When the digital marketing age is moving faster than you and your team can adapt, how do you know what needs change in order to remain competitive?
Paul Metz, Executive Vice President and Partner of C+R Research knew that their marketing strategy needed drastic updates as bigger and better projects were seemingly out of grasp. He knew they were missing critical pieces of the digital marketing puzzle that could take the firm to the next level, but wasn’t sure where to start.
Because C+R Research had earned a great reputation over its 50 year history they had survived and grown through just referrals and reputation. Yet the partners were worried; progress and growth was not where it needed to be to reach their goals. Was relying solely on referrals working anymore? Could they get better projects in new industries if they fully embraced modern marketing tactics? By not taking advantage of digital strategies were they starting to fall behind?
Paul knew there was a lot in the way of marketing that they weren’t leveraging and they were losing firm-changing contracts because of it. As one example of the lack of digital effectiveness, the website drove zero leads. Paul tried to serve as the head of marketing while serving a full load of clients and juggling other executive responsibilities. This split role was a challenge and not helping him to lead the marketing team.
The lack of overall strategy for marketing also affected the focus and morale of the marketing department itself. Job descriptions were unclear and roles were multi-faceted, often to the detriment of the department and company. Many times, the marketing pros were involved in working on client projects – pulling them away from their primary function and frustrating the team.
Furthermore, the other departments within the company did not participate in shaping the marketing strategies or priorities, so the marketing functions felt siloed and haphazard, rarely delivering what was expected of them.
Paul needed an outside perspective, what he didn’t know was hurting him! He was a researcher by trade and had assumed his oversight role in marketing. His expertise was in market research and executive leadership. Plus he was too busy to try to piece all of the different issues together, understanding what was changing in the marketplace, and how that was impacting staff performance.
All of these pieces combined were too chaotic for internal leadership. A fresh pair of eyes from a skilled advisor would better be able to diagnose what the problems were and how move the company towards a more successful set-up.
Little did he know that the solution he and Brad would uncover would not just update marketing strategies, but improve his impact as an executive and the lives of his employees as well.
Paul asked Brad if he could help C+R Research improve their marketing efforts. Brad said they needed to start with a marketing audit in order to fully understand the strengths and weaknesses that were already there and working (or not working) for the company.
The plan was to conduct a full audit of the marketing efforts and operations within the company. Brad and the Anchor Advisors team would then develop a strategic plan for progress from the audits findings. The audit would consist of an internal and external review and determine:
- What is working well
- What isn’t working
- What needed to be changed
- Where things were lacking and needed new strategies
- A plan to implement necessary changes for success
Internally, executive interviews with several members of the C+R Research team allowed Brad to get a full scope of what was happening within the company, its management, and its marketing. They were able to asses how people felt about marketing, what they understood their role to be in marketing efforts, and what could be improved from a management side.
There was also a full review of all marketing budget, materials, and plans to date. Since the department function was also a concern, a full overview of the role that the marketing department played within the company was assessed.
Externally, a competitive assessment was conducted for similar firms to determine how C&R stacked up against their competitors. What were competitors doing that C+R wasn’t? And what were the needs in the marketplace that provided big opportunity for C+R to fulfill? How could C+R differentiate itself for bigger and better contracts?
Findings showed that C+R could leverage updated marketing strategies that would alleviate the split-role burden on Paul, update team talent, improve morale and, start driving leads through digital means to the company so they no longer had to rely solely on referrals.
The audit that Brad conducted uncovered several key issues that, if fixed, would elevate the effectiveness of C+R Research’s marketing to take the firm to the next level.
He approached Paul with a plan to better streamline the marketing department’s function.
The plan contained several key elements.
- Move the marketing department away from client work, so that they were no longer splitting their time between client projects and marketing for the company.
- Staff the marketing department with full-time marketing professionals with digital experience.
- Introduce a new part-time leadership role that would alleviate Paul from marketing department oversight while staying cognizant of the size and budget of C+R Research.
- Develop lead generation marketing strategies that would drive high-quality prospects that are looking for longer and more in-depth research projects through the website and other marketing channels.
- Remove the black veil from marketing and empower all employees in the promotion of the company with internal communications efforts.
The plan is currently being acted upon and already Paul is seeing huge changes in his company.
Brad helped with the search for new marketing talent and they’ve now hired ambitious, skilled pros that are moving the company forward. Paul said, “I lean on Brad heavily for staff evaluations. I love his perspective and his happiness to serve in that role.”
His new marketing team functions at a higher rate, producing better work and finishing projects faster. They are in a position to move strong leads through the pipeline with their focused role. Additionally, the employees are happier in their roles and the part-time VP overseeing the strategy has allowed Paul to serve the company in his ideal state – as a partner and research executive.
Employees company-wide are taking more ownership of the success of C+R Research. They are the champions of the research firm and want to market their expertise to their own networks.
Plus, with new digital strategies implemented and a dedicated team, online channels have started to work for them instead of against them. Before working with Brad, leads rarely came through C+R’s website. Now, Paul is consistently getting high-quality leads from the website every single week.
Furthermore, Paul appreciates that Brad is able to provide him and his partners an outside perspective of the company that has consistently helped them improve. He said “Brad and his team really take our business to heart. He is a great business partner and has a way of coming to the partners with issues that doesn’t attack, criticize, or insult us. The manner in which Brad understood the culture and priorities was excellent.”