Scaling Marketing: 16 Strategies to Drive Greater Growth
Marketing executives are under intense pressure to improve performance and drive greater business results.
Budgets, though, aren’t growing. In many cases now that the economic outlook is unpredictable and many are bracing for a potential recession, marketing budgets are being reduced.
By scaling your marketing, you’ll achieve more while minimizing budgetary constraints. Read on to discover strategies to scale your marketing for greater growth and market share, even on the same or a reduced budget.
Growth vs. Scaling
Growth and scaling, while often used interchangeably, are not the same thing.
Business growth involves increasing investments as you increase revenue or market share in a linear fashion. In order to expand your customer base, you spend money on technology, hiring, resources, etc. As your sales increase, your expenses also grow.
Scaling, on the other hand, focuses on building market share without increasing your resources proportionally. By leveraging technology, automation, operating models, systems, and growth strategies, you scale up your business and achieve greater market share successfully. In other words, you achieve far more, faster, with the resources you have.
16 Steps to Scaling Your Marketing
If you want to scale your marketing, there are important steps to follow as outlined below.
1. Ditch Best Practices
Best practices can only take you so far. If you simply do what your competitors are doing, your marketing activities will lead you to mediocrity in a sea of sameness.
Instead, lean on your creativity, which is the only aspect of your business that cannot be commoditized.
Focus on not only extreme creativity, but also lateral thinking and innovation. In my books Rethink Lead Generation and Rethink Your Marketing, I included more than 70 case studies collectively of companies that achieved breakthrough growth. In every case, they ignored best practices and instead took bold, new action and tested something new.
2. Rethink Your Marketing
What got you to where you are won’t get you to where you want to be.
Scaling requires thinking exponentially larger. You need to have a different mindset.
It’s not about thinking outside the box. You need a completely different box.
If you want to scale, be open to doing things in new ways. Take risks and try something new. Leave behind the old way of doing things and explore new options.
When I was at a previous agency, our main form of marketing was exhibiting at industry conferences, spending $30,000 to $50,000 each time. The problem was that there would inevitably be dozens of competitors there, as well. It took nine years for the agency to reach 85 employees (yours truly was the 85th employee).
A colleague and I decided to host intimate local events with our target audience instead. The first event led to a million dollar contract (and a six-figure contract, as well). The second event also led to a seven-figure contract. The local events quickly became the number one lead- and revenue-driver of the company. We went from 85 employees to 700 in five years. It’s the power of rethinking your marketing!
If you want to unleash growth, rethink what you’ve done in the past.
3. Lock Down the Right Marketing and Operational Models First
Trying to scale when your operations are inefficient and lacking automation or when your marketing model is unreliable is a recipe for disaster. In fact, you do NOT want to strive for scale if your business is in this type of condition to support accelerated growth operationally.
First, hone your operations. Your production should be seamless.
Same with your marketing operating system. Make sure that your marketing strategies and tactics are working like clockwork first. Refine your marketing so that it’s a well-oiled leads and revenue generator. You’ll want to expand your reach, increase traffic, drive a higher volume of leads, and close new business consistently and reliably prior to scaling.
Once your models are locked in, you can then scale far more sustainably.
4. Establish Clear Decision Filters
Decisions at many companies tend to be made randomly and opportunistically. If the business receives an unusual request by a prospective customer, you say “yes” and then figure out how to deliver on it. It’s an exciting way to conduct business, but it’s exhausting, inefficient, and prevents scaling.
Instead, lay down clear decision-making filters.
To that end, company values should act as your first-layer of decision-making filters. If the opportunity is not in alignment with your documented core values, you (and every other person at your company) give it a clear “no” and move on.
Next, decide on your top quarterly goals. Even if a shiny new object appears, cross it off your list and instead focus like crazy on your top goals. It’s through relentless focus that your team will achieve more, faster.
In the book Mighty Midsized Companies: How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers, author Robert Sher points out that “tinkering at the top” by executives is one of the most common reasons that growth stalls at midsized companies. Leaders jump on new trends and shiny new objects, repeatedly shifting the company’s strategy rather than focusing and doubling down on established goals, strategies, and roadmaps.
Stick to your core values. Stick to your goals. And focus, focus, focus.
5. Address the Needs of Each Audience Persona Per Buying Stage
Each of your audience personas has unique needs at the different stages of the customer journey.
But executing marketing that achieves this across the board can be challenging… and overwhelming.
