A Marketing Engine to Surge Business Growth


  • The C-suite is less interested in marketing's departmental achievements and more interested in how it directly contributes to the company's top goal.
  • That top goal is revenue growth and the top way for marketing to drive systemic revenue growth is with a Marketing Engine.
  • The Johnny Grow Marketing Engine applies up to 8 integrated methods that deliver systemic, repeatable and predictable marketing sourced revenue growth.
Johnny Grow Revenue Growth Consulting

Scale Business Growth with a Marketing Engine

Marketing best aligns with the C-suite when it drives company revenue growth. But many marketers are unclear on the most effective ways to be the driver.

The Johnny Grow Marketing Engine shows precisely how marketing leads revenue growth. It was born from research and three decades of firsthand experience. And it's proven to advance revenue growth and advance marketers from indirect revenue supporters to change agents and revenue leaders.

And perhaps as a sign of imitation flattery it has been copied by other consulting companies. But this is the original research-based, time-tested and asset driven Marketing Engine.

If you are looking to take the lead in sourcing more revenue for the company, consider the following framework.

How Marketing Becomes a Revenue Leader

A marketing engine is not a technology solution, although it's technology enabled. It's also not a finished product you can buy. You have to build it because it has to deliver what's most important to your business.

The Marketing Engine is a prescriptive method that applies strategy, methods and technology to achieve the most important growth objectives.

It consists of 8 steps to systemically scale company revenue growth.

Johnny Grow Marketing Engine

Start with a Growth Strategy

Growing revenue without knowing where that revenue comes from is like trying to get to a destination without a final address.

A growth strategy identifies where revenue growth comes from and how to achieve that growth in the least time and cost.

The two dimensions to grow your business are product growth and market growth. Expanding your products or customer markets in various combinations will reveal up to four choices, as shown in the below four quadrants.

Revenue Growth Strategies

There are four options to consider.

  1. You sell more of your existing products to your existing customer markets (a market depth strategy)
  2. You can take your existing products to new markets (a market growth strategy)
  3. You can expand or create new products to sell to existing customer markets (a product growth strategy), or
  4. You can create new products for new markets (a disruptive growth strategy)

For new market expansion, be sure to examine not just if there is a gap in the market, but if there is a market in that gap.

Each option comes with different levels of risk and revenue impact. Every company's appetite for risk and reward is different, but for most companies a balanced mix of options will make the most sense.


Acquire More Customers

New customers often bring in the bulk of new revenues and without more of them there is no revenue growth.

Best practices to get new customers include the following:

  • Start by using data to identify your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). These are the customers best suited for your products and deliver the highest conversions in the shortest time and at the least cost.
  • Adopt the right mix of campaigns. That requires campaign portfolio optimization to continuously measure and reallocate the budget among campaigns to increase overall results.
  • Use lead management processes to nurture new leads until they become sales-ready. Only then should you forward them to the salesforce.
  • Shift sales and marketing from standalone departments to integrated partners with a sales and marketing Service Level Agreement. This agreement will specify when new leads should be sent to the salesforce, how and when the salesforce will follow up, and when leads should be recycled back for continued nurturing.
  • Finally, use Revenue Engineering to calculate the number of new leads needed to achieve your revenue target. You need this information to allocate your budget and pursue the methods that will deliver forecasted results.

Grow Existing Customers

For most companies, over 60 percent of margin comes from 20 percent or fewer customers. Those customers also deliver the shortest sales cycles and the lowest cost per sale.

Growing existing customer share shifts your focus from expanding the top of the sales funnel (TOFU) to growing the middle of the funnel (MOFU) and bottom of the funnel (BOFU). Near term revenue get's more attention.

The best method to grow customer share is to adopt or improve your customer affinity strategy.

Research from the Business Growth Report shows that customer strategies provide the roadmap to create and sustain customer affinity. Customer strategies may include programs such as Customer Experience Management (CXM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or customer loyalty.

Customer affinity is powerful because it's one of only four sustainable competitive advantages. Knowing your customers better than your competitors and using that knowledge to better serve them, build relationships with them, and earn their loyalty creates an enduring competitive advantage that will increase customer share and company profits.

Most businesses measure customer profit, but that's a backward-looking historical metric. Customer Lifetime Value is a better measure because its a predictive analytic that forecasts future value.

It's an efficient and highly indicative measure of a company's relationship with its customers. It's also a good leading indicator of customer satisfaction and retention.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) measurement also helps recognize customer relationships as assets and expand customer focus from short-term profits to long-term lifetime relationship value. And this metric compliments other customer-centric measures such as customer satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and loyalty.

CLV is influential because even small increases multiplied by the number of customers generate large recurring revenue growth. Below is a diagram built for a manufacturing client that shows how small changes in CLV create bigger changes in annual revenue.

Customer Lifetime Value Performance Improvement Plan

Increase Customer Retention

Even with new customers coming in, company revenues, growth and valuation deteriorate when too many of them exit through the back door.

Customer retention strategies improve short term revenues and create a multiplier impact to long term revenue growth. Managing or improving customer retention is an imperative to achieve a sustainable growth business.

Methods to improve customer retention include the previously referenced customer affinity strategies along with tactical programs such as account management, customer engagement and satisfaction measurement using methods such as CSAT or NPS.

Beyond the customer retention strategies, some companies seek to lower churn with reporting that identifies customers at risk. But a better method is to avoid customer churn by preventing it from happening in the first place.

You can extend a customer defection report into an interactive predictive model that shows not just who, but why those customers are churning. You can then surface the root causes so they can be resolved before they create customer churn. Below is an example.

