Ep. 141 – What should you be willing to invest in strategy? This week, Chris is discussing the value and the cost of a good marketing strategy. This topic is imperative to the continual growth of your business because you must have a strong strategy in place before you can focus on automation. If you’ve been wondering what to expect when investing in someone to help you define a functioning strategy, make sure to tune in to this episode.
You’re listening to the all systems go podcast, the show that teaches you everything you need to know to put your business on autopilot. Learn how to deploy automated marketing and sell systems in your business the right way. With your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of automation bridge, Chris Davis.
Chris Davis 0:32
Welcome to another episode of The all systems go podcast. I’m your host, Chris L. Davis. And I wanted to talk today about the value of strategy, what it what is the value? And we can’t talk about value without also discussing the cost? What is the cost? Or are what should you be willing to invest in strategy.
Chris Davis 1:02
And I’ll start out with a story. If you don’t know, I do a lot of consulting for tech startups. And really, most of them are in need of marketing, strategic marketing guidance.
Chris Davis 1:19
A lot of them have no marketing in place. It’s really grassroots efforts, or referral or connections or networking, things of that nature. But when it comes to leveraging and this is a good differentiator, when I’m talking about strategy, I’m talking about strategy that leverages on line technology. Okay, it’s not limited to, but that’d be the context in which I’ll be speaking in this entire in this entire podcast. So a lot of these tech startups will will will struggle, in a sense with that
Chris Davis 2:03
portion of operating their business. And I spend a lot of my time walking through how to be more strategic with their approach. And here’s what it looks like. So I’ll give you an example of Company A, that has everything in place. Hey, look, Chris, we’ve got a funnel, they go from this page to this page? Oh, you said we should be creating content yet doing that. Look at all of these blog posts. Oh, webinars? Sure. Doing those as well check this out. Right. All of the basic elements appear to be in place. And when I say appear, I’m taking their word for it. It’s not like I’m going behind checking everything saying, hey, wait a minute, is this really in places is really in place, give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s their business, they are seeking for help. The quality of help that you receive from anybody is relative to the quality of, of honesty. You you you operate in, right? So we go through all the all of the checkboxes, and I’m just like, Yep, good, good, good, good, good. All of things. All of these things are in place. So naturally, what’s my next question? All right, well, great. How well is it working? In there lies the rub, right? There is where the air of am doing this, Hey, we’ve got this, all of a sudden comes down a little bit. Right, the excitement seems to not be as prevalent, um,
Chris Davis 3:39
silence becomes more prevalent. And then the, then there’s this,
Chris Davis 3:45
what I call the silence of shame. So I always have to tell people, hey, no shame and previous performance, because you didn’t know any better. And what it comes down to is that the answer to that question is either I don’t know. Or it’s working in a way that I would like for it to work better.
Chris Davis 4:04
And when that statement is made, whether it’s with their mouth, their eyes, their disposition, right? All roads lead to strategy, and it’s not what you’re doing. It’s not the what, it’s the How now, I want to come up, I want to provide you all with a definition. And before I do that, I do want to reflect back on to episode number 49, episode number 49, where I talked about a strategic approach. In fact, let me make sure I’m referencing the right one. I talked about a strategic approach to to automation that the title of it was how to automate with purpose. And I go through and I just talked about the importance of strategy before technology. What I want to do in this, this podcast episode is something a little different. And I actually want to come up a level and before we even get to
Chris Davis 5:00
Automation, we have to have
Chris Davis 5:04
our strategy down. So what would I define strategy as I define strategy? Or? Yeah, I’ll define strategy as providing purpose to your process.
Chris Davis 5:17
Strategy is providing purpose to your process, it’s essentially giving meaning to your steps. Okay? Now process is a combination of steps that achieve a certain thing. And episode 49. I talk about starting with a goal and working backwards, I still recommend that. But in this one,
Chris Davis 5:38
what I want to say is that it’s not just enough to do a thing.
Chris Davis 5:45
It’s more important in how you do that thing. Right? I have. I have conversations all the time with business owners. And this is an entire different episode where we talk about making money. And the model used to make money making money as an activity, your business model is the strategic approach to that activity, the entity the confines in which that activity produces the actual thing that you want. And what you will find is there’s just not enough focus on strategic thinkers. Period, let me just say strategic thinking, episode number 135. We I interviewed Noelia Sanchez. She’s a certified automation service provider, by the way, and she discussed the strategic approach to content creation.
