4 Reasons Why Strategy Must Drive Tactics

Posted Posted in Marketing Best Practices, Strategy

You’ve sent out dozens of email blasts. You’ve allocated an impressive budget for PPC advertising. You’re blogging. But you’re not seeing the results that you expected! BUT WHY?!!!!

We see this a lot. Organizations study marketing, they learn the latest techniques. They spend countless thousands of dollars towards marketing activities, but somehow never get the type of results that they read about on marketing blogs.

The problem isn’t a lack of enthusiasm. It’s not even necessarily that their tactics aren’t executed properly. In most cases where we see this, we observe that there is no real strategy. No systematic, strategic approach to creating a lead generation engine to feed leads to sales/

This is one of several reasons, we see, that strategy must drive tactics. Here are our top 5:


  • Inconsistent Effort – Without a cogent strategy with clearly illuminated goals, deadlines and a calendar to drive the strategy, marketing tactics tend to be scattershot and inconsistent. You have to have a strategy that contains a editorial calendar spelling out the deadline for campaigns and content generation. Having a calendar instills a discipline on an organization to work hard and focus to meet deadlines. In marketing, the formula is simple: Consistent, smart effort = Consistent results.
  • A Lack of Clarity Around how Discrete Marketing Activities  Should Work Together – Blogs, videos, podcasts, PPC ads, blogging, calls-to-action should all work together to draw in website visitors and convert them into prospects and leads. All the pieces must work together to produce meaningful results.
  • Marketing Activities are not Focused Around the Buyers’ Journey – All marketing strategy and tactics should be built around your targeted buyer personae. Marketing workflows and nurture campaigns should be married to the buyers’ journey. From the top of the funnel (general awareness) down to the bottom of the funnel (closing time.) Most people buy on emotion and then substantiate their decision based on facts. For this reason, top of the funnel offers should appeal to the emotions related to their pain. Bottom of the funnel offers should assure prospects that they have arrived at the right decision, so case studies can work well.
  • A Lack of Visibility into ROI – Strategy should be tied to campaigns, and campaigns should be tracked to ensure a positive Return on (Marketing) investment. If the strategy is off, campaigns will be off and it will be difficult to establish an ROI. To track the ROI, its critically important to track all expenses related to campaigns as well as tracking all marketing-generated leads through to closing. Whenever possible, accurate revenue data is helpful as it will ensure a clear ROI picture.

In the absence of a clear strategy, marketing execution can look like the embodiment of “fire, ready, aim.” It’s important to maintain a clear cogent strategy and have that strategy inform all marketing campaigns and tactics. If you’d like to learn more about developing a marketing strategy, let’s talk.


Future Proof Your Marketing

Future-Proof Your Marketing

Posted Posted in Marketing Automation, Marketing Best Practices, Marketing Trends, Strategy, Uncategorized

There has been a great deal of buzz lately about “Future-Proofing Your Marketing.” The articles have fallen somewhere in a range between unhelpful and “intriguing.” The reason these articles have been largely unhelpful is because they have: A) Lacked any meaningful insight on what the future of marketing of will be. B) Lacked any type of actionable steps to prepare to “future proof” your marketing

So why have these articles been, by-and-largely, so unhelpful? How can you provide advice on how to future-proof against future threats most lack the vision on what the future will hold?

Artificial Intelligence

The future of marketing will be all about predicting and influencing consumer behavior via Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI will be used for predictive analytics. Being able to anticipate consumers’ behaviors will separate successful brands from dinosaurs. Some companies are doing this very successfully, Target comes to mind. They were on the bleeding edge of this trend more than 6 years ago, and the anecdote of their success became stuff of legend when they predicted a pregnancy. Having the ability to predict behavior will enable you to tailor offers to shape consumer behavior and choice.


Imagine having the ability to create real-time, on-demand user driven content that provided searchers and consumers with EXACTLY the content an information they are seeking. Today, creating content is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that requires content creators to come up with content ideas, conduct research, create the content, edit and optimize the content, publish the content, promote the content. Imagine if AI and marketing automation could do all of it providing exactly what the user wants…that’s the future of marketing.

