There’s no “I” in Revenue Ecosystem

by | 09.Apr.19

Interconnection between the three foundational elements is essential to go the next mile in marketing maturity.

If you’ve spent any time reading our blog, browsing our website, or sitting with us in a room, you know that we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to harping on about the three foundational elements for building a Revenue Ecosystem® – technology, content, and data. Each one represents a critical part of the pathway to success. Because we believe so strongly that these are the building blocks to success, we perform maturity analyses in each of these categories for our clients. This helps guide us with next steps for each client in their journey towards a true Revenue Ecosystem. Straightforward, right?

Recently we’ve come to the realization that there might be something we haven’t accounted for, something in between the lines as they say.

As technologies and the Martech industry matures, we’re seeing organizations come to us farther and farther along in their maturity. These are companies where data is being standardized and validated, lead management is effectively automated, and content is being regularly created. So, why are they not seeing the results everyone had hoped for?

You know the old saying, “There’s no ‘I’ in team”? Well, there’s no “I” in Revenue Ecosystem either. The Revenue Ecosystem is where technology, content, and data are able to work together to create value for the customer and revenue for the company. Being quantitative folks, we use tangible and measurable factors to assess maturity: sync architecture, lead lifecycle, content planning. But, as any good ecologist will tell you there’s more to an ecosystem than the sum of its parts. There is connection, cooperation, and all matter of relationships. Disconnected parts of an ecosystem cease to function. By concentrating on “what do you have?”, we underestimated the importance of “what do you share?”

This encompasses more than just assets and plans. Do you share goals, needs, lessons learned, or the team’s current struggles? Are your teams truly working in cooperation?

More and more, we see enterprises making hefty investments into each of our three favorite categories, and each vertical in isolation scores very high in its maturity. There’s lots of thought behind their data structures, solid logic behind their automation systems, and valuable content being distributed across their platforms, but each function works in its own silo. Data doesn’t enrich automation processes, automation isn’t set up to enrich data, and content isn’t created to align with what the data tells us. That means information that’s collected doesn’t make it across the hall where it can be used for better targeting or lead management, so all that effort is left on the shelves.

So how do we fix it?

Understand the Goal

Whether your team is trying to get invitations out for next week’s event (the one you were told about two days ago), or they are creating yet another new field, (because that data MUST exist on the Account object), it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day. But information sharing and executing on a high-level goal is everyone’s job, so get everyone involved. Everyone, from your newest marketing coordinator up, should see the forest and not just the tree in front of them. Take the time to make sure everyone involved understands the big-picture goal. A successful customer journey will need everyone onboard.

Understand Each Other

The great thing about marketing today is the fantastic spectrum of people it attracts, from programmers and analysts to designers and content writers. Never has there been so much data and computational power, and yet never have audiences been so demanding and so fickle. Our current environment demands the best from all of us, and we can’t achieve that without stepping out of our comfort zone.

Learning the process, vocabulary, and fundamentals in all the different aspects of marketing allows us to contribute, be more constructive, and understand our customer’s journey more fully. Content creators will be more effective when they have an understanding of all the data and targeting that’s available to them. Likewise, programmers and analysts in marketing ops can be more effective if they understand the purpose and process of content and design. Even data architects and engineers will be more effective when they are brought to the table when discussing marketing strategy.

Understand the Results

Have you ever gotten some reports about a campaign, or quarterly marketing results, and thought to yourself, “If only [marketing ops / sales / sales ops / demand gen / content / field marketing / events / IT] could just get their acts together, everything would be better?”

When your results depend on so many different factors and actors, it’s never straightforward to determine what might be limiting your success. Is it hard for marketers and sales to use your data, was the content asset a poor fit, or are we misaligned on lead management processes? And herein lies the rub, to understand the results and forge a pathway forward, we have to know our teams and align our goals. These two things allow us to dig deeper into what our results really mean. Inevitably, each of the concerns mentioned above are connected. (It takes two—or three—to cause friction).

Marketing operations didn’t realize the targeting opportunities made possible by data architecture, so they were limited when strategizing with the content team.

Post mortems, reviews, and insights shouldn’t be conducted in a vacuum. They are the best opportunity to strategize and a broader multi-functioning team will learn faster, identify potential problems earlier and find more effective solutions.

To achieve the goals we set out, and create the value promised in a Revenue Ecosystem, marketing and sales departments need come out of isolation. By understanding common and individual goals, the fundamentals of each other’s work, and thinking creatively about what could be limiting your success, teams can work cooperatively to achieve the transformation and the much coveted customer driven Revenue Ecosystem.

What’s limiting your success and what should you do about it? Contact us to see how we can help you reach your goals.

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