Ciao to the Profit Center Marketing Journey: Notes from a Trip to Italy
Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to take my first trip overseas. I visited two wonderful towns in Italy – Florence and Positano. Crowds of tourists aside, the trip exceeded my expectations in every way.
Now that I’m back into my marketing stride, I realize my travel experience is a lot like the profit center marketing journey.
If you’re stumped by how to experience aggressive growth through marketing, take a breath, buckle in, and let’s get ready for liftoff. Taking a new look at your marketing program and charting a new course toward profit could be your ticket to a celebratory bottle of fine prosecco after hitting your annual goals!
Identifying how much to spend is the first step to planning a trip. As a traveler, the budget affects your options – first class (would have been nice) vs. coach; self-guided vs. group vs. private tours; three-star vs. five-star hotels.
When building a strategic marketing program, budget will impact your potential combinations of the infinite marketing options on the table. Marketri frequently receives calls from companies interested in strategic marketing, but with little-to-no marketing budget. We consider our experience like the private-tour option, and we can’t offer that experience at the self-guided price. For us to be a worthwhile option, our clients need to have the funds for expert guidance as well as infrastructure and outreach.
A company’s marketing budget will dictate pace, length of program, tactics, effectiveness, and short- and long-term ROI. During the first year of true strategic marketing, companies should budget for 5 – 7% of revenues. In subsequent years, the percentage may decrease, but the percentage moving forward depends upon the company’s growth goals.
I waited a lifetime to travel abroad, and Italy was at the top of my bucket list. I knew very little about the country, so I didn’t dare plan the trip on my own. I needed expert advice to ensure my trip would be everything I had dreamed. Sure, I could have read some books, asked some friends for advice, and winged it. But I’m awfully glad that I didn’t.
Similarly, no company should be winging their marketing. Today, marketing has evolved into a highly complex field. CEOs who want their companies to stand out from the crowd and generate significant top-line growth must understand they need marketing plans developed by experienced strategic marketers.
Is a strategic marketing plan a significant investment? Sure. But why would anyone head into the unknown without a thoughtful roadmap?
Planes, trains, automobiles, boats, trams, buses, and bicycles. All these forms of transportation helped me to arrive faster, see more, and experience Italy from different perspectives.
Marketing is now synonymous with technology. The marriage between the two, MarTech, is infrastructure that helps companies do more in a shorter period with greater efficiency. The promise of MarTech can be as inviting as limoncello from Positano. However, we’ve seen many companies invest in the wrong MarTech for them or buy advanced MarTech platforms at the wrong time in their marketing journeys. The mismatch results in wasted resources and stunted progress. If your firm is thinking of investing in a new website, a CRM platform, or marketing automation software, you’d be wise to consult with an unbiased third-party strategic marketer. The marketer can evaluate your firm’s readiness and custom-fit your MarTech so it amplifies existing marketing efforts.
During each of my Italian adventures, including touring the wineries of San Gimignano, biking through the fields of Mugello, exploring the archeological wonder of Pompei, and boating along the Amalfi coast, private, experienced guides led the way. I experienced an abundance of history, culture, people, food and wine in 10 short days. Can you do Italy without guides? Of course, and many do. But you’ll likely need to take multiple trips over years to learn what I learned and see what I saw.
Many businesses need experienced guides too, especially those seeking aggressive growth. Many of Marketri’s clients have a sense of urgency to get to market, build brand awareness, and fill the sales pipeline with qualified leads. Having a confident fractional CMO navigating the journey is often the key to their goal achievement.
Thinking about embarking on an aggressive profit center marketing journey? Don’t just budget for a strategic marketing plan. Keep in mind that for the journey to result in true success, you’ll also need budget for the right marketing infrastructure and, if you want the most impact, a fractional CMO to guide you. Remember, the road to profit center marketing is long, and just like with a trip of a lifetime, you’d be remiss to sell yourself short at the onset. And last, don’t forget your bottle of prosecco to open as you celebrate hitting your goal!