From Lack of Direction to a Clear Path — Creating a Marketing Foundation

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When our client came to us, their marketing was all over the place — and they knew it.

Like many medium-sized organizations, their growth had led them to a position where they knew they needed to invest in marketing, but their leadership had no formal training in marketing and little direct experience.

They had tried various marketing initiatives, but they were never clear on how successful they really were.

They had a small marketing department, but leadership — and the board of directors — didn’t have the knowledge of marketing they needed to properly evaluate the department’s work.

On top of this, other departments were not communicating with the marketing department, and some of them had launched their own initiatives.

This lack of a cohesive strategy led to a lot of money being wasted on initiatives that went nowhere or marketing resources that were never used.

To solve this, they came to us. They knew they needed focus and direction, and they knew they couldn’t figure it out on their own, so they brought in the experts.

Building Marketing Processes

When it comes to marketing, one of the biggest challenges for many businesses is to ensure everything is working as one well-oiled machine — that all marketing initiatives are supporting each other and building on each others’ successes.

To do this effectively, you need clear processes. People come and go constantly in businesses in every industry. Leadership changes. Managers change. Marketing people change.

When someone new comes along who doesn’t have a clear process to follow, they have a tendency to go rogue and just try their best, which means previous initiatives end up being wasted.

That momentum gets lost, and potential profits along with it.

To help our client, we needed to build clear marketing processes that anyone could follow. They needed direction in both an overarching sense and a granular sense.

They needed to know the major direction to head and what KPIs to track, but they also needed to be able to tell their existing team and new hires exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.

They also needed to know what to do if marketing initiatives weren’t turning out how they wanted them to, what to drop, what to change, what to keep going with, when to stop, and how to stop.

Our goal was to create those processes and milestones, to give them guidance and direction for the next year based on their goals

 Once those were in place, we would work at the granular level, giving specific, actionable advice on how to do everything from how to write every piece of a social media ad to evaluating multiple content marketing campaigns.

We call these our Playbooks.

Playbooks — Your Standard Operating Procedures to Guide Your Marketing Team for Years

Playbooks are extremely detailed guides for every type of marketing a business will ever do. When you work with most marketing companies, their goal is to do your marketing for you — usually a specific type of marketing that they excel in.

Our goal is to give you the tools and resources your people need to market for you effectively using every type of marketing available (not just a handful of types of marketing).

Playbooks are your processes, your standard operating procedures that anyone can follow, ensuring cohesion and continuity among all marketing efforts over large stretches of time.

Each Playbook centers on a specific type of marketing that aligns with your overarching goals and needs for your business. You simply hand the playbook to your people and let them take care of everything. 

This can drastically reduce the time needed to train new employees — give them the Playbook and let them learn on their own.

This is not a how-to guide, but rather standard operating procedures for your specific business. It’s not general at all: your employees will learn exactly how things are done at your company and how to do them.

In every Playbook, you’ll find a Preflight section — instructions on how to set up every resource or tool necessary to put that marketing initiative into place.

Everything is extremely specific. You’ll have suggestions for which tool to use, how to set up that tool, how that tool should be used, what features are most important for your business, etc.

It even breaks down how many hours each task should take, helping leadership determine if the marketing department is spending too much time on a single task.

The Playbooks also give you a clear idea of how to tell if something is or isn’t working.

You get KPIs to track based on your industry and unique needs, and you get clear direction on how to go about tracking them, when and how often to check them, and what to do if they’re not where you need them to be.

Once completed, each Playbook can be handed to the person in charge of that particular initiative, and they can start work immediately with little-to-no training needed.

To create all of this, we have to gain a deep understanding of your needs and goals.

Understanding Their Needs and Goals

Every business is unique, and though all businesses like to think that their goals are simply to help customers and generate profits, the reality is that, when you really dig in deep, they have some very specific goals and needs that need to be met.

We sat down with our client’s leadership team and board of directors, discussing in depth everything from their brand goals and revenue goals to how their offerings will change in the future and what parts of the business they’d really like to grow.

This gave us everything we needed to build a complete marketing strategy for the coming year, but we always make sure that everyone is on the same page before we generate the Playbooks. 

During our check-in meeting, we discussed the strategy with leadership and the board of directors.

We helped them understand what we were suggesting and why, and we made changes based on their feedback to ensure they got exactly what they wanted when it came time to develop each Playbook.

Creating a Strategy that Works (And Stays in Budget)

Another big problem for many businesses is that they put all their money into a single marketing initiative. When that initiative doesn’t perform well, they don’t have money left in the budget to recover.

For our client, we structured each Playbook around a specific budget that was enough to ensure potential success while leaving wiggle room if the initiative didn’t go how they wanted it to.

The Playbooks also take into account all the rest of the initiatives and how much they cost.

Our client ended up with a highly diversified marketing strategy that kept every marketing initiative within a budget that was enough to succeed but not so much it would get them in trouble if they failed.

Presenting the Final Package

Once we’d completed all the Playbooks, we gave a final presentation to leadership and the board, walking them through the entire strategy and helping them understand each Playbook. 

We then presented them with a clear executive summary that any incoming Chief Marketing Officer could use to understand what was being done, why it was being done, and how it was being done.

Finally, we helped them set up an entire year’s worth of very specific tasks in their project management software of choice, each given a due date and already assigned to the appropriate person.

Our client was thrilled with the results. They felt ready to build out a larger marketing department and that the money they’d invest in new people would pay off in the long run. 

Their head of business development even told us she wished it was her job because the path to success was so clear and well-organized.

Build Marketing Processes into Your Business and Grow Your Business’s Value

If you’re ready to get a clear marketing strategy for next year and beyond, if you’re ready to put marketing processes in place that will last the lifetime of your business, then we’d love to talk.

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It's Time for a Strategy That Works


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