Everyone wants immediate payback. Today, we live in a microwave society. We have instant access to movies. You can get same-day delivery for products you order. You can start a Facebook ad campaign today and see results tomorrow, right?
Not exactly. You might get lucky and see results immediately from a specific digital ad campaign, but more than likely you’re looking at six to eight months to start to see significant and sustainable results from any investment in marketing.
And that’s only if you do it correctly. If you make mistakes, take shortcuts, underinvest or work with inexperienced people, it’s probably going to take even longer.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take steps to make sure you see results in 30 days instead of months or even years.
Here are six ways we’ve seen companies get results in very short time frames.
Whether you have an in-house team or an agency team working on your marketing, you know that when people work on one project at a time, tremendous efficiencies are delivered.
However, that’s not what happens. Most internal marketing teams are working on many different initiatives at a time. Not all of them are aligned with producing results. They might be supporting an upcoming trade show, then helping with a sales presentation and finally launching a monthly email campaign.
When you hire an agency to help you with your marketing, most agencies use fractional teams to support your company. This means your account team might be working on eight, nine, 10 or even more clients at a time.
They’re hopping around from one client to another during the day, and this is highly inefficient. A study by the American Psychological Association (APA), for example, cites a study that found switching between different tasks can cause a 40% loss in productivity.
Neither our in-house scenario nor our agency scenario is designed correctly if speed to results is what you’re looking for.
Instead, consider finding a way to assign a dedicated team of enough people to simultaneously execute everything you need to start generating results. If you can’t hire a dedicated team in-house, consider using an agency with a dedicated team model.
If they provide this type of engagement, they should be able to assign a growth consultant, copywriter, editor, designer, developer, project manager and technical marketing operations (MOPs) person all assigned and working on just your company all day, every day until your program is up and running – producing results in a big way.
This crew would huddle with you in the morning, provide work for your approval during the day, set expectations around turnaround so they can keep moving quickly and huddle at the end of the day to review progress. This rhythm allows a dedicated team to get six months of work done in just 30 days.
It means that your campaigns and tactics will be launching in month two and producing results in month two, instead of waiting six to eight months or even longer in some situations. It’s a sure-fire way to accelerate your results.
Getting results faster isn’t always about the team. While that never hurts, some companies with lagging results suffer from a diluted, vanilla or “me-too” story or message.
If you want to know if your story is weak, there’s one way to find out: Head on over to your homepage. What does the headline say?
Now go to the homepages of your top three competitors. Does your homepage headline say anything different than theirs? Is your story remarkable? Would it get a prospect to stop and say, "WOW, this company sounds different"?
If it’s not, you can be sure that your reps are telling the same weak story. Your distributors are telling the same weak story. Your team members are telling the same weak story. And that story is included in all of your marketing tactics.
Look around you – many of the most remarkable growth stories have all been executed with a highly effective and remarkable story, not with massive ad budgets.
The better your story, the faster your company will grow and the better your marketing will work, but without that emotional, compelling and remarkable story, you’ll be stuck in the mud for sure.
Another way to get results ramped up is to pay to have them ramp up. In all honesty folks, almost everyone underestimates what’s needed financially to produce results.
This is a complex situation, so let’s break it down a little bit more.
First, there is a direct correlation between the results you seek and the investment required to deliver those results. If you need or expect massive results in a short time frame, then you need an equally massive investment to fund that effort.
We can tell you exactly how aligned your investment or budget is with the expected results easily. If you’d like to have that conversation with us, just click here – we do it frequently for prospects.
Next, some agencies charge modest monthly retainers that make sense for your budget and planning purposes but might not align with your expectations around results.
The monthly retainer is a cap on the work they can do. They only plan on doing enough work to hit your stated monthly budget, no more. So accordingly, the results and speed are also capped by your monthly budget.
Take the cap off your budget, and you should see better results in less time. Better yet, front-load your budget and do three or four times the work at three or four times the budget in the first month. This will also turbocharge your results.
Keep in mind that this accelerated budget needs to align with the team and their availability. If you’re doing four times the work in the first month, your team needs to have that capacity to expedite delivery for you.
If that’s what you’re considering, ask any potential agency partner how many accounts your team currently supports. If the number is already high, they won’t be able to support your accelerated timetable and budget. The agency might tell you they can, but they won’t be able to maintain that pace for more than a few days.
