The Revenue Marketing Playbook

Join the next generation of B2B marketers and become your company’s go-to revenue driver.

Why revenue marketing
 is the future of B2B marketing

B2B marketing has been a shot in the dark. Back in the Don Draper era of marketing, marketers simply ran ads, and looked at revenue hoping for a spike. If sales went up, you did well. It wasn’t data-driven, and it was far from ideal, but marketers were aware of their limitations and measured their success through correlation to revenue.

With advances in technology and the emergence of the internet came the era of “data-driven” marketing. And with it, the promise of digital measurement.

With the rise of online platforms, marketers began to invest their budgets across many different channels, and they suddenly had access to many new data points. But instead of becoming more revenue-driven, they regressed. The more complex their data became, the more they relied on metrics that didn’t actually correlate to what truly matters: revenue.

Even today, with access to an abundance of data and advanced tools, most B2B marketers still rely on outdated spreadsheets, manual processes, and lots of guesswork to guide their budget decisions.

The solution: revenue marketing.

With revenue marketing, marketing activities are oriented toward real results in a predictable and measurable manner.

After adopting this methodology, marketing leaders can make better budget and marketing decisions that contribute to their company’s bottom line. This way, marketing finally gets a seat at the table.

Why aren't more marketers using revenue marketing?

Too many opinions,
 not enough actions.

Building a revenue marketing machine has been proven effective for many B2B companies.



However, with so many contradicting opinions, it’s no wonder most revenue marketers have failed to make it work for their organization.

These three plays will make all the difference...

Let’s start with an over-arching strategy that will help you implement revenue marketing in any organization.

1. Build a revenue marketing strategy

Learn how to plan a winning marketing strategy that is driven by revenue.

2. Develop a revenue marketing process

Get step-by-step guidance on setting up your revenue marketing machine.

3. Understand the tools of the trade

Identify the crucial technology you need to increase revenue impact, as well as the tools you can cut out.

But first, here’s what you can expect to achieve with revenue marketing

Before and after revenue marketing

Marketing is focused on vanity metrics

Marketing is revenue-focused using attribution and statistics

Marketing is driven by guesswork

Marketing is driven by clean data and forecasting

Marketing data is a complete mess

Marketing data is unified and actionable

Manual reporting, analysis, and optimization

Automated processes to keep you on target

Tons of spreadsheets to manage marketing

Unified and dynamic 
data analysis and planning

  • Before revenue marketing
  • Group 233
    Marketing is focused on vanity metrics
  • Group 233
    Marketing is mostly driven by guesswork
  • Group 233
    Marketing data is a complete mess
  • Group 233
    Manual reporting, analysis, and optimization
  • Group 233
    Tons of spreadsheets to manage marketing
  • After revenue marketing
  • Group 229
    Marketing is revenue-focused using attribution and statistics
  • Group 229
    Marketing is driven by clean data and forecasting
  • Group 229
    Marketing data is unified and actionable
  • Group 229
    Automated processes to keep you on target
  • Group 229
    Unified and dynamic 
data analysis and planning
Before revenue marketing
After revenue marketing
Group 233
Marketing is focused on vanity metrics
Group 229
Marketing is revenue-focused using attribution and statistics
Group 233
Marketing is mostly driven by guesswork
Group 229
Marketing is driven by clean data and forecasting
Group 233
Marketing data is a complete mess
Group 229
Marketing data is unified and actionable
Group 233
Manual reporting, analysis, and optimization
Group 229
Automated processes to keep you on target
Group 233
Tons of spreadsheets to manage marketing
Group 229
Unified and dynamic 
data analysis and planning

Sounds good, right? 
Learn how 👇

1. Build a revenue marketing strategy

Every marketer wants to get closer to revenue.

There are two reasons why many marketers fail to get there:

  1. Running, measuring, and optimizing multiple marketing channels using siloed data.
  2. B2B customer journeys are long and complex, so marketers can’t quickly identify what drives revenue and then iterate or try new things on the fly.

To deal with these hurdles, marketing leaders must adopt a revenue marketing strategy that works across many verticals, channels, and company sizes. A strategy answers the most challenging questions that arise.

Follow the strategy guide below to build a bulletproof revenue marketing strategy for your organization.👇

What is the connection between ongoing activities and revenue?

Set up a revenue generation model

Click here for a FREE template of our revenue model >

Here are the main plays you need to do to connect activities to revenue.

