What Is Revenue Marketing?

What the heck is revenue marketing?

Is it just a different name for familiar things (we see you, growth marketers)? Or is it an entirely different way of thinking about marketing’s role in the GTM/revenue org?

We’re seeing marketers reinventing the way they engage with their sales team – and their customers – throughout the buyer journey. Revenue marketing is just one example.

What is revenue marketing?

Revenue marketing is a comprehensive approach that breaks down silos between marketing and sales by aligning them with a common goal: to generate revenue through repeatable processes.

The revenue marketing framework delivers in four key areas:

  1. Filling the sales pipeline with marketing qualified leads (MQL)
  2. Increasing sales conversion rates and reducing the length of a sales cycle
  3. Prioritize repeatable and scalable activities with measurable ROI
  4. Tying sales revenue to marketing activity to prove ROI

In order to deliver on these promises, revenue marketers must undertake some big organizational and culture changes. Marketing and sales need to collaborate on three important tenets: digital transformation, customer focus, and revenue accountability.

  • Digital transformation: Meet buyers where they are by digitally transforming marketing channels. At the same time, level up your marketing operations with a tech stack that drives insights and can help inform strategies.
  • Customer focus: Marketing is now in charge of the customer experience. It’s more than just creating buyer personas and journeys; it’s bringing the voice of the customer into the GTM organization.
  • Revenue accountability: Marketers must think like sales and be held accountable in regard to revenue goals. Instead of using the acceptance of an MQL as the final metric, marketing has to look at the entire customer lifetime value.

Why revenue marketing?

Customers have changed the way they want to be sold to and are driving this shift to a more personalized and nuanced customer experience.

According to the latest Salesforce State of Marketing Report, 84% of B2B customers say that they want to be treated like a person, and not just a number on the way to revenue targets.

They are expecting more personalized buying experiences. Combined with the rise of AI in quantifying the increased number of data sources, companies are now moving quickly to the revenue marketing model. Accountability for revenue is more important with 52% of marketers saying that they share metrics with their sales team, and 65% of marketing leaders saying that all teams share common goals and metrics.

The remote working environment of 2020 and beyond has accelerated the growing importance of digital interactions with customers. According to McKinsey, B2B companies are seeing that digital interactions are two to three times more important to their customers compared to traditional sales interactions.

McKinsey also cited an increasingly strong preference by buyers for self-service, making suppliers’ mobile apps and online communities more active than ever. It doesn’t stop at the research phase either, there is a preference for self-service channels across every stage of the buyer journey.

How is revenue marketing different from other marketing models?

Here are a few differences between revenue marketing and a few other marketing types, like traditional marketing, account-based marketing, growth marketing, and RevOps.

Traditional B2B marketing

Traditional marketing has focused on the 4Ps: product, place, price and promotion.

Little data is collected and there are few processes in place. The marketing plan is not connected to overall business and revenue goals. Everything is measured on costs, activity numbers, and number of leads passed to sales. Many SaaS companies are well beyond traditional marketing, instead they are relying on account-based marketing or growth marketing.

Account-based marketing

ABM is a model that sends marketing resources to engage with a set of target accounts. Sales and marketing have to communicate because personalizing outreach and content at the account level requires sales and marketing to be completely in sync.

The goal is to bring in more revenue in a shorter time frame by focusing on ideal customers. Marketers will create customized programs alongside their sales counterparts to target within these target accounts.

Growth marketing

Startups who want to rapidly grow revenue and their user base use growth marketing techniques. This is a constantly moving strategy that frequently experiments with different channels and messaging in order to optimize their marketing spend incrementally. It allows for innovative plans that are focused on increasing the company’s user base while spending the least amount possible.

Revenue Operations (RevOps)

Revenue Operations is a centralized function that consolidates traditionally siloed teams into one single team. This includes sales operations, marketing operations, customer success operations, and the tech stack.

The RevOps organization is distinct from Marketing Ops and SalesOps because it aligns all the people, processes, and resources of the entire GTM organization under one roof. Revenue marketing may be the first step for many businesses toward becoming a mature, full-fledged RevOps function.

