The anatomy of a sustainable marketing program

It just doesn’t add up… 

If targets get higher while resources are shrinking, we’re in a pretty tough spot, right?

But, if on top of that, our marketing activities are not sustaining, compounding and scaling, it becomes damn near impossible.

Welcome to B2B marketing for the typical company in 2023. 

On our way to this reality, we’ve been told things like:

“Marketing is all about just trying a bunch of stuff and then doing more of what works.”

As if that’s focused. As if that’s efficient. As if that can assume we’re even set up to learn the right stuff to truly make the best decisions for the business. 

And as if that can guarantee us anything more than linear growth at best. 

But here’s what typically happens even for well-intentioned marketing orgs: 

  • Let’s get going with LinkedIn organic
  • Ok, now let’s figure out ads on Facebook
  • We never nailed SEO – let’s make that happen
  • Get that podcast launched now
  • Fire up some events on top
  • More thought leadership
  • Start the community

But as we eagerly jump to layer on a new initiative, the existing ones aren’t sustaining. They might just barely be moving. 

Which leaves us stuck on the hamster wheel that we’ve come to know as the false struggle of marketing. 

Getting out of that is not easy, but there is a way: 

  1. Focus on one core opportunity at a time
  2. Build out the data model to understand that opportunity
  3. Run experiments to attack that opportunity with relentlessness

Now, when it comes to these experiments, they should map back to your growth hypothesis – the primary way you believe your business will grow.

To figure that out, you would ask questions like: 

  • How do buyers experience our core value? (Ex: Using product, talking to expert)
  • What’s our company’s DNA? (Ex: Marketing, product, sales-driven)
  • What’s our primary distribution method? (Ex: content, performance, word of mouth)

With that distribution method, we can start working our way to defining the “aha moment” you need buyers to experience. 

Now it’s starting to come together. 

Once we see if the message is connecting to the point where buyers understand our core value, we can also get a sense for the ceiling of this program. 

Which will let us know what to do next: 

  1. Optimize a program
  2. Expand a program
  3. Explore a new program 

A sustainable marketing program, that is. 

Our CEO Jay Baron talks about this almost daily it seems – we recommend this video for better understanding what you can do right now to develop your next (or maybe first) sustainable marketing program. 

None of us can afford to run marketing programs that don’t sustain for an extended period of time. It’s time for all of us to prioritize the right kind of growth.