Chris Davis 6:41
So strategy is everywhere. And it never leaves. It’s not a checkbox. It’s not a oh, we have a strategy. No, you have a strategy for now. Now you have to go in, take it, execute on it, optimize it, look at your findings, and do whatever it takes to spin up the next version of the of the strategy, right. So the problem I have in in the marketplace now is that people will look for someone who can do something faster than someone who can think of something or think of some way to get things done.
Chris Davis 7:23
And, and in fact, it is really what’s missing. In most cases, what will will happen is, people will come to me and want expert execution.
Chris Davis 7:39
But they’ll be operating under, brace yourselves, everyone, a sorry, strategy, a weak strategy, but you want expert execution? Hey, Chris, we just need you to build out our Active Campaign. Hey, Chris, we just need you to fix our deliverability Hey, Chris, we just need to you need you to tell us what’s wrong. Its as if they bought they jump over the strategy and say, Oh, we’ve got our strategy is perfect. Everything is fine. We need help with this one thing. And what do I always do? Always slow walk them back to strategy, because that’s where all of your problems are, is your approach to what you’re doing is not strategic. So we have startup a, who shall remain nameless. It’s doing all the things. I’ve got a funnel, I’ve got a page that people land on, and then they go to the next page. Yeah we have a form. We’re creating content. I’m featured in articles, podcasts, I’m running webinars,
Chris Davis 8:42
but it’s not producing anything. It’s not producing the results that you want. So what’s missing? I would love to sit up here and give you the silver bullet solution hey just do this and money will come in. But that’s not that’s just not how it works. What, what the truth of the matter is
Chris Davis 9:03
you’re doing activity that is not achieving the desired results, which means it’s missing strategy. So okay, you have a funnel, let me look at it. Oh, all traffic is going to your homepage. Then from your homepage, there’s a Contact Us button. And they go to a page with the form. Technically, is that a funnel? Yes, page to page with an opportunity to capture.
Chris Davis 9:31
But where’s the strategy? If you if you think about a marketer that understands strategy, a marketer is going to use landing pages. A marketer is going to say, hey, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Why are we sending traffic to a homepage? homepage is the most general most informational page on your website, depending on how you how you build it out strategically, right. But for the most part, the homepage is that a
Chris Davis 10:00
have information and something that know when someone knows your brand. That’s what they go to. Even Google will send them to a blog post or another page on your website when they type in a certain query. If you’re running advertising, you better not be running it to your homepage. So do they check the box? Technically? Yeah, it’s page to page and you get to the contact page. And there’s a form on there, okay, you’re doing the bare minimum to say that I’ve done this. It’s like, it’s like my, my kids. I go tell him to wash the dishes. And they work. They do wash the dishes, but then they leave the big old pots and pans. In their mind they’ve have separated that pots and pans are different. They’re bigger. So when you say wash the dishes, this just forks, spoons, knives, bowls, and plates and cups.
Chris Davis 10:55
So technically, did they wash dishes? Yes, they didn’t wash all of the dishes.
Chris Davis 11:03
Technically, do they have a funnel? Yes. They don’t have a fully functional funnel.
Chris Davis 11:09
Right? So you go and you say, well, listen, you need landing pages. Why would I need a landing page for they go to the homepage, look at how beautiful that is. Look at all the information? Well, because when we talk about strategy, I can’t use the homepage. Even Even if, even if and when I optimize the homepage. That’s not what it’s for. We need landing pages, the strategic thinking marketer understands, we need to be able to spin up landing pages for every appearance, every event or have a way to personalize one landing page. So that when someone from said event goes to it, it looks personalized to their experience.
Chris Davis 11:55
There’s a difference, that strategy, and we’re talking about stret, there’s levels to strategy.
Chris Davis 12:03
Chris Davis 12:05
You’re you’re at the fundamental level, if you’re using your homepage, and then from your homepage, as it goes to a capture page, you have some level of understanding that hey, look, I need to get people to a page and then send them to this page. Yeah, that’s a strategy at a very basic level.
