I’ve been marketing in one capacity or another, for my own companies and my clients, for a quarter of a century (gulp!). In that time, I’ve hired many marketers and worked with many agencies and freelancers. What I’ve determined – and you are free to disagree – is that there are 4 pillars around which anyone builds an effective marketing organization. The four pillars of an effective marketing organization are strategy, content, technology, and analytics.
What are your goals and how will you reach them? I could stop there, but we’re talking about an organization, which means people. Someone has to lead in creating the strategy, including the brand (that’s a discussion for another post). That person needs to see the big picture, create the goals, and break them down into manageable little pieces to be conquered daily. What this role actually looks like on a daily basis will vary greatly from organization to organization. However, having 3-5 goals per quarter broken down into hundreds of tasks is a pretty common approach. And the goals will change. Count on that.
No matter what your goals or your strategy, you will have to produce some form of content. It could be an advertisement, a blog post, a video, a podcast, an infographic, or many social posts. Most likely, it will be many of one or more of these, and other forms of content. Think of it this way: every word that is released from your organization is content. Every tweet, link, picture, image, graphic, video, sound byte…everything is content. Your message reaches your audience in some form. That “form” is your content. Who will create it?
Today, marketing is digital marketing. There’s no difference between the two. And in digital marketing, there are literally thousands of tools from which to choose. Someone has to choose these tools. Someone has to implement them, and someone has to utilize them. The other way to think about this piece of the puzzle is by asking, “what is our marketing stack?” What tools do you use and how do they align with your brand, strategy, and content?
Whatever is measured will improve. If you don’t measure it, you cannot improve it. In simple terms, your analytics determine which of your tactics that support your strategy are working, and which are not. Are your posts creating engagement, clicks, and visits? Are your white papers generating leads? Does your website act as an actual lead funnel? The only way to know any of these answers is to measure your results from start to finish. Google Analytics is free. Every social media channel has some sort of analytics tool. Every landing page software has analytics (or connects to Google Analytics), and there are hundreds of other, more specific analytics tools out there to measure everything you do.
The 4 Pillars Stand on a Foundation
That foundation must be your brand. Have you defined your brand intentionally, like Mindspring, Atlanta Tech Village, or Mailchimp? Do some research and you’ll see that each of these organizations very intentionally defined their brand before they opened their doors for business. What do you think?