August 2, 2022

TrueVoice’s Five Keys to Growth Marketing Success Will Make Any Marketer a Rockstar

TrueVoice’s Kurt Genden shares the five keys that will turn any marketing department into a growth engine and every marketer into a rockstar. Click above to listen or see select excerpts below from the Rockstar CMO Podcast hosted by Ian Truscott.

Ian Truscott: You mentioned the term full funnel marketing, and I've obviously read that when I was doing my research and looking at what you guys do. At this point, I have to make a joke that we all love a full funnel, but I know that's not what you mean. Tell us what you mean by full funnel marketing.

Kurt Genden: Simply put, full funnel marketing means creating scalable demand and nurturing models that can effectively transform marketing into an engine of growth. And what that means is, you know, by providing untapped access to customers and prospects at every single stage of the sales funnel and every part of the customer journey. We're enabling rapid transformation of data into precise messaging and content that fills the sales pipeline and accelerates lead to revenue conversion. 

The concept of full funnel marketing isn't new, but it's more relevant than ever before, especially at larger companies, due to a lot of different internal and external issues. COVID has changed everything. And the seismic shifts that have happened in customer behavior, coupled with the acceleration of digital adoption, demand a new evolved approach to marketing. 

This demand has been further compounded with increasing internal pressures on marketing leaders to shift from being a cost center to an engine for revenue, right? So, you know, I read a recent study by McKinsey that that summed it up, which is 83% of CEOs are looking to marketing as a growth engine for the business, how long or only about 20% of CMOS feel like they're actually prepared to deliver on that.

Ian Truscott: I think that's been the challenge for the CMO role and why you're seeing the growth of chief growth officers and CROs picking up marketing because we're not perceived as part of the growth engine. We’re the rainbows and crayons and coloring in the department, right? I have a similar ethos because I always think marketing needs to create awareness, revenue, and trust. The most important one of those is revenue, so let's talk about that. I understand you've got these five pillars of growth marketing success, and, as I mentioned at the beginning, we love a list. So, what are your five pillars for growth?

Kurt Genden: Absolutely, you know, honestly, in a lot of ways, they're common sense. How you go about it is quite difficult. The first is steeped in audience and owning your audience. We believe growth requires customer centricity and real customer centricity requires a deep connected view of the customer supported by real time integrated insights. 

So, what do I mean by this? I'll give you just a somewhat simplified example, but I think it's effective to communicate. If I take a customer persona: male, 74 years old, married twice, raised in the UK, a high net worth individual, and lives in a castle. That's great information to target. However, I've just described both Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne. I can guarantee they don't share the same desires, needs or behaviors. This is why personas must evolve, and marketers must strive to better understand customers on a behavioral level.

By layering in billions of points of live behavioral metadata available to marketers and what they already know, we can empower unified real-time views of behavior at every stage of an evolving customer journey. This is the core of funnel management and the catalyst for growth.

Ian Truscott: Yeah, absolutely, and I think all this demographic stuff is bullshit, isn't it? Millennials behave in a certain way or somebody over a certain age behaves a certain way. It's their behavior and values that's actually going to make up that persona much better or their needs, isn't it? So, your first is know your audience, which is excellent. I love the way that you've already said this is common sense, but you're absolutely right. So many personas are just created on a whiteboard in a conference room at a hotel rather than tested against the data. So, what's your second one? 

Kurt Genden: The second one is around aligning your operating models. And you know, marketers are experiencing change all around them, and a lot of them remain really hesitant to restructure their operating models to meet the challenges of the digital marketplace. This is most obvious with the continued silos that exist even today between sales and marketing. While the answer isn't a simple one, it's unique to every organization; marketers have to anchor the change discussion in the customer journey and put the customer at the center. It's an audience-first framework that not only validates internal assumptions but also helps to build enterprise-wide consensus around the targeted customers and their journeys. 