What does a revenue marketing strategy look like?

The Pedowitz Group calls their revenue marketing strategy the “RM6″. These are the six building blocks of a revenue marketing transformation:

  • Strategy: Clearly define the role of sales and marketing in your growth plan. Internally validate the digital personas, sales cycles, and channels. Include growth plans as well as a strong communication plan.
  • People: Align your people resources to create content, drive marketing automation, and collaborate regularly with your sales leadership on mutual revenue goals.
  • Process: Map the entire buyer journey from lead to lifetime customer value.
  • Technology: Optimize your tech stack with integrated marketing automation and sales software.
  • Content: Develop a content plan that addresses personas, stages in the buyer journey, segmentation, and a variety of content types.
  • Results: Establish your top revenue metrics and build dashboards that demonstrate your progress.

Another way of looking at your revenue marketing strategy is to follow Sales Benchmark Index’s Revenue Growth Methodology, which looks at revenue broken down by different sources and requires you to know the answers to these questions:

  • How much should we invest in each marketing category? Categories include account-based marketing, lead generation, customer marketing, partner marketing, product marketing, and field marketing.
  • How does that investment grow revenue?
  • How do we measure the success of marketing’s commitment to that area?

Are there revenue marketing models?

There are a few revenue marketing models and frameworks out there. Here are three models that work well within the B2B SaaS space and that can guide you toward transforming into a revenue-focused marketing organization.

Sales Benchmarks Index (SBI)

SBI offers a revenue growth methodology that has you go through each category of the marketing and sales revenue plan and assign an appropriate metric in order to provide a seamless omnichannel experience for your buyer’s journey. Tying these metrics together gives your team the entire revenue picture.

The GAME Model

Created by Yaag Ganesh, author and marketer who helps early stage startups build up their businesses, the GAME model is a simpler framework that ultimately requires the same kind of work, broken down into four steps.


GAME stands for Gather, Agree, Map, and Execute.

Gather: Identify the accounts you want to spend marketing dollars and resources on; include net new accounts and existing customers. Identify the marketing sources that lead to revenue like case studies and other content, PPC, events, and more.

Agree: Collaborate as one team with your sales org and finalize a list of accounts with revenue potential. Make sure your KPIs are aligned when choosing accounts. Identify where each account is in the buyer journey, and agree with sales on the right messaging and narrative for each account.

Map: Connect the pain points and funnel stages for your accounts and map them to your product and solutions content and assets. Calculate the estimated lifetime value of your accounts.

Execute: Execute your marketing campaigns with the right messaging and personalization for each buyer persona within each account. Run your campaigns across all identified marketing channels and keep tweaking your approach until marketing and sales efforts are optimized for revenue.

Marketo’s 6 Steps Revenue Marketing Framework

Use these six steps of the revenue marketing model as an in-depth way to optimize your revenue organization.


  • Step 1: Identify key groups that are likely to purchase based on demographics/ firmographics and across ideal accounts and contacts.
  • Step 2: Allocate resources to programs and channels based on forecasted performance.
  • Step 3: Operationalize sales and marketing processes by maximizing technology.
  • Step 4: Deliver on planned programs at every stage of the funnel and optimize in real-time.
  • Step 5: Track the complete prospect/buyer journey across all touchpoints. Step 6: Evaluate your performance based on revenue and ROI.

Starting your revenue marketing journey

Innovative B2B companies are racing to address the needs of the modern buyer by providing personalized experiences throughout the buyer journey. To transform your revenue organization and improve GTM alignment, focus on providing consistent high quality service throughout your customer’s experience.

What does revenue marketing look like at your company? Share your thoughts and continue the conversation in the Revenue Operations channel (it overlaps with marketing, we swear!).

Colin is the Director of Marketing at Sales Hacker. Before that, he led the strategy team at a marketing agency, and worked with hundreds of B2B brands to build winning inbound strategies. Outside of work, Colin is the world’s biggest dog lover, and spends as much time as possible outside.

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