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The Components of Authentic Growth™ Methodology

The Components of Authentic Growth™ Methodology
Authentic Growth Methodology

What is Authentic Growth™ Methodology?

Authentic Growth™ Methodology is Authentic’s proven and proprietary marketing operating system that helps small and mid-sized, growth-focused businesses build strategic marketing departments and create alignment between sales and marketing. It’s a habit-forming system that teaches a simple, but powerful, set of components that drive alignment, accountability, and activation. 

If your company uses a business operating system, our Authentic Growth Methodology will feel familiar in some ways; it’s an agile structure for shaping marketing foundation, teams, and programs while maintaining flexibility to adapt to ongoing changes and insights. Authentic Growth applies many proven business and strategic best practices to help companies build high-performing revenue teams and ensure marketing activities remain tied to the business vision.

The goal of Authentic Growth is to build a strong marketing discipline, strategically aligned to the business vision and accountable for producing measurable results. Authentic Growth begins with alignment and is fueled by accountability that maintains focus and momentum through iterative cycles of activation.

Authentic implements Authentic Growth through our Authentic Fractional CMO™ services. Through senior-level marketing leadership, paired with practical tools and marketing frameworks, we help teams elevate their marketing strategy and back it up with process-driven activation over the lifecycle of their organization’s growth.

Here’s a step-by-step look at the seven key components of the Authentic Growth Methodology.

Seven Components of Authentic Growth Methodology

The seven components of our methodology create the structure and operational excellence behind a high-performing marketing function. Like a general business operating system that helps keep all parts of your organization healthy, there are many dimensions to consider and nurture when running your marketing function. Each of these seven dimensions, or components, is essential to an effective marketing operating system.

1. Leadership & Team

Most entrepreneurial businesses don’t hire experienced marketing leadership until it becomes painfully necessary. But there comes a time in every company’s growth cycle when it needs to bring clarity and structure to its marketing team and programs if it hopes to scale and build predictable revenue. This is the time to bring an experienced marketing leader to the table.

Authentic fills that leadership gap with our fractional CMO service, which offers wise marketing leadership that understands business strategy and how to build and lead a marketing team

Our Authentic Fractional CMOs™ lay the groundwork for the marketing foundation, develop a strategy and plan, identify what marketing resources a business needs to execute that plan, and then hire a combination of internal employees and external resources to staff the marketing team. In the leadership and team role, our fractional CMOs focus on:

  • Marketing leadership
  • Resource planning
  • Hiring & onboarding
  • Individual development plans
  • Ongoing coaching

Typically, our fractional CMOs fill the leadership role for one to two years until it’s time for you to hire a full-time leader. The fractional CMO’s role is critical here; they help define the type of leader your company needs and then help to hire, train, and pass the baton to that new leader. Even after your fractional CMO passes the baton to your new marketing leader, Authentic stays connected as an advisor, mentor, and facilitator. Learn more by exploring Phase 3 and Phase 4 of our Proven Process here.

2. Alignment Cadence

At the start of every engagement, our fractional CMOs implement meeting rhythms that ensure clarity, alignment, and accountability. To ensure that marketing efforts align with the overall business strategy, it’s essential for the CMO to be closely connected with the Visionary / CEO, engage as a member of the senior leadership team, and create alignment across all revenue roles (sales, marketing, service / delivery). 

This connective tissue and accountability is created and maintained through a series of Alignment Cadence meetings with both executive leaders and marketing team members.

If your business runs on the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS), or a similar operating model, you likely have many of these meeting structures already in place through your annual and quarterly meetings, Level 10 weekly meetings, and 1:1 check-ins. Your Authentic Fractional CMO™ will align with your existing meeting structure, while also leading marketing department meetings.

