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What is the Authentic Growth™ Roadmap?

What is the Authentic Growth™ Roadmap?

A proven framework for driving marketing success

Authentic was born from the desire to help entrepreneurial businesses Overcome Random Acts of Marketing® and more confidently take steps toward healthy growth. One of the primary ways we do this is through our fractional CMO services. However, our vision isn’t just to provide leadership to solve these issues on behalf of businesses. We also want to coach businesses on how to run successful marketing teams and programs themselves.

Our Authentic Growth™ Roadmap is a proven framework for driving marketing success from strategy to execution, and it’s a key part of the overall methodology that Authentic offers. Our roadmap consolidates the problems we solve and the foundational pieces we address when we work as a fractional CMO for a client. But, just as important, the roadmap also helps our clients learn how to approach, run, and scale marketing in their organizations. Once they can apply the roadmap independently, they can maintain progress and continue growing long after their fractional CMO has stepped away from their day-to-day responsibilities.

Why is the Authentic Growth Roadmap necessary?

Building effective marketing programs requires businesses to stitch together everything from the top of our Authentic Growth Roadmap — the business purpose, vision, and growth goals — to the bottom of the roadmap — the actual tactics, channels, campaigns, and content the company implements. However, we’ve learned from working with many growing businesses that most have done work at the top and bottom of the roadmap but don’t have the marketing expertise necessary to effectively knit together all the critical steps that happen in between.

Without solidifying everything in the middle — go-to-market focus, brand, marketing foundation, resource realities, and management — organizations usually don’t know whether they are steering their marketing in the right direction or if their investments are generating the results they need.

When a business recognizes this gap, it’s usually when they are ready to embark on a more strategic marketing journey. Our Authentic Growth Roadmap visualizes this journey, helping teams strategically connect the top-line business vision all the way down to the actual tactics in a way that supports healthy, sustainable growth.

In addition to the roadmap, our fractional CMOs use our Authentic Growth™ Marketing Maturity Matrix as a tool to score an organization’s progress across 10 key marketing attributes — all of which are part of the roadmap. This scoring tool complements the roadmap well, helping our fractional CMOs understand your organization’s marketing maturity, so they can identify which areas are most important to prioritize.

The building blocks of the Authentic Growth Roadmap

Our Authentic Growth Roadmap acknowledges that once we know a business strategy, it’s time to build a foundation underneath it to clarify the go-to-market focus. You can’t do this work on a marketing island. Your entire leadership team needs to align on these high-level business decisions, guided by experienced marketing leadership that can help your organization:

  • Identify your Ideal Customer profile by demographic, geographic, industry, vertical, and/or size.
  • Understand your competitive position and the addressable market for your solution.
  • Clarify the product (and/or service) you are bringing to market, and the problems it solves.
  • Decide how you’ll price your product/service to make a profit and run a healthy business.
  • Articulate your unique value proposition that sets you apart from the competition.

Once you clarify your go-to-market focus, your brand becomes essential, including its promise, personality, and presentation.

What happens next — the marketing foundation — is an area where businesses often need significant help. A solid marketing foundation means successfully going to market with the right message, clarity about the buyer journey, and the technology to support activation and capture the data and metrics necessary to understand performance.

Resource realities will especially come into play after you solidify your marketing foundation and plan for strategic marketing activation. The business will need to decide how to budget for campaign activation and marketing vendors and what resources they’ll need to build out the internal team. Resource decisions should align with the desired pace for growth and the company’s appetite for change and cultural management.

Marketing leadership doesn’t end when activation starts

A common misconception is that a fractional CMO’s job is complete once they lay the marketing foundation. At this point, many businesses think the strategic work is done; they can simply hire a marketing coordinator or generalist to handle program activation. However, marketing leadership continues to be critical at this phase. Strong leadership is necessary to manage up as a trusted advisor to the executive team and manage down to ensure the right people, project, and process management is in place to activate.

The next layer of the roadmap demonstrates the importance of the layering of people management, process management, and project management. The marketing leader bridges the gap between the executive leadership team, the marketing strategy, and then layers in different leadership levels to manage and activate the program. 

Even when it comes to marketing activation, strategic leadership is necessary because determining the right media mix, channels, campaigns, content, and production cadence is complex. And since marketing should always be agile, a strategic leader is critical for assessing performance and metrics to determine where to reinvest or divest resources.

A fractional CMO shouldn’t just be coming in to do a short-term project or consulting gig; developing true marketing rigor requires a multiple year commitment and a leader who is willing to dig in to support the full scope of the marketing program — from strategy all the way through execution.

Growth through rigor, discipline, and consistency

Authentic’s ultimate goal with our roadmap and our broader methodology is to help businesses mature and build strategic, sustainable, and scalable marketing capabilities that drive healthy growth. But doing this isn’t easy or quick. It requires a deep understanding of marketing, a high level of rigor, discipline, and consistency, and time. 

All of our fractional CMOs are trained on how best to use our methodology, roadmap, and tools, so we can continually help drive the rigor and results we are so grateful to share through our client success stories. Our hope is that these tools are so impactful for your organization that you continue to use them long after your fractional CMO has helped you hire a full-time marketing leader. 

Reach out anytime if you’d like to discuss how we could apply the Authentic Growth Roadmap in your organization. 

Authentic®

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