This transcript is a literal representation of the radio Program. In some instances, the transcriber could not understand a word or phrase and that is indicated in the text. You may use a quote but please use common sense if there is a small typo or contact the speaker. The guest provides many important thoughts and ideas on the subject of revenue marketing.
Producer Paul Roberts:
Welcome once again to the SLMA Radio Hour brought you in behalf of our 9000+ members of the Sales Lead Management Association.
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Our host today is Jim Obermayer and our producer is your truly Paul Roberts coming live from to our studio in Costa Mesa California reminding you as always that it’s easy to find this on iTunes and Stitcher and that our program is always a live spontaneous exchange of ideas and not a scripted show.
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Paul: So with that out of the way let’s get things started and bring in our host Jim obermayer.
Jim: Thank you Paul for the fine introduction, this is Jim obermayer your host for SLMA Radio today, our guest today is Debbie Qaqish. She is the chief revenue officer at The Pedowitz Group and we are going to tackle the question, The Revenue Marketing Update.
Debbie has a great background. She is a nationally recognized thought leader, innovator, and speaker on revenue marketing with more than 30 years’ experience supplying strategy, technology and process to help B2B companies drive revenue growth. Notice the words there. She is the author of the award winning book 'Rise of the revenue marketer' and I carry this book with me when I travel believe or not and it is getting kind of dog-eared but I wish it was smaller Debbie because I’ve got to put it in my briefcase.
Debbie: Jim you are so funny, I will have to get you an updated copy.
Jim: Well that would be great but then I have to go through and underline everything all over again.
Debbie: All over again that’s right.
Jim: She is been at the forefront of this marketing automation phenomenon as a beneficiary and now as an advocate and expert. Frequent speaker, you can have her come out and talk to your group and she is extremely well known. We are very pleased today. As part of full disclosure, The Pedowitz Group is a supporter and a sponsor for the Sales Lead Management Association.
Debbie: And very proud to be.
Jim: Thank you very much. Now tell us more about The Pedowitz Group.
Debbie: Oh certainly Jim. We call ourselves a revenue marketing company and basically we have one mission in life and that is to help marketing organizations transform from being cost centers to revenue centers. And what I love about what we do is number one – we are quite passionate about doing that and number two – it seems to be such a requirement for marketing organizations today and it’s really not something that’s so well understood how to do. So we are really focused on helping these organizations through that transformation and help them get the time to value much quicker. So that’s what we named by revenue marketing and that’s what we do.
Jim: Well that is terrific, I think your book ‘The Revenue Marketer’ it came out after Alex Shootman’s book and Steven Woods’ book ‘Revenue Engine’ and I liked that book a lot and that was one of my favorites because it had that magic word in it. But when your book came out, theirs was talking all about certainly the engine to drive revenue and they were with Eloqua before it was purchased and everything and it was a very good book but yours book is, I find much more interesting to a certain extent in all deference to Alex because of the comments you’ve gotten from people and many of these are interviews from actual revenue marketers. And many of these really originated with your own radio program. Tell us a little bit about your program.
Debbie: All well they certainly did. I have a Radio program called Power Talk Radio, Revenue Marketer Radio and what I found was a gap in the market in terms of who is educating the executive leaders and how to transform marketing. So I found lots of content in the market for power users, for people who were working more at the technical level of revenue marketing but I didn’t find a lot of content around what as a leader you needed to do to understand and how to really lead that innovation.
And so my radio show invites different revenue marketing leaders on to the show and we talk about how they lead these transformations. And so gosh, I’ve had that show probably since around 2009-2010 and we really had some incredible people on the show. So if you are interested in it from a leadership prospective, it’s a show you might want to listen to.
Jim: Well, your show predates ours and ours is one of the longer running shows and we’ve had 312 or 313 episodes so far. We have interviewed about 345 executives and you have been on air longer than we have. And just so people know, Debbie’s program is also offered through SLMA Live which means we carry it on our websites so you can access the program and it’s at 11 o’clock or 11:30 on Thursdays, I’ve got to look at my schedule. Which is it? And you are in Eastern Time. It’s what time Debbie?
Debbie: 3 hours difference, so if its 11:00 that would be 12:00, 1:00, 2:00.
Jim: And the schedule is on the SLMA site. So let’s get into specifically the revenue marketing update. A lot has happened since you published your book 2 years ago. So I would like to hear a little bit about, well maybe the way to start it is what is your definition of a revenue marketer and what is the state of revenue marketing since you published your book?