Executive Alignment Cadence meetings include:

  • Quarterly & Annual Planning: Strategic planning meetings that set business goals and ensure all cross-functional leaders, including marketing, are aligned on how each team will help the company reach those goals.
  • Weekly Leadership Team Meetings: Your CMO joins your existing leadership team meetings to ensure strategic alignment, collaboration, and relationship-building between marketing and other cross-functional units.
  • Executive 1:1s: Regular meetings between the CEO / President and CMO to ensure strong, strategic alignment at the highest level. 
  • Quarterly Marketing Review (QMR): A strategic report for executive leadership which includes updated diagnostic scores, a review of progress and performance metrics, and a look-ahead on marketing resources and strategic initiatives. The QMR is often presented as part of the leadership team quarterly planning session, and provides a valuable summary for the board of directors.

Marketing Alignment Cadence meetings include:

  • Weekly Marketing Meetings: Team meeting with all marketing resources (internal and external) to ensure the plan is moving forward and uncover any roadblocks that are stalling progress.
  • Marketing 1:1s: Regular meetings between the fractional CMO and marketing employees to gather input, provide feedback and direction, and identify opportunities for career development, coaching, and mentoring.
  • Quarterly Marketing Workshop: An interactive session to review the past quarter’s performance, and set the “commits” – also known as goals, “rocks,” or targets – that the team aims to achieve over the next quarter.

3. Diagnostic Scores

The purpose of our diagnostic tools is two-fold: 1) They help our fractional CMOs quickly get under the hood of the business to identify where there are key opportunities, gaps, and strengths so they can effectively set priorities to keep your marketing initiatives moving in the right direction. 2) Our diagnostic tools measure quantitative progress toward greater health, maturity, and confidence in your marketing discipline so we can ensure we’re making positive strides. Our diagnostic tools include:

  • Growth Survey (Annually): A deep-dive survey of the business growth drivers and an assessment of how well the business leaders understand what is contributing to their growth. This survey also evaluates how well your strategic plan supports the components essential to your growth.
  • Random Acts of Marketing Score (Quarterly): A simple 20-question assessment that scores your business performance in terms of marketing fundamentals, focus, and confidence – as reported by your revenue leaders and team members. We gather your baseline score at the start of your engagement and then revisit it quarterly. 
  • Marketing Maturity Scale (Quarterly): A CMO-led review that evaluates the maturity of your marketing function across ten core attributes using our Authentic Growth Marketing Maturity Matrix™. The maturity scale helps you understand where you are today, and how to move to the next stage of maturity in order to create more predictable outcomes and transferable value.

4. Marketing Roadmap

The marketing roadmap component of our methodology builds marketing IQ across the organization with a visual journey from strategy through execution. We use our Authentic Growth™ Roadmap to teach growing businesses how to think about and approach strategic marketing: from roles, to foundational elements, to tactical execution.

The building blocks of the Authentic Growth Roadmap include:

  • Business strategy
  • Go-to-market focus
  • Brand
  • Marketing foundation
  • Resource realities
  • Management of people, processes, and projects
  • Marketing activation

We revisit the roadmap regularly with you to determine what needs to be adjusted and adapted as the business evolves and the market shifts. As you learn to apply the roadmap yourself, you can maintain progress long after your fractional CMO has transitioned out of the marketing leadership seat, and into an advisor role to help your team continue to excel with Authentic Growth.

5. Templates & Tools

Our fractional CMOs craft customized marketing strategies and plans, leveraging our library of diverse templates and tools while also coaching your team to plan and run marketing programs and projects strategically. Common templates and tools include:

  • Go-To-Market Strategy
  • Annual Plan & Budget
  • Quarterly Action Plan (QAP)
  • Quarterly Marketing Review (QMR)
  • A variety of other industry-specific and use-case specific tools

Together, these templates and tools help you define your overarching strategy, put a specific plan in place, and commit to a cadence for production across your defined media mix and channels. 

Since marketing is a dynamic discipline, we work within the bounds of an annual plan but iterate throughout the year based on performance insights, market dynamics, and changes in the business. Your fractional CMO will meet with your leadership team weekly and quarterly to assess performance against KPIs and your budget to keep the plan agile and responsive as you move forward. 

6. Metrics & KPIs

We use a variety of metrics and KPIs to track, report, and plan for predictable marketing performance. While your business could theoretically track thousands of pieces of data, we ultimately choose a handful of meaningful and actionable metrics to assess performance and iterate as we learn.

