Five mantras to turn marketing into your superpower

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Matt Gryll Manager, Advisory, Private Company Services, PwC US

What if I told you the secret to driving new business, improving your bottom-line and attracting top talent could all be achieved in the same department? I’m not talking about sales, finance or human resources. I’m talking about marketing.

Marketing is your tool that can do it all. It defines your brand, and when executed effectively, it can increase customer referrals, purchases and loyalty. That’s a superpower worth strengthening. The trouble is, with our ever-changing marketing landscape, it can be challenging for even the most savvy and seasoned chief marketing officers to navigate. What is the best use of budget? How can we get the most out of employees, agencies, and technologies to accomplish our goals?

PwC’s Private Companies Services team is designed to solve these marketing problems and more. Meet our five marketing mantras for every meeting, offsite, and brainstorming session:

1. Your business objectives are your North Star

Many companies are faced with one or more of the following challenges: Expanding into key markets, increasing order size, launching a new product or service and setting up for a potential exit. These are all critical business objectives, and impactful marketing could make the difference between success and failure.

To properly align with these key objectives, marketing should be included in planning meetings, just like finance and sales. After your business objectives are decided, define your marketing goals and design strategic programs in the context of the overall business goals. With proper planning and execution, marketing can play a key role in elevating your brand and growing the business. When every marketing effort is focused on the company’s North Star, every department benefits.

2. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage It

Now that you have your North Star to guide you, you need a way to remain accountable. It’s time to establish metrics that marry marketing activities to business objectives. An alarming 64% of private company CEOs polled in our PwC Trendsetter Barometer survey that said they were dissatisfied with their marketing are unable to measure its impact. It doesn’t need to be this way.

For example, marketing is known to be a useful tool to increase quality leads when a company enters new territories. Imagine your sales and marketing teams together define a target number of quality leads based on desired revenue and typical close rates. Establishing tangible goals directly supports the new market entry strategy and now the sales team is not the only group working hard to hit a number. You can also implement indicators that are more tactical in nature. Shorter term metrics can help gauge whether or not to adjust a campaign mid-flight.

In PwC’s recent work, we developed ROI models for a food manufacturer that utilized first and third party data. The client was able to spot low ROI tactics and quickly flow resources toward the tactics that best delivered against the campaign objectives.

3. Be nimble

With rapid innovation in marketing technology, such as automation platforms and attribution models, marketers can now witness results in real-time. Whether your marketing team is running digital advertisements, testing landing page treatments, or generating gated content, it must stay nimble to spot moment-to-moment peak performance and opportunities for improvement. Can you tweak the tactic? Can you evolve the messaging or target a new audience? Test and improve. Then test and improve, again and again.

4. Keep the customer experience top of mind

If you try to be everything to everyone, you will be nothing to no one. Successful businesses take the time to get to know their customers -- the first step in understanding the experience you want to deliver. Yet, according to PwC’s Trendsetter Survey, 33% of marketers at small and medium size businesses say their organization’s biggest challenge with marketing programs is creating customer insight to drive decision making.

This becomes even more alarming when you consider the following impacts from PwC’s Global Consumer Survey:

  • Among everyone polled, 73% point to brand experience as the most important factor in their purchasing decisions, behind price and product quality
  • Customers are willing to pay more for the experiences that matter most to them

We know this willingness to pay for a quality experience holds across a range of services and offerings:

The price premium of good customer experience

And that customers abandon brands that don’t deliver a pleasing experience:

When do customers stop interacting with a brand they love?

Successful businesses take time getting to know their customers and deciding what kind of experience to deliver. After all, experience is everything.

5. Live and breathe your brand

Your voice and how you interact with customers should directly reflect your values. Prioritize your marketing efforts and processes to highlight what you care about rather than adopting new processes for the sake of being cutting edge. For example, if you value taking care of the environment, your company’s image can reflect that by implementing flexible work schedules to cut down on commutes or rewarding green behaviors, such as switching to LED lights at home. Consumers are researching companies and their internal cultures more than ever, and it is important to talk and act in an authentic way. Market your brand as much as you market your offerings.

Let us help

Even with these five marketing mantras to guide you, it is easy to get overwhelmed or intimidated by all the challenges facing marketers today. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone. Let PwC combine its functional and industry expertise to help your team with the strategy, operations, technology and mantras necessary to maximize your marketing.

Matt Gryll leads PwC’s Private Company Services (PCS) Marketing Practice. His team is dedicated to delivering marketing solutions for privately owned companies. He is passionate about scaling companies, sustainability efforts and strategic storytelling. PwC’s PCS team of advisory, tax and audit professionals are solely focused on serving private companies. With locations in every major US market, we have more than 200 partners and 2,000 staff dedicated to understanding of the unique needs of private companies.

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Matt Gryll

Manager, Advisory, Private Company Services, PwC US

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