through heaps of data might seem daunting at first glance; however, knowing what key metrics to focus on makes it manageable and rewarding. Here are some critical elements you should look out for when examining these reports:

  • Gross Profit Margin. This metric indicates how much profit is made after accounting for cost-of-goods-sold (COGS). A high gross margin implies that your campaign was efficient at generating profits relative to its costs. Learn more about Gross Profit Margin here.

  • Sales Growth Rate. A positive sales growth rate signifies that your campaign helped boost sales over a specific period. Click here for further insight into Sales Growth Rate.

  • Lifetime Value (LTV). This measures the total projected value from a customer over the duration they do business with you. If LTV increases post-campaign launch, then it suggests long-term benefits from your initiative. Read up on Lifetime Value calculation methods here.

  1. Journey Stage Tracking and Events

Platforms like RollWorks make it possible to monitor the progress of specific accounts as they make their way through the buying journey. That means you can pinpoint when they go from unaware to aware to ready to purchase. Using this tool, revenue-savvy marketers can easily win or renew opportunities with a data-backed strategy. 

RollWorks will even pull other time-stamped Journey Events (think account spikes) from sales tools you already have and combine them with its own account data to create a clear picture of how marketing and sales activities directly impact each other. These insights translate to highly actionable tasks to generate even more wins through marketing. For example, you can use this feature to create campaigns around specific stages, measure the impact of existing marketing, and visualize multiple channels all in one place. 

5 practical ways to build your finance skills as a marketer

These DIY-able skills can directly transfer to any marketing role you have today in addition to being a valuable leg-up for your career opportunities tomorrow. 

  1. Educate Yourself. There are numerous online courses available that offer education in basic finance principles. Websites like Coursera or Khan Academy provide comprehensive lessons on topics ranging from balance sheet analysis to cash flow statement interpretation. Our blog also provides educational resources to help you get started. 

  2. Adopting Necessary Tools. Account-based marketing platforms offer tools to help you plan, strategize, and measure your go-to-market and account-based marketing strategies. Using ABM software in and of itself is already considered essential to the modern marketing strategy so you may already be familiar with one. If not, there’s no time like the present!

  3. Mentorship. Seek guidance from someone within your organization who has expertise in both marketing and finance. This could be your manager, a colleague, or even someone from the finance department itself.

  4. Cross-Functional Collaboration. Collaborating closely with your company's financial team can give you hands-on experience dealing with budgets, forecasts, revenue projections, and more. This will eventually help you understand how these elements impact overall business strategy and help you connect the dots between finance and marketing. 

  5. Data Analysis Skills. Developing data analysis skills can help you better understand customer behavior patterns and trends which directly influence any strategic decision-making process.

The Future of B2B Marketing Leaders

The future of B2B marketing leaders requires strong business acumen and alignment with overall organizational objectives. Marketers must continually educate themselves, nurture relationships, make data-driven decisions, and adopt the right tools to succeed in a fast-paced environment. The key takeaway? Being a financially savvy B2B marketing leader isn't just about knowing numbers, it's about using them strategically too!

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