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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistThu, Sep 2, 2021 13 min read

CEOs Are Using Digital Transformation Of Marketing To Drive Revenue

Digital Transformation of Marketing

Demand Generation, Lead Generation, Sales Opportunities And Month-Over-Month Revenue Growth Require New Ideas

Hire more salespeople! It won’t work. Make more calls! It won’t work. Buy names and email everyone! It won’t work. Go to more trade shows! It won’t work. These old-school marketing and sales tactics won’t produce long-term scalable results.

If you’re struggling to drive month-over-month revenue growth for your company, it might be because your marketing is from the year 2000. Today’s marketing requires some new and more innovative digital techniques.

In 2021 and beyond, CEOs are realizing it’s time to digitally transform their marketing by matching it to how people buy products and services today.

Here’s the new CEO’s playbook for marketing transformation. There are six components required for digital marketing transformation. They are listed here, and we’ll talk briefly about each of them.

They are not optional. If you skip any of them, your marketing machine will not run properly. Skipping or shortcutting even one of these components is why many companies can’t build the marketing necessary to fuel their revenue generation.

Transforming Your Marketing Strategy

You can’t build a house without architectural drawings. You can’t bake an amazing cake without a recipe. And you can’t transform your marketing into a machine that consistently produces enough leads for you to hit your revenue goals without a strategy.

Your marketing strategy needs a few simple elements. A lot of companies have some elements, but few companies have all of the elements.

First, you need to know who you want to attract and who you want to talk to about your business. These people are typically referred to as personas.

Personas are the descriptions of these people, such as the demographics of their companies, the psychographics of the individual people and their buying habits, including their online behaviors – where they go for information, what they read and what they watch.

Next, you’ll need to make sure you know what pains, challenges and issues they deal with every day. You’ll need to make sure your products and services match up and solve their pains. When you go through this exercise, you might find that while some of your products/services solve some of their pains, other pains are not solved by your solutions.

That might be a revenue opportunity waiting for your company to take advantage of. But don’t get distracted. Focus on what you do now and on what makes you money.

The third element is differentiation. What makes you special? We like to use a different term – remarkable. What do you do that no other competitor can say? That is what truly makes your company remarkable. Without this, your marketing might struggle. It’s that important, and 90% of companies miss it.

The combination of understanding your prospects’ pains, having the right solutions to those pains and delivering those solutions in a remarkable way are the raw materials to create an emotional, compelling and engaging story for your company.

This MUST be part of your strategy. If you don’t have this, your marketing will underperform.

Finally, we have to do some math as part of your strategy. What are your goals? What are your key performance indicators (KPIs) that will show success or failure? How many leads do you need to hit your sales goals? And, this is important, what budget is needed to get you to those goals?

Businesses also frequently miss this. If you need 100 leads a month but are only generating one or two today and your plan is to invest $1,000 a month in marketing, you’re never going to get to your goals. These goals and the investment numbers have to be aligned. The bigger your goals, the bigger the investment needed to hit those goals.

Transforming Your Marketing Team

With your strategy locked down now, you have to look at who is going to execute this for you. Do you have the right internal team? Do you need to hire? Do you need an agency to help you? Do you need a few agencies? These are all viable options, but you have to decide.

Each of these options has its pluses and minuses.

In-house teams tend to have legacy thinking and not all of the expertise required to build a lead generation machine in 2021.

Hiring new people takes time, especially these days, and you should take your time. This is an important hire (or hires). Even when you do hire someone, they might have limits to their skill sets or experiences and need additional resources.

Hiring an agency solves some of these challenges. They can get started quickly. If you pick the right one, they should have all of the skill sets you need to execute, but you do relinquish some control. They can move on, you can move them on or they could fail to deliver.

Using multiple agencies is another option, but that means you have to act as the general contractor and keep everyone in sync. This also complicates your execution and introduces risk. If even one of the agencies falters, your results will be impacted negatively.

Having seen all of these configurations, the option with the least risk, the best opportunity to succeed, the more efficient use of your investment and the fastest to deploy tactics is the one agency option.

