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The modern engine for business growth: getting to grips with marketing’s 3 strategic levers

4 min read - by Claire Davidson - Planning Director

Increasingly, marketing is being recognised as a revenue driver and 83% of CEOs[1] agree: their marketing function must operate as an engine for growth.

But as the perception of marketing is changing, it’s vital to reframe expectations of marketing investment delivering immediate returns.

We believe that the future of B2B tech marketing will be defined by its ability to deliver long-term goals, while also enabling real-time optimisation. The most effective marketing activity must balance quick wins against the development of long-term demand and the sustained growth that brings.

With this in mind, we recently produced a report with B2B Marketing: ‘The future of tech marketing and revenue performance: what’s impacting growth for 2022 and beyond’. In this report, we’ve defined three strategic levers for our clients to focus on when investing their marketing spend.

These levers are: brand strength, customer experience (CX) and efficient demand generation. All three can make significant contributions to revenue growth, but how can you really get to grips with these levers and start using them to their greatest effect?

1. Strengthening your brand

Clearly identified brand values and purpose, provide the opportunity to relate to customers on a more meaningful, emotional and potentially long-lasting level. Often a powerful brand will provide differentiation, consideration and growth – this is especially true for technology businesses, where brand values can be a distinguishing factor between products with similar prices and functionality.

Could your marketing efforts align more closely with that purpose? Do you have value-based marketing programmes? Thinking in these terms can help to ensure authenticity in every interaction. This authenticity is even more important today given the lengthening of buying cycles; the importance of influencers and own-research; and both the change in buyers (increase in digital native buyers) and increase in the number of decision-makers in the buying process.

Also, given that B2B customers increasingly prefer to do their own research brand values must be championed at a much deeper level than sales and marketing teams. Ensuring that all employees are aligned with your brand values will create a holistic effect, which ensures authenticity at every touchpoint of the customer journey. This consistency will help to deepen customer relationships, reducing churn and generating more reliable, long-term demand.

2. Tailoring your CX

The second strategic lever for marketing to focus on is customer experience (CX). According to Adobe, CX-driven businesses see over 1.5x higher year-on-year growth in customer retention, repeat purchase rates, and customer lifetime value[2]. And a key requirement for building great customer experience is delivering on your company’s purpose and brand promise.

This requires a customer-centric mindset and putting the customer at the centre of everything your organisation does. How would each interaction look from a customer’s perspective? The CMO has the opportunity to connect all the customer touchpoints and work with each of your internal departments to ensure a consistent experience.

Now, with the help of increasingly powerful Martech solutions, your business can create more seamless and tailored experiences and deepen your one-to-one relationships with customers even further.

3. Generating demand, more efficiently

And finally: can you be sure that your marketing investment is having the optimal effect on demand generation?

It’s still rare for businesses to be fully integrated across functions and departments, even though having siloed teams and data stand in the way of extracting valuable insight that would enable marketing to engage in more effective demand generation.

As many of us will be aware: 95% of those receiving marketing comms are not in the market to buy at that time.[3] This is where smarter, data-driven marketing can help to ensure you’re not wasting resource and stop you from sending communications that are irrelevant to individual users, given the current stage of their buyer journey.

Developing this more effective and efficient approach will require marketing to have oversight of increasingly complex customer journeys. No matter which touchpoint or department your customer engages with – marketing should at least be aware of, if not collaboratively working alongside, that interaction.

By 2023, 25% of organizations will integrate marketing, sales and customer experience into a single function.[4]

Prioritising this integration will often shift the focus away from attributions, net new business, and other metrics that marketing and sales departments have relied on in the past. Instead, moving forward, the most successful tech marketing will focus on cultivating long-term growth potential and revenue opportunities, supported by more meaningful data analysis and company-wide collaboration.

Shaping the future of tech marketing

Each of these strategic levers on its own drives business value. However, we’ve found that using all three together contributes to more holistic revenue growth. In the report that we produced with B2B Marketing, we hear the experiences and advice of four B2B CMOs working in the technology sector, as they discuss how they are adapting their own strategies.

Interested in hearing more from the CMOs? Learn about the challenges they’ve faced, and the strategies they’ve adopted for reporting marketing performance to the board. Read our full report here.

[1] McKinsey & Co., (2021),


[3] The B2B Effectiveness Code, B2B Institute (2021)