Omnipresent Marketing

As wearable and smart devices become more and more intelligent and integrated with consumers, they will provide an invaluable way for companies to track, monitor and even shape consumer behavior. Knowing an incredibly personal information about a person’s behavior will enable marketers with access unprecedented insights into buyer behavior and new and unprecedented ways to communicate with and influence consumers.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Imagine test driving a car from the comfort of your home. Not just a tour of the vehicle, but interacting with it. You drive, steer and control the car and car reacts as it really would if you were driving it. That’s the potential of Augmented and Virtual Reality. You will be able to interact with brands and products in as-to-now unimagined way.

So How Do You “Future Proof” Your Marketing?

Know Your Market

To stay ahead of your competitors, you need to know your market better than they do. Studying your customers and prospects and learning and knowing everything you can about their end-customers will keep you in the driver’s seat.

Collect Data

If you’re not already doing so, you’ll want to begin collecting as much data as you can. Sales data, and client behavior, product preferences, etc. You should also start collecting and analyzing website data. In the short-term you will learn new insights about your customers and prospects’ behaviors. In the long-term, with enough data and the right AI technology, you’ll be able to predict their behavior and the content that will draw them to you.

Embrace Technology

The use of marketing automation can improve your ability to outpace your competition. Used correctly, marketing automation allows you to test different approaches and tactics to determine which ones work best.  The use of CRM systems will allow you to track client transactions, track client preferences and help grow your business.

No one knows precisely what the future will bring, betting closer to your clients and better understanding of their pains, preferences and buying habits will always pay dividends. We’d love to hear from you! What are your ideas of what the future of marketing might look like and how you plan to future-proof your marketing.



5 Signs You're Not Getting Your Money's Worth

5 Signs That Your Marketing Agency Isn’t Giving You Your Money’s Worth

Posted Posted in Marketing Best Practices

If you use a marketing agency, you already know that there are times when you really wonder if you are really getting what you’re paid for.  There are a few things that you should be looking out for that may be signs that you’re not getting your money’s worth.

  1. A Lack of Visibility – If you don’t know what your agency is actively working on; and you’re not routinely receiving status updates; there’s a chance you’re not getting a strong, consistent effort from your agency. A weekly update that tells you what’s been completed the previous week, what’s being worked on this week, as well as a list of outstanding issues and deliverables can be an incredibly powerful tool.
  2. Inconsistent metrics – One trick that a lot of agencies love to play is to report only the metrics that make them look good for a particular month. For example, if last month your agency was highlighting HUGE gains in marketing qualified leads, and this month you don’t see that metric anywhere on your reports, there’s a good bet that it’s because those numbers don’t look good. One thing to look for is for the inclusion of seemingly inconsequential metrics to the report. For example, if your agency includes Twitter follower gains, when that metric has never been mentioned or a focus there’s probably a reason why it’s being included.
  3. Constantly Sliding Deliverable Dates – There are a lot of reasons that projects are delayed. Some are legitimate. For example, if you are slow to turnaround requests to your agency, that can adversely affect deliverable dates. But if you don’t owe your agency approvals or deliverables and you keep seeing project timelines stall out, it might be time for some tough love.
  4. Lack of Results – If you’re a year into your engagement and you can’t point to clear gains in important metrics, it may be time to revisit your relationship with your agency. If you can’t identify solid gains that are attributable to your agency’s work, (e.g. revenue, website traffic, marketing/sales qualified leads, pipeline values leads), you aren’t getting your money’s worth.
  5. Constant Up-Selling or Change Scope – Changes of scope happen from time-to-time. Needs change, requirements change, priorities change. If you do request changes from your agency, a change-of-scope is a reasonable expectation on your agency’s part. But if you are receiving change of scope requests for changes you (or any on your team) requested than you should push back. But if your marketing agency is asking you to get out your checkbook before you’ve seen any results from the initial campaign, you should probably push back.

Are you getting your money’s worth? Can you prove a positive ROI? If the answer is no, or you’re unsure, we can help. Let’s talk!