Running the Fly Route – My 2016 Fractional CMO Highlight Reel

by Debra Andrews | January 9, 2017

2016 was the fastest year ever, and I intentionally planned it that way. In football terms, I called one play exactly a year ago – the Fly Route. For those of you who don’t spend much of your fall and winter Sundays listening to Troy Aikman and Joe Buck, I’ll let Wikipedia describe this risky play:

A fly route, also called a streak route or go route, is a pattern run by a receiver in American football, where the receiver runs straight upfield towards the endzone. The goal of the pattern is to outrun any defensive backs and get behind them, catching an undefended pass while running untouched for a touchdown.”

I executed the Fly Route and, with the help of many, scored a touchdown that had the Marketri team and our clients cheering. But rather than a seven-point gain, as a Fractional CMO, I helped clients reach their goals in other measurable ways. Now, I’m not one to spike the ball, but I would love to share some highlights…

Restructuring a Marketing Team

When one of our clients lost its Marketing Manager in January 2016, we recognized an opportunity to restructure the marketing department to align it better with the organization’s goal of top-line growth. We hired an Inbound Marketing Specialist to work on lead generation and a Sales Enablement Specialist to be the liaison between marketing and sales, ensuring the sales team would always have the marketing arsenal needed to close qualified opportunities. For more about this endeavor, check out Is Your Marketing Department Too Top Heavy or Bottom Heavy.

Driving Sales-Qualified Leads

High web traffic does not always translate into new, qualified opportunities. For a Marketri client, this was the case. The goal? Turn website traffic into leads and turn leads into sales-qualified opportunities. Using email marketing, website calls-to-action, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, we drove visitors and cold leads to landing pages with specific offers of relevant, timely content that would serve to engage them and leave them wanting more. 

Though a marketing automation platform, HubSpot, we created a workflow – a series of automated content offers – to nurture these contacts from cold status all the way to sales-qualified. How could we tell they were ready for a sales touch? Simple – we used lead scoring to assign numerical values to their activity. Once leads reached a certain threshold, they were deemed ready to be passed to the sales team.

Building a Marketing Stack

Marketing technology – some B2B organizations embrace it as a friend, and some consider it an expensive and scary foe. Two years ago, one of our clients considered it the latter. Fast forward to 12/31/16, and we are putting the final touches on a / Deltek Vision (ERP) integration upon which will sit a marketing automation platform, HubSpot, purchased in 2015. Our gradual evolution of mini-marketing successes has led to buy-in for the marketing technology that will be an integral part of taking our efforts to the next level. In 2017, we will be able to run attribution reports that will help us to understand the journey someone takes from the first time they visit our client’s website to the time they become a customer – basically, measuring the conversion path to see what made someone convert. Now that’s marketing at its finest!

Creating a First-Ever Marketing Plan

Some companies are successful despite never having a marketing strategy, marketing plan, or even a marketing function. This was the case for one of Marketri’s newer B2B clients. Why did they seek us out? The forward-thinking V.P. of Sales knew that the way buyers are buying has changed. They are now squarely in charge of their own purchase cycles. Once and done, push-style marketing tactics and cold calls are tired and generally ineffective. He felt his company needed to have a clear marketing roadmap that embraced modern marketing methods to better align with current trends. We delivered! And now we’re honored to serve in a Fractional CMO capacity in 2017 to push the strategic marketing plan forward. Need a plan for 2017? Check out Ten “Under the Table” Tips for Creating Your Best Ever B2B Marketing Plan to get started!

Repositioning Marketri

For those of you who have known Marketri for the past 12 years, you may have noticed a new and exciting look. We hope you also took note of our new messaging, too! Marketri has transitioned from an outsourced marketing department working with small businesses to a strategic marketing consultancy and Fractional CMO firm that partners with middle market, growth-oriented companies to generate leads and close new business. Why the change? For the past two years, we’ve tested the model of placing digitally-minded, experienced strategic marketers inside of organizations that are committed to marketing but don’t necessarily know how to get it firing on all cylinders. The results have exceeded our expectations, and we know there is an enormous demand for exceptional marketing talent who can lead, drive change, and deliver results. For those of you who don’t know us or maybe haven’t visited in a while, check us out at While you’re there, download our whitepaper to learn how we fit within the marketing firm landscape, or simply go to: Marketing Landscape Whitepaper.

Is it time for your company to run a B2B Marketing Fly Route in 2017?

We’d love to huddle up, learn about your goals, and help you soar across the end zone! If you’d like to learn more about how we work or are considering using marketing content in 2017, then we have a webinar coming up soon. It’ll cover common content formats and show you how to make content that supports great B2B marketing campaigns.

guide to structuring your marketing department