The Genesis of Strategic Marketing—Tier II Marketing (Part II)

Tier II marketing, data- and research-driven marketing

In a previous article about the genesis of strategic marketing, I explored the first several components of Tier II marketing, what we call the genesis of strategic marketing and the departure from Tier I or tactically driven marketing. Again the foundation of Tier II marketing is data-driven marketing where all media (e.g. brochures, web sites, advertisements, etc.) are integrated or are characterized by similar graphics and messaging. Where the previous article explored key performance indicators, market research, customer segmentation, and positioning, this article describes the remaining characteristics of the organization engaging in Tier II marketing. The remaining characteristics include:

  • Marketing strategy drives tools
  • Touch Point Integration
  • Performance measurement
  • Marketing mapped to sales process

Marketing Strategy Drives Tools
Where organizations engaging in Tier I marketing develop tools and invent content to use in those tools, Tier II marketing organizations do the exact opposite. Prior to deciding which tools they will use to market their product, service, idea or cause, they develop a strategy of how, what and why they communicate. Doing so empowers the organization to be more creative and effective in its communication. Rather than pining to develop content or figuring how to use a particular medium (e.g. the corporate Twitter account), the strategy drives both the media and content.

For example, one of the key findings of a recent market research project we did for a client indicated a significant discrepancy between customer segments and value perception. One customer segment had a very high value perception while the other had a very low value perception of our client. The data indicated that the strategy should be based on increasing value perception among the particular segment. Instead of trying to figure out how to build a web site or what it should do for its brochures, our client knew instantly how to use those tools to increase value perception. Furthermore, the client could be far more creative in its communication of its value. It was now empowered to go beyond Tier I thinking, to develop more engaging, creative and effective means and media to communicate its value proposition to its clients.

Touch Point Integration
Not only does the strategy dictate how and which media to use, but it also serves as a much-needed standard by which the organization ensures that all of its marketing efforts are integrated, or consistent in concept, messaging and appearance. It’s surprising how many times a client will show us brochures, web sites, ads and other marketing collateral that all look different and communicate disparate messages. Upon seeing the collection, one could easily assume that each component had been produced by a separate company. A Tier II marketing organization doesn’t fall into this trap. The Tier II marketing organization ensures
that not only are all of the various media (e.g. brochures, web sites, ads, social media usage, etc.) consistent with each other, but that they are also consistent with the strategy.

That is not to say that an organization can’t have multiple brochures for differing products or services. Rather, that the strategy uses touch point a consumer has with the organization to portray a consistent image and communicate a consistent message. Even though that organization may need to say something different about each product, the overarching strategy remains the same. For example, it used to be  that any time you saw a television ad from Target, you would instant recognize it as such (only heaven knows what they’re doing with their most recent campaign). Each ad showed different products in different context, but the visual elements of the ads and the overarching message (designer goods on a budget) was consistent throughout.

Performance Measurement
Rather than simply praying and hoping that marketing efforts pay off in some form or fashion, the Tier II marketing organization knows both if and how its marketing efforts work. To do so, the organization develops methods of tracking every marketing tactic (yes even the more difficult ones that irresponsible marketers say can’t be measured). This is done by understanding the key performance indicators throughout the sales cycle as previously described,  measuring the difference marketing campaigns have on those KPIs, and developing methods of integrating all of the various tactics implemented. Performance measurement can be as simple as tracking coupon redemptions or as complicated as using complex statistical models on each step of the sales cycle.

A detailed discussion on how to engage in performance measurement is beyond the scope of this article. If that’s a topic you’re interested in, please let us know and we’ll be happy to help you develop a plan. However, the important component of Tier II marketing is not the amount of money or effort spent in performance measurement, but the simple act of developing performance measurement processes that are appropriate for your organization.

Marketing Mapped to Sales Process
Understanding and using the sales process is a key component of the marketing efforts of a Tier II marketing organization. Marketing and sales cannot function in isolation from each other. Instead, the Tier II marketer maps out and analyzes the sales process to understand how marketing efforts at each stage in the sales process can improve advancement through the process to improve closure rates and achieve both marketing and sales goals. Rather than being adversaries, which frequently happens, sales and marketing professionals need to advocate for each other. All marketing efforts should be focused on that sales process or they are nearly impossible to measure, and ultimately may not serve any purpose.

In conclusion, the essence of the Tier II marketing organization is strategic, methodic, and data-driven marketing. Rather than simply seeking to be creative, spend budgets, rely on its best guess for its marketing experimentation, the Tier II marketing organization not only measures and understands its performance, but it also increases its chances of being successful by not only knowing which media to use, but also by knowing exactly how to use those media.

About Serfwerks

Serfwerks is a results-oriented marketing/design agency specializing in helping its clients understand and improve their marketing performance while delivering data-driven marketing solutions such as brochures, corporate identity, signage, and web sites. For more about strategic marketing, please visit the marketing process section of our web site.