4 Steps to Developing an Effective Revenue Marketing Strategy

B2B buyers spend much of the buying cycle online researching companies and products, leaving sales teams with a tight window to prove two things: 1) their offering is the best solution to a problem, and 2) now is the best time to make a purchase. However, this also validates the critical role marketing plays — ensuring the content that surfaces during the research period is relevant and persuasive enough to convince the buyer to take the sales call. To do so, marketing must proactively get in front of potential customers by delivering compelling messages that speak to specific pain points.


Seasoned marketers will remember a period when the term “Content is king” fueled their strategies. During this time, marketing was measured success on metrics like views, engagement, and clicks. However, we’re in the thick of an era where marketing must irrefutably link their campaign efforts to measurable revenue. Content alone is simply not enough. Rather, content is a critical component of a larger strategy — revenue marketing — where sales and marketing teams work more closely than ever to execute campaigns that convert into dollars. 


Developing an effective revenue marketing strategy


In revenue marketing, sales and marketing teams work in tandem to boost customer acquisition and better predict sales. Revenue marketing requires marketers to closely track and continuously engage with buyers to ensure customer retention and initiate upsell opportunities long after the first phase of the marketing funnel. By monitoring the impact of marketing campaigns beyond lead generation, marketers can determine where leads convert into revenue-generating customers. As a result, marketers must prioritize targeted and goal-oriented campaigns and tactics. 


A successful revenue marketing strategy has four key steps:


1. Define your target audience. Before any campaign planning, take a step back and define your target audience. Don’t be afraid to get granular and pinpoint specific accounts that can and should buy from you. Yes, this list will be noticeably smaller than a purchased and pre-populated lead list, but this is quality over quantity — accounts within your target audience are more likely to engage with your business, convert to a customer, and remain a loyal customer.


Begin by analyzing buyer needs and mapping out the buying cycle, beyond research/awareness and decision/purchase. A core aspect of revenue marketing is the focus on the customer long after they’ve converted to identify upsell opportunities or secure retention. Develop messaging specific to each pain point or stage in the buyer’s journey so you know when, where, and how to influence at every stage of the cycle. Campaigns with content personalized at this level convert at a higher rate than broad awareness plays.


2. Establish SMART revenue goals. Once you’ve defined your target audience, it’s time to establish revenue goals. Make sure your goals are SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. SMART goals are clearly understood by all stakeholders, from the campaign managers executing the strategy to business leaders tracking productivity and impact. Examples of SMART revenue goals include:

  • Market penetration: Improve brand recognition to 75% of your target audience to improve market penetration.
  • Premiumization: Increase gross margin by 10% by offering product or services beyond free or basic options; revenue comes from customers willing to pay a premium for more features or services. 
  • Churn rate: Reduce customer churn by 25% through retention via loyalty benefits, customer perks, or additional features that improve customer lifetime value.
  • Overhead cost: Reduce overhead cost by 3% by consolidating or retiring tools and technology that are redundant or non-essential. 


This step is critical for accountability. Every idea, tactic, or action should map back to SMART revenue goals. Doing so ensures the work done has a positive impact on the business’ bottom line — a must-do given a challenging macroeconomic environment.


3. Analyze current marketing programs. With your target audience defined and SMART goals established,  it’s time to ask how your current programs are performing against these new parameters. This is the perfect time to assess if what you’ve done in the past is working or not so you can prioritize resources on tactics that are already driving the best results for your business. 


Calculating marketing ROI is the quickest way to determine which tactics are successful and which should be phased out. By thinking about ROI in pipeline dollars influenced, marketers can understand the impact of each channel or vendor relative to each other, which gives deeper insight into where to invest more or less. There is a list of standard metrics (e.g. open rates, click-through rates, cost per click, etc.) that measure the general performance of your marketing efforts. However, there is another set better fit for revenue marketing that determines if your campaigns are converting into revenue. 


The following metrics measure efforts through the lens of the accounts you really care about — those in your total addressable market (TAM) — whose opens, views, clicks, and downloads are most likely to convert into a sale. 


  • TAM visits: The number of visits to your website or specific landing pages that come from accounts in your TAM. 
  • Cost per TAM visit: Total spend divided by number of TAM visits.
  • Cost per opportunity: Total spend divided by opportunity driven from the campaign.
  • Return on marketing investment (ROMI): Pipeline opportunity dollars divided by total spend.


4. Optimize to better drive revenue. The final step of a successful revenue marketing strategy is optimizing campaigns. Once you’ve analyzed the results of your efforts (which you conveniently measured in the previous step), iterate your campaigns based on the data. By focusing your resources on campaign adjustents that will help achieve your SMART revenue goals, you can be confident your efforts will result in actions that drive the business forward.


In revenue marketing, marketing and sales unite by prioritizing the customer. When in agreement about producing and executing revenue-driving activities, both teams are hyper-focused on developing new revenue opportunities by maintaining positive engagement throughout the entire customer journey. Whether the goal is converting a prospect, renewing a contract, or upselling a product or service, aligning marketing and sales enhances the customer experience by creating a cohesive and consistent customer journey. Successfully doing so requires commitment to a revenue marketing strategy that defines the target audience, establishes SMART revenue goals, and implements optimized marketing campaigns for maximum impact.