We talk a lot about the power of your Story, but as our Managing Partner & COO Bill Fasig always says,

“There are two Stories to consider. There is the Story you’re telling, and there’s the Story your customers are experiencing.”

You could easily argue that the latter is more important. You can spend all the time, money and resources on your Story, but if the Story doesn’t deliver on its brand promise at every possible customer touchpoint, there is no point.

Customer expectations have never been higher, and as marketers, we know that meeting those expectations has never been more difficult.

Everyone has heard of “digital transformation,” but how are you adapting to that transformation? How are your customers experiencing it?

As transformative marketers, we’ve had clients tell us:

  • “We launched a new social media account!”
  • “We’re running a retargeting campaign to make sure our brand follows people online.”
  • “I have the team on board to spend money on a new automation system.”

All of these are great tactics, but these efforts need to deliver an aligned experience to the overarching Brand Story. Below are 14 steps that you can take as a transformational CMO to pull away from the tactical day-to-day and help your team see the big picture:

14 Transformational Insights to Bring Simplicity, Clarity, and Alignment to Marketing Systems from Dave Sutton

  1. Use dashboards for visibility into capacity and workflows
  2. Understand your KPIs. Do they align with your strategy? Be upfront with the metrics that are going to matter and hold your team accountable to hit those.
  3. Measure for ROI on everything including processes.
  4. Establish both a database that provides visibility into marketing performance as well as processes that make it easy to capture the dated needed to measure ROI accurate.
  5. Be ruthlessly consistent that everything you budget for aligns with your strategic marketing plan.
  6. Show your finance team the research that’s led you to request budget and then prove that they can trust you.
  7. Be visible in your spending. Hold your team accountable for what they spend and always have a solid answer for “How, where, and when you spend your budget?”
  8. Set up processes that enable visibility.
  9. Measure the impact of marketing throughout the customer’s lifecycle.
  10. Generate executive-level performance reports in the “language of business” (ROI) to reinforce accountability in action.
  11. Manage your assets with a “single version of the truth.” Consider a digital asset management (DAM) tool that allows you to easily store, organize, track and repurpose your branded assets (such as photography, videos, rich graphics, 3D imagery, text documents, PowerPoint presentations) resulting in greater brand and licensing compliance and increased team productivity and efficiency.
  12. Communication between partners is key – metrics, processes, opportunities should all be communicated constantly.
  13. For your distribution partners, get in the habit of sharing data. Meet regularly to review important data points so that you can leverage your collective knowledge to understand customers better.
  14. Enable a “learn-act-learn” culture where risk-taking in the marketplace is not only tolerated but encouraged.


Creating an aligned experience is only going to get more difficult as customer demands rise and marketing channels become more prolific. We’ve outlined a few steps above that will allow you to better manage your marketing team more easily in this increasingly complex environment. With clear visibility, you can start to find the pain points in your processes, and you can address them appropriately.

It’s important to understand how to identify the common challenges that are crushing marketing operations teams and to take proactive measures to prevent the mayhem from wreaking havoc in your organization. In our recent whitepaper, you’ll learn how to diagnose and treat the 5 triggers of marketing mayhem. Download it now!