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Marketing 101: Permission to Grow

Permission to Grow in marketing is driven by the mastery of your craft, the success of your programs, and your ability to align marketing to company metrics. Mastery, Success, Alignment - without all three - your passion will not be enough to carry you to elite performance.
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Premission To Grow - How Success Drives Creative Marketing

Permission to Grow in marketing is driven by the mastery of your craft, the success of your programs, and your ability to align marketing to company metrics.  Mastery, Success, Alignment – without all three – your passion will not be enough to carry you to elite performance.

Know Your Audience

Growth Marketing requires permission to grow from the stakeholders of the business.  Our experience is generally that is the chief executive officer who authorizes marketing budgets and expenditures.  But the other stakeholder is the chief financial officer and is the one most commonly overlooked.  When your organization is reporting to investors, guess who is on the call?  The CEO and CFO.  If your organization is small and the only investor is the CEO, guess what, they are the CEO and CFO.  The metrics they use to manage their business are the metrics you have to align and impact with definitive proof to build confidence in the executive team to give you permission to grow.  Consistent execution, depth of knowledge and experience, and command of company metrics are all keys to enabling marketing growth.

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Marketing Knowhow

master your craft

Today the world is littered with specialists.  While there is a great deal of value in having a great depth of experience in Google Ads or Social Media Marketing, in 95% of the businesses in the US, there will be ONE marketing person – and if that is you – specialization won’t do.  Here’s how you build Mastery of Marketing

  1. Marketing is About Customers.  Period.  Marketing is the foremost expert on customers.  Who they are.  Where they are.  What they buy. Why they buy.  How they buy.  And what they get from buying from you.  The fastest way to know your customers is to study the metrics that drive conversion and that drive abandonment.  Study what customers are doing with your services and get survey feedback on what they love and what they don’t and build from there.  Knowing your customers better than anyone else in the business establish your authority as a Master of your Craft.
  2. Marketing Technology Stack.  The world is rapidly going digital.  And the pressure to customize and personalize grows every day.  If your marketing outreach for a product is the same content, terms, verbiage, features, and benefits for all customers – you are all things to no one and everything to everyone.  The foundation of all digital marketing is the marketing database.  The marketing database (often called CRM) is the capture of information that drives customer knowledge.  But the database is also used to fulfill digital advertising, social media marketing, email marketing.  The database is the CORE of digital marketing – without it, digital marketing would not exist.  Know your tech stack, be an expert in database marketing and you can envision all the things digital marketing can do for your organization.  The marketing technologist enables you to Master Your Craft.
  3. Socialize Customer Knowledge and Marketing Results.  As the verified expert in marketing and customer behavior, your ability to influence the organization grows when people recognize your encyclopedic knowledge of how marketing performs and what various customers want.  Your role to evangelize customers and focus the organization on serving their needs shows that you are the Master of Your Craft.

Build Success Through Small Wins

If you Master Your Craft and produce no results – you are done.  In the end, marketing produces results to drive revenues and profits for organizations.  But to be able to get permission to grow you have to showcase that you can do the fundamentals.  That is the experience of success through small wins and here is how to do it:PREMISSION TO GROW

  1. Execute consistently – establish consistent, measured results in your work.  Custom adoption, customer engagement, performance metrics like Cost to Acquire Customers (CAC), or Conversion Rates (CR) or Lifetime Value (LTV) are all metrics showing customer growth and marketing success.  Be wary of clicks and impressions – neither of those can be deposited into a bank.  Focus on $ – it is what everyone is building toward – revenues and profits.
  2. Execute EVERY day.  Little things like reminder emails, weekly reporting, socializing customer success, socializing marketing performance, supporting other departments with marketing insights.  These everyday behaviors demonstrate your ability and knowledge and expertise.  It builds Trust and reliance in the organization when you are Responsive and Reliable to the needs of the organization.  
  3. Educate Your Organization.  Bragging about results will get you nowhere fast.  But educating your organization that XYZ campaign drove an increase in Product A and that forecasted demand for that Product is now increased by 35% through the next X months enables others in the business to come to you for your expertise and help them do their jobs.  Educate internal stakeholders on how marketing delivers higher service expectations, product, and service performance and how marketing impacts THEIR performance metrics, and consequently their personal financial performance, and the organization will line up out your door.

Align Marketing Metrics to Company Metrics

The single greatest failure of marketing executives is relying on the wrong metrics to report to the organization.  The single most common metric in marketing is ROI (Return on Investment).  ROI is a metric commonly used to showcase the value of marketing programs compared to doing nothing or doing something different.  ROI is about opportunity cost (back to econ 101) – what else could we have done with the funds and gotten similar or better results.  You know what – ROI is NOWHERE in the financial metrics of any organization.  Return on Assets, Return on Equity, Cash Flow, EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation & Amortization), Gross Margin Rate, Return on Capital.  All of these metrics assess the overall health of the organization.  Marketing metrics often assess the health of marketing programs and customer valuation.  Here’s how to fix that:

  1. Identify the KPI’s that drive Organizational Performance – Every organization has a set of 3-5 core metrics that take the temperature of how the business is performing.  In retail, net sales per square foot; in legal services, billable hours; in consulting, billable hours; in logistics revenue per mile; etc.  Now take those metrics and apply how marketing results impacts them directly.
    1. Campaign A drove $.75/mile in incremental revenue for the business in this period.
  2. Make the CFO Your Advocate – the CFO is the most critical person of marketing in virtually every organization. Their job is to look at alternative investments and the dollars often first cut are marketing dollars.  Why – because the metrics you shared with them DO NOT relate to the metrics they use.  Get the CFO to adopt your measurement techniques that show marketing impact on CFO and Business KPI’s and your biggest critic will see the value in the marketing efforts.

If you are seeking Permission to Grow and you have a ton of ideas and no traction, you are likely missing one, two or all three of these drives.  As a marketer, you need to socialize your brand as the expert in customers, a conservative financial forecaster and a durable, responsive and reliable delivery of solutions.  Get your work done and your seat at the table won’t feel as cold.

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