Updated: Feb 6, 2020
As our conversation progressed, we both came to a similar conclusion:
The enemy of marketing-driven revenue growth is inconsistency.
Although we will revisit these at the end of the blog, here are 4 ways that companies can avoid inconsistency in their marketing:
Prioritize marketing that improves the customer experience
Evaluate marketing to make revenue and growth goals the priority
Don’t stop at the first touchpoint
Require sales and marketing to work in unison
Let’s be clear: inconsistency in marketing is not the result of trying new tactics or testing new messaging. Nor is it about a change in direction that is motivated by evaluating the effectiveness of your company’s goals or feedback from your customers. These are both best practices to optimize execution.
"It is the lack of resources, expertise, strategic focus, and measurable results that lead to inconsistency in marketing."
The inconsistency in marketing that severely inhibits momentum and growth is the start-and-stop practices that many companies fall into as they mature. For most companies, it is the lack of resources, expertise, strategic focus, and measurable results that lead to inconsistency in marketing.
As a result, this problem is not unique to startups. Companies of all sizes and years of operation fall into this trap as scalability, revenue generation and customer acquisition plateau.
Why is inconsistency so dangerous?
It is commonly accepted that the best way to build an audience for your marketing content is to produce high-value content on a regular basis. Similarly, it will not take long to find a digital marketer to tell you that consistency is one of the keys to optimizing the algorithm for digital ads.
Not only will inconsistency in your marketing strategy create gaps in the execution and results of your tactics, but it will also create gaps in your ability to measure the impact of your marketing on your business.
Why does this matter?
Marketing is not a one-time interaction with a customer. It is a series of relationship building, value-adding, change-driving touch points that result in movement. Therefore, inconsistency disrupts the customer experience and stalls, or worse yet, ends the decision-making and engagement process.
No decision = No customer = No revenue.
This is true for transactional experiences where an inconsistency in marketing after the initial transaction may discourage customer engagement, repeat sales, or future referrals.
"It is a series of relationship building, value-adding, change-driving touch points that result in movement."
It is also true for long, multi-stakeholder buying cycles where marketing inconsistency can create confusion on the buying team and may open the door for your competition to creep in and draw away the buying team’s attention.
How to avoid inconsistency?
Realistically, no founder or company executive sets out to create inconsistency in their marketing and messaging. In fact, it is often the pressure to “do everything” that jeopardizes the sustainability of growth-focused marketing efforts.
For example, the company starts a blog, but other priorities make writing this blog every month less of a priority. Or the company hires an agency to help gain media coverage for the company, but is unclear about what they want the agency to achieve; so even successful placements go underutilized.
To avoid these habits companies should consider:
Prioritizing marketing that improves the customer experience You can’t and shouldn’t try to do it all. For founders and executives that have been forced to try to do it all based on need and lack of resources, this specifically applies to you.
Evaluate marketing by revenue and growth metrics Accountability is a great motivator. Linking marketing effectiveness to business objectives will increase urgency and discourage inconsistency.
Don’t stop at the first touch point When marketing’s only priority is to fill the top of the funnel, companies get stuck in a routine of turning on and off the marketing faucet to attract more people. Instead, marketing’s objectives should include the health of the entire pipeline resulting in a shift in focus from attracting more leads to gaining more customers. What follows is the need for a consistent and buyer-centric strategy.
Require sales and marketing to work in unison The key here is working together collaboratively. Marketing empowers sales by educating and motivating buyers throughout their journey. Sales must empower marketing by being consistent and using marketing tools to help buyers make the best decisions. In the end, it is not a sales or marketing win, but a customer win, and that customer is now positioned to be satisfied and become an advocate.
Changing the outcome
Don’t stop what you are doing today!
What you are doing is generating learning. It is making an impact. We are not talking about perfection, we are talking about improvement. Improvement that results in CONSISTENT and MEASURABLE growth.
Have the conversation about your revenue and growth goals and determine the sustainable strategy that you need to achieve them.
In the end, you will avoid being your own worst enemy.