Julian Dunn's Reviews > Rise of the Revenue Marketer

Rise of the Revenue Marketer by Debbie Qaqish
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it was amazing

Prior to reading this book, I had no idea what the term "revenue marketing" meant, and Qaqish, one of the pioneers of this concept, does an excellent job explaining it.

As someone new to marketing & coming from a product/engineering background, I always assumed marketing's job was to attach closely to revenue, and I would often get frustrated when they saw themselves as just the color-palette-and-events department. Qaqish's description of traditional marketing departments as focused on those things validated my annoyance, and I'm glad to see the role of marketing changing from being a cost center to a revenue center. Even though Qaqish's book was written circa 2013, it's taken a long time for companies to catch on. I guess I shouldn't be surprised because it's 2018 and many companies are still discovering DevOps and in some cases, still organ-rejecting it in preference to traditional slow waterfall processes.

I completely agree with Qaqish that all marketing departments in the future are destined to become revenue marketing departments. This journey is now enabled by marketing automation technology that allows for microcampaigns that can measure, with a high degree of accuracy, marketing's contribution to closed business in the sales pipeline. Once C-level executives see the power of marketing automation, they won't go back, so CMOs and VPs of marketing had better attach themselves to revenue in a hurry.

I have but a few criticisms of the book. One is that it is clearly targeted at the fledgling CMO who is looking to make change. Qaqish outlines a clear playbook for how to do this, including objection handling, diplomacy, and how to successfully pitch it to C-level peers. In practice, this means that a large proportion of the book will be skimmed by folks who aren't a CMO, yet there are insights buried within the playbook that are valuable to all marketers. This is a shame as I fear many of them will be missed.

The second criticism I have of the book is that Qaqish lays out a plan for a Revenue Marketing Center of Excellence (RMCoE) with a large number of distinct job functions, perhaps twenty different roles. Setting aside my visceral annoyance at the overuse of the term "Center of Excellence" (everyone knows a Center of Excellence often devolves into a Silo of Mediocrity), it would be daunting for any CMO to pitch, to C-level executives, the allocation or creation of twenty or more headcount without being either a) accused of empire building or b) duplicating business functions that already exist. Qaqish doesn't help her case by advocating for the creation of a Marketing Technology Officer (MTO) whose job would effectively duplicate that of a CTO, except that their portfolio would only address marketing-related technology. In my view this is unlikely to be a successful pitch at all but the largest of companies. How can revenue marketing be implemented at a smaller firm without the ability to have this headcount? The exercise is left for the reader.

All these things aside, the book is a great introduction to the modern marketing department's new role as a revenue center rather than a cost center -- a change that I applaud now, and that I would have applauded even as an engineer or product manager. Great job.
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Reading Progress

January 12, 2018 – Started Reading
January 14, 2018 – Shelved
January 18, 2018 – Finished Reading

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