Modern Marketing Excellence

March 12, 2024

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the ‘fairest marketer of all’?

I wrote this blog to help you think about marketing in the broadest way and, by doing that, remind you of the context in which you practice your craft and share a framework that might help you measure yourself against the ‘fairest marketers of all’.

The Fairest Marketer of All: Characteristics

For sure, marketing is a lot more than the classic 4 Ps taught in Marketing 301!  The classic 4Ps (product, price, promotion, and place) remain relevant, but the best marketers now execute in these additional dimensions:

  • Process: From agile methodologies for campaign execution to streamlined workflows, the best marketers are adaptable and responsive. They use ‘right sized’ automation tools, data management, and collaboration platforms to raise their efficiency.
  • Customer experience: From website design, packaging, store ambiance, customer service, and user-generated content. The best marketers know that creating tangible evidence reinforces brand perception.
  • Partnerships: Brands and their best marketers partner with influencers, other businesses, and nonprofits to amplify their reach, open new markets, and create shared value.
  • Purpose: Modern marketers go beyond profit. The best marketers lead brands that have a clear purpose. From environmental sustainability to social impact, purpose resonates with consumers. No surprise, authenticity matters. Authenticity is purpose aligning with actions.
  • Prediction: The power of data guides the best marketers to anticipate trends and adapt swiftly. Predictive analytics are used to understand tomorrow’s customer behavior and market shifts.

If I want to be the fairest marketer of all, I had better stay ahead of the curve!


How do the ‘fairest marketing organizations of all’ collaborate and align with their firm’s CEO, sales, finance, and production and IT teams?

These are the alignment practices of the best marketing organizations:

  • Marketing and Sales leaders set shared goals: Metrics like lead generation, conversion rates, and revenue growth must be shared targets.
  • Invest in Strong Leadership: Support your peers and other leaders who really understand both sales and marketing dynamics.
  • Choose the Right Software: Implement tools that facilitate communication and data sharing. CRM systems, marketing automation platforms, and analytics tools help bridge gaps between functional organization units.
  • Commit staff to really managing Lead Management: Assign specific team members to handle lead creation and downstream handoffs. These individuals ensure the smooth transition from marketing to sales and prevent leads from falling through the cracks.
  • Create a Unified Definition of a Quality Lead: Collaborate to define what constitutes a qualified lead. Focus on detailed demographics, behavior, and engagement.
  • Use direct and indirect methods to get feedback: Regularly exchange feedback between Sales and Marketing. Sales’ insights on lead quality, objections, and customer pain points are key inputs to Marketing.


How can my firm help you become ‘the fairest marketers of all?”

The easy answer is we need to live up to our values. But I can be a bit more specific. Earlier this week, ETG met for a Q2 planning session. Of course, we talked about our success in our search business in the past year. We celebrate our clients who came to us with tough jobs to fill. Our list of successes was long.

Then we started talking about the role of gig/contract staffing and how it seems our clients often miss the opportunity to work with us on contract staffing. During the meeting I listened as our team called out how the ‘fairest marketers of all’ know how freelancers and independent contractors can be valuable additions to their marketing teams:

  1. Short-Term Projects and Deadlines: Gig workers are ideal for tackling specific projects with defined timelines. Key staff on leave, need a website redesign, a social media campaign, or a product launch? Contract workers can jump in, execute efficiently, and then move on to their next project.
  2. Expertise in Niche Areas: Today’s marketing encompasses specialized skills—AI, SEO, ecommerce, content writing, graphic design, data analysis, etc. Gig workers bring expertise in these niches.
  3. Managing Workload Peaks: During busy seasons or when your in-house team is stretched thin, contract workers can handle the overflow. They provide flexibility without long-term commitments.
  4. Trial Before Full-Time Employment: Consider gig or contract workers as a trial run. If you’re unsure about a permanent hire, bring them in as a freelancer. If they excel, you can move to a more permanent arrangement.
  5. Flexible Workforce for Dynamic Industries: Marketing trends change rapidly. ETG will find the best freelancers to help your team adapt swiftly to new consumer and B2B markets, social media trends or new selling platforms. Freelancers help you stay agile.
  6. Address Skill Gaps: Maybe your team lacks expertise in video production or influencer marketing. Gig workers can fill those gaps. They bring fresh skills without the need for extensive training.


Want to know what the ‘fairest marketers in the land’ are thinking about?

It starts with the role of the CMO. We know marketing has progressed quite a bit since the days of the Mad Men. The ‘fairest marketers’ of today see marketing as a series of competencies and capabilities organized by the CMO. McKinsey’s experts recently wrote about how some CMOs were transitioning to be executors of strategy rather than being the ones helping create the strategy. McKinsey argues that CMOs need to be at the table doing strategy and tactics.

Dig into the 2023 CMO survey conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Deloitte, and the American Marketing Association. The survey’s findings give you an insider’s view of what CMOs are focused on and, importantly, what they are spending their money on.


Aspiring to be one of the ‘fairest marketers of all’?

Look in the mirror and examine your performance and your team’s. Watch this video by the CMO of Mastercard. Regularly read McKinsey’s marketing research. Measure performance. Talk to peers. Go to industry events. Use outside experts (this includes ETG’s CEO, Lana Johnson). Get aligned with your CEO and Sales, Finance, Production/Delivery and IT leadership.

Business is a team sport. Be the ‘fairest marketer of all’ for your team, the firm and yourself.

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