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November 4, 2013   Posted by: Dale Underwood

Selling Marketing’s True Value to the C-Suite


We’re honored to have Debbie Qaqish of The Pedowitz Group present a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, November 6, 2013 at 12PM EST titled ““Rise of the Revenue Marketer® – How to Transform Marketing from a Cost Center to a Profit Center”.

Marketing has traditionally had trouble selling it’s true value to the CEO. Much of that is explained in Debbie’s analysis about the stages that marketers go through to reach Revenue Marketer status but we want to focus on one specific area; selling Marketing’s Potential Revenue Value to the CEO in terms she will appreciate.

Dale Underwood

Dale Underwood

How much is marketing worth?

Let me put it another way…..

How much value does marketing have if it influences 25% of $100 Million dollars in annual revenue?

A) $25 Million
B) $100 Million
C) $500 Million
D) None of the above

Traditional marketers generally answer “A” or $25 Million.

The correct answer for a bold Revenue Marketer selling their value to the CEO is closer to “C” $500 Million.

What? How can Marketing’s value be greater than the actual sales number? It’s actually quite logical as long as you are thinking like a B2B Revenue Marketer and not a traditional marketer.

Let me try to explain the difference between “telling” and “selling”.

Consider the following diagram. It shows the root of the problem.

emarketing before

Figure 1 – Marketing activities are easy to quantify, results are not

Per figure 1, the Sales team can easily measure it’s sales results but has a hard time defining the actual activities that led to the results.

On the other hand, traditional Marketers tend to quantify marketing’s value in terms of activities, not results. This is where most Marketers get off track because they don’t think about selling their value to the organization.

Instead, they tend to fall into the trap of looking at total sales and trying to “map back” individual deals to specific marketing influences. Remember our “25%” question? Most marketers will try to get credit for only 25%, or $25 Million, of total sales (Figure 2).

marketing mid

Figure 2 – Working backward from total sales is a BIG marketing justification mistake

The main problem with this approach is that it will always undervalue marketing’s contribution to the organization. Slicing up the pipeline pie into marketing influenced deals means that marketing will always be valued at less than what is shown in the sales figures.

A Revenue Marketer’s real VALUE – potential revenue

To solve this problem, B2B Marketers need to find a way to capture the real, top-line contribution to the organization and stop counting useless data points.

Marketers need to look at the actual products and services an organization sells and tie their results to the potential lead value generated based on the price of those items.

For example, suppose an organization sells widgets for $100,000 and marketing has generated leads for 5000 widgets. This translates to potential revenue of $500,000,000, or 5 times annual sales (Figure 3). It makes sense because to sell $100 Million in widgets takes a sales funnel of at least $500 Million.

Taking that and mapping it into our original chart we have:


Figure 3 – Marketing’s real value is 5-10 times annual sales

Any CEO would agree with that so why not take the position? It leads to a great discussion about the value of your campaigns when you start from a strong sales position like that. Just don’t lose your nerve and revert back to “clicks, likes and opens”.

Now it’s your turn.

To quantify your marketing value, take your company’s annual sales number and multiply by 5.

That’s impressive!

Now go SELL it!

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