CMO Spotlight: Jon Miller, VP Marketing, Marketo—4 Useful Tips for B2B Marketers and CMOs


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CMO Spotlight - Jon Miller, VP Product Marketing, MarketoIt’s planting season again and for us in Canada, it has really been a long wait this year. Finally, we can hope to get our hands in the dirt again and get the saplings started. It’s funny how restless one can feel holding the seeds in hand but not being able to sow yet. I suppose you can compare it to how a great CMO feels with fantastic ideas, raring to go, but having to wait for the right time and right place. And then when the job is done, it’s the waiting to watch the seeds grow and bear fruit. Some make it, some don’t; some just about offer something more than leaves while others deliver a bumper yield. They say you reap what you sow, but it’s not always quite like that. More like, you reap what you sow, nurture and really care for.

Over the years I have interacted with so many CMOs and all of them have said, perhaps in different ways, that they are constantly challenged with having to demonstrate the ROI of their marketing investments. Part of this challenge is the common perception that Marketing is a cost-centre rather than a revenue source, particularly for a B2B company. What are some ways to deal with this challenge? In our continuing series, “CMO Spotlight”, let’s look at these useful, practical tips and advice from Jon Miller, the VP of Product Marketing, Strategy and Content Marketing at Marketo.

4 Changes CMOs Can Make to Optimize B2B Marketing and Lead Generation

  1. Focus on the right metrics. CMOs are constantly under pressure to demonstrate how they drive revenue within their organization. Unfortunately, because the typical C-Suite includes the bean counter heavyweights, many CMOs end up focusing on the wrong metrics to showcase their performance. What Jon considers the “wrong metrics” are:
  • Vanity Metrics (only serve to impress people but don’t really measure profitability)
  • Activity Metrics (only measure volume of activity rather than the impact on revenue)
  • Cost Metrics (only calculate costs and expenses rather than results)

The “right metrics” in Jon’s opinion, and which I agree with completely should be a measure of relationships, of referral business, of repeat customers, of brand awareness. All of these are critical components, or in fact, the very foundation of a successfully executed lead generation strategy.            

  1. Review and optimize your B2B lead generation process. It all boils down to process efficiency and this is something I have also emphasized time and time again. Too much time and costly resources get poured down the drain because organizations don’t have a defined lead generation process. Read this 2-part Definitive Lead Generation Checklist: Part One | Part Two
  2. Nail the connection between spending and revenue. Power sits in the board room for most companies. Instead, if CMOs had the marketing autonomy to implement and evaluate lead generation campaigns, they would be able to better connect the dots between spending and revenue. Measuring contribution to financial metrics, ROI and company revenues would be easier to accomplish. Miller stresses the need for a sound marketing strategy with a balanced approach to lead generation. With these in place, there really should be no need for CMOs to shy awayfrom performance metrics and report quantifiable marketing-generated revenue.
  3. Speak the right language; communicate effectively. It’s not unusual to find a CMO squirming uncomfortably when asked about a revenue model. That’s often because there hasn’t been much thought given to what the model really is and how to communicate the efficacy of this model to others within the organization. Jon has a useful visual on how to model the revenue cycle.

Model the Revenue Cycle (Jon Miller, Marketo)

Miller’s advice is that by implementing these changes, CMOs can transform B2B lead generation and be seen as an equal partner in their company’s revenue equation. For more such advice and tips, download a free copy of The ALEA Demand Generation Playbook.

I would love to hear from you about inspiring ideas you have gathered from other, highly successful CMOs. Share your thoughts on my blog.          

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


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