With consensus and the shared objective of growth, it becomes much easier for organizations to frame the alignment discussion around a common set of outcomes that marketing and sales want to achieve along the funnel cycle. So, for most organizations, this means reimagining the marketing and sales funnel as a revenue cycle that integrates marketing and sales initiatives throughout the entire process. Ultimately, strong sales and marketing alignment needs to leverage the long-term vision and data-focused methods of marketers to support their short-term quotas as well as the business problem-solving approaches of their salespeople.

Ian Truscott: I like that. I had a guest on the show that once talked about the way that marketing looks to the future and sales guys are looking at the present. I'm also increasingly hearing about how these operating models and metrics and stuff need to align with sales and with your customers. This is one of those things that everybody talks about, but are you still seeing that gap then?

Kurt Genden: We are. It exists in many different ways in different varieties, but, at the end of the day, the customer doesn't care what your silos look like. Their journey walks right from marketing to sales to, ultimately, customer service and retention. They don't care what everyone's different objectives are. That's why when we unify those objectives around growth and the customer, everyone has the same North star, and it changes the way we look at it. It's creating very collaborative environments that really have people focused on working together rather than on short-term goals.

Ian Truscott: And that leads to your third one, doesn't it, which is perfect. So, your third one is what?

Kurt Genden: It's measuring across that funnel. Just as we were saying, marketing and sales campaigns today are spread across so many different channels, and it creates a really fragmented, modern customer journey that's anything but straightforward. A potential customer may view a Facebook post, then watch a LinkedIn video, click a Google ad, sign up for a newsletter and offers, or even scroll through thought leadership content all before they actually become a qualified prospect. And that's just one example of hundreds and if not thousands of different journeys that are taking place every day. So, in a multi-touch full funnel attribution model, each touchpoint across that sales cycle gets assigned an equal value, giving marketers a holistic high-level look at the performance of their digital marketing mix. It's a complex undertaking, but it's one that's achievable and provides an entire organization with end-to-end visibility of the sales pipeline so that they can accelerate and close deals faster with less investment than previously possible. At TrueVoice, we've seen this approach create billions of dollars in value for our clients.

Ian Truscott: Right, right. I think I could probably have you on the show just to discuss this point. I think it's so important, isn't it? That measurement across the funnel? And don't get us started on it? Attribution, right? We're all obsessive attribution. And so many people are working from first touch or last touch. And then they make a decision about their marketing strategy based on that, and they find that they're losing out across the board, aren't they? Because it's everything works rather than one thing. 

So, we know our audience, we're aligning in our operating model, and we're now measuring across the funnel. What's the next step?

Kurt Genden: The next one is adopting a test and learn approach. My clients, my staff, and even my son will tell you that one of my favorite sayings is fail fast, fail small, and fail as many times as you need to get the learnings to hit it out of the park. No one has all the answers, but there's one thing we do know for sure, and that is that the best performance comes from innovation. And innovation comes from testing something new, analyzing that information, and changing the course to respond to the results. So today, in increasing uncertainty, modern marketers must really approach their test and learn philosophy more broadly and take it beyond conventional testing of just campaign creative and messaging. They must really begin to rethink operating norms and operating models to pivot to become the growth engines that we talked about and view test and learn approach as a way to build organizational muscle memory to truly build a full funnel growth marketing capability.

Ian Truscott: Right, right. This is agility within your organization. We talk about Agility a lot, and it is hard because it’s a cultural shift. Sometimes with some organizations, they're doing the things they've always done because they've always kind of got some success from them. So, do you find that part of it more challenging, that sort of cultural and process change?

Kurt Genden: Yes, absolutely. I mean, so much of what we do is change, and our fifth point is actually around change management. No one ever got fired for performing the safe tactics, right? But now, if we're not innovating, if we're not moving forward, we're dying on the vine. So much of what we do today has a change management component to help people understand and recognize that even though they may not be in crisis today, if we're not changing and adapting the way we work, tomorrow is going to be a very tough situation for most of us.

To listen to the full podcast episode on Rockstar CMO or to hear interviews from other rockstar marketers, check out https://rockstarcmo.com/category/podcast/.