The CMO Corner - Big Data, Big Revenue Goals

Guest Post by Joe Cordo

Or is it the other way around? I’m seeing enough trends crisscrossing marketing about how to drive revenue that it’s no wonder CMOs are looking for simple solutions. You hear it all the time – revenue performance management, revenue marketing, and even right-time revenue optimization – something we’re guilty of promoting at my company Extraprise.

Let’s start with a basic reality – CMOs and their marketing organizations are going to be continually tied to revenue goals. Not raw lead goals, but real revenue. And it doesn't matter whether you are a B2B or B2C company. The terms might be different, but the reality is the same. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Q1 2011 GDP was revised downward to an anemic .4%, and Q2 came in at a scant 1.4%. The rest of the developed world is no better, and emerging markets are slowing down – check out the trend in China. Hitting revenue targets rules.

Now contrast that sobering news with a different reality that represents an opportunity for CMOs. A recent IDC study (Extracting Value from Chaos, IDC, June 2011) states that digital information is doubling every two years. That kind of information growth is what big data is all about. It means information about buying behavior across many, many channels (from social media to customer service and beyond) represents real opportunities to engage potential buyers in different ways to drive revenue across every stage of the customer life cycle at the right time. The operative phrases there are every stage and at the right time, because that’s what increases the likelihood of CMOs hitting their big revenue goals.

The driver to achieve those revenue goals is not marketing strategy. It’s the big data that drives the strategy. Unfortunately, the connotation of big data is anything but simple. However, when you transform big data into customer intelligence, and then leverage it across multi-channel marketing, the opportunities to drive revenue throughout the customer life cycle become enormous. And it doesn't simply crate an opportunity for CMOs to leverage customer intelligence for competitive advantages. It also helps to identify and define what markets and customers represent the highest revenue and profitability potential, how to build more brand loyalty and tie that to profitability, and, ultimately, how to find, win, and keep more valuable customers.

Creating valuable customer intelligence is certainly not without its challenges. But embarking on driving a wide variety of marketing strategies, while leveraging everything imaginable in your mix, creates an overly complex, inefficient and ultimately a self-perpetuating failure. Simplify achieving your big revenue goals by starting with customer intelligence and ground your strategies on what your customers, market and business tells you. I’d love to hear about your challenges and successes, and we’ll be happy to share some of ours.

Joe Cordo is CMO at Extraprise (, the leader in right time revenue optimization services. For more information about Extraprise you can contact Joe directly at

marketing revenue goals data management customer lifecycle

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