With Tricia Wiles Ruiz, Creative Content Manager, True Influence
Revenue is the goal of B2B marketing and sales. Well, sure – everybody knows this.
Yet, B2B sellers are still looking for ways to ensure every marketing and sales dollar spent is contributing to the bottom line. In fact, almost 60 percent of CMOs say they are facing increased pressure to prove the positive impact of their programs.
We’ve grown past Lead Gen 1.0, where we just met lead quotas. We’ve developed purchase journeys and buying group models that give us better insight into how individual behaviors move an account toward a sale. We’ve invested in cross- and omni-channel attribution technologies to pinpoint which touchpoints are key revenue levers. We’ve even experimented with new organizational models, such as Revenue Operations, to get sales and marketing on the same page.
But whatever your business is doing to put the focus on revenue, your starting point has to be data.
Data is the Roadmap to Revenue
Aristomenis Capogeannis, Director of Revenue Marketing at NVIDIA, has a distinct perspective on how data can drive every decision in the revenue pipeline.
Beginning his career in startups, Capogeannis was used to a roll-up-your-sleeves marketing culture where his team experimented, executed and went with what worked. But after joining NVIDIA in mid-2020 (as part of its acquisition of Cumulus Networks), he saw his new company simply had too many products and audiences to operate in a way that’s “both agile and haphazard,” as he puts it.
So after some soul-searching, Capogeannis is building his Revenue Marketing team to be focused entirely on data-driven “integrated pipeline analysis.” Marketing execution and SDRs live in other teams, while Revenue Marketing has assumed the role of enterprise-wide data analysts. “I am moving them on the path from taking tickets to looking for actionable insights,” Capogeannis said of the new model.
The roadmap is to include intelligence from both sales and customer success, with the ultimate goal of modeling purchase journeys that extend well beyond the initial contract. While he doesn’t own the enormously complex revenue pipeline, Capogeannis sees Revenue Marketing as the cohesive force that can focus marketing and sales on won revenue as a singular goal.
He uses the metaphor of a running shoe – the eyelets on either side of the shoe are operational marketing and sales, and Revenue Marketing is the laces that draw both sides closer together.
“When we’re done, we’re ready to run,” he says.
Getting Results From Revenue Marketing
My chat with Capogeannis, part of our True Influence Accelerating Revenue Series, was an interesting look at the challenges of building a comprehensive, data-driven strategy in a massive organization like NVIDIA. The enterprise has built on its landmark success as a graphics hardware manufacturer and now is focusing on AI, the data center and other advanced computing applications. It has well more than 10,000 marketers working in support of its massive portfolio.
That’s a lot of moving parts, and a lot of data.
Some of the key insights we discussed include:
Too Much of Anything, Even Data, is Too Much
The best slide Capogeannis ever created simply correlated database growth vs. revenue growth by acquisition channel. In the midst of a lengthy presentation on predictive analytics, this data point resonated, and resulted in a shift of resources to the programs that were actually fueling the bottom line.
Capogeannis calls this approach “snackable data” – finding actionable insights that clearly show the “why” behind your decisions. From there you can engineer the pipeline based on a whole matrix of data, while your stakeholders execute without having to re-invent daily routines.
Beware the ‘Playbook’
Marketers need to realize just because one set of tactics worked for a given audience or product, doesn’t mean they translate verbatim to every situation. Relying solely on past experience, even when the current data indicates a different direction, is a recipe for failure.
“Don’t argue about something. You don’t need to,” Capogeannis says. “Just throw the data out there and tell people what’s what and have the conversation around that.”
Let the Buyer Drive the Conversation
Capogeannis does not believe in the classic “funnel,” but he does say there is something to be learned from the light touch most marketers employ in the early stages of that model. With all the digital channels – email, social, programmatic, inbound, personalized web experiences – at marketers’ command, the vision should be to build a cohesive informational experience that helps the buyer find their next answer, at their own pace.
Just because someone downloaded a whitepaper does not mean they want a follow-up in the next five minutes.
Account Journey Analysis is the Holy Grail
Many marketers, even those who have invested in omni-channel attribution, are still focused on modeling personal buying journeys, within the general context of Buying Group dynamics filling in the gaps. Capogeannis wants to take it a step further and discretely map the journey of the entire account – which he admits is “a mess to manage.”
“If you pull back from the one or two individuals that sales ultimately engages with, you’ll get an idea of the water cooler conversations that shaped the (account) journey,” he says.
So far he’s found no magic bullet that points to exactly how a net new name will impact a large account’s final purchase decision. But he’s working on it.
Check Out the Episode!
Be sure to check out our full conversation with Aristomenis Capogeannis on your favorite platform.