To maximize marketing results, you should conduct marketing that speaks to each persona, addressing their specific needs at each stage of the funnel. Initiatives like email marketing, automated sequences, blogging, original research, video, and events can’t simply be slapped together.
Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing doesn’t support scaling. A targeted approach to audience segmentation does.
6. Establish Process Goals (Lead Goals)
Wtih goal setting and goal management, process goals (or “lead goals“) are more important than lag goals. This is primarily because process goals are ACTIONABLE, whereas lag goals are not.
In the book The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals, authors Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling demonstrate that your business will achieve more by focusing on process goals specifically.
This ensures that your input matches the requirements of your ultimate lag goals. Let’s say you want to increase revenue for a certain product line by $25 million (your lag goal) in the coming year. Your corresponding process goals may include:
- Publishing a new, related white paper and webinar each quarter
- Producing X number of optimized blog posts every month
- Hosting a roadshow
- Attending X number of industry events
- Increasing LinkedIn posts and engagement by 3X
- Configuring automated email sequences
- Reviewing behavioral analytics and making corresponding website adjustments every month
In order to scale, focus on the actions your marketing team will take, not the distant end result. What do you need to do each week, each month, and each quarter?
Be specific, configure a tracking and reporting system, and hold team members accountable for reaching milestones.
7. Go Digital
Few things hinder scaling more than manual processes. They’re labor-intensive and prone to human error. The more manual processes you have to manage, the slower and more difficult it will be to scale your marketing efforts.
To truly scale, go digital.
Invest in technical solutions that replace manual processes. Digital marketing tools for marketing automation, marketing work management, SEO, automated Google SERP analysis, IP detection, lead generation, social media scheduling, etc. make it easier to scale quickly and efficiently.
AI and machine learning can also be used to help you scale your marketing efforts. For example, AI-powered chatbots use natural language processing to respond to customer inquiries, freeing up personnel from handling mundane tasks. Another example is machine learning algorithms, which can be used to analyze customer data to create more effective campaigns that target individual customers with laser precision.
8. Upgrade Your Data Management
The more you grow, the more data you will produce.
Managing and capitalizing on this data across different channels and platforms is a challenge. Every campaign, web page, opt-in form, webinar, email, etc. generates a mountain of data that you must be able to analyze. In many cases, this data will sit in silos.
If you want your marketing to be scalable, install effective data management systems, as well as strategies to optimize your data. Bring together all the data and insights you have generated, in order to create a comprehensive picture of your customer’s behavior. And continually optimize your marketing activities based on the data.
9. Develop Scalable Processes and Standard Templates
Scaling your marketing is impossible without efficient processes and standardized templates in place.
Develop processes that can be replicated quickly and easily. The key is to develop systems that allow you to scale efficiently. In other words, these processes should allow you to increase your marketing output and results without requiring an equal amount of resources.
For example, you can use automation and machine learning to conduct A/B testing quickly and efficiently. Instead of manually creating and running tests, you can set up automated processes that will run the tests for you. This will save time and resources while providing valuable data insights.
If you’re looking to ramp up your content production, look to build an exclusive community from which you can tap into repeatedly for unique insights. If you’re looking to engage with your database consistently, set up behavioral triggers, segment your database, and establish automated sequences accordingly.
In addition to efficient processes, establish standardized templates for your team to use. Configure a templates library so that it’s easy for team members to find, use, and re-use templates for their many tasks. Templates ensure consistent quality, while making the entire team faster at getting tasks done.
Stratabeat increased organic traffic by 7,235.7% for a professional services company in one of the most competitive verticals in Google. See how!
10. Make it a Team Effort. Establish Clear Roles and Responsibilities.
Scaling your marketing will only happen if your entire marketing team is on board. You can’t have a disjointed effort, with some individuals performing tasks one way and others performing them in a different way. Everyone must be on the same page and have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
Define your team’s roles, establish clear goals and KPIs, and set expectations for each individual. This will help ensure that everyone is working together towards the same objectives.
Don’t forget to provide support and feedback. Make sure that team members are empowered to take action, have the resources they need, and are regularly given feedback on their performance.