Chris Davis 12:23
Chris Davis 12:25
So so what what is easy to do is, lay the checkbox foundation is what I’m calling checkbox, hey, I send emails, I have a website, I have a form on my website, we post on social media. And there we go. It’s foundational stuff, right?
Chris Davis 12:45
Like, it’s good that you’re doing all of that. But how is it all working together in sync with one another to achieve the exact result. And this is a scary conversation, everyone, because sometimes you realize that that website that you paid $30,000 For isn’t worth $3,000 Sometimes you you’ll find that your efforts that you were so proud of are poop.
Chris Davis 13:12
Right. And I have to say it like this. So it’s a little jarring to kind of slap you out of this trance of, oh, we’re doing that, oh, we we’ve got that done. Or, or if you’re not that going to look for implementers prematurely.
Chris Davis 13:30
Right once the foundation, once you have a true foundation laid, and it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter. It can be a basic or advanced foundation, it doesn’t really doesn’t matter. Once you have a foundation laid, which means I have a website, I have a means of getting people from my website, page to another page to capture information. I send an email, I engage with my leads, I close sales, the basic foundation, you’re no longer looking for the big thing to do.
Chris Davis 13:57
Right? You’re not looking for this, oh, wait a minute, send this email at this time, and you’ll make a million dollars.
Chris Davis 14:04
Now, it’s like playing the lottery. If you do the if you you do the activity consistently enough over time, you may just make it big. Oh my gosh, look at this email I sent in and made half a million of one email, right? There are those cases right? But these are outliers is the lottery, marketing for the lottery. Then marketing for continuous success, right. But once you have that foundation laid, your your your, your mind shifts, your focus your your expectations, shifts from looking at big things, things that are going to produce big results to tweaks,
Chris Davis 14:48
Chris Davis 14:51
edits, additions that bring a smaller increase. Maybe you do one tweak it
Chris Davis 15:00
increases over raise by 5%, another tweak increases, clicks by 2%. Another tweak, increases conversions on the page by 10%. Then you take that information and go back and say, Okay, how can I increase from 3% to 5%?
Chris Davis 15:14
Right? This is marketing, strategic marketing. Strategic Marketing says, I’m going to start with a, as much of a proven path as possible to achieve this thing. So I’m going to look back, what’s worked. If you don’t have historical data in that business, you’re looking at industry standards, what’s working in this industry? So you don’t start from scratch? Right? Great, great. Strategic marketer never starts from scratch. And then you put that in place and you test it, measure it, see how it’s working? Did it produce? If not, let’s let’s go revisit the strategy. And in strategy, the purpose of this, this podcast really is to talk about what is the cost? What is the investment? How much should you be willing to put in a strategy? How long do you have to wait before strategy starts producing?
Chris Davis 16:13
There’s no one answer. I don’t know, if you’re waiting for me to just be like, Hey, pay this for that. And it happens in this time. It’s all relative, it’s all relative to the business. And there are two major factors or one major factor two answers to it. What marketing Do you currently have in place?
Chris Davis 16:30
Right, that that is going to be your first indicator of what to expect when investing in someone to help you define a strategy. Now, I have played this role, pretty much at every startup I’ve ever been at.
Chris Davis 16:44
Okay, I’ve had well, nope, nope, let me correct that. When I was at Lead pages, there was a pre existing strategy that I was the implementer from, but since that point on, I’ve been tasked with creating the strategy from scratch.
Chris Davis 17:03
And I have, and I have some tales from this experience I want to share with you. So if you have if you have marketing in place.
Chris Davis 17:13
This is one of the this is the better situation, right? Is now I can glean off what’s currently in place, create a baseline, identify low hanging fruit, and create a strategy to pick up that low hanging fruit. Once I have a strategy to get the low hanging fruit, then I build a system to leverage the picking up of that low hanging fruit on an ongoing basis. So what does it look like I come in and I see some apples on the ground. Apples are money in this scenario, but I go and I manually pick up the app and say, Okay, here’s what it takes to pick up this, this fruit that’s already on the ground, you guys are looking up at the tree like, we could just scale and climb that tree to the top. We’ll look at all this fruit on the ground. And once I pick it up, then imagine the system being that robot, have you seen those little robots that just go around and pick up dirt on your floor instead of you having to sweet this, what the system does now is make sure that all low hanging fruit in an ongoing fashion is picked up.
