Cisco Blogs

Marketing: Trading in Fluff for Buff

- October 7, 2013 - 1 Comment

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”

— Coco Chanel  

 I love that quote by fashion maven Coco Chanel. In today’s B2B marketing world, challenges can’t be addressed using outdated marketing tactics – hoping they will magically open new opportunities along with new revenue and ROI.

Growing trends in customer buying behavior and the technology used to make purchases are driving major changes for the role of marketing. As marketers, this gives us a fantastic opportunity. We can transform from what has sometimes been seen as simply “fluff” (and what many sales executives see as a cost center) into a revenue-generating center. This revenue marketing model takes us to a new level where we are ultimately accountable for the business. This is a completely different view of marketing.

Let’s take a look at things happening around us that are contributing to this transformation. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), today roughly 70 percent of the B2B buying process happens before sales even makes contact with the customer. With this change, marketing’s role in the buying process becomes key to providing the right information at the right time and in the right sequence. We must quickly adapt to this trend by delivering thought-provoking information, relevant offers and content that is worthy of our customers’ time. As we consider how to achieve this, it’s important to remember the data and automation changes involved in this shift.

Think about the amount of data we receive each day through email, social media, online communities and so forth. Now, consider how we can use that data to better understand and reach our customers throughout their digital journey. This can easily be mapped using the right buying personas and target information. When we directly integrate that with customer relationship management (CRM), it gives us the exciting ability to significantly impact sales and deliver real business benefits.

Here at Cisco, we’re taking the steps toward revenue marketing to strengthen and benefit the company, our partners and our customers. This new revenue marketing model has significant advantages to both sales and marketing. It creates a new level of partnership to drive revenue and increase the coverage model. It speeds the sales process by delivering “sales ready,” quality leads. It improves marketing productivity by streamlining, automating and measuring repeatable marketing activities and workflow.

When examining your company’s marketing role and making the journey to revenue marketing, ask the following:

  • Is your marketing keeping pace with changing technology and buying behaviors?
  • Where is your growth coming from? Know your revenue streams!
  • Are you getting the most from the data in your company?
  • Could your marketing efforts drive more revenue?
  • If you were responsible for a revenue number, would you conduct marketing activities in the same way?

The bottom line is that when marketers position themselves as a revenue-generating part of the business, we can make a real impact to the bottom line. And that’s when amazing things happen.

Where is your company on the revenue marketing journey, and what challenges are you facing? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section or via Twitter @MarieHattar.


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  1. "Here at Cisco, we’re taking the steps toward revenue marketing to strengthen and benefit the company, our partners and our customers." Does Cisco plan on making marketing platform tools and sharing them with the public hopefully for free or at premium?