11. Delegate. And Outsource.
Time is limited. To scale, learn to delegate and outsource more. According to a survey by the CMO Council and Deloitte, almost every CMO is short on time:
- 42% say that almost their entire day is consumed by meetings
- 55% want more time to dedicate to implementing new marketing strategies
- 45% use a large percentage of their time analyzing and approving marketing strategies, budgets and campaigns
Scaling marketing requires strategic thinking and decision making from the CMO and other marketing executives. To free up time, delegate and outsource as much as possible. For example, you could:
- Bring in an agency to manage various marketing activities. Specialties like SEO, copywriting, video production, web design, and paid media can be outsourced, allowing you to focus on strategic priorities while specialized experts take the wheel.
- Rely on outside specialists for targeted areas of your marketing where expertise is needed only occasionally
- Empower marketing directors or managers to take ownership of different areas of your marketing
- Hire team members in other countries so that you capitalize on different time zones, essentially working around the clock
- Hire a virtual assistant to help with administrative tasks
12. Build a Marketing Plan, Calendar, and Online Dashboards
Building a marketing plan and then putting key milestones on a marketing calendar is a great way to ensure successful scaling. A plan will help keep everyone focused on the end goal and provide clarity about what needs to be done when.
Start by setting a timeline for activities and defining measurable goals that need to be achieved. This is also a great time to review your previous campaigns and use the data from them to inform future plans.
Once you have your plan in place, create a marketing calendar. This will help keep everyone on track, moving in the same direction. It will also make it easier to identify any issues or delays so they can be addressed quickly.
Finally, set up online dashboards so that you can track performance KPIs and metrics transparently. Dashboards help to align the team and enable you to quickly assess whether you’re on the right track.
13. Use Project Management Solutions
Staying on top of all the activities required to scale your marketing can be challenging. There are many moving parts, deadlines, and people involved.
Project management solutions help you keep everything organized and ensure that tasks are being completed on time. They also provide an effective way to communicate with team members and stakeholders in multiple locations, allowing you to collaborate efficiently or share status updates seamlessly.
Popular project management solutions include Asana, Trello, Wrike, ClickUp, Basecamp, and Celoxis.
Look for a solution that is tailored to your specific needs. Some of the features to consider include timelines, task lists, collaboration tools, resource planning, project tracking, technology integrations, and reporting capabilities.
Scale Your Marketing in 2023
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14. Implement Marketing Automation Solutions
Automating various marketing activities makes scaling significantly easier. Rather than relying on humans to perform mundane, repetitive tasks, you can use marketing automation tools to do the heavy lifting. The right automation solution helps you to streamline your marketing operations and processes and free up time for other tasks.
Popular marketing automation solutions include ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, Pardot, Act-On, and Marketo.
A major benefit of marketing automation solutions is automated email marketing, as well as email personalization. In addition, these solutions enable more robust lead management. You can manage leads efficiently through automated lead scoring based on online behavior and geography.
A platform like Zapier allows you to connect apps together and automatically perform tasks within those platforms. For example, let’s say you’re using a landing page to collect email addresses from potential leads. With Zapier, you can automatically pass those leads to your CRM and then perform certain tasks with those leads, like adding them to specific email nurture sequences.
Speaking of email, you can use automation to scale your email marketing efforts. Rather than manually send out the same emails over and over, you can use an automation tool to create a workflow that triggers emails based on certain actions. This way, your leads will receive the right messages at the right time and you don’t have to lift a finger.
15. Atomize Your Content
Scaling your marketing requires producing more content. A lot more content. To scale, your content should reach more segments and more audience members more efficiently.
That’s where content atomization comes in.
SAP uses what it calls a “Digital Chop Shop” to atomize content in order to effectively reach 25+ industry verticals. As explained by Global Content Lead Ginger Shimp, the SAP team takes a base piece of content and then creates hundreds of derivative versions. For example, if they start with a whitepaper, they then modify 20% per vertical. They then produce the content in different formats. And finally, then atomize the content even further based on the specific target persona. Overall, they are able to produce 650 pieces of atomized content from a single base piece of content.
16. Test, Calibrate, and Optimize Your Marketing Campaigns
Make sure you’re testing and calibrating your campaigns regularly. This is important to ensure that your marketing is performing at its best and delivering strong results based on established metrics and KPIs.
Test different messaging. Experiment with different platforms. Try different versions of your content.
Then, measure the results to determine what works best for each channel, platform, and audience. Calibrate and recalibrate your campaigns based on performance for ongoing improvements and greater scale.
By taking the time to test and calibrate your campaigns, you can identify which strategies and tactics are successful and then double down on the winners. This will help you optimize your marketing efforts for maximum performance.