If you are a Marketing Manager reporting directly to the CEO, or to the VP of Sales and Marketing, you already know that you are under a huge pressure to demonstrate sales revenue growth.
First of all, you cannot succeed by trying to purchase media ads and then hoping that somehow the ROI will magically appear. We all know that this was true six to 12 month ago, but it really does not work any more. Here are two reasons why:
- Bigger competition will be giving you a run for your money.
- You will not be able to accurately measure the leads that came from these ads. To an organization that wants to achieve their sales numbers this is just noise and expense.
If you want to impress your VP of Sales and Marketing or your CEO, we believe that you need a proper framework. If it is not measurable it is not accountable. If it is not accountable then it is not affecting the top line revenue. If it is not affecting the top line revenue then there is zero if not negative ROI for what you are doing.
Now here is the real question that you need to ask yourself: Are you doing this just for brand awareness and not lead generation? If the answer is YES then go for it, but remember that very soon someone from the leadership team will come and ask you two questions:
- How is this affecting my top line revenue?
- Can you give me some meaningful measurements and can you prove your ROI?
You will not impress them that much if you do not know the answer to those two questions.
There are six steps to revenue growth:
- Market Research
- Corporate Strategy
- Product Strategy
- Talent Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Sales Strategy
To be able to make your number you have to make sure the six pillars are aligned properly. This is a concept called strategic alignment. What does that mean? It can more simply be described as planning the strategy for your company. We will make sure to cover all the other pillars in a different blog, but for now, we understand that you are not the CEO, you are the Marketing Manager – and you will be asked to work your magic.
Your company’s marketing department needs direction, and this comes from the marketing strategy. It must build on the insights from the external marketplace and remain aligned with the corporate strategy, while also addressing how marketing will build demand for the company’s products.
It requires choices on which market channels to invest in and which ones to forgo. One of the main goals of the marketing strategy is to set up the sales strategy for success. Best-in-class marketing leaders can produce a copy of their well-articulated marketing strategy.
But let us cover three questions first:
- What is a marketing strategy? A marketing strategy is an operating plan for a company’s marketing department.
- What does a marketing strategy do? A marketing strategy allocates resources efficiently to drive revenues.
- What does it mean to use a marketing strategy? Using a marketing strategy means the marketing department builds buyer preference for the company’s products.
Now I hope you can see that buying media this, doing SEO that, web designing this, does not really cut it any more. Start designing marketing campaigns that attract buyers to your products/solutions.
Even when campaign dollars are managed carefully, the campaigns often do not attract buyers. Either the audience isn’t well deﬁned, the wrong programs were chosen, the wrong activities were executed, or the offers were not well developed. How can you know in advance which programs, activities, and offers will work?
Complete the campaign planning phase by answering the following:
- What types of campaigns do we need to run (awareness, consideration, decision, competitive)? Or (Replacement, up-sell, cross sell, migration, new logo, nurture, renewal, etc.)?
For each of the campaigns:
- What are the objectives, budget, schedule and goals?
- You need to have proper CRM software that can measure the full outcome.
If you feel that you are using four or five different tools, this means only one thing: Whoever sold you the solution is making lots of money, and this is actually hurting your ROI story for when your VP of Sales confronts you.
- For each of the campaigns, which personas are we targeting? What content assets and market messages will compel them to respond? Do you have a content strategy in place?
One thing that you will see moving forward is that building your digital identity is long term and sustainable compared to buying your digital Identity.