Or course this is biased, but when you pick the right agency, your strategy, tactics, campaigns and technology get deployed quickly and efficiently.

Inbound Agency Selection Checklist

Transforming Your Marketing Tactics

This is where most people spend most of their time, and it’s honestly not where most of the mistakes are made.

Almost everyone knows what tactics need to be used, and most people know how to use them. Video, email, website, search, social, paid media and account-based marketing (ABM) are just a few of the tactics available today.

The trick is knowing what to do and in what order. You can’t do everything. You can’t afford it, and you’ll never have the bandwidth to do everything. Using a prioritization methodology is the key. What’s going to have the biggest impact and take the least amount of time? That’s what you work on first.

If you start with that approach, you’ll quickly build out the most robust and efficient set of tactics for you to use.

Next, these tactics have to be tightly orchestrated. This is another place people make mistakes. These tactics don’t work independently of each other. They need to work together. When you put them together correctly, you get one plus one equals three.

Of course, there are subtle tricks we use for each of the tactics, like driving people to a dedicated landing page for paid search and paid social ads instead of sending them to your homepage.

But the secrets here lie in prioritization and orchestration.

Transforming Campaigns Into Results

Campaigns are a collection of tactics that run together for a period of time with a specific objective.

This might include launching a new piece of educational content or live webcast, and to promote that you’d use email, paid ads, social posts, info on your website, a new landing page for signups or conversion, a new website page to host the new materials, a handful of blog articles that promote a long-form piece of content and maybe even an email to current customers.

Consider this a carve-out of your overall marketing tactics focused on a specific target persona, a specific event, a specific product or service and maybe even a specific piece of content you want to promote.

By organizing your tactics into campaigns and letting them run for a set period of time with a set of key performance indicators (KPIs), you add more structure to your marketing effort and improve performance.

Additionally, campaigns typically include some campaign messaging, which would be a subset of your overall messaging and reinforce that overall company story with your specific targets, prospects or customers.

By grouping tactical execution into campaigns, you then string together the campaigns and over time tell an emotional, compelling and specific story to your prospects and customers. This is how you get results with digital marketing.      

Transforming Your Marketing Analytics

What gets measured gets done. You have to track everything when it comes to digital marketing. What used to be an art is now a science. Marketers used to say, “We’re getting our name out there.” Today they say, “We’re working toward these measurable metrics.”

There are so many metrics that go into understanding the true story around what’s working well, what’s working OK and what’s not working at all.

There is so much marketing data available that every organization needs someone who can not only report on the metrics but understand and uncover the insights buried in the data.

It’s these insights that should inform your ongoing action plans. It’s these insights that are challenging to uncover.

Without these insights on the performance of your marketing, we see many companies doing “random acts of marketing.” They’re trying different things and hoping something sticks or pops. This is not going to produce sustainable results and it’s not going to be cost-efficient.

This is also where experience becomes very important. People who have spent years looking at data, uncovering these insights and using them to drive recommendations and action plans are hard to find. But they are critical to the success of your program.

Transforming How You Use Marketing Technology

Today’s marketing execution cannot be done without some type of technology. Just like you use QuickBooks or some financial software to handle finance, you now need marketing automation software to handle your marketing execution.

HubSpot, Adobe, Salesforce and other companies all have viable marketing software to provide you with a portfolio of functionality that makes it easier and more efficient to do everything you need to do along with the analytics you need to do it efficiently and intelligently.

Under the investment category, you should be planning to invest between $1,000 and $3,000 per month on marketing software, depending on your requirements.

With your marketing transformation well underway, you’re one-third of the way to getting ready to build your revenue generation machine. Sales and customer service are next.

Marketing finds the people who are right for your products and services. Marketing gets them engaged and emotionally connected to your company, and marketing keeps the conversation going with those people until they’re ready to speak with your sales team.

Once they’re ready, sales will pick up the ball, and that’s where you should look to digitally transform next.

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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.