Chris Davis 18:16
Can you imagine that, that there are a lot of companies that have anywhere from 10 to $20,000 a month and low hanging fruit because they lack a strategic approach and the system to execute ongoing. I’m not exaggerating, I’m talking about startups, technology startups series, a C series series, a series B type sizes, under 1000, under 1000 employees, but I’m just saying this fits to practically every small business.
Chris Davis 18:46
That’s the power of a strategy. But again, if you have a strategy in place,
Chris Davis 18:52
it takes time. Both take time whether you have marketing asset, a strategy in place, whether you have marketing in place or not. Both take time, if you don’t have marketing in place, you’re going to have to invest in the creation of your strategy. And guess what, though, though, it may pick up low hanging fruit, it may not it, it may take 30 days or so excuse me, it may take a while.
Chris Davis 19:18
For that strategy to be defined. I am not a miracle worker. I’m a very fast worker is sometimes it just there’s a lot going on, you don’t understand the market, the product product market fit. There may be historical things that happened outside of the data that skew the data. So a marketer coming into something that’s already existing, you’re just trying to get a lay of the land deck that can easily take up to 30 to 60 days just to get the lay of the land.
Chris Davis 19:48
Now, while you’re getting the lay of the land you’re making.
Chris Davis 19:52
You’re providing judgments, assessments, measured opinions.
Chris Davis 20:00
Right, calculated assumptions all along the way to prove, listen, I know I’m getting to know your system. But here’s some opportunities that I see.
Chris Davis 20:12
Right? This is the experience with a strategic marketer. By the way, when you invest in someone who’s a strategic thinker, these are the things that it should not be a serial thing like, Okay, let me just figure everything out, then I’ll give you recommendations to know this is iterative. Hey, look, I see some on the homepage. Have you ever thought about this? Okay, let’s, let’s log this as an idea. Continue.
Chris Davis 20:38
Right. So they’re going through your existing marketing. And a lot of times, people’s existing marketing is in bad shape.
Chris Davis 20:46
It’s in bad shape. But at least there’s a baseline, there’s a baseline of performance that you can measure your new marketing strategy by.
Chris Davis 20:55
Chris Davis 20:57
That’s if you have marketing in place, if you don’t have any marketing in place,
Chris Davis 21:02
you have to be, you have to be willing to pay for the creation of a strategy. When you have marketing in place, you can expect low hanging fruit. So you can expect something to come up in that first 60 days or so that will generate revenue. That’s a fair expectation. I don’t know how much.
Chris Davis 21:21
Right? Because you have something in place that’s doing a thing. I don’t know how it doesn’t matter how much is generating, but it’s his working in some capacity, hopefully.
Chris Davis 21:31
And even if it’s not, you have data there to show why it’s not working. Why when they get to this page they abandon.
Chris Davis 21:38
So let me let me back up and not say revenue, let me say, results. Okay.
Chris Davis 21:46
If you have marketing in place, you invest in strategy. It’s not it is not unrealistic to expect results in the first 30 to 60 days. That’s, that’s not unrealistic. At all, zero. Now, if you don’t have marketing in place, no matter the size of your company,
Chris Davis 22:05
Chris Davis 22:08
You can’t rightfully you should not let yourself rightfully start to expect results within that first 30 to 90 days, honestly.
Chris Davis 22:20
Because you have to create an entire strategy you’re creating from nothing. There are very there are far few people that can do this, by the way.
Chris Davis 22:30
But it’s what you need. It really is what you need. So what are you willing to invest?
Chris Davis 22:36
Are you willing to invest $5,000 for strategy 20 40,000?
Chris Davis 22:45
I would. And let me say, I have invested up into this point for strategy,
Chris Davis 22:53
close to $50,000. And the majority of that was when my business was not performing at its optimum.
Chris Davis 23:04
at its optimal performance, at least 50,000 At least for strategy, or the ability to create my own strategy. And I’m to the point now where I want some some objective, you guys, if you haven’t listened to what is it a podcast number 136 is caught? It’s what is your MO? What is your marketing, objectivity? I’m looking for objectivity. Now. I don’t have to be the master strategist.