Debbie: That is such a great question and I’ll answer that in a couple of ways. First of all, a revenue marketer is that marketer who is leading the transformation of marketing from being a pure cost center to being a revenue center.
In revenue marketing, revenue marketer is a term that we invented at The Pedowitz Group. I think I started using that term around 2010. And what I find so interesting about this is we’ve been talking about this requirement of marketers to have this accountability for revenue and we are still not really seeing as much accountability as we would like to see.
So there is a report that comes out from The CMO Survey, just go online and take a look at that “The CMO survey” comes out twice a year, it’s published by Duke, it’s published by Mackenzie and it’s published by AMA so it’s an effort between all those folks. And the latest report which was in February of this year, we found that only about 30% of B2B marketers are reporting any financial measures yet over 70% are feeling the pressure to do so.
So there is a really big gap between what the expectations are and what is actually happening in the market. And at the same time, we are drowning in technology that enables these marketers to adopt that financial accountability. I was at Martech a couple of weeks ago in San Francisco and Scott Brinker announced that there are now over 3500 pieces of technology for marketers to use these days.
So the state of revenue marketing is we really have all the tools that we need in place today for anyone to be a revenue marketer, yet there is still a significant gap between the expectations and what is actually being delivered as far as financial metrics from marketing.
Jim: Well what’s stopping these people from doing this? I am just quite frustrated about it because I’ve been talking about it for years but not the way you have been and I’ve always been jealous since you came up with this book and started doing this because you hit on the magic words and the interviews. I stand up at sessions at speaking where I talk about the marketers creating revenue pound for pound, they create more revenue than anybody else in the organization but what’s stopping them for moving forward? Is it this left brain, right brain type battle or what?
Debbie: Well, I think there are a couple of things that are getting in the way of marketers. I think tradition and basically I would start with the senior management team. There have been a lot of studies that show that when the senior management team has some marketing background, that the role of marketing in the company especially the CMO has less power, less authority and less legitimacy. Because people on the senior management team believe that they know what’s going on in marketing because they’ve done it and how hard can this be? – It is actually marketing.
Yet what we find today is that again, these incredible technologies enable this transformation. So I think the very first place where we have a barrier to this new way of running marketing is with senior management teams. It’s the CFO, it’s the CEO, it’s the CIO, it’s the CSO, it’s the CISO, if the entire C suite. If you have a group of senior managers who believe that marketing is the branding department, the “make it pretty” department and the “mugs and pens” department and the “Let’s do some events” department, then they really don’t understand the power.
And quite frankly in my opinion, this senior management team has a fiduciary responsibility to understand what marketing can do and when they don’t understand because they’ve got their head in the sand which a lot of senior executives seem to do when it comes to marketing these days, they basically need to be fired because of those companies that have senior management who understands what marketing can do as it relates to revenue, create competitive advantage for their organizations.
Studies have shown that for example let’s just take, let’s just call it e marketing or digital marketing, the companies that do this well create competitive advantage in terms of higher revenue, more profits, shorter sales cycles, reps carrying more quota and overall competitive advantage. So the first thing that has to happen is it has to be a mindset shift at the senior management team level.
And I think that in 2015 we had a real tipping point in this area. Now let me tell you what I mean by that Jim. So I think prior to 2015, a lot of companies who were good at revenue marketing were smaller companies, smaller more agile, could get things done quickly. In 2015 there seemed to be a shift in larger enterprise organizations and that the senior management levels of those organizations. So 2015 was the year for the first time large enterprise companies came to The Pedowitz Group and said – you know what we don’t just need leads we really need to transform the role of marketing as it relates to revenue and honestly Jim 2015 was the first year those words left the mouths of senior executives at enterprise organizations.
And since then we have seen this real uptick in senior executives beginning to understand and not just transform a go to market model, but also transform the role of marketing.
One of the interviews I did on my radio show last year was with Microsoft and the gentleman on the show was Bill Hamilton who actually runs a demand center for Azure which is part of one of the business groups at Microsoft. And what he talks about at Microsoft is that not only is Microsoft transforming in terms of how they go to market and their products and their services but they are also transforming the role of marketing to become that of a modern marketer or of a revenue marketer.
We would not have heard those kinds of things two years ago. So there was this mental shift at the senior level that they begin to see that marketing can actually be a revenue tool. So while we still have that, 70% expectation, only 30% deliver, we saw a big change in 2015 as larger organizations began to understand the power of revenue marketing.
