In the late 90’s I was drawn to marketing because I loved the creative process behind marketing campaigns and then the execution of said campaigns. I would quickly become bored if I had to repeat campaigns and so I would look for people to sluff the work off to so I could explore new ideas and campaigns.
My methodology worked well for me. The companies I worked for seemed happy. There were two problems with my approach, though. First, even though I enjoyed the fast pace – it was a ton of work. Second, my process wasn’t repeatable.
After 15 years of hands-on marketing, I now focus on helping small and medium sized businesses grow through marketing. My interaction with many different companies has forced me to reconsider *my* marketing strategy and develop a method that will benefit almost any business. To help devise a marketing framework, I looked to marketing’s brother – sales.
Hopefully, the idea of a sales process or methodology isn’t new to business owners. I’m not going to explore sales processes here as there are a lot out there, rather, for those of you who have implemented a sales process, if done right, you’ll be glad you did.
When a business adopts a process it makes a company more independent of its staff, it provides consistency and can continually improve because there is a basis to how sales are done.
A company without a sales process will almost never do as well as a mature sales team because each salesperson is left to decide for themselves how to sell.
It’s funny how you can’t get a degree in sales, but you can get a degree in marketing. Yet when it comes to marketing so much process is ignored because people believe it comes down to campaign planning and execution.
Just like adopting a sales methodology will ultimately grow a business, so will adopting a marketing methodology. There are many advantages to using a marketing framework over RAM (Random Acts of Marketing). Benefits include:
- Applying constant pressure and a consistent message over a given period. Marketing requires repetition. Slapping together a campaign for a product launch by updating your website and writing a press release isn’t going to cut it. A marketing framework will generate a return on your marketing budget.
- A marketing framework is owned by a company. This contrasts to a company without a framework where typically a marketing “plan” is owned by your marketing person. Should the marketing person leave, so does your marketing “plan”.
- A marketing framework enables continuous improvement. By monitoring specific metrics and key performance indicators, marketing professionals continually strive to improve on benchmarks. For example, increase website conversions, reduce the cost per lead, refine the definition of a sales qualified lead and more.
- Marketing becomes internally predictable in two ways. One, business owners and executives can create more accurate business forecasts knowing what marketing can deliver. Two, other departments within a company become more efficient because the marketing process is understood. In particular, the sales department becomes significantly more productive.
Getting started with a marketing framework
There are numerous marketing frameworks in existence today. Just perform an online search for “marketing framework” and you’ll see a selection to choose from.
I have created my own hybrid marketing framework based on my years of hands-on experience and other marketing methodologies. I’ve tested my framework with numerous companies and have refined it. Here is what is looks like at a high level:
- Strategy and planning: I understand the products, create marketing goals, define a sales qualified lead, develop a 12-month marketing calendar to meet the goals, and I calculate my budget.
- Infrastructure: I make sure there is infrastructure in place to manage the marketing process. This includes a “proper” website structure, marketing automation, lead distribution process and key metric tracking.
- Campaign execution: I split this into three categories; branding & awareness, lead generation, and retention.
- Measurement and tracking: I closely monitor both marketing goals as well as specific campaign performance. This ensures the marketing activities are growing a business and not just busy-work.
Companies who adopt this marketing framework when one does not already exist can grow their company. Owners who once cringed when marketing asked for money, now see marketing as a very strategic part of their business.
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