Ever wonder how to bridge the credibility gap in B2B marketing while focusing on revenue? Jim McHugh, CEO of revenue marketing platform provider Mperative, spills the beans on this episode of the Marketing Smarts Live Show.

The focus of this episode? Two terms: "revenue marketing" and "credibility gap." That is, how do you let your digital visitors know that you're the real deal?

The Infrastructure You Need Is Already There

Jim emphasizes that most companies already have the necessary tools and applications, such as marketing automation and CRM systems. The challenge lies in unifying those systems and focusing on data models for analytics and machine-learning.

Action item: Audit your current tech stack and identify gaps or overlaps. Are your systems talking to each other?

Beware of the Potholes

Jim warns about the "sinkholes" in the journey, such as outdated assumptions about pipeline coverage. He advises using hard data to make decisions and paying attention to data quality.

Action item: Revisit your assumptions. Are they based on data or folklore?

What Does Success Look Like?

Success in revenue marketing is a blend of art and science, Jim says. It's about being prepared for that next board meeting and having your data and creative elements in perfect harmony.

Action item: Define what success looks like for your organization. Are you meeting your revenue goals?

Words of Wisdom

Jim encourages marketers to challenge old perceptions and focus on key business drivers. He advocates for a scientific approach to marketing that is backed by data.

Action item: Challenge the status quo. Are you ready to adopt a data-driven approach?

* * *

This episode is a goldmine for anyone looking to understand the intricacies of B2B revenue marketing. Jim McHugh offers a road map to not just survive but thrive in today's complex marketing landscape.

Ready to challenge the old and embrace the new? Let's make your B2B marketing not just credible but also profitable.

Make sure you don't miss any future episodes: Subscribe to the Marketing Smarts Live Show on YouTube. And to catch up on all previous episodes, check out the full playlist on YouTube.


Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links

Episode No. 28

Guest's social media profiles:

MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:

"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:

"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:

Transcript: B2B Revenue Marketing and Closing the Credibility Gap With Jim McHugh

Marketers often live in their own little world, and too often that world seems—at least to the C-suite—to have nothing to do with a business's bottom line. Revenue marketing aims to change that.

Mperativ CEO Jim McHugh frames it this way: "Intuitively, what are we doing? Why do we keep insistently going I created X number of MQLs and they're converting to X percentage of SQLs? The rest of the organization either doesn't get it or doesn't care."

He's referring, of course, to metrics based on leads, which he says aren't always the best way to measure Marketing's contribution to company health.

Yep, Marketing Smarts Live viewers, that's just a taste of what we have coming for you today.

Hello to all my Marketing Smarts Live viewers today. I’m super excited to bring you episode 28 of the Marketing Smarts Live show.

This week's topic is all about B2B Revenue Marketing and Closing the Credibility Gap. So, if you're ready to get your learn on, buckle up and let's get ready to rock a nd roll.

Hey, I’m your boy George B. Thomas speaker, trainer, catalyst, and host of this hear show, the Marketing Smarts Live show as well as the Marketing Smarts podcast found on your favorite podcast app.

Our guest clips today are brought to you by none other than Jim McHugh.

Jim MicHugh, CEO and a co-founder of Mperativ, a revenue marketing platform. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a marketing and business executive for startup, midsize, and high-profile companies. Before co-founding Mperativ, Jim worked as VP of AI Systems for NVIDIA and VP of Marketing for Cisco Systems.

Now, remember, the clips of Jim McHugh today are pulled from the full marketing smarts podcast episode and, if you want to listen to the full interview with Jim McHugh and myself, make sure to tune into the Marketing Smarts podcast, link to the full show will be in the description below after the live show ends.

Now, in this episode, again, I'm talking with Jim McHugh about B2B Revenue Marketing and Closing the Credibility Gap.

How do you let the humans who show up at your digital doorstep know that you know what they need to know.

Say that five times fast!

Well, it comes down to credibility. But, how can you as a B2B Marketer leverage revenue marketing and make it possible to close that credibility gap for you and your teams?

Well, you know me, this is the first question I asked Jim:

How do B2B get started and or make the transition to revenue marketing to help close the credibility gap?

Jim: The good news is most people are sitting on the infrastructure, the applications and tools they need. Most people have some sort of marketing automation. Most people have a CRM, Salesforce being the dominant one, but that's a key component. Most have something like a BDR software that they're using to track meetings, etcetera. The challenge is we need to step back and not have the marketing focus on leads, have BDRs focused on just meetings, and have Sales focus on just opportunities that they're setting up in Salesforce, because they're what create disconnects.

What do we need to do? We need to bring this all together. We need to bring it together in a way that you can have the infrastructure that unifies all of this data, does it in a time series manner, does it in a single data model. I know that people don't really want to spend a lot of time in data models, but data models are extremely important for analytics and machine-learning. Then you need to train and deploy machine-learning algorithms to help you find the patterns and the trends that are in that data.

