Master Plans: Not Just for Evil Geniuses


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Whatever your strategy, put it in lights. Photograph by L. Marie.

What’s your marketing strategy? For direct marketing to be effective, you must define your strategy in advance. Many organizations, however, neglect this crucial step.

For example, one of our biotechnology clients excelled at marketing and selling to the third-party distributors that sold its products. The company ran top-notch campaigns to generate leads and managed those leads extremely well. But then its market shifted, and instead of selling through suppliers, the company wanted to sell directly to customers. As the firm shifted its approach, however, it didn’t pause to define its new marketing strategy. Instead, the company assumed that all of its indirect marketing knowledge and expertise would work just as well for direct marketing and sales. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. As a result, the company experienced a painful transition as it was forced to rethink its entire marketing strategy mid-campaign and on the fly.

Strategy Essential for Direct Marketing

Based on Innoveer’s extensive CRM experience, we’ve found that making your marketing program excel requires mastering these five capabilities: marketing strategy, as well as lead management, campaign management, event management and marketing measurement.

To create a more effective marketing program, almost everyone will agree about the need to consider each of the above disciplines. Except for marketing strategy. “We already have one of those,” we always hear. Perhaps. But unless you define it, are you sure that it’s the right one?

Best Practices: Marketing Strategy

Having the right marketing strategy and articulating it is step one. Step two is ensuring that you can successfully execute your strategy. To do that, we’ve identified these four best practices:

  • Profiling and targeting: Identify the key characteristics that differentiate your prospective buyers, to best match appropriate offers with customers.
  • Cross-functional alignment: Define the integration between marketing and other customer-facing functions (sharing leads with sales, feedback with developers, etc.) to maximize the effectiveness of demand-generation programs.
  • Multi-channel management: Define your strategy and schedule for executing demand-generation programs, using the appropriate marketing channel for each designated customer segment.
  • Program design: Develop the objectives and plan for a campaign or collection of campaigns for each targeted audience, using selected messaging and a call to action.

Example: Multi-Channel Management

As an example of how these best practices work in real life, take multi-channel management. Done correctly, multi-channel management—reaching each customer through the optimum channel—becomes much more than the sum of its parts, as organizations can increase their efficiency at identifying and pursuing customers using a variety of channels.

Innoveer benchmarks organizations’ marketing strategies to determine any given organization’s relative process maturity in that area—namely, whether it’s advanced, lagging, or somewhere in between. Here’s how that spectrum looks for multi-channel management:

  • Initiating: Just getting started with having multiple customer touchpoints.
  • Competitive: Interfacing with some—but not all—channels, perhaps using some outsourcing. Also defining some, but probably not all, customer segments.
  • World class: Seamlessly interfacing—across all customer-facing functions and third-party agents—with each customer via the most appropriate and comfortable channel. For example, teens on Facebook, older clients in retail stores, people with office jobs via email, direct mail to homes.

Fix Problems First

By benchmarking their current capabilities, organizations know which parts of their marketing program to improve first. And while it might seem counter-intuitive, our advice is to focus first on making your weak capabilities stronger. This approach will give you the biggest improvement in your overall marketing strategy effectiveness, and thus the biggest return on investment.

Learn More

As you plan for upcoming marketing program enhancements, know the requirements for creating more effective marketing programs.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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