RULE #1 Align Marketing with Corporate Goals

CMO’s must steer Marketing’s efforts to jibe with the corporate goals set by the CEO, such as bookings growth, market share, and new customer logos. Your best tack is to let revenue be your guide by developing marketing KPIs that tie directly back to corporate goals. But connecting Marketing’s KPIs to the CEO’s direction isn’t as obvious as it sounds. For example, what should Marketing do to support a $250M Q4 bookings goal, and when should it start? That requires a deeper view into how Marketing’s actions impact eventual revenue outcomes.

RULE #2 Measure Marketing’s Contribution to Revenue

Keep a watchful eye on Marketing’s contribution to corporate goals. And while you can’t control what happens in the rest of the fleet, you can affect pipeline, deal sizes, upsells, churn, and more. Ultimately the CEO wants to hear progress towards corporate goals in the language of revenue.

But CMO’s have to understand what Marketing can and can’t impact, and how long it’ll take. Maybe that corporate goal of $250M in Q4 bookings needs a pipeline of $750M in Q2. Since you’re directing Marketing’s efforts, you need a command center that gives you a view above the tactical marketing KPIs so you can track progress towards strategic goals.

RULE #3 Plan Marketing’s Course to Revenue

You know the destination — revenue — so now you have to chart a course using the best mix of revenue-driving marketing tactics. But you first need to know which tactics produce the best revenue results. This requires a bird’s-eye view to better understand who your customers are, how they buy, and how to best engage them along the entire lifecycle. Your marketing mix lets you create a budget and an expected ROI. But just like food and fresh water while at sea, budget and resources are limited. A well-laid plan helps you quickly reallocate those resources when shifting currents push you off course. This gives CMOs a dynamic plan that’s flexible yet always heading towards the ultimate revenue destination.

RULE #4 Continuously Track and Adjust Course

A revenue-driven CMO is always monitoring marketing execution against revenue goals. Whether you’re experiencing rough seas or following winds, you can quickly adjust course or shuffle resources if you’re on the lookout. But you need the right executive dashboard to translate tactical marketing data into strategic insights while also including data from other ships in the fleet, such as Sales, Operations, and Customer Success. Continuous monitoring helps you quickly recognize shortfalls and opportunities while there’s still time to act.

RULE #5 Communicate Success in the Language of Revenue

As you arrive at the revenue destination, announce Marketing’s accomplishments in the language of revenue. That gives your efforts extra weight so others in the C-suite fleet can easily see Marketing’s contributions. But connecting base marketing tactics to corporate goals requires a constant flow of sales, marketing, and financial data to help chart a course towards top-level revenue goals. It’s this direct connection to revenue that elevates Marketing to a strategic growth engine and gives CMOs their chance to shine.

As CMO, you’re the captain of the Marketing ship. How you marshall your people, resources, and tools in support of the corporate goals is what makes you shine in the C-suite. And that’s much better than walking the plank!

To learn more about these 5 steps and how CMO’s can chart a course to revenue-driven success, visit

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