Alignment (n) is defined online as:
- arrangement in a straight line, or in correct or appropriate relative positions
- a position of agreement or alliance
We propose a third definition: a business fundamental that’s paramount to success and far too regularly forgotten.
More often than not, at Four Columns Marketing, we engage with companies who aren’t thinking about bridging the gap between their business goals and their marketing strategy. That lack of clarity is cause for concern, because misaligned marketing efforts almost never produce the results that companies are looking for. The inability to get from point A to point B results in frustration, disappointment and profit loss.
In almost every circumstance, the mid-market businesses we meet with are looking to grow. If their business and marketing goals don’t align, then that growth is dependent on chance, not on strategy. At Four Columns, our focus is first and foremost on understanding our clients. How do they want to grow? No matter what their answer is—from market share to wallet share to acquisition and more—growth is always the bottom line.
Knowing the direction our clients are growing toward is critical to tactical branding and execution. Working with our clients to understand their goals allows us to craft the right marketing strategy and tactical execution for driving success. Most times, success comes in the form of new demand generation for the company’s sales team to cultivate and close.
We’ve heard countless executives throw around marketing buzzwords like SEO, website traffic and social media engagement without realizing the full meaning and importance of those concepts. We understand that it’s easier to simplify the more nuanced aspects of marketing strategy, but when a company does that, they do themselves a disservice in the long term. Once those deliverables are more clearly defined in relation to their goals, it becomes significantly easier to see the bigger picture and move toward a successful outcome.
While there are many KPIs available for consideration, none are more important than the number of qualified opportunities marketing creates on a monthly basis. That number is the only foolproof way to attribute revenue growth to marketing activities. Ultimately, we want to see a company successfully using a CRM to capitalize on leads generated by marketing efforts; then, we can clearly attribute that in X month, marketing execution generated Y revenue.
Companies that successfully align their sales and marketing efforts can then clearly demonstrate what works and what doesn’t—a critical tool to not just surviving, but thriving, in the current business environment. Four Columns approaches each of our clients from a strategically-driven, big-picture perspective focused on executing marketing objectives in a way that aligns with business goals while maintaining efficiency. If you’re unsure how aligned your marketing efforts are to your company goals, reach out and we’ll help you evaluate your current situation.