I was privileged to work with each of the 34 senior marketers who spoke at REVTalks: The Revenue Marketing Summit late last month in San Francisco.
Revenue marketing is all about the transformation of marketing from a cost center to a revenue center. REVTalks focused on “inspiration, motivation and sharing those ‘aha’ moments from one senior marketing leader to another.”
Aha, indeed! Here are my top 10 takeaways from the event:
1. While most of the attendees at REVTalks were marketers were doing an amazing job at connecting to revenue, they are the exception to the rule. B2B marketers’ ability to connect to revenue (revenue marketing), and have their companies embrace and believe their roles in revenue, is still in early stages.
2. B2B marketers can learn a lot from B2C marketers when it comes to having a customer focus and directly driving revenue.
3. Marketing leaders who have a successful track record of connecting to revenue are highly sought after and very well paid. They are still a rare breed, and even more rare is the company that understands the value of hiring a senior marketer specifically to help drive revenue.
4. Marketers are still too inwardly focused on revenue marketing and what they want to do versus working as a change agent across functions to drive this new way to generate revenue.
5. Youth helps. Younger marketers grasp the concept of revenue marketing and expect to be held accountable for generating revenue. Older marketers need to get on board.
6. Sales is only beginning to get on board with marketing being part of the revenue equation, but it’s a slow journey. It’s more common when there is a VP of sales and marketing versus having two separate functions.
7. Marketers are gaining more political clout as they act like business leaders in their companies.
9. Data is king, not content. Marketing’s ability to mine, analyze, and apply data to drive revenue is critical. It’s also a skill that needs to be developed, outsourced, or bought, ASAP.
10. Marketing automation systems are the enablers for revenue marketing.
As I wandered around the conference, ducking into as many sessions as I could, I was struck with the level of active conversations between participants. Often a speaker would get off stage and immediately a group of people would flock to him/her wanting to chat further. The opportunity for conversation, collaboration, and networking was everywhere, and this group of senior marketers knew how to max it out,
The success of REVTalks also validates the need for live events, especially at the executive level. As digitally connected as we are today, the ability to gather in-person is priceless.