Now, you could do that, you could build it yourself, there are some savvy analytics teams out there that could do it, but it's really not a core marketing function to have that. That's why we started Mperativ, to make it as simple as possible, allowing you to get up and running in really no time at all. To connect these systems, once you have the data model figured out and the mapping done correctly, it's fast. You can be up and running a week, testing in another week, and be prepared for your meetings the following week.

Did you hear that?

You are most likely sitting on the infrastructure you need. So, how do you face the challenge and stop looking at your teams that create a disconnect?

Focus on getting your data models in place and start connecting separate systems are two things you can start to look at in your organization.

Right now, do you have department silos in your organization? Is your tech Stack siloed as well?

Put the answer to that in the chat pane or, let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #mpb2b and of course, tag me using @georgebthomas.

We’ll get back to Jim McHugh and his thoughts on B2B Revenue Marketing and Closing the Credibility Gap But first, I have to ask...

Are you part of the MarketingProfs community? If not, become part of the MarketingProfs community by heading over to mprofs.com/mptoday - That’s mprofs.com/mptoday.

Now, it’s time for one of my favorite sections...

In The B2B News - Where we talk about breaking B2B news or really important tips we find on the google news tab related to you and your B2B business. This week, the title is...

The What, Why, and How of Community- and Brand-Building for B2B Marketing.

Why did this one make it to the show?

Well to be honest, it's an interview I did recently with Mark Schafer for the MarketingProfs Marketing Smarts podcast!

The fact that it showed up in the news tab after only three days points to the fact that community and brand building is something B2B marketers may be looking for in 2023 and beyond.

My thoughts, it's where a lot of my focus is moving forward and, the episode with Mark was a pure delight. There are hidden gem lessons for almost every marketer looking to grow and build something special.

To read this article, check out the link below when the live show is over.

So let’s get back to Jim McHugh and his Marketing Smarts podcast episode.

The idea of revenue marketing and creating a deeper level of credibility is something that excites me for sure. However, I know that both revenue and credibility historically for many organizations might have been hard.

So, I wanted to quickly diagnose the potholes and or hurdles that you the B2B marketer may face along the way so, I asked Jim, What are the potholes or hurdles marketers need to watch out for during this revenue marketing transition?

Here's what he had to share.

Jim: The number one, I would say it's a pothole, it's almost a sinkhole, is the standard assumptions that we always buy into. "You need 3X pipeline coverage." Based on what? Based on folklore? Based on 4X seemed too much? The reality is, especially if you're going after new logo and expansion, it's not 3X, it's not 3X for both of them. That's one of the biggest things. Make sure the assumptions that you've been saying about your business, what you need for coverage, is better thought through.

Again, you can study historical data, you can run machine-learning algorithms, we will tell you what your pipeline coverage ratio is, with seasonality, which means you can actually do it by quarter. But you have to get to that level, because otherwise you may be spending too much for your expansion. You're closing those deals really easy, but it's because you're loading too much on there because you thought you needed 3X or you thought you needed more. What you probably need is more on new logo, or you need to spend at a different part of the journey, not the beginning top of funnel. All of that is really what needs to be figured out.

The other pothole is there will be data quality issues. This is the number one that comes up. People say, "We'd love to do this, but our data, we're not so sure it's that great." There's no better way to understand your data quality issues than to visualize it. We've found that most companies that go through it and just say we need to adjust these from operational approaches, or we don't actually have the right fields in our HubSpot and our Salesforce to make these things work together, but those are the sort of things we help expose and when people go through it, it's a healthy exercise. They come out of it feeling much better.

Did you hear that?

Watch out for that what Jim called the sink hole!

What are you hearing in your organization that you hear 3X aka the assumptions are better thought through.

What should your pipeline coverage really be?

Fast, hard data, to make decisions always trumps "what you think or maybe what someone else wants."

Bonsu tip, make sure you are paying attention to your data quality!

We'll get back to Jim McHugh in a few minutes but first it’s time for some...

Dope B2B Learnings From The Vault of MarketingProfs Articles

That's right, It’s time to dig into the treasure trove of valuable information and pull out two pieces of gold to help you be a better B2B marketer.

Article one this week is: You Can't Have Revenue Operations Without Revenue Marketing by Daniel Raskin

Misalignment across departments within an organization is all too common, and Marketing remains the most difficult department to connect with the rest of the business.

That's because Marketing usually focuses on lead-based or account-based metrics, whereas Sales, Finance, and Customer Success are completely revenue-driven.

The result is that Marketing is usually isolated in its tools and terminology, and in how its teams measure success.

What makes the problem especially acute is that Marketing is entirely dependent on alignment with downstream stakeholders.

Inside sales and sales teams need to act in coordination with Marketing to get any sort of results from the demand that Marketing generates, or marketing dollars spent at the top of the funnel will be wasted.

That makes Marketing and Sales alignment, and the handoffs between the teams, a principal concern of the CMO.

Enter revenue operations, or RevOps.

The innovative practice was introduced as a way to create greater visibility and alignment across the customer lifecycle by integrating marketing, sales, and customer success operations into a single RevOps team.

Article two this week is: From Demand Generation to Revenue Generation: How to Become a Revenue-Driven Marketer by Glenn Gow

The days of being grudgingly accepted as a necessary cost center are numbered for Marketing.

Today, the writing is on the wall: Either demonstrate how Marketing will contribute to the company's top-line revenue growth... or be prepared to change careers.

CMOs and VPs of marketing need to step up and take responsibility for revenue production. That means coming to the table with a revenue marketing forecast and aligning tightly with Sales to ensure the revenue goal is met.

Some companies are even assigning revenue quotas to Marketing and compensating marketing executives on meeting those quotas. Your company might be next.

Want to keep learning more? If so, check the links in the description below after the live show to get access to both amazing MarketingProfs articles.

Okay, back to Jim McHugh... Let's dive back into this conversation of B2B Revenue Marketing and Closing the Credibility Gap

Do you know what target you are trying to hit? What I mean is, do you know what Revenue marketing and a deeper level of credibility looks like? What does success look like around this topic?

Well, I wanted to know so I asked Jim, What does revenue marketing success look like?

Make sure you get your notepad ready! Here's what came to Jim's mind on this question.

Jim: I think it's the recognition that both the art and the science of marketing helped you achieve your business goals, because there are both. This science stuff, this data stuff that I'm talking about really is in justification and support of the art of marketing. A lot of the creative, the content, all of that stuff becomes so much easier to explain.

We want to be able to credibly and quantifiably show how that works, but my test of time for people is are you ready for that QBR or next board meeting at any moment? Like, "Can you be in my office in an hour? We want to prep for the QBR meeting." Are you ready? We believe you should always be ready. It's not like you need to pull out the Excel spreadsheets, run those joins, and try to do a pivot table and all of that kind of stuff. You want to be ready at all times. That's why you want a system that is set up, and that's what revenue marketing success looks like.

Did you hear that?

Are you embracing the art and the science?

Do you have data and creative working in perfect harmony?

Are you ready for the next board meeting in a moment?

Do you have dollars attached to your success.

Are your teams and their efforts credible?

As a marketing professional, are you impacting the bottom line?

These are just a couple questions you might want to ask your self to diagnose where you are vs, where you may have to journey to.

We’re going to get some words of wisdom from Jim McHugh here in a few minutes but right now it’s time to turn the spotlight on you, the MarketingProfs community. Yep, time for...

From The #MPB2B Community

We searched far and wide in the #MPB2B universe to find amazing information and conversation to bring to the masses.

So, first, make sure you are using the hashtag, and second, make sure you have fun and add value to the community.

Then, we’ll spotlight you or your crew on the show. This week, it's...

Pam Didner or @PamDidner on Twitter!

Here Tweet goes a little something like this...

25 Top #B2BMarketing Influencers, Experts and Speakers To Follow In 2023. @lanerellis @toprank

Excellent roundup including:











That's a great list of humans to pay attention to but, to see all 25 in the article, you need to check out the description and click that link to check out the post and read or learn more!

Marketing Smarts viewer, I have to ask... are you going to be next to get the spotlight?

Remember community, use the hashtag #mpb2b on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and get the light shined on your awesomeness in the next episode or a future episode of the Marketing Smarts Live show!

Pro tip, it won't hurt if you tag me into your post as well I'm @georgebthomas on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Okay, let’s kick it back to Jim McHugh and some words of wisdom around this topic of B2B Revenue Marketing and Closing the Credibility Gap.

Here is what Jim McHugh wanted to leave us with...

Jim: Have the confidence and the fortitude to challenge the old perceptions. They are perceptions in our own domain and we're going to change those, and by doing so we'll remove this folklore of marketing only focuses on things that aren't directly connected to business and we can drive a different way. Marketing of the future is scientific, it is credible. Those efforts allow us to free and get us to drive more of the creative process of marketing as well because we're going to have the support of the organization, we're going to be able to show them what we're doing. For all of you product marketers out there, which I grew up in, content marketing is where I started my life, it's just the way to go. It's such an opening. Then when marketers are all talking about the key business drivers, what is healthy pipeline coverage looking like, what is my ideal customer, and which campaigns are the most effective at the different stages of the customer journey, then we have success, then we are truly in the land of revenue marketing and laying the basis for a true RevOps world.

Have the confidence to challenge the old perceptions!

Remove the marketing folklore!

You can drive in a different direction once you get free from what has always been!

Focus on the future, focus on what Jim has shared, and of course go listen to the full episode on revenue marketing and start heading towards a true RevOps world at your organization.

Have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know, use that hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you are joining us on.

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image of George B. Thomas

George B. Thomas is a marketer, video Jedi, and HubSpot certified trainer with 25+ years of sales and marketing experience. George is owner and HubSpot Helper at georgebthomas.com. He has a record-breaking 38 HubSpot sales, marketing, service, CRM, and CMS certifications. George harnesses his expertise in graphic design, Web development, video editing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing to partner with, teach, and develop solutions for companies looking to develop their businesses and increase their revenue.

LinkedIn: George B. Thomas

Twitter: @GeorgeBThomas