Marketing Strategy & Planning

Efficient Guide was hired to take on a major challenge at an important business within a $2.3 billion global corporation. The customer loyalty division for the Americas' business had been suffering for several years. Accordingly, leaders sought positive changes to the business several times, taking the business from a fulfillment- and custom-coded proprietary platform model to a creative agency, a business consultancy, and finally, a SaaS-centric model - in the space of ~7 years.

While the latter general direction was set, everything beneath that general direction was yet to be done. The marketing practice had a history of measuring itself against deliverables (produced outputs). Any gathered leads were unqualified and thrown "over the wall" to the sales team in the form of huge lists in spreadsheets - and predictably, the salespeople ignored them. 

To pivot the practice to effectiveness, we decided to measure marketing’s effectiveness in terms of qualified opportunities delivered.

First, we articulated a new process and documentation for how to qualify and process inbound leads, to ensure fit based on commonly agreed upon standards set between the sales and marketing teams.

Then we started to create a flow of new leads. Initially, not even the corporate website’s contact us form was “wired up” to any response system, so this was established immediately. From that simple change forward, we rapidly established systems and practices to power a reasonably robust lead-gen and lead nurturing capability. These initiatives leveraged the latest thinking in digital marketing. Fundamentally, the process included:

  • Targeting the right audience(s)
  • Identifying specific audience members using external data sources and feeding their structured data into the company's Salesforce database 
  • Developing messaging and robust media and content designed to resonate with all audiences, speaking directly to their needs and concerns
  • Giving them this valuable content in exchange for a commitment to ongoing communication and/or deeper engagement
  • Outbound – Distributing content to digital channels and destinations where buyers congregate
  • Inbound – Driving additional traffic with smart tactics (more on these below)
  • Destinations – Create landing pages to house content and manage lead gen by persona

Traffic was generated to destinations through paid search (including retargeting), SEO, programmatic media buying and selling, and paid/owned social media (Linkedin, etc.). 

Were we successful?
As a result of the above efforts and subsequent results, Marketing increasingly was seen as a “fixed” practice area by leaders by 2017, as the company had seen increased marketing-delivered opportunities - from 62 in 2015 to 97 in 2016, and up to 120+ in 2017. This was significant given the perception of relatively “fixed” nature of demand in the space and high degree of visibility the brand believed it already had with potential buyers.

Chris is a results-oriented individual who embodies the perfect balance of skills to be an effective marketing leader. Chris definitely knows how to drive results forward using effective marketing strategies. From content development to digital marketing campaigns, his experience shows through every day. His leadership style is balanced between big-picture strategy and also the day-to-day details that are sometimes equally important. I appreciated his mentoring and guiding, as well as encouraging new thoughts and ideas. That’s what makes Chris a good leader, in my opinion.
— Amy Stephan, Sales and Marketing Specialist