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Welcome to part three of Director of Digital Strategy, Nick Sargent’s interview about the tough marketing challenges faced by agriculture, health care, pharmaceutical and similar industries. Read on to see his thoughts on how strategic advice from industry communications experts can be a game changer.

Tapping Industry Experts for Strategic Advice

Companies in complex industries face some really challenging marketing and communications issues. Agribusinesses need to address public concern over food production and deal with stringent regulations and trade issues. Health care organizations need to tackle privacy, data security, health care reform and legislation. Higher ed is wrestling with changing student expectations and increasing competition.

The industry experts at Standing Partnership thrive in situations where they can solve complicated challenges for clients in complex industries. Our team members have built deep industry expertise working for a variety of clients and dealing with a multitude of industry-specific issues.

That’s exactly why our agriculture, health care, pharma and education clients come to us. They often don’t have the in-house expertise needed to identify vulnerabilities and navigate the potentially volatile waters that lie ahead. They need help assessing, based on where they are, what to do next to build market understanding and acceptance.

We start by getting to know each team and determining whether they have the right soft and hard skill sets in place. So, we do a lot of team structure evaluation. And, we do a lot of co-creation of the future vision of the team if that’s what’s needed.

We follow the same approach around strategy and the technology supporting our clients’ marketing and communications efforts. Sometimes we advise on positioning and messaging. Other times we focus on stakeholder engagement or corporate social responsibility. Or change management, crisis preparedness and executive coaching. We provide advice on CRM effectiveness and the best analytics for tracking communications impact and results.

Just how valuable is this strategic advice? One of our global agriculture clients recently said, “Standing Partnership counselors understand our business and programming goals and are agile in their willingness to help us.” Our support can come in the form of strategic communications planning, training and coaching. And we can be the arms and legs to help move plans forward. It really depends on the need of the client. But in all cases, tapping into communications specialists with deep knowledge about the issues a particular industry is facing can go a long way towards gaining mindshare and building trust with important stakeholders.

To learn more about the value of strategic communications advice, check out these free resources:

Nick Sargent shares his thoughts on why sales and marketing need to agree up front on lead scoring criteria to be successful. (more…)

Are you tracking the activities that really matter to your company? Or the ones that make marketing look good? (more…)

Growth marketing isn’t simply a new tool or strategy. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we drive demand – an all-encompassing way of doing business that focuses on the buyer, aligns tightly with sales, and measures each channel’s contribution to revenue.

Growth marketing allows marketers to fuel organizational growth and prove their contribution to the bottom line, by optimizing only the programs that help the organization reach its goals.

That means working with sales to understand their priorities, agree on best-fit audiences and define lead quality. It means staying involved in the buyer’s journey and staying engaged throughout the lead qualification process right through to purchase. It means arming sales with the tools they need to close deals and build long-term relationships with customers. And it’s about measuring which strategies, tactics and channels deliver the biggest return on investment.

Growth marketing still revolves around social media, digital advertising, content strategy, inbound marketing and other newer concepts, but when every touchpoint is held accountable, priorities, resources and budgets shift. High performing tactics can be optimized and underperforming ones can be eliminated, allowing investment to flow to specific components of your growth marketing strategy that has the most impact on revenue.

3 reasons you should care about growth marketing

1. Nearly 70% of CEOs think CMOs should lead revenue growth.

When marketing becomes a revenue center rather than a cost center, it secures a place at the leadership table. CEOs now expect more from their marketing team than simply identifying top of the funnel opportunities. The pressure is on to step up by driving demand and keeping customers engaged, happy and opening their wallets. You can turn marketing into a strategic asset by expanding your team’s responsibility to cover all stages of the buyer’s journey, from acquisition to expansion and retention.

2. You get more budget when you prove the ROI.

Walking into the boardroom armed with facts instead of vanity metrics and activity reports makes the leadership team sit up and listen. Growth marketing gets at the real story by testing, tracking and measuring everything – through A/B testing, attribution, analytics, optimization and more. Being able to allocate marketing spend with precision and purpose, and prove ROI rewards those who take ownership for the entire customer experience – with larger slices of the corporate budget pie.

3. Owning it earns R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Building a great working relationship with sales is no simple task, but when you do, it pays off handsomely. According to research firm SiriusDecisions, highly aligned organizations achieve 19% faster revenue growth and 15% higher profitability. Embracing growth marketing by sharing revenue responsibility with sales can transform your career, earning you promotions, salary increases, and respect throughout your organization.

To learn how Growth Marketing can help your organization, check out The Ultimate Growth Marketing Playbook or send me an e-mail: nsargent@standingpartnership.com.

You know it’s time to invest in a new website for your company. But your boss…

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On the final play, on the NFL’s biggest weekly stage – Monday Night Football – temporary referees made one of the egregious errors I’ve ever seen (Full disclosure: I’m a lifelong Packer fan).  This explains what’s being dubbed Fail Mary, if you missed it last night. (more…)

That was an epic fight, bro!

How else could you describe what went down between Viacom and DirecTV this week? Particularly when Viacom tapped JWOWW as its wingman in the corporate reputation throw down.  (more…)

As my wife and I snarked our way through the Grammys last night, I did something I almost never do during commercial breaks of live events. I looked up from my iPhone and watched.

This is what I saw: (more…)

In our first two videos of the series Ashlyn Brewer and I examined “What is Google Plus?” and “Who Should Use Google Plus?” In part three, we debate the long-term viability of the platform. (more…)