Set annual revenue targets

The goal of this step is to calculate your new ARR goal, using the metrics: End-of-year planned ARR, Start-of-year ARR, Net Retention Rate, Current Pipeline and Pipeline Close Rate.

To get to this number, you can use the following formula:

New ARR = Target ARR ($3M) –[ Start of Year ARR ($1M) X Net Retention Rate (100%) ] –
[ Existing Pipeline ($250K) X Expected Close Rate (20%) ]

Calculate your customer and funnel targets

Now that you have your new ARR goal, you can easily calculate the number of customers you need to close for the year (based on your average customer size), as well as other targets further up the funnel.

Determine your marketing targets

In our template, you’ll find a dropdown menu that lets you choose which proxy metric to set as your target. When you switch the metric, it will dynamically change the numbers throughout the entire spreadsheet.

Step 4: Add up your yearly costs and total budget

In this step, we help you go beyond targets and connect your budget planning with your revenue goals. This is a crucial step, since it connects the costs of your marketing with revenue, giving you a much clearer picture of the business validity of your marketing efforts. The aim of this step is to calculate the total needed budget.

Transform your annual budget into monthly targets

Having a yearly budget that has been calculated from actual revenue goals is great, but you’ll also need to maintain that budget every month. In the second sheet of our spreadsheet, you’ll find a monthly target template with two monthly target scenarios.

Why is revenue marketing an all-inclusive methodology?

Revenue marketers need to use different measurement methodologies to show how each activity contributes to revenue.

Revenue marketers must develop a flexible analytics perspective, particularly since some marketing activities produce almost-instantaneous revenue while others produce indirect revenue.

This simple concept is sometimes difficult to explain to non-marketers, especially when the marketer doing the explaining does not have a clear grasp of revenue metrics and concepts. Revenue marketers essentially bridge the gap between any type of marketing and the CEO, CFO, or those in other functions. They can explain why a company should invest in branding, and they communicate long-term thinking and investment in a way that gets buy-in from the rest of the organization.

The basic premise of revenue marketing is that although marketing channels differ in how fast and how directly they affect revenue results, all marketing activities MUST contribute to the bottom line, from direct activities like paid acquisition, to indirect activities like branding and dark social.

If revenue marketing doesn’t encompass all activities, it will not be able to accurately demonstrate its contribution to revenue.

For indirect activities, like branding efforts, revenue marketers should employ a variety of measurement and prediction methods to calculate their bottom-line impact.

Additionally, revenue marketers are responsible for two aspects of indirect activities. On the one hand, they must justify their activities as demand-generating strategies that contribute to long-term growth. And on the other hand, they have to prove their long-term revenue contribution by adopting sophisticated measurement methods.

Revenue marketing is not a subset of marketing. It’s a method to establish marketing’s contribution to the growth of the company. By proving this contribution with real numbers, marketing regains its seat at the table, establishing itself as the right department to guide the growth of the entire organization and make big decisions.

Where do you look to measure top-of-funnel activities?

Understand how to look at your funnel as a revenue marketer

If, over time, all marketing activities drive revenue, why not represent the expected revenue throughout your funnel?

Using a simple calculation, similar to the one you’ve used in the revenue generation model above, you can add a weighted revenue metric, and look at your funnel in terms of expected revenue. This is not just applicable for your Pipeline. It can also reach up to the very top of your funnel.

Instead of driving 100 MQLs, you’ll be driving $1M in weighted revenue, six months into the future (assuming the MQL to Customer velocity of your funnel is six months)

This will not replace your traditional funnel, but it will give you another way to understand how you’re doing and communicate the revenue impact of marketing.

How do you transition from vanity metrics to revenue proxies?

Understand the core metrics of revenue marketing, and how they differ from the old marketing metrics

Not all metrics can be calculated back from revenue.

It may work for SQLs, MQLs, and leads…

But how about metrics like website traffic?

Such metrics are still valuable since they are much more directly connected to your marketing activity.

Rather than using them as vanity metrics, revenue marketers need to use them as proxy metrics that are somehow correlated with the more revenue-related KPIs.

Tips from top revenue marketers

Find out the tactics that some of the world’s top
revenue marketers reccommend

2. Turn strategy into action with the revenue marketing process

Follow the revenue marketing process that has helped top B2B brands scale their marketing efforts.