Chris Davis 23:30
Okay, but I understand the value of it. I understand the value of investing in strategy, a good strategy can be leveraged time and time again. It can be improved on it can be handed off. When I create a marketing strategy. It’s very clear. And guess what, as long as you have a savvy marketer who can implement and optimize and everything else, that’s all they need. A lot of times
Chris Davis 23:58
your approach of finding someone to do is not wrong, it’s just out of order.
Chris Davis 24:04
Your approach of finding somebody to do is not wrong. You should be finding somebody to do it is on order.
Chris Davis 24:15
You have steps before that steps that precede that that need to be adhere to.
Chris Davis 24:21
Okay. But I want you all to value strategy, and be willing to invest in it. Watch this. Even if it doesn’t produce revenue. I would love war to produce revenue all the time. Sometimes you’re going to have to invest in strategy to get you to the point where you could expect the execution of that strategy to generate revenue.
Chris Davis 24:49
That may take some time. I’ve worked with a startup before it took us 90 days to create a strategy.
Chris Davis 24:56
And after that 90 days, executing on that strategy for the rest of
Chris Davis 25:00
The Nine, nine months of the year, generated a million dollars. So if you can generate 1,000,010% of that
Chris Davis 25:11
can go to strategy, would you? Would you invest 10% into strategy? Would you? Would you pay 100,000 Over the span of 12 months to make a million in that 12 months? Now watch this. Here’s the kicker, here’s the kicker every one. Since it’s a system,
Chris Davis 25:30
that million, the next year turns into 2 million.
Chris Davis 25:35
What did you pay for strategy less than the first year?
Chris Davis 25:40
Now this is this is the truth. I’m saying it low because I feel like I’m giving a secret away. This is the true power of a strategy coupled with a system.
Chris Davis 25:53
And I hope this is showing you what a the value of working with someone like myself, but not just me, this is not about me, but about the certified automation service providers. They are the ones who are trained the same stuff, too. So if you’re a business owner, and you’re looking for scale, its strategy and systems strategy and systems. I would look now of course you know systems introduces technology, blah, blah, blah, there’s a whole nother technically, you need technical acumen as well. nother podcast I haven’t I have one. It’s not about technology is the name of it. What what I’ve learned to keep my podcast list up in front of me. If I can find it. It’s not about technology. I can’t find it. So um, anyways, now I’m going here.
Chris Davis 26:50
I have my manager give it to you all podcast manager. So so so anyways, anyways, listen, listen, listen, this.
Chris Davis 26:59
That’s the power of a strategy. When you can take a strategy, when you are willing to invest in your strategy, put it into a system,
Chris Davis 27:09
you have the initial upfront investment, but the payment and repayment happens continually. Time and time again.
Chris Davis 27:19
Time and time again, it won’t happen overnight.
Chris Davis 27:23
And I want to leave you with this. What is the telltale sign you’re working with a good strategist, two things, clarity and conversions,
Chris Davis 27:33
clarity and conversions. Working with a good strategist, things are clear, you get it, the light bulb is turning on.
Chris Davis 27:42
possibilities and opportunities are being illuminated. You’re starting to see opportunities that you felt were there. This is clarity that you felt were there but couldn’t quite explain what they were or how to get to them.
Chris Davis 27:58
Chris Davis 27:59
A great strategist will provide you clarity every step of the way. But it has to be checked with conversions. What is clarity without conversions?
Chris Davis 28:12
What conversions tell me is, you know what to do with the clarity.
Chris Davis 28:19
And if you don’t have conversions, somebody theoretically speaking theoretically,
Chris Davis 28:27
can give you clarity. While you know online, you’ve got to, here’s what you do. There are landing pages, you build these things, and then you get information from people and then you send emails and people are like, Oh, that’s how you do it. That’s how you market online. That’s clarity, basic level, but it’s clarity. Now now go Convert, go give me conversions, which means results. Go give me some conversions.
Chris Davis 28:53
Well, we downloaded this Unbounce template in it should be working. I’m not sure why people aren’t giving their information.
Chris Davis 29:02
You got to be able to convert conversions that tell you expertise.