There are two levels of marketing metrics: 1) marketing performance and engagement metrics and 2) business impact metrics. Performance metrics help your marketing team understand what’s resonating with, engaging, and converting leads at the content, campaign, and channel levels. Business impact metrics help you assess how your investments in marketing are impacting organizational metrics like the cost of customer acquisition (CAC), lifetime value of customers (LTV), and annual contract value (ACV).

These metrics and KPIs we often track with clients include:

  • Lead scoring
  • Funnel conversion metrics
  • Content, campaign, and channel performance
  • Value-driver metrics, like CAC, ACV, and LTV
  • Sales & marketing investment ratios

7. Community & Learning

Community and learning is a fundamental component of the Authentic Growth Methodology, focusing on continuing education, peer collaboration, mentorship,and coaching.

Marketing is a truly dynamic discipline. Trends, tactics, and technologies change rapidly, and marketers at every level need to be lifelong learners who are engaged outside of their organizations and industry swimlanes for education, inspiration, and collaboration. 

And to retain top marketing talent, businesses need to invest in their marketers’ continued growth and development. Organizations who do not sponsor continuing education, up-skilling, and coaching for their marketers risk losing talent to other businesses who will provide these opportunities.

Authentic helps our clients accelerate marketing outcomes and develop marketing talent through ongoing engagement in community and learning. Throughout and beyond your fractional CMO engagement, Authentic provides:

  • CMO-led workshops and diagnostics facilitation
  • Marketing leader coaching & mentorship
  • Marketing peer community
  • Ally Network concierge services (vetted agency & freelance resources)

Access to our community and learning opportunities reduces the risk of relying on one person – or a small team – to anticipate every need in your business and solve every marketing challenge. It also accelerates your growth with quick, vetted, and trusted access to deeper expertise through our Authentic Mindshare and Ally Network of experts.

A marketing operating system to run on for years to come 

If your organization hires an Authentic Fractional CMO™, your CMO will use the Authentic Growth Methodology to underpin your engagement and build rigor, alignment, and accountability in your marketing organization. But eventually (usually after about 12-24 months), you will reach a level of growth and maturity that warrants hiring a full-time marketing leader.

You’ve committed to building strategic marketing the right way, you’ve documented significant progress on your journey, and now is the time to ensure ongoing commitment to all seven components of the Authentic Growth system.  

Once your new leader is fully in their seat – your CMO will transition to a role of advisor and mentor – ensuring that your marketing team continues to level up, and your organization continues to leverage Authentic Growth successfully and strategically. 

Your CMO is now a trusted Authentic Growth guide, strategic advisor, and marketing mentor. What’s more, your CMO is your conduit to Authentic’s wider community of marketing experts. When you combine Authentic Growth Methodology with an ongoing relationship with your Authentic Fractional CMO and growth guide, you have more than a marketing operating system. You have a complete solution for ongoing marketing operational success.

Why growing companies need Authentic Growth

No company, no matter its size or industry, has unlimited resources – whether it’s budget, time, or human capacity. These limitations force companies to make strategic choices about where to direct their resources for the most significant impact. Strategic choice-making means saying no (or not yet) to the things that don’t support the company’s growth vision. 

Unfortunately, saying no and narrowing focus is easier said than done. Many companies find themselves operating with random acts of marketing — continually trying out one marketing tactic after another, and always gravitating toward the next shiny marketing object. 

Random acts of marketing happen when a company doesn’t have a mature marketing function and a strategic marketing plan grounding its efforts. Authentic Growth solves random acts of marketing by holding companies accountable for building a solid marketing foundation, and using limited resources in the most impactful and strategic way.

Through Authentic Growth, executives understand the role and structure of marketing, where marketing dollars are going, why, and whether investments are returning results. Authentic Growth helps companies build high-performing revenue teams and marketing programs that will take them to the next level.

Ready to experience the power of Authentic Growth to help you Overcome Random Acts of Marketing®? Let’s connect to discuss how we can build operational excellence in your marketing organization while fueling growth and increasing your company’s transferable value.

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