Some of the fastest-growing B2B companies in the world, like ContentSquare, Kaltura, and Papaya Global have implemented the revenue marketing process to produce phenomenal growth and success.

This four-step process is especially productive for hypergrowth B2B SaaS companies that need a quick and agile iteration process to achieve their revenue goals in a competitive market.

Unify and structure your marketing data

The philosophy of revenue marketing

B2B brands understand the importance of attribution.

But there is a preliminary step before attribution, that brands must implement. Otherwise, attribution is meaningless and inaccurate. That step is data structuring.

A recent study showed that 95% of organizations are currently unable to make sense of customer data and struggle to gain real-time insights from their data.

There are three main reasons for this problem:

  • Terminology gaps
  • Success measurement gaps
  • Lack of cross-platform data integration

Terminology gaps

As marketers, we deploy different campaigns from different systems. Each system has its own structure and speaks its own language. LinkedIn Ads Manager, for example, measures campaigns differently than Facebook Business Suite. 

When you’re bringing in data from so many different channels, your marketing data structure is how you establish a common language for success. 

Success measurement gaps

Each department has its own definition of success.

Instead of blindly throwing darts, every campaign should have a very specific end target. Business outcomes can vary based on your sales process and funnel velocity, but usually, we’re talking about revenue or pipeline. 

Besides revenue, your company should also align around your funnel stages, and around the goals for each funnel stage.

Note that a common language for “success” is highly important for aligning your organization around a common data structure. So as part of the process of building a marketing data structure, you’ll also need to align the revenue org around the definitions of your business outcome model (your funnel).

Lack of cross-platform data integration

Important data is hidden away in different systems, and there is often no strategy in place to connect them with one another.

To solve this problem, all of the data from the various systems needs to be aggregated, sorted and weighted. Only then can you implement accurate attribution and other measurement modeling.

The importance of this step

By unifying and structuring your marketing data, you can aim to set a single source of truth – one standard for your customer journeys, costs, and business outcome data.

Building a unified database that includes all of your marketing data is a vital step for revenue marketers. All of the data from marketing channels and platforms, as well as from your CRM, needs to be collected, cleaned, sorted, and structured in order to allow further examination and, eventually, accurate decision-making.

Analyze and attribute revenue impact

How revenue marketing can help marketers take back their leadership role

Once you have set up your data structure, you’ll use attribution and other analysis methods to understand what drives impact and what has worked well so far. 

Multi-touch attribution and correlation analysis will help you model your data and give credit to every marketing touchpoint in the customer journey. In this way, you can calculate the business impact, time-to-impact, and ROI across all marketing activities.

Forecast business results

Understand how to look at your funnel as a revenue marketer

Forecasting uses historical data to make informed predictions about future results. In the context of revenue marketing, forecasting allows you to predict business outcomes across various budget scenarios and make smarter decisions regarding your marketing activities.

Understanding what worked is great, and that’s where attribution will help you, but to make smarter decisions, we need to better understand where to double down, and what our expected outcomes will be.

This is difficult in B2B given the long sales cycles, where the result of a marketing activity may take months before it can show results.

To account for that, you can use forecasting. Either using forecasting tools or with the help of your data team, you can create models to help you estimate the revenue outcomes based on historical data and early indicators of your work.

When you’ve got a forecasting model in place, you can use it to make sure that your marketing plan is expected to generate the results you need, and optimize accordingly.

Optimize your budget planning

Understand the core metrics of revenue marketing and how they differ from the old marketing metrics

Now that your data is structured, you understand the revenue contribution of every activity, and you’re able to forecast results of current activities, you can close the loop and optimize your plan based on results and forecasts.

This creates an iterative process, where your optimization decisions will lead to new data coming in, changing your forecasts, resulting in either better or worse outcomes, and opening up new optimization opportunities.

This loop is the essence of the revenue marketing process, and allows you to steadily guide you towards revenue targets.

3. Understand the tools of the trade

You only need three tools…
There are 10,000+ SaaS products out there, each one promising you a clear path to revenue. When following the process that we’ve laid out in this playbook, you’ll only need three types of tools to implement your revenue marketing process. These are: attribution, BI and planning tools.

Attribution and ROI analysis

Track interactions, outcomes and revenue impact across customer journeys

Attribution and ROI analysis tools help answer the question of which marketing activities lead to the most business impact and revenue.

