Why the outcome should never be the focus

How do we deal with things that are counter-intuitive? Like this one: 

“To have free space in your life, you must have structure.”

We don’t always want to deal with those realities, right? 

And in recent B2B marketing times, there’s been one in particular that has sent us in the wrong direction. 

The “revenue marketing” concept gained momentum throughout the 2010s and hit an absolute crescendo in 2020. Holy moly!

Drift, the B2B marketing darling of 2017-2019 came into the pandemic hot, declaring “we’re in the revenue era” and had everybody and their mama hop on the train. 

For good reasons. 

But we miiiiiiiight have gone a bit too far…

Being “revenue-obsessed” became a badge of honor for marketers.

And if revenue wasn’t the first thing out of your mouth in a marketing conversation, you would run the risk of being viewed as one of those people that don’t get that “it’s all about revenue.” 

Again, holy moly!

What should have simply been table stakes became THE thing.

One CEO even tried to introduce this idea of the so-called “revenue-first marketer.” 

Throughout 2022, the harder it got to drive anything that could even resemble sustainable growth, the more we doubled down on revenue as the holy grail of B2B marketing. 

But how has that served us? 

What part of our revenue obsession this year is helping us feel optimistic going into 2023? 

Put differently:

How is “focusing on revenue” making our companies more likely to survive and thrive in the new year?

It’s not about the outcome first – it’s about the input first. 

But this outcome-obsessive orientation made most of us think we were really on the offensive. 

“We’re really getting after it! Revenue, baby!”

It’s as if you could hear little brother us say: 

“We’re just as valuable as Sales, darn it!”

Oh the irony!

We wanted to think marketing was having its moment, but the closer thing to the truth was that we were trying to cover our a$$es. 

We were worried that we wouldn’t be seen as valuable enough if our efforts weren’t directly traced to revenue. 

We were playing defense – without even knowing it. 

But the sharp ones are waking up. 

And real marketers know that the real game remains the same: 

  1. Get crystal clear on the goal
  2. Define your growth hypothesis
  3. Establish the right processes

Now operate within those parameters with the optimal combination of authenticity, creativity and discipline. 

To develop sustainable marketing programs that can drive the growth your business needs. 

It’s called marketing. 

Beats “being obsessed with revenue” every time.