A Seat at the Table: Marketing needs to get closer to Revenue

The Growth Report #34

Hey fellow maverick!

Not much news from me this week, but there is plenty in the works that Kevin and I will ship in the coming months, so stay tuned for that.

As for now, grab a coffee and get ready for this weeks’ edition of The Growth Report:


Today's topics include

📈 Marketing Strategy:
A Seat at the Table: Marketing needs to get closer to Revenue

⚒️ Tools of the Trade:
Educational Resources and Inspiration for Marketers

⛑️ Reflections from the Trenches:
The Irrelevancy of Being Right


📈 Marketing Strategy

A Seat at the Table: Marketing needs to get closer to Revenue

This is a little rant. Because in recent conversations I had with clients and with podcast guests, the following issue came up, over and over and yet is completely ignored by most.

To get a seat at the table, marketing needs to own revenue first.

Understanding the Status Quo

In my experience, what happens at most companies inside of marketing goes something like this:

There’s blog posts. And podcasts. And emails. And videos. And webinars. And co-marketing. And guest posts. And social media.

And yet no one’s really sure how marketing contributes to revenue. The marketing team is always busy doing stuff. But the content team isn’t sure how they contribute to revenue. And creative? Forget it.

Demand Generation is good — but they’re always stressed out because they feel like they own the weight of the whole number.

Setting Revenue Goals

You can fix it. It starts with goals.

And every sub-team in marketing (content, product marketing, demand gen, brand marketing, whatever you call them) need to have clear goals tied to revenue.

You can do it. Maybe it’s leads. Maybe it’s meetings. Maybe it’s pipeline. But you can hold every team accountable to revenue in marketing.

The majority of the marketing teams I know operate this way. Just doing stuff.

That’s why the best thing you can do as a marketing leader is to get as close to revenue as possible.

Ignore the best practices and traditional marketing channels. Just start at the bottom: what do people do before they buy? You can figure it out.

Reaping the Benefits

And once you start to build a clear revenue machine in marketing, then you get a free pass to do the fun stuff, like podcasts, online conferences and what have you.

On top of that your team will be more motivated, because they actually see their contribution to the overall success of the business, as well as the individual impact they can have.

I made that mistake myself in the past and if you don't take care of this first, you'll be forever trapped in the "marketing-is-doing-stuff-but-nobody-knows-what" cycle (which means you don't get the budget to do what you want to do).

/rant over


🛠️ Tools of the Trade:

Educational Resources and Inspiration for Marketers

Quote of the week:

“We’re held back by what we think is true, not what is true.” - Jack Butcher

Marketing Education

  • Customer-Led-Growth Course - The two ladies of Forget the Funnel consistently produce super valuable content and webinars. Their latest creation is the customer-led growth course, that teaches marketers how good customer research leads to sustainable growth.

Brands and Products that caught my eye

  • Manual Photo - Remember those one-use cameras with films we had to develop after our vacations? This brand is resurrecting those fun little toys.

  • Digital Agenda - A minimalist calendar, task manager and reminder app.

  • Shuffle - Think TikTok for podcasts. You can share the best audio snippets and dress them up with video, images and text, before sharing them with your audience / followers.

Interesting reads

  • LinkedIn is the New Craigslist - An important trend of "The Unbundling of LinkedIn" that we covered here a couple of times, explained.

  • Profit Sharing - You know those "company shares" that CEOs love to hype up to their employees, so they don't have to pay them full salaries? Well there's a new (and fairer) model in town: Profit Sharing.


⛑️ Reflections From the Trenches

The Irrelevancy of Being Right

Being right, winning an argument feels good, doesn't it?

Most of us innately care about being right. Being right was something that we were taught was the ultimate pinnacle of knowledge. It's like an intellectual triumph over an adversary. We know better, we know more, and you, you just don't understand. Whether its a loved one, a client, or an employee, we must be right.

And even if we know we are wrong. We cannot have the other side score a win, no matter how small. Because if they are right, it means we are wrong. And now backed into a corner, it becomes a pride thing.

A good example is religion. How many wars have been fought in the name of religion? Name one religion that doesn’t think that its way is the right way. But again, if that one religion is the right way, all the others must be wrong 🤔

Being Right Prevents us From Being Generous

The real tragedy is, trying to be right all the time gets in the way of generosity. It's almost like a shield we are holding up. Do you know that feeling a couple of minutes after an argument you (thought you've) won? That bitter aftertaste once you bathed in your dominance over the other person?

Well, all you've really done is shut down a person who wanted to be heard.

And it's not like the other person now thinks: "Well I am so stupid, he is so right. How could I not have seen his brilliance and superior way of thinking?"

No, they think: "What an ass, he didn't even listen to what I said and now look at his arrogant smirk, thinking he is right. I'll show him!"

It's a Waste of Energy

Also, we waste so much energy and so much effort on being right. We plead, we convince, we argue, we debate, we re-phrase, we provide evidence all day long. And we only stop when the other person gives in. And if they don't, we end up quietly sulking like the two kids in the picture above.

What if we don't need to be right?

And you know what's crazy? The need to be right is actually preventing us from getting the things that will actually most serve us. So instead of trying to be right all the time, what if we take a different approach at least some of the time?

As so often in the past, James Clear has some wisdom for us:

"You're probably right' has become one of my favorite phrases.

Whenever someone disagrees with you on a small matter (read: most things), you can shrug, say 'you’re probably right' and move on. Not caring about winning trivial arguments saves so much time and energy."

Let's keep our needs to be right for the big things in life. When someone violates a deeply held value or a principle of ours we should absolutely stand up for ourselves.

As for everything else, "You're probably right" seems like the smarter and more generous way to go about things.


That's it for this week.

Enjoy your well-earned weekend 🏡

See you next week,

Sandro