Feel like your marketing engine needs some work? We’ve all been there.

Let’s pull it back and review the core things you need to have lined up so that you can be killing it with your marketing!

#1: Understand how marketing can drive your growth right now

When you’re getting started with marketing, it’s key to understand the role that marketing plays in driving your growth.

If you have a high-priced, complex product that you’re selling to larger B2B customers, you may drive growth mostly through outbound, reaching out directly to prospects that fit your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). If so, then marketing is there to support and enable sales. Think: campaigns to drive awareness, great sales tools and assets, thought leadership and PR.

If you have a lower-priced, simple product that you’re selling to SMBs and consumers, you may drive growth more through campaigns to drive inbound leads. If so, then marketing will be critical to generating qualified leads and automating as much of the customer acquisition process as possible. 

And if you’re really early stage, we always prefer to start with a sales-driven approach. It may not scale, but you’ll get the deep learning that comes with working directly with early customers.

We love this blog from First Round Capital that outlines the difference between sales-led and marketing-led growth. 

#2: Nail down your fundamentals (yep, again)

Sound familiar? We went over this in our recent blog, so you may have already thought through this with a sales lens.

The same applies here – you’ll want to be super dialed in to your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), the problem you solve, and the value you create by solving it.

These things are critical to building and executing effective marketing strategy – and of course, you’ll need to be aligned with sales!

#3: Market and message across the buyer journey

Are you buyers even ready to buy? They could be – but they may not be.

Too often sales and marketing effort is focused on buyers that are ready to buy – and it doesn’t feel great as a buyer if we are approached with a “buy” message but aren’t yet ready for it.

The key to designing great campaigns is understanding how buyers buy (and other buyer roles), so we can understand how to get on their radar and influence their thinking (hopefully in our favour!) with the right message and tactics at the right time.

#4: Test – but not TOO much!

We love a good test – but don’t get caught in the rabbit hole of over-testing.

Great marketing requires great campaign design – thinking through who you’re trying to reach, how you’ll engage them, and what you can offer them. And it’s common that – just like with most skills – it takes a bit of time to get it right. In marketing this is called “optimization” and refers to the tweaking and iterating we do to see if we can get a tactic to work for us.

Often, we see folks trying everything all at once. Not only is it hard to manage, but it can also limit the time and energy you have for marketing optimization.

Instead, select a small number of marketing initiatives to test, design well, measure outcomes, and review results… so you can optimize and iterate.

Check out this book that we love that’s all about gaining traction in a start-up. 

#5: Metrics matter

Okay, they matter a lot. But – in marketing they can be tricky.

The stuff that is easily measurable often doesn’t matter as much as the stuff that is hard to measure. Think: page views, number of visitors, time on page, opens – that stuff is easy peasy with a good campaign design.

But what do you really need to know?

Which prospects actually ended up buying your product? Which tactics or campaigns seemed to be correlated with purchase? What’s the pattern of buyer engagement or behaviour we can expect?

These things are more complex to understand and measure, but this is where the real insight is. Dig deep and measure all the way to revenue!

If this has you thinking: “wow, I could really use some work on my marketing!” – then check out our Growth Marketing course. Registration for Spring 2022 is now open.