Jim: Well some of that change I believe is coming because of the changeover in the C level suites and the rise of people running these organizations and these young entrepreneurs and C level people have had some exposure to the tools that marketers have been exposed to in the last 10 years. You take the older C level people, they are still thinking the old ways of doing things and they are standing in the way of the marketers. I agree. Similar to Mike Weinberg when he talks about simplified sales management where C level managers are standing in the way of the sales manager actually doing their job.
Debbie: I hate to call it out based on age but I think you are spot on. I see that every day.
Jim: Well its experience.
Debbie: It is experience. I am so frustrated. Let me just say this, one of the people, one of the groups that’s really missing from this discussion believe it or not is actually the CMO. So when I was talking about the C suite Jim, I was including the CMO. And I tell you I am so frustrated by this lack of understanding of a lot of CMO’s and the power of revenue marketing that in my PhD program, my dissertation topic is actually understanding why more CMO’s are not adopting these principles because they, more than anyone else, are the spark plug for this to happen and if you have a CMO who was not on board with this who really doesn’t understand this then wow, talk about fiduciary responsibility gone awry, that’s a great example.
Jim: Yes so we are going to have to take a quick break. I agree with you, we’ve been speaking with Debbie Qaqish. And she is the chief revenue officer of Pedowitz, the author of Revenue Marketer and the advocate to see the person out there beating the drum to change the way marketing is done in corporations in the pursuit of revenue. We will be back in just a moment.
Paul: Alright let’s pick it up with Jim and his guest!
Jim: We are back again with Debbie Qaqish. She is the senior revenue officer at Pedowitz Group, a sponsor for the SLMA and we’ve been talking about the barriers which I’ve been writing like crazy and I can’t read half of it because you have me going so quickly, the barriers to people becoming revenue marketers. And you really took a few minutes there to tell us that you really think it’s the C level people in many cases who have marketing experiences and are at the C level but they don’t have the experience of the new tools and the new thoughts that marketing drives revenue. And you put the blame, in many cases, right at the doorstep of the current CMO’s.
Can you expand a little bit on these barriers and what a revenue marketer can do, somebody who is really interested in creating revenue improving it, what they can do to transform the organization and transform these C level people into believers?
Debbie: Well it’s really interesting. If you study the current state of the office of the CMO around the globe today, you will find a couple of types of CMO’s and you will find that these types of CMO’s are hired based on what’s the hot project for a company. So for example I was in California last week I was meeting with a large technology company and they have a search going on for a CMO and they also would like to be revenue marketers and so I just was working with them and trying to help them understand what they could do.
And here is the thing that I told them, a company will hire a CMO based on a special project like we – “have to rebrand”,” we have to have new messaging,” “we have to have a new website,” I need to have a CMO who can come in and do that. Or more, not more often but what I am seeing more often is that companies are hiring CMO’s who have some kind of revenue accountability, some kind of experience with that. Those CMO’s are in hot demand. I mean huge demand.
Because you can hire an agency and they can help you with your messaging, with the website with all those things but getting a revenue engine that’s predictable, up and running and having that take place across the entire organization; that is a special skill for the new CMO and you are so right. I hate to say it’s the age gap but in many ways it is.
And I will tell you a funny story. A few years ago I was working with Nicholas Drucker and Nicholas at the time was running the global marketing operations group for LinkedIn and he said Debbie will you talk to my global team? I said I would be happy to. So he set up a call and I did my revenue marketing journey and here’s what’s happening and here’s how marketing is changing and now it’s all about revenue, we’ve come from being traditional. And so I get to the end of my little talk and I said: does anyone have questions? And this one young lady I remember her voice on the phone saying well shouldn’t marketers always be concerned about revenue? Is there any other way to do it?
And this was someone who was under 30; she was probably 26 years old. And what was so fascinating about that is that Nicholas hired a global management team, he hired them based on aptitude and attitude because he didn’t want to have to unlearn, un-teach, redo, get people on board who weren’t fully on board with this new role of marketing. And so a lot of times we see these younger marketers who absolutely positively get it and some of the older marketers, they are just still not quite there. Plus in large organizations, we say we are going to a revenue marketing organization, as you can imagine, is a much more complex situation. But it is something that we are seeing larger organizations absolutely embrace these days.
Jim: I think the whole term scares many marketers and especially when they don’t have the experience. There are two reasons why people will not do things; they don’t want to or they don’t know how.
Debbie: That’s true.
