You want to get more customers. That's a no-brainer. But how can you attract more revenue without increasing the cost per lead? It's an issue many CMO's struggle with.
In many companies, the reality is a high monthly or even weekly pressure on sales whilst CMO’s rather focus on a 6-12 months time span. The classic balance between the short and the long term. In addition, they want to invest at least a part of their budget in their brand and organic growth rather than bring more money to Google and Facebook.
How to break through this gridlock and start building your brand? How to move from performance to something that we call ‘brandformance’?
There’s been written a lot about this topic in books by Byron Sharp, Les Binet & Peter Field and this article by Tom Roach. They state that you need to invest in your brand (60%) and thus the long term or at least find an equilibrium between the short & long term.
One quote of Peter Drucker on this I especially like; “Long-term results can’t be achieved by piling short-term results on short-term results”
So, now you have this background and it’s time to put it into practice.
In my experience it’s about getting the story straight, creating some room to maneuver, and just start small and use tools to prove you’re on the right track.
Create a clear understanding that achieving your marketing goals will make sure that the company will achieve its business goals.
This will create evidence for the CFO and CEO that the marketing euros are spent wisely and will drive the attention more in the long term. Your goals, acquiring more customers and improving the customer lifetime value in an efficient way (read: less money), should be easy to align with the business strategy. If not, then they’re not in it for the long run.
We have developed a simple, real-time Share of Search dashboard in order to prove and predict brand awareness. This could also be used to prove that competition is investing more brand marketing euros and is gaining share.
Since we’re talking about the mid-term, the new strategic approach will not have an effect overnight but in 3-6 months. But, in my experience, I used a couple of ways to create some space. Of course, in consultation with the CFO/ CEO.
a. Share your plan and be realistic on the timelines when it will have an impact. The effect of branding will take some time. However, re-aligning your paid campaigns to the strategy should show results in weeks rather than months.
b. ‘Lock’ the Cost per Order or Lead at a certain level and assign every improvement to the brand investment bucket. I worked for a high-volume sales company and every saved dime made a big difference that after a couple of months could be invested in higher up in the funnel.
c. Agree on a percentage of the total revenue that could be used for marketing. Play the game of revenue management (A/ B tests with pricing, packages, or other ways of upsell) and every plus is for the brand.
Don't forget to create more and more room by telling the team’s successes!
Use the ‘start small, dream big’ approach. Luckily there’s an abundance of tools to prove you’re on the right track and can easily be aligned with your metrics.
Look at the full funnel, campaigns, and website/ app, and start with some small tests. E.g. analyze which customers have a high customer lifetime value and build acquisition campaigns on that. As a bonus, try to automate something every week, so you and your marketers can use their brains more often than their hands and steer more strategically.
All these bits and pieces are proof of your marketing vision and can be scaled.
In addition, once you’ve invested some marketing budget in branding and SEO, also here you could use Elevator’s Share of Search dashboard.
CMO’s can break out of the short-term focused gridlock and start building on growth that can drive short- and long-term business performance. Create a solid story in line with the business strategy, create some room to maneuver, and start small with clear metrics to prove you’re on the right track.
Would you like to have a Share of Search analysis to prove your story?
Feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
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