Chris Davis 29:08
Okay, I got sorry. Clarity will tell you expertise. conversions will tell you experience. Okay. You can have expertise theoretic expertise in an area you can you could be a student of something and never had done it and speak on it the we call these reporting experts. But there’s a level of expertise there. conversions that comes from experience. You have to know what you’re doing. You have to have seen this. This can’t be your first rodeo. Okay, those are the two telltale signs you’re working with a great strategist. Now, I do a lot of consulting
Chris Davis 29:51
sessions, where I’m kind of objective I’m outside of the business. There’s only so much value you’re going to get from bringing a consultant in from
Chris Davis 30:00
strategic point, to give you ideas of what to do, at some, at some level, if you want to really
Chris Davis 30:09
take advantage of that strategy, build a system around it, you’re gonna have to bring them into the company, which means you may have to pay more of a retainer, or give them access to more data, to be able to start to make those strategic decisions more specific to the exact result that you’re looking for.
Chris Davis 30:30
But this is all about strategy. You can do a million things online.
Chris Davis 30:37
Verse versus two to three strategic things really well.
Chris Davis 30:42
Right? For me, I’m all about efficiency. I don’t want to waste time. Who where’s the strategist? Where’s the strategist is the first thing I look for strategy. And I want my listeners to be willing and ready to invest in strategy, it may produce results immediately, it may not some of my best, some of my best results come from
Chris Davis 31:11
companies that were willing to invest upfront. And could and and could
Chris Davis 31:20
make it I’ll say, for lack of a better term, they were okay for a few months in the beginning to get the structure in place,
Chris Davis 31:29
the strategic structure in place and the system to leverage it.
Chris Davis 31:34
And once that’s done, we’re off and running.
Chris Davis 31:37
So it may be what’s missing for you. Maybe you’re hiring freelancer, after Freelancer Doer after doer, you may need investment strategy. I will say so it’s, it’s not something that I knew, I can’t tell you that I’ve always known his strategy. I’ve always been a strategic thinker, and looking at my results. And I look and I say, Wow, this is the key. And the companies that don’t, don’t invest, I see them struggle. I really do. doing all the right things, great websites, paying for hub spots, and all kinds of money going out and technology doing all the all the right things, not producing what the real results that they want. Gotta get strategic. Gotta get strategic, be willing to invest in strategy, because once you put a system around it,
Chris Davis 32:28
it will not just pay you time and time again. But it is also free up what free up your time. free up your time. Free up your efforts, a strong strategy goes a long way. Invest in that strong strategy.
Chris Davis 32:47
Thank you for tuning in to this episode of The all systems go podcast. If you enjoyed it, make sure that you’re subscribed at the time of recording the all systems go podcast is free to subscribe to, and it can be found in Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts new episodes are released every Thursday, so make sure you’re subscribed so that you don’t miss out on while you’re at it. Please leave us a five star rating and review to show some love but also to help future listeners more easily find the podcast so they can experience the value of goodness as well. We’ve compiled all resources mentioned on the podcast, as well as other resources that are extremely valuable and effective at helping you grow your marketing automation skills quickly. And you can access them all at allsystemsgopodcast.com Thanks again for listening. And until next time, I see you online. Automate responsibly my friends
- [5:04] Chris shares his personal definition for strategy
- [6:41] A common misconception when it comes to strategy
- [9:01] Why the actions you’re taking in your business aren’t getting you your desired results
- [9:45] The purpose of a homepage and why you shouldn’t be sending traffic primarily there
- [14:32] The mindset shifts that start happening once you have a strong business foundation laid
- [15:39] “A great strategic marketer never starts from scratch.”
- [16:13] The 1 major factor that will determine the cost of a good marketing strategy
- [22:00] What to expect when you invest in strategy if you’re starting from scratch
- [23:30] The true value and power of a good strategy coupled with a system
- [27:25] The telltale sign that you are working with a good strategist
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About the Show
On the show, Chris reveals all of his automated marketing strategies he has learned from working in fast growing marketing technology startups so you can put your business on autopilot quickly and without error.
Discover how to deploy automated marketing, sales, and delivery systems to scale your business without working long hours to do so.
Chris L. Davis
Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant