Revenue Generation Value Chain
Discussion with Eve Chen, founder of The Growth Engine, and architect of The Revenue Generation Value Chain.
When did you develop the RVC model?
I (Eve) developed the Revenue Generation Value Chain and Maturity Framework in late 2015. It has gone through several iterations since then but the core 10 dimensions of the model have remained largely the same.
Why did you develop the model?
The model was developed in response to a gap in thinking around growth. First, many organizations were effectively trying to cut their way to growth. The problem is that while this strategy appears to work in the short term, it sacrifices long-term growth. Marketing in these organizations is often perceived as a cost center and therefore one of the first to be cut – which obviously turns out quite quickly to be detrimental to the health of the business. Lastly, there is this idea that you can throw technology at a problem and the problem will go away. Quite often, implementing technology in this way actually causes more problems than it solves. It was clear from my experience that people factors were much more important to get right up front and throughout the process of transforming revenue generation. There are 10 components or dimensions of the model, which when aligned help the organization to generate sustainable value over time.
Do you have a data set that supports the model?
Yes. Firstly, as I said the model was developed out of my experience in working with organizations both as a marketing practitioner and a consultant. Next, we wanted to make the connection between the maturity (i.e. the relative performance) of each component and business results. In 2015 I partnered with the then B2B Marketing Association Colorado Chapter and conducted a small empirical study that validated the model. In late 2019, my co-creator Ljubica Radoicic facilitated a bigger study by partnering with the B2B Marketing Leaders Forum where we put the Revenue Generation Maturity Framework to test again. We aimed to codify the relative level of sophistication and performance of each component into four levels i.e. crawl, walk, run and leap. We found that overall the effectiveness of performance in each component was correlated with business results. Perhaps most encouragingly we found that moving from crawl to walk provided an immediate and noticeable increase in overall performance. This suggested that material levels of improvement in revenue performance can be achieved in a relatively short period of time e.g. from 6-12 months. Here is the study report from the study we conducted in partnership with the B2B marketing leaders forum.
What do you see as the role of marketing for growth?
As a passionate and veteran marketer, I’ll try to be as objective as I can here! Organizations that transformed their performance didn’t do so in a vacuum. Typically a “C” level executive or someone in Marketing leadership stepped up to take the lead in getting Sales and Marketing, for example, working better together. With the changes to markets and Marketing as a result of Digital Transformation, for example, it is inevitable and to an extend unavoidable that Marketing is front and center in the flow of leads and the sales funnel. Particularly in B2B firms, it is time for Marketing to step out of the shadows and bring the external and customer-focused perspectives that organizations need, and to take a leadership role in helping the organization to transform to new ways of working around revenue generation.
You’ve begun to share the Revenue Generation Value Chain more broadly, what has the response been like?
So far, so good! Often Marketing is being called on to be more commercial, but not necessarily having the tools or past experiences to do so. I think that the model has resonated because it is so clear and practical, and can be used by Marketing to engage different parts of the business.
Did you debate whether to trademark the model?
Yes! Since I run a boutique marketing agency, I wanted to prevent the big boys from hoovering up what has been the summation of two decades of Marketing experience so far. In the end, the desire to reach more people won out. I believe that the RVC approach should become an industry standard. Of course, we already have years of experience with the model, and a roster of satisfied clients, so we believe that we’re in a great position to assist you to get the results from the model where you are now.
Could you give a high-level overview of the model?
Absolutely! Here is the latest blog article that will give leaders who are responsible for growth and revenue generation a good insight into the model and why it matters to their organizations.