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Full Funnel Means Marketing as a Profit Center

July 26, 2016

Perspective and Tips from Matt Heinz with Release of New Book

Full_Funnel_Marketing_FRONT_Cover.jpgMatt Heinz of Heinz Marketing, one of the real-world thought leaders in our B2B marketing community, just released a new book. I thought it was insightful, timely and covered a healthy bit of strategies and tactics required to become a kick-ass revenue marketer.

So I sat down with Matt to get his take on the state of B2B marketing and see what progress we’re making on this whole “revenue” thing. You can also get a copy of the book here.

Scott: Ok, wait a minute. Your book title uses Full “Funnel.”  Isn’t the funnel dead and it’s all about the “Customer Journey” (blah, blah, blah…) in B2B marketing?

Matt: You know, every time I hear someone say something is “dead,” it usually means they’re trying to sell me the alternative! 

Perhaps the idea that all prospects follow a straight, linear process through your funnel is dead (if it was ever alive). But I still love the funnel as a metaphor and organizing agent to help sales and marketing teams design a repeatable, scalable process for managing their efforts. I also don’t see nearly enough B2B marketers thinking in terms of the entire funnel vs just the top half. Maybe I’m drawn to “full funnel” for the alliteration, but if we can convince more marketers to focus on revenue instead of clicks, retweets and MQLs alone, we’ve done our job.

What was the true inspiration for the book?

I want to see all B2B marketers responsible for revenue, not activity. I want marketers to treat their organization like a profit center. I want sales and marketing aligned around the same objectives, the same definitions, the same focus areas to maximize sales and revenue yield for their organizations.  

I also know that most marketers are crazy busy and sometimes want to get right to the heart of a particular challenge or opportunity. So this book covers the broader opportunity for marketers to embrace revenue responsibility, but also makes it fast and easy to find precisely the content or best practices you need in the moment to succeed.

If you had to make your best case in one sentence for why a marketer should read and spend time with your book – make it.

You can’t buy a beer with MQLs, but you can buy them with closed deals. This book helps marketers focus more on the latter. So whether you want to buy beer or simply make your next mortgage payment (i.e., keep your job), this book will help you move in the right direction.

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One of your main themes is that “Full Funnel” marketers work side-by-side with sales. This belief has existed for a while now with the promise of marketing automation to make us all revenue marketers. What’s changed or is different now?

Marketing automation is just a category of tools that, if implemented poorly, simply makes sending more emails faster and easier. There are a lot of marketers who may consider themselves revenue marketers, but don’t put their money where their mouth is. While the sales team is grinding at the end of the quarter, the marketing team is at the local bar celebrating the fact that they hit their retweet goal. That may be a little unfair or facetious, but it’s the perception of not only many sales organizations but many c-suites when it comes to what marketing does and whether it’s valuable.

Awareness is important. Retweets have value. MQLs are making progress. But the marketers having the biggest impact for their business manage the entire funnel, not just portions of the top half.

CEOs and boards seem to be seeking CMOs and marketing leaders who can drive growth. Has the role of marketing fully shifted from brand to demand? Does the “big idea” matter today?

Brand is still vitally important. Great brands make sales and marketing easier, faster, more efficient. Marketers who focus purely on demand and not on long-term brand value will pay a premium for their short-term thinking, and will likely lose long-term deals to competitors who value brand perception, great content marketing and more.

The big idea still matters, but it’s not sufficient on its own. Too often historically, the big idea doesn’t tie to a core customer need, doesn’t align with a target customer’s buying journey, and doesn’t have a specific next step to move the prospect forward. Connect those dots and you’re onto something. Yes, this makes the CMO’s job much more difficult than it has been historically. But that’s the reality we live in, and many CMOs are thriving in that environment by leaning into their revenue responsibility on a daily basis. 

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Another thing that you espouse in the book is for marketers to help customers “challenge their status quo.” Why is this important today? And how can marketers make this happen?

Nobody is going to change unless they see benefit in doing so. Most of us are lazy, we don’t want to do or learn something new, we want to just be able to keep doing what we’ve always done or are comfortable doing. But if we discover something – an idea, a fact, a trend – that demonstrates change is easier or better than staying the same, that change will generate the outcome we ultimately care the most about, that’s where we start actively evaluating solutions to achieve that desired outcome.

Marketers have an active responsibility to know enough about their target customer to actively drive that status quo challenge. Sometimes it’s by introducing new information. Sometimes it requires reframing a problem or situation. But great marketing and great content can do that with highly efficient scale.

In the “Marketing Technology” chapter you talk about “eating your vegetables.” You live the farm life and like all that organic stuff. Are there some parallels here for B2B marketers?

Not all marketing is sexy. Many marketers shy away from technology because it isn’t as fun as the creative or the “big idea” or the content. But I’ve found that the “fundamentals” of marketing, the processes and such, are what make marketing ultimately work – better, faster, more efficiently.

You close with a deep chapter on productivity for marketers, covering things like how to use/not use meetings, conferences. These are useful “hacks.” What are your top 2 or 3 hacks for today’s modern marketer?

read_more_often.png1. Be intentional about how you use your time. Protect and prioritize it religiously.

2. Capture all of your ideas, all of the time. Use AquaNotes, Dial2Do, a Moleskine with you at all times, whatever it takes. Triage them later, but capture everything now.

3. Read more often. Take the time to make yourself smarter every day, on a wide variety of topics.  

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By  Scott Vaughan

Scott Vaughan is CMO of Integrate, a marketing technology software provider automating top-of-funnel marketing for B2B marketers to enable demand marketing orchestration. Scott leads the company's go-to-market and growth marketing strategy. He’s passionately focused on unlocking the potential of marketing, media, data and technology to drive business and customer value.

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