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Insight from Experts: Customer Obsession and Revenue with Scott Vaughan

Mark Nardone

Mark Nardone, EVP at PAN Communications, speaks with Scott Vaughan, CMO at Integrate. Vaughan specializes in data-driven marketing for the marketing automation company. He’s known throughout the industry for being highly skilled and passionate about unlocking the potential of marketing, media, data and technology to drive business and customer value. 

Watch the clip, read the transcript below or listen to the full podcast to learn about the full customer lifecycle, the new customer obsession, the endless opportunities to delight your customers and the marketing revenue for which CMOs are now accountable. 

What are your tactics when it comes to showcasing the value and revenue behind your marketing efforts? Let’s continue the conversation @markcnardone.

Mark Nardone


You know you and I have talked a little bit over the last few weeks in particular about what a marketing department needs to start doing to become more customer obsessed. And I know that we looked at three very important topics that align to that. The first one being held accountable as a department and as a CMO with regards to revenue generation and what that all means. Do you want to start the conversation off with the audience here around your whole viewpoints there and we’ll go off from that?

Scott Vaughan


Yeah. Revenue is a very tangible thing, so the move to customer experience is an important one especially about being obsessed and revenue is often thought of net new customers. That’s what a lot of us marketers who grew up in this era, especially around the marketing automation movement (or if you’re in B2C even), that movement’s been about acquiring net new. Well, the customer has a full life cycle and that has really changed the dynamics of how we think about it. It actually gives us the opportunity to become obsessed because the process doesn’t start when someone signs an order and we’re done. We have a chance to service them, delight them, and continue to upsell and cross-sell.

Mark Nardone


You started honing into more around the MQL conversation, and that’s a pretty hot topic right now for a lot of CMOs out there – how MQLs are mapping to SQLs, and you had a really interesting point of view there.

Scott Vaughan


Well I think CMOs are now clearly accountable for revenue. Marketing teams have gotten much better, especially with the tools and data that are out there, at creating marketing qualified leads and turning them over to sales. I think we’ve mastered that pretty well. But dumping a dump truck full of MQLs is not a solution. And the force from the other side is watching the C-suite and the board of directors talk about revenue in a different way – closed one, renewals, upsell. There’s a little bit of tension right now, and so the mandate by CMOs is to get out of the MQL business and get into the revenue business. In the past that’s really been touted in the industry by the vendors – revenue marketing and all these phrases, but it’s becoming very real even in marketing departments.

Mark Nardone


You know you talk a lot about the full customer lifecycle and what that all entails. Does education come into play there? With regards to getting that mindset to change and adjust a little bit, to not just be so much on the numbers-driven side with, “you created this many leads, you moved this many leads down to conversions.” What’s that all look like now?

Scott Vaughan


Well, I live in the real world as a CMO and get to work with lots of B2B marketing organizations. So, you still have to be able present and have the numbers 100 percent for sure. And so you need to build a predictable, scalable model that works, that has some agility to it, and that’s constantly being optimized. That’s where a conversation starts. But there is education about really touting the full customer lifecycle and talk about both the revenue opportunity, renewal retention, lifetime value – these key KPI and indicators are so important to give the full picture. That does start with a lot of education and making sure that you have your own playbook and dashboard in order. I think you earn a lot more credibility by showing that full process.

Mark Nardone


Later in the conversation we’re going to talk a little bit around, how does a marketer start to look at tying revenue to the lifecycle of a customer? Typically, they brought it to a certain point in the funnel, and then they’ve not washed their hands of it, but they’ve pretty much stepped aside and let internal processes take over at that point. Is that starting to come underneath the marketing department’s role and responsibility?

Scott Vaughan


Absolutely, in a couple of ways. One is your analytics and KPI you have to see through to the end. So, doing a closed loop on what’s working and seeing it all the way through, not just to a conversion from an MQL to an SQL, but really seeing it through to becoming a customer. Then look at where that current customer base is and what kind of customer marketing you’re doing to move from a net new customer to a customer that’s investing more with your company, a company that is renewing. For example, are you more of a subscription based business in this economy or are they adding on new products and revenue? So upsell and cross-sell become important. And those tools are there today. We just have to have the patience and persistence to be able to adopt the right tools at the right time, and then use the data and analytics to be able to do that.

Easy to say, harder to do, but that’s where the winning marketing departments are making the impact. There isn’t usually this “aha” moment that everything comes together. You’re constantly working on bringing your processes, technology and data together to live around that predictable, scalable model in the full customer lifecycle.

Topics: Thought Leadership

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