How to solve the “equation”

Are you a math whiz? If so, please forgive us for the liberties we’ve taken. 

But before anyone tells us that our equation doesn’t meet the actual definition of an equation, let’s anchor this conversation in the following question: 

What’s really the objective of marketing? 

In B2B Marketingland most would say “to drive pipeline and revenue,” right? 

Well, we see that as the desired outcome. Obviously. 

But we don’t optimize for that directly. We optimize for two other things that marketing has much more control over and that should absolutely lead to the desired outcome: 

We believe marketing’s primary job is to (1) drive buyers to ah-ha moments and (2) let buyers experience the core value of what the business will eventually sell to them.

That’s how we get a shot at driving pipeline and revenue at a sustainable rate. 

(Assuming, of course, there is product/market fit, the rest of the organization is set up to deliver, etc. You know, the stuff outside marketing’s control.)


We believe a key lever relative to these two real marketing objectives is distribution. As in the primary way you get in front of your buyers to get to those ah-ha moments and provide that taste of the company’s core value. 

Enter what we call the Sustainable Marketing Equation: 

Distribution x Ah-ha Moments x Core Value

By the way, if you think we should have called this a formula instead of an equation, please just reply to this email with the word formula. We’re all about feedback!

But think about it…

If you have a primary way to reach buyers that’s working. And you’ve identified the ah-ha moments these buyers must reach (about the problem you solve or your actual solution) in order for them to seriously consider buying from you. And you’ve found a way to give them a taste of the value of what you’re selling before they buy it.

Then you’re really on your way! 

On the flip side, what if you: 

  • Don’t have a good way of reaching your buyers at scale
  • Don’t have clearly defined ah-ha moments buyers need to reach
  • Don’t have a meaningful way to give buyers a taste of your core value 

How could you possibly drive pipeline and revenue in a way that would sustain? 

We all get tempted to just do more. 

More ads. More content. More events. More materials. More landing pages. 

But the reason why that typically won’t lead to the desired outcome is that the execution doesn’t map to a simple breakdown across these three areas:

Distribution x Ah-ha Moments x Core Value

Without that clarity, marketing is doomed to spin its wheels. 

The issue is that very few of us have been trained to approach marketing in this way, so it isn’t always obvious what these ah-ha moments should be or how the core value can be sampled. 

If you’re curious about what your Sustainable Marketing Equation should be, we’re happy to get on a 30-minute call with you to give you our take. 

That will also shed some light on how your marketing could change for greater impact after defining the equation. 

All you have to do is reply to this email.

We really do believe this clarity would help, especially now.

And seriously, please also reply with either “formula” or “equation” to let us know what you think works better for this. We’re counting on you!

– Your partners in growth at Elevate Demand

PS: Here’s a bit more about the Sustainable Marketing Equation ?