Regardless of your involvement in creating your company’s marketing strategy, as CEO, your vision is the catalyst that shapes it. So whether you have conversion rates memorized or prefer to leave the details to your marketing team, the creation of your marketing strategy must start with you. If you’re not sure where to begin, walk through these important points as you prepare for that conversation with your team.

Cast your vision. Make this a goal for 2017: When asked, each one of your employees should be able to easily communicate the vision of your company. Make it easy to remember, easy to say and relevant to all facets of your business.

Any discussion about your marketing must first address the vision behind it. Without the what and why, the how won’t follow. Valuing clarity around business goals provides your employees with a clear direction and specific purpose in their day-to-day job. When your expectations and goals are communicated well, everyone wins.

For example, if you are in the industrial sector, perhaps because of the downturn in gas and oil you may want to venture into a new vertical where your services/products may be of use. Follow these steps and then relay them to your marketing team or marketing partner:

  • Determine the sector
  • Define your buyer
  • Understand their pain and where you help
  • Create content around that pain that is either a heavy sale or nurturing sale
  • Segment your list or build a list of ideal buyers
  • Launch, measure, and do again


Clarify your target audience. If marketing aims its efforts toward one group of people, but sales chases after another, dollars are likely being wasted. Provide a thorough description of your target audience for 2017 so your marketing department–whether in-house or outsourced–can create their strategy accordingly.

Revisit these audiences regularly throughout the year to ensure marketing is meeting their needs in the right verticals. The best way to start defining your audience is with a plan. Click here for our Client Profile Sheet.

Perhaps your target market is, like many of us, selling new services to your existing customers. For example, one of our very own clients, a local accounting firm in Orange County, has a budding list of contacts—however, mostly past clients.

We helped them roll out a plan to help their clients perform a tax forecasting consultation. The results were beyond expectation as well as the ROI.


Select KPIs. Ensure your marketing strategy is being tracked to determine how the dollars are performing. To do this, establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you would like to see reports against throughout the year.

While some KPIs will be numbers based–like sales revenue from online leads–others can be determined by the rise or fall in customer value. To quantify this KPI, your marketing team can conduct customer surveys to determine how your marketing has been performing.

Some other KPIs include traffic-to-lead or lead-to-customer rates. Ultimately, let the marketing team know what metrics you want to see so they can build their program around them.


Support your team. By engaging throughout different stages of the marketing planning and execution process, you can communicate to employees that you value what they are doing and point out how it impacts the company at large.

This is your opportunity to inspire employees, hear the challenges they’re facing, and offer guidance.


Unite sales and marketing. Sales is not marketing and marketing is not sales. They both have a necessary, separate purpose; however, they can serve each other with ideas, data and new opportunities.

As CEO, you can serve as the bridge between the two departments by encouraging the sharing of best practices and integrating the sales strategy and the marketing strategy. Online marketing is a successful tool for lead generation.

When marketing and sales work together, the marketing team can ensure the sales team is spending their time on qualified leads–which should ultimately increase closing rates.



Speaking into your online marketing strategy will greatly benefit your company. You can take your vision for the entire company and show the marketing team how their roles fit into achieving that vision. With clarity, purpose and measurable actions in place, everyone will start off on a strong foundation to succeed in 2017 and, if all is being monitored and reported, set you up for a tremendous 2018.

Ready but need help? Red Mallard has been helping companies establish effective marketing strategies since 2008. A conversation costs nothing. Call John Welches at 657.258.0015.

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