Taking Marketing From a Cost Center to a Revenue Center

Taking Marketing From a Cost Center to a Revenue Center

Dispatches from BMA14: a Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago

More and more marketers are being asked to prove the impact marketing has on both the top and bottom lines. At BMA14 today, one of the 15-minute “Firestarter” sessions addressed the challenge of transforming marketing from a cost center to a revenue center.

Debbie Qaqish Marketing Strategy
Debbie Qaqish

Debbie Qaqish is principal and chief strategy officer of the Pedowitz Group and author of “The Rise of the Revenue Marketer.” She told the audience of 900+ b2b marketers what it takes to lead this kind of transformation. There are specific behaviors to address in order to affect this change, said Debbie, and she likened the transition to her own personal transformation through her passion for Crossfit and health and fitness habits.

The behaviors to transform marketing from a cost to a revenue center fall into five areas:

1)  Change management: Debbie says pick a change management model and run with it. You’re in a role as a major disruptor at your organization, and you need to own it, manage it, and get people to accept it.

2)  Accountability: be accountable. You’re going to have to think, walk, talk, and act like a change agent.

3)  Sales and marketing alignment: this is key. If marketing doesn’t begin this journey of transformation by aligning seamlessly with sales, you’re destined for failure. What skills do you need to enact to seamlessly Marketing Revenue Strategycoexist with sales? Make these behaviors concrete, and make them quantifiable.

4)  Stakeholder alignment and advocacy: think about all of your organization’s stakeholders and how to educate them on your organization’s different approach to marketing. Employees. Customers. Suppliers. Partners. Shareholders. The industry. Get them informed. Get them aligned.

5)  Technology: leverage the power of technology to bring about the transformation.

At Tell Your Story, we’ve always believed marketing needs to be seen as a revenue center, though like Debbie says, it’s not an easy or fast  transformation. Analyze every behavior you exhibit and ask yourself: what would a revenue marketer do?