MadPipe's creative direction does for a company what a campaign manager does for a political campaign.
The default thought for achieving business goals is often some form of "marketing".
But, like sands through the hourglass . . .
Most Pure "Marketing" Approaches are Too Granular
They focus on checking boxes that, added together, don't create a seismic shift.
MadPipe does ALL of these...BUT MadPipe puts together a configuration of tactical components that fit your company's revenue goals, and sticks around to lead the charge so company sales targets are always driving. Want to prioritize higher-margin opportunities, new markets, gaining a reputation for a particular product, beating competition, or proliferation in a particular region? State your goal, and THAT will drive.
The Skills You Need Mimic a Founder
To achieve your revenue goals, you think you need marketing. You know you want sales. Think broader and bridge the gap.
You want a marketing initiative that supports your sales team, increases leads, fits seamlessly into company culture, and positions you as the subject matter experts while MadPipe runs it.
You need core messaging for website and other sales collateral that conveys your value proposition clearly, distinguishes you from competition, and supports the kinds of conversations your sales team is consistently having.
You could use an extra brain to help with defining and developing new products/services, with an eye on positioning those things to engage and excite the audience.
Your stakeholders insist on numbers. You want to accumulate the most impactful metrics, paired with reliable analysis, so your analytics make your case for support.
Because anything less than a bulldozer cannot bring about your powerful goals.
Your Sales Team Needs A Friend
Your front-line is your salespeople. They are going after business and eating what they kill. But they need air support. They need someone that speaks their language, hears what messages are working, and bolsters their efforts to close deals.
A creative director is: part salesperson, part marketer, part project manager, storyteller, digital ecologist® and trainer. Qualifications are:
Knows how to activate an audience.
Can lead an agile project effectively.
Strong sales & business background.
Lives & breathes technical & digital.
Inspires & enlists internal company team members.
The gravitas to guide a blended team to an outcome.
Routinely collaborates with Sales team to hone their game.
Debriefs to extract insights that shape your message.
You've got big goals. Biggest in your industry. Good. You can have what you want. Get precise about the target, hold up your end, and prioritize winning. Do we have a deal?
Make the Call.
A quick discovery call will see if we're a fit.
This is How It Might Work
There's no "one size fits all" template for YOUR business.
But now you have a co-pilot on growth, brand, product, & data.
Still Thinking About It?
Remember, strategy is what amateurs are selling. MadPipe is tactical.
Answer some basic questions.
Most marketing direction sticks with best practices, budget administration, and outsourcing to freelancers. You want someone that builds marketing into the company fabric and works to bottom-line business goals.
At the Marketing Director level: it costs $125-250K+benefits-NOT counting the actual marketing budget that person administrates.
What do you get for that? Potentially, a lot of unnecessary time at desk. For that same money or less, MadPipe could run an entire marketing program with content writers, email campaigns, on-message pay per click ads, social selling training and SEO.
1) What are your goals? How big a game are you playing? How big a race do you intend to run?
2) Here are some norms. FYI: The Campaign Director can determine what best to spend it on!
A campaign manager can guide your website build/overhaul to market MUCH more effectively than most companies can do on their own.
Most companies DON'T end up with a website that is a marketing engine, because they don't have those considerations driving the project from the outset. Then, when they launch their marketing, it becomes an afterthought, out of alignment, or requires a website revision to be successful.
Yes - if you can pay for it.
It's not a problem for MadPipe. Some companies embed MadPipe so completely that Daniel DiGriz acts personally as