Hiring an effective marketing leader: Why a two-pronged approach makes all the difference

Hiring an effective marketing leader: Why a two-pronged approach makes all the difference

Brand & Messaging, Fractional CMO, Marketing, Strategy & Coaching
My job allows me the unique opportunity to speak with five to ten small business leaders per week. When you get the chance to connect with this many leaders you start to gain valuable insight into what concerns are top of mind for folks who are running successful businesses. As I ask questions about their business, we always get to the topic of marketing (probably because that’s what I’m there to discuss). Most of the time, the conversation about marketing goes something like this: “We don’t currently have anyone leading marketing. In the past we’ve tried some things, but I’ve never been very convinced that they worked very well.  We haven’t had a great way to measure impact. I believe our company could benefit from marketing, but we haven’t proven…
Read More
ACTION19: Conference Recap – The Resilient Business

ACTION19: Conference Recap – The Resilient Business

Brand & Messaging, Community, EOS / Traction, Event, Fractional CMO, Marketing, Strategy & Coaching
The dust hasn’t even settled on ACTION19 and we’re already looking forward to ACTION20! Authentic Brand's first-year conference was a sell-out event, bringing together more than 150 local leaders for a half-day of content focused on building a resilient business. Topics included recruiting, retention, revenue-growth, and recession-planning. Our afternoon kicked off with opening remarks from Authentic Brand’s CEO and Founder, Jennifer Zick. Since ACTION19 was held on Authentic Brand’s two-year anniversary, it was the perfect opportunity for Jennifer to share our early-stage story and what resilience has meant to her as a startup founder. It was especially fun to reflect on the impact of Two Or More since Jennifer launched the community service movement in 2017. Next up was a keynote by award-winning television anchor and radio host, Cory Hepola.…
Read More
Planning for the Next Recession: Jennifer Zick Featured on The Business Gist Podcast

Planning for the Next Recession: Jennifer Zick Featured on The Business Gist Podcast

Event, Fractional CMO, Marketing, Strategy & Coaching
“Times won’t always be this rich, so how can we plan ahead for recession?” This question sparks the conversation between Jennifer Zick and Megan Effertz, host of The Business Gist podcast, as they discuss ways that business leaders can plan ahead for the next recession. Because it’s not a matter of whether it will hit, but when. “When times are good, sales and marketing budgets flourish. When times are tough, marketing is generally the first team to get hit [with cuts]. …But sales without marketing is not a formula that works in today’s modern buyer’s journey. Cutting off the life-blood of what drives brand and ongoing awareness – not just for pre-sales, but throughout the lifecycle of the customer with your business – shouldn’t even be an option on the…
Read More
Marketing Metrics that Matter (and how to avoid Random Acts of Marketing)

Marketing Metrics that Matter (and how to avoid Random Acts of Marketing)

Digital, Fractional CMO, Marketing, Strategy & Coaching
I have the best job in the world. I get the privilege of talking with leaders of small and mid-size businesses about their growth plans and strategies. Each time I meet with someone, I learn something new. But I also notice a lot of recurring themes. One of those themes is metrics. Every time a conversation turns to marketing, it almost invariably, without fail, gets to the challenge of measuring marketing success.   (more…)
Read More
Rethinking the CMO Role for Growing Businesses

Rethinking the CMO Role for Growing Businesses

Fractional CMO, Marketing, Strategy & Coaching
What’s the difference between a sinking building and a stable building? It comes down to the foundation. How a foundation is laid, and the materials used to do so will have a considerable impact on the durability of a building. In the same way, your marketing foundation will affect your business’s growth, sustainability, and lifespan. The most crucial part of this foundation is having a strong marketing leader in-house. But, when is the best time to bring in a marketing leader? (more…)
Read More
Is Your Marketing Muscle Weak? Five indications that you need to pump some serious marketing iron

Is Your Marketing Muscle Weak? Five indications that you need to pump some serious marketing iron

Brand & Messaging, Fractional CMO, Marketing, Strategy & Coaching
It's a common situation for growing businesses: marketing is one of the last roles in the company to be prioritized. And it makes sense, to a certain point. Many businesses reach their first $5M, $10M, or even $50M through a focused sales-led effort, building relationships and expanding accounts and referrals. (more…)
Read More
From “What” to “So What”: Building a Messaging Foundation for Modern Marketing

From “What” to “So What”: Building a Messaging Foundation for Modern Marketing

Brand & Messaging, Marketing, Strategy & Coaching
By the time I'm meeting with a business leader, it's because he or she is ready to invest in strategic, proactive marketing. Most often, the business has grown steadily through a sales focus and a bit of marketing "here and there" (with no clarity on what works or drives ROI). But now the business is at a point where sustained growth will require new approaches to pipeline development. It's time to invest in building a modern marketing team and program, focused on demand generation and expanded engagement. (more…)
Read More