Pro Forma Customer Churn Interactive Model

Knowing why customers churn is more powerful than knowing which customers will churn as it allows companies to prevent customer attrition before it happens. It creates a shift in reporting from delivering bad news too late, to delivering an operating model that prevents bad news.

Recognize that a single point reduction to customer churn delivers a real-time linear improvement to company profits.


Increase Brand Reach, Recognition and Impact

Brand research findings published in The Marketing Transformation Report demonstrated that Business to Business (B2B) marketers with active brand management programs delivered 18 percent more leads to the salesforce, 21 percent higher contribution to the sales pipeline, and 21 percent higher marketing ROI than marketers without branding programs.

The research also found that Business to Consumer (B2C) marketers with active brand management programs achieved 4 percent higher year over year revenue growth and 21 percent higher marketing ROI than marketers without these programs.

Every company has a brand. It's developed over time by design or happenstance.

Brands formed by happenstance usually fail to best position the company and its products for increased patronage, customer advocacy and referrals. They fail to shape customer perception and drive increased sales because they are the result of unplanned actions, inconsistent messaging and unforeseen consequences.

On the flip side, a high-performance brand defines, reinforces and measures messaging that drives targeted business objectives. High performance brands are intentional, proactively designed and in a constant state of awareness and improvement.

A brand pyramid is an identity framework that helps define and design a brand that easily conveys differentiation and shapes customer perception.

It uses a visual representation that navigates from bottom to top to define the most important brand attributes to be used in campaigns, sales proposals and customer communications.

Brand Pyramid

For more specific brand development information, you might want to check out our 3 Step Guide to Designing a Profitable Brand.


Optimize Prices

Price optimization delivers immediate, low cost and high impact revenue growth and profit realization.

In fact, compared to most other revenue growth methods, it can be implemented by a small group in a short period and contribute to in-quarter revenue results. However, this financial lever is underdeveloped at most companies.

And that's unfortunate as sales price research published in the Sales Excellence Report shows that companies that implement price optimization achieve greater agility, extract more value from their goods and services, and drive more top line revenues and bottom-line profits than those who do not. The research shows that price optimization increases annual revenues by 2 to 8 percent and nearly all the increase falls straight to the bottom line.

It works by calculating price elasticity to show the highest price a customer segment will pay for a product or service. It models the price factors that impact quantity sold. It also statistically measures how customers respond to price changes, compares alternative price scenarios to achieve financial goals, and identifies the optimal prices.

When implementing price changes, it's a good idea to start small with a pilot and prove the concept. But an incremental start only delivers an incremental benefit. To achieve accelerated revenue growth, you will need to evolve pursuant to a plan. And the best way to do that is using a price optimization maturity model.

Sales Price Optimization Maturity Model

A maturity model yields more financial value at each stage in the journey, creates momentum and turns price optimization into a core competency.


Apply Predictive Analytics

Analytics are needed to increase productivity, make timely course corrections, implement continuous process improvements and make data-driven decisions.

Revenue reporting must connect data, insights, action and outcomes. When you establish these links, the reporting becomes less about measuring historical performance and more about improving future results.

The Marketing Engine is a process, not an event. So, to visualize that process we use a proprietary model we call the Predictive Pyramid.

Revenue Growth Predictive Analytics

It shows how changes anywhere in the revenue hierarchy cascade and impact other performance measures. It's extremely helpful in engineering revenue growth and determining where to invest your limited budget to achieve the biggest uplift.

The pyramid is useful because no revenue growth program or method lives in isolation. Each has cascading effects that impact many areas and those impacts must be considered when making tradeoffs.

The data that drives the calculations is sourced from company history if it's available or industry benchmarks if it's not. In working with clients to populate the predictive pyramid, we find that many believe they do not have the needed data. But they generally have more data than they think, it's just disorganized and decentralized in data siloes and needs to be consolidated.


Fully Leverage MarTech

The Marketing Engine requires technology for process automation, information reporting and scale.

You will make the smartest marketing technology (MarTech) decisions when considering a holistic MarTech stack.

A strategically designed MarTech stack replaces piecemeal systems and point solutions with a platform solution or integrated software portfolio. This approach helps buyers buy, drives measurable goals, maximizes investments and future-proofs technology decisions.

It also creates a competitive advantage as it defines an overarching architecture that blueprints the technologies needed to acquire, grow and retain more customers.

Research reported in The Marketing Transformation Report revealed that five technologies stand above all others in terms of effectiveness.

Top 5 Marketing Technologies

However, the research also found that what separated the most and least effective technologies was less about the actual technologies and more about how they were designed and implemented. The data suggested that a poor software implementation would make an otherwise effective technology ineffective.

From Survive to Thrive

Revenue growth is a journey. The Marketing Engine is the roadmap to get to the destination using the shortest route.

The Marketing Engine is rooted in empirical research that surfaces and replicates the most influential revenue growth strategies and methods proven by the Best-in-Class leaders (e.g., the top 15%). It's built as a replicable model that advances research findings into prescriptive actions. When you replicate the methods that most drive revenue growth for the industry's top performers you can realize similar results.

It also brings simplicity and clear direction to systemically grow revenues. Each of these steps create a lever that you can pull to source or increase company revenues and accelerate business growth.

The steps can be executed sequentially and progressively. Adopting one step at a time will deliver incremental improvements. Adopting multiple steps delivers transformation and grows revenue gains from incremental to linear.

And there's one more result. This framework puts marketers in the drivers seat and puts marketing leaders in the C-suite.

See the Marketing Engine and 8 integrated methods that deliver systemic, repeatable and predictable revenue growth.

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