Jim: And they are usually connected and I think I was 50 before I figured this out is the burst of enlightenment in a meeting when people are resisting what I am trying to get done and I realize it’s a matter of I don’t know how or I don’t want to. In other words I tried something like it in the past and I didn’t like it for one reason or the other or gee, that’s a great idea but I’ve got too many other things doing I really don’t know how to do it.
So other than reading your book and doing that, how else can someone become a revenue marketer? I mean it’s not as complicated as you think, it’s a turn of the mind, and it’s a burst of enlightenment that this is within reach and within our power to do if they want to do it. How do they do it?
Debbie: I think one of the missing ingredients and I see this in many, many, many companies, is that as you, when you first hear about revenue marketing, the VP and the CMO, they get stars in their eyes – wow this sounds great! We want to do that. And then they began doing different things on the project. But what people fail to understand is that revenue marketing is a transformation. It is a change initiative so it must be run not like a tactical set of activities but it needs to be run like a change initiative.
And the most significant way you can do that is to think about your communication plan; who are you going to communicate to? What messages do they need to get? What channels will you send those out through and how often will you be touching them? And then you need to be thinking about at least the 12 month communication plan, it’s not a three-year communication plan. Just because you sit in a meeting one day with the VP of sales and say hey we are going to do this revenue marketing stuff, we are going to give you guys some leads, let’s go. Doesn’t mean he is fully educated and aware of the changes that will be coming about.
Some of the more successful projects that I’ve seen in large companies have change agents or the office of change management or the office of innovation attached to the project. So just by stepping back and realizing when you change the role of marketing in an organization and you bring in revenue marketing, it can affect and should affect every single part of the organization; how product marketing does their job changes, R&D, marketing, Marcom, PR.
Debbie: The whole thing, CFOs absolutely. Two weeks ago I had a CMO and a CFO on my radio show together and you could hardly tell the two apart because they had worked so closely together to take a look at what kind of financial returns marketing could provide for their organization.
Jim: Which show was that again?
Debbie: It was the one with Liz Sophia and the company was… I always get her company wrong, Mace Hodge, yes and her and her CMO, her CFO was on the show and again I think I had tears in my eyes at one point because honestly the CFO was talking like a revenue marketer and am like I have never heard this, this is just simply amazing. But I think that communication plan and I think that recognizing this is a change initiative and then to set it up and to run it like that, understanding from the very beginning it’s not just a set of tactics, it changes. People, process, behaviors it changes results, it changes what you know about the customer, it has the power to change everything that’s going on within your organization.
Jim: I’ve never thought of it in that light. I keep thinking of it as the signal leader who begins to get a group around him or her that has the same philosophy and then they begin to make the changes and instruct people. It is change but it’s got to be a change initiative because it reaches so far into so many areas. I hate this.
Debbie: Let me just give you an example Jim.
Debbie: Do I have time for an example?
Jim: Yes you do.
Debbie: Okay. So let’s take a look at people, everyone is talking about how do we get customers focused, how do we learn more about our customer? When you take a look at the data that a revenue marketer has about the customer, what they are doing, what they are thinking, how they are behaving, when they responded, all that digital body language is available at the fingertip of a marketer.
Now organizations that know how to focus on the customer and can sense and respond to changes in the customers quickly do outperform their competition. Marketing is sitting on top of this data. Imagine the power if they could share that in real time so real-time actions could take place across every single part of the company?
Jim: That’s got to be where it’s going. It has to be because the data is now available and is the data becomes available it becomes public and then people are on their way.
Well I hate to say it but this is… we should have had an hour program. We are at the end. How does someone get your book and how does someone reach you at the Pedowitz Group?
Debbie: You can just Debbie@Pedowitzgroup.com [28:20 OA] and also LinkedIn with me I am very, very active in LinkedIn and if you like a copy of the book, drop me an email I will be happy to give you a free eCopy. You can buy it on Amazon.
Jim: You’ve been great today. We’ve tackled the subject with Debbie Qaqish, we’ve tackled the subject of a revenue marketing and revenue marketing update. In fact it takes change agents within the organizations and she covered in detail the results and the actual change that happens with a revenue marketing philosophy overtakes an organization. I am so enthusiastic about it I can’t even talk. Debbie thank you very much for coming today.
Debbie: My pleasure Jim. Always a pleasure to talk to you, thank you.
Paul: You’ve been listening to another episode of SLMA Radio brought you on behalf of our 9000+ members of the Sales Lead Management Association. If it has to do with sales lead management or sales lead marketing it probably starts here with the SLMA Radio Hour.