This process tracks all customer journeys and generates insights about the interactions, outcomes and revenue impact that occurred throughout these journeys.

BI (Business Intelligence)

An essential part of digesting attribution inputs and visualizing your data

A BI tool will be essential when it comes time to digest your attribution inputs and visualize your data, allowing you to identify helpful insights and create informed marketing strategies.

It’s very hard for modern B2B companies to understand their data, and, more specifically, to measure the exact business impact of their marketing efforts and each dollar spent.

It is even harder to make the leap from understanding what made an impact to understanding what the company should do next. In order to make budget decisions based on data analysis, a company has to build an extensive team of experienced data scientists, developers and analysts.

This team, along with other responsibilities, must create custom marketing dashboards and visualizations based on normalized data consolidated from different sources.

Budget planning

Track and plan budgets in a dynamic way that is not possible with cumbersome spreadsheets



Budget planning tools enable the building, tracking and management of marketing plans/budgets. This is usually handled through a less efficient, manual process involving spreadsheets or with designated tools that pull live data.

* In an ideal revenue marketing process, the budget planning tools would loop back into the BI tools. This would allow for the creation of multiple budget scenarios, based on attribution and historical data. You would be able to visually see the optimal budget spread across all of your different activities, as well as a prediction regarding the revenue outcomes from that scenario.

One final step… You have to utilize a data team in order to connect your data analysis and budget decision-making.

Revenue marketing will not happen automatically when you implement the three types of tools detailed above. The benefits associated with using these tools don’t happen simply by connecting API endpoints between software.

You need to build an experienced data team that can build processes and models that turn your data into actionable insights. This team will be in charge of generating many “what-if” simulations and choosing the optimal scenario, all while taking into consideration the budget constraints and the goals of the business.

As you probably noticed, implementing a complete revenue marketing tech stack is rather difficult to explain via an article. When coming up with a solution, adjustments should be made for your specific business needs. I invite you to talk to me, and let me tell you all about automating and streamlining the process of revenue marketing from A to Z, without the need of a data team.

Drive continuous impact by implementing
a revenue marketing optimization process

There is really no single optimization schedule that works across all companies. As we mentioned, the length of your sales cycle greatly influences when you can expect to measure results.

Having said that, there’s one rule that you can apply to better optimize your marketing plan now that it’s aligned with revenue:

The larger the timeframe, the deeper into the funnel you can go in terms of optimization metrics.

Here’s why:

If your sales cycle is six months long, that means that, on average, an activity won’t generate customers until six months have passed.

But you can’t wait six months before optimizing your plan if you’re a SaaS marketer. So you’ll have to use proxy metrics for optimization.

The proxy metric you should use depends on two factors:

  1. The metrics that have a correlation to revenue, and also have a benchmark that you can use to determine the future revenue impact (for example, do you have a track record of MQLs converting to customers with a proven conversion rate?)
  2. The metrics you can impact, given the timeframe you’ve chosen for optimization.

Here’s a basic workflow you can follow, assuming an average sales cycle of 60 days:

Weekly
Optimization

If your Lead to SQL velocity is less than one week, you can base your weekly analysis on SQLs. Otherwise, you’ll have to work with MQLs.

Monthly
Optimization

If your Lead-to-Opportunity velocity is less than one month, you can base your analysis on opportunities. Otherwise, you’ll have to work with SQLs when running a monthly analysis.

Quarterly
Optimization

Given a 60-day sales cycle, you can use opportunities and also customers as your optimization metric when running quarterly optimizations. If your sales cycle is longer, apply the principles described in first and second steps (you’ll likely optimize for opportunities in this case).

Yearly
Optimization

In a yearly timeframe, you can use customers as well as revenue as your optimization metric. Here the timeframe is long enough to provide more than a single sales cycle iteration, and you can confidently use metrics such as ROI, revenue, and Customers to guide your optimization decisions.

Revenue Marketing vs Demand Generation

List Title
Demand Generation
Revenue Marketing
Main metric
Qualified leads
Revenue
Departments
Markeing
Marketing and sales
Funnel focus
SQLs, Opportunities
Pipeline, Revenue, Retention
Measuring organic
Qualitative
Proxy measurement
Goals
SMART goals
Revenue goals
Main efforts goes toward
Raise awareness and create demand
Generate revenue
ICP/TAM
Most interested in your product
Has the best NRR


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