You Can’t Have A Successful Marketing Strategy without These 3 Steps

If your marketing efforts are delivering a low return on investment (ROI), it may be time to cut the random marketing tactics and invest in a marketing strategy.

The pressure is on for marketing departments to contribute to revenue growth. A 2019 McKinsey study found 83% of global CEOs say that marketing could be a clear driver of growth, but that 23% of CEOs didn’t think it was delivering. And in 2023, in another McKinsey survey that tracked relationships between CEOs and CMOs, only 22% of CMOs stated their roles were well-defined and understood by their fellow executive leaders. This is down 8% since 2019.

But randomly adding new tactics to the mix is not a recipe for success.

The only way marketing can achieve business impact is through strategy – the master plan that lays out clear goals, sets priorities, allocates resources and keeps leadership aligned. So, how do you build a marketing strategy that goes beyond brand awareness to driving sales?

Start with these three steps.

Step #1: Build a strategy centered on your buyer’s journey

The buyer’s journey includes all the steps a buyer takes when purchasing a product or service. If you’ve already mapped your buyer’s journey, then you are one step ahead and ready to move to the following two steps. If not, the time you invest in this exercise will pay great dividends down the road.

Start with a cross-functional strategy session with leadership, sales, marketing, customer service and any other function that plays a role in influencing a buyer’s decision-making process. You need the perspectives of all these functions to understand the buyer and to get alignment on the goals, results tracking and strategy.

Mapping the buyer’s journey involves asking questions like:

  • How do our buyers search for information?
  • What pain points lead customers to search for a company like ours?
  • How do our customers want to interact with sales?
  • And many more.

Next, analyze each step of the journey to reveal gaps in your marketing efforts and use these insights to build a marketing strategy that moves the buyers along the decision-making process by answering questions and overcoming objections a buyer might have.

Step #2: Set marketing goals that ladder up to your business goals

Defining goals that support business results – at each stage of the journey – is vital to the success of a marketing strategy.

Traditionally, marketing has focused on metrics like total leads generated or even impressions, while the closed sales at the bottom of the funnel were only attributable to the sales team. A growth marketing strategy goes beyond just delivering leads to partnering with sales to support the close. Sharing data and success metrics with the sales team will prove marketing’s contribution to the bottom line.

Step #3: Obtain alignment across functions

Gaining alignment started at your cross-functional strategy meeting (in Step 1), but there is more work to be done.

You will need buy-in from leadership to get the resources needed to implement your strategy, so be mindful of making your case during the fiscal planning cycle. You’ll also need to show how your growth marketing strategy will be accountable for revenue in the upcoming year to help leadership get behind the resources you need.

Continue to partner and gain alignment across functions to break down the silos between marketing and sales, customer service, etc. so you can work together towards shared business goals.

Contact us at if you are looking to build a marketing strategy from scratch or if you need to refine your existing strategy.

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