Consider asking more questions to uncover their full capacity and actual capabilities. Here’s a document that goes into detail on questions to ask your agency before you hire them.
A lot of people look at marketing as a series of tactics – let’s do some PR, then let’s do some email marketing campaigns, then let’s work on our website, then we should do some social media posts and then we’ll try some social media or Google Ads advertising.
The results are almost always less than expected. That’s because you can’t hop from tactic to tactic. You have to do ALL of the tactics at once.
Yes, this is very complex. Yes, this takes strategy and planning. Yes, all of the tactics have to be connected and include the same story. Yes, the tactics have to be targeted and personalized by audience. Yes, they have to be all running at the same time.
This is called orchestration, just like the single instruments in a great symphony orchestra ALL have to play at a high level for the music to sound amazing. If even one violinist is off, the performance will suffer.
Marketing and sales execution work in a similar way.
All of your marketing tactics, like the website, content, video, email, social, ads, search and your events, must be orchestrated. Then your sales effort has to continue the experience with an equally orchestrated effort.
Sales has to know what website pages or campaign assets their prospects viewed and what context caused them to reach out and ask to speak with a rep. The rep then needs to continue the educational experience until the prospect signs and becomes a customer.
Tools help make managing the complexity easier. Tools like HubSpot that span marketing and sales also make it easier.
But the key is to think out your campaigns and make sure you’re using all of the appropriate channels to get your message out, attract people to your website, continue to educate them once they’re on the site, and eventually encourage them to convert and schedule a time to speak with sales.
Few companies view marketing and sales as processes that need to be optimized. The process of optimization requires your marketing team to experiment based on a theory or hypothesis.
Here’s an easy example: My email open rate is 20%, but I think that can be higher if we change our subject line to one that is personalized. I think we can get the open rate to 30% if we make this one change.
The team then makes the change, runs the experiment and after the next email is sent, they report back on the results. Experiments like this can be and should be executed across the entire marketing and sales areas of the business.
Here’s an example for sales: The close rate on deals in the final stage of closing, when you present your final solution, is 35%. If you gave 100 presentations, you would win the business 35 times.
Your hypothesis is that if you change the presentation to make it more about the prospect and less about your company, you think you can improve that open rate to 50%.
You make the change, track it for a few months and then review the results.
In both cases, your team would learn something highly valuable that is then applied across the board. Even when the experiment doesn’t support the hypothesis, you still learn something – you learn what NOT to do again.
If personalization didn’t produce the desired results, you don’t have to worry about it. Move on to other improvements that might help. If the changes to the sales presentation don’t improve the close rate, move on to other experiments that could work.
This process of ongoing optimization and ongoing experimentation is critical to producing results and should be part of a marketing operations or revenue operations team effort inside your company or through your agency.
One more area worth discussing is expertise. It’s possible that your internal resource, internal marketing team or agency just isn’t equipped to handle what needs to be done today.
Generating results is now a highly technical, complex and orchestrated effort. It’s possible you’ve outgrown your existing team and they need help.
There are a couple of ways to attack this situation. Of course, you can hire up. You can add people with the right set of skills and experiences to supplement your existing team or people.
Another option is to replace your existing team with new people in an attempt to upgrade your in-house expertise and skills.
Both of these hiring plans will take time and require additional investment. Even when you finish hiring, you’ll still have some onboarding and ramp-up time until the new people get settled and start contributing.
Another option is to supplement your existing team with outside resources. These can fill gaps in the experience and skills that your current people are missing or could potentially allow you to outsource the entire effort to people who have done exactly this before for other companies like yours.
All of these enhancements fly in the face of what most people will tell you when it comes to marketing, which is that you have to be patient. Good marketing takes time, and while that’s true, it doesn’t have to mean elongated timelines before you see results.
What it does mean is asking the right questions, getting the right team in place, and finding the necessary set of experiences and skills to get your company going. It does mean trying something different if what you’ve been doing isn’t working. It does mean making sure your investment is aligned with expectations and then letting the fast-moving, expert team with proven processes go and go quickly.
The result will be more leads, more sales opportunities and more consistent revenue growth for your company.