By Paul Albright, CEO, Captora
The following is adapted from Captora CEO Paul Albright’s “CMO’s Guide to Growth Marketing,” which outlines five strategies modern marketers can use to manage and increase growth for their company.
Marketers are now the rightful owners of the corporate growth agenda. Why? Marketing now has access to more and better data than anyone else in the company to guide, manage and accelerate revenue growth. And in an economy where “grow fast or die slow” is the mantra, SaaS marketers’ top priority is clear: grow revenue.
In the SaaS 1.0 days, growth strategies often boiled down to simple directives like, “Hire more sales reps!” That’s obviously not effective since the average B2B buyer today gets more than halfway through to a purchase decision before ever engaging with a sales rep. Under the old model, reps were largely responsible for their own pipelines while marketing managed branding and launched new products. As the SaaS model took hold in the enterprise, however, old-school marketing management has yielded increasingly dismal pipeline metrics:
Note: To calculate the Magic Number, take the change in subscription revenue between two quarters, annualize it (multiply by four), and divide the result by the sales and marketing spend for the earlier of the two quarters.
The Marketer’s “Numerator Problem”
In recent years, marketing technology has become much more efficient at engaging new buyers and converting them into qualified leads for sales to close. Companies’ inefficiency at the middle and bottom of the funnel was solved by CRM and marketing automation. Now the inefficiency is at the top of the funnel.
As a result, today’s CMOs have a numerator problem.
I think we have all said something like, “My pipeline growth targets are rising 300 percent faster than my budget!” The problem is growing that numerator faster with less budget requires more efficiency immediately.
Hiring more people can’t solve this problem. You need technology that delivers more productivity so you scale with limited resources. The seminal question is: How can you grow high-quality pipeline faster than your company’s revenue growth targets while improving the cost of acquiring new customers (CAC)?
The answer is three-fold:
- Expand the number of campaigns that are generating new, high-quality leads/trials;
- Optimize your existing campaigns to dramatically increase conversion rates;
- Remove wasted time/money spent on the wrong activities.
And below are the top five top strategic priorities for marketing executives and how to approach each one for growth.
1) Vision: A successful CMO’s most critical contribution is sustained, predictable company growth. Determine your company’s vision for maximizing growth, prioritizing the right work and share this vision to rally the entire company behind the goal of faster growth.
2) Plan: Create the right plan based on the math of your business and an investment strategy optimized to beat your future pipeline/revenue AND productivity goals (e.g., CAC/Magic #).
3) Align: Engage your executive team and marketing leaders to align on the right goals by function; and establish monthly operational reporting with weekly dashboards and reviews. Align your team’s compensation with its monthly goals to reinforce the importance of its results relative to beating your company’s growth goals.
4) Scale: Set the right goals and report the right metrics. Integrate new technology, channels, and processes to help you scale along with your company’s revenue goals. Focus more on productivity of your existing team versus hiring new people. Once you show results, it will be easier to add program/people faster.
5) Report and Refine: Set, measure, and report the right metrics. Summarize and adjust your investment mix quarterly, leveraging solid data that you and your CEO trust.
In the first of Captora’s “CMO’s Guide” series, I expand on all five of these growth marketing priorities with tactics marketers can use to ensure their marketing department is an efficient growth engine for their company.
Download Captora CEO Paul Albright’s free “CMO’s Guide to Growth Marketing” here.
Paul Albright: Paul Albright is CEO and co-founder of Captora. He has led product, marketing and sales in some of Silicon Valley’s most innovative, market-creating, software companies. Most recently Paul was chief revenue officer at Marketo, and drove revenue strategy that delivered global revenue growth over 100 percent year-over-year. At SuccessFactors, he grew revenues to over 80 percent year-over-year. Previously, he led worldwide marketing at NetApp and Informatica. He also served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Greylock.
Captora helps marketers intelligently scale and optimize digital marketing campaigns that accelerate pipeline and capture new buyers before your competition. Beat future pipeline/revenue goals while improving the cost of acquiring those new customers (CAC). With Captora, your marketing team can:
- Access real-time buyer and competitive intelligence to clearly see priorities for new campaigns (search phrases + dedicated, highly optimized landing pages), content promotion opportunities, and demand gaps
- Scale and optimize digital campaigns and associated content to engage new, previously anonymous buyers, across paid/organic/social channels
- Report success across campaigns, channels, content and the entire funnel
Companies like DocuSign, Marketo, ServiceMax, Innotas, and Host Analytics are leveraging Captora to significantly scale new revenue and conversion rates across search, advertising, and social channels.