Jeff Long

To determine what kind of marketing help your company needs, you need to understand what level your marketing program is currently at. A good way to do that is to think of a marketing program as a tree.

First, let’s start with the roots of your program. Here you’ll make sure you know the basics of your business—things like why your company exists and what makes you different from the competition.

The roots of your marketing program are where you establish your business goals and metrics and your marketing goals and strategy.

Next comes the base of your tree. The base of your marketing program is where you tell the world who you are with proper branding, positioning, messaging and pricing. Each of these four areas grows from the business foundation you laid in the roots.

Once you have a strong foundation, it’s time to grow the trunk. During this phase, you establish your referral, retention and new business strategies and build your technology and internal structures to help you execute and measure them.

A sturdy trunk leads to strong branches of outbound and inbound marketing that reach out into twigs of:

  • Traditional media
  • Public relations
  • Digital advertising
  • Social media
  • Thought leadership
  • Interactive media

Finally, at the top of your “marketing tree” are leaves. The leaves are what attract the metaphorical rain. These are marketing tactics that attract customers, such as starting a blog, running a radio ad or sending a direct mailer.

So what does all this have to do with deciding what kind of marketing help you need?

To get the best results from your marketing, you need to grow your tree in a way that establishes strong roots and trunk so it can support all of the branches and leaves you need to reach out to your customers. If you grow your twigs and branches too quickly, not only will your marketing be less effective, it can end up costing you both money and time you can’t get back.

When it comes to deciding what kind of marketing help you need, you need to look at where you are on the marketing tree. Do you have a full-grown tree with a solid trunk and deep roots but no leaves? Then you need to work with a marketing partner that excels at the tactical side of marketing and can you help understand what channels will help you achieve your goals.

Alternatively, do you have a beautiful set of green leaves bending a poor, thin little trunk? Then you will want to work with an agency with a more strategic approach that understands how to build marketing programs from the ground up.

Have a handle on the state of your tree? Next time we’ll take a more in-depth look at what to look for in agencies to help you meet your needs.