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A Strategic Approach to Optimizing Marketing ROI

[incoming Zoom call]

On the other end was James, an entrepreneur with a start-up dream.

His backdrop: shelves proudly displaying past career achievements.

Yet, there was a visible cloud of confusion.

“Can you look this over?” James asked, sharing his marketing plan. “My investors are probing about optimizing for marketing ROI before we move forward with this.”

On his screen:

A long list of marketing tactics.

  • Social media campaigns

  • Email marketing

  • Affiliate engagements

  • Campaigns

Sounds good, right?

But, something was missing.


Imagine playing a game of chess, armed with all the pieces but no game plan.

You’d lose.

Despite having the same pieces as your opponent, you’d more than likely lose.

So, first step:

To build out the strategic pillars and then plug-in the right tactics.

We turned our call into a working session and started doing the math.

Revenue Goal: $500k

Average Deal Size: $10k

Deals Needed: 50

Buyer Journey:

Leads → Consultations → Proposal → Deal

Now, let’s reverse-engineer the process

Proposals: If 6 out of 10 proposals turn into deals, we need about 84 proposals out there.

Consultations: 4 out of 10 consults spark interest in a proposal. That’s about 210 consults.

Leads: 1 out of 4 leads request a consultation. So, 840 is our magic number.

*Let’s add a 100-lead buffer and target 940 to be safe.

“Ok. But how do we get the leads?” He asked.

Here (and only here) is where we make our tactical bets.

The key question:

What are the tactics we believe will help secure 940 qualified leads?

After analyzing his past performance and reviewing some data, here are a few tactics we came up with:

  • Partnerships & Affiliates

  • Social Proof & Case Studies

  • Account-Based Marketing

  • LinkedIn Marketing

  • Public Relations

  • Email Marketing

  • Live Events

From here, we brainstormed ways to execute the tactics, systematize the marketing, and measure progress.

Now, with goals and metrics in place - James can confidently go to his investors with a game plan, knowing much of the weight comes down to discipline and focus in executing the plan.

I share this story because I see small businesses wasting valuable time and resources running tactics without looking at the big picture.

So, as you venture to build your marketing plan for 2024 - consider this process:

1 / Set the goals

2 / Map the buyer journey

3 / Identify the key results

4 / Choose your tactics

5 / Execute the plan with discipline

Remember, marketing is more than just ticking off tasks.

It’s about strategic growth.

With the right strategy, your efforts can lead to meaningful results.

Let 2024 be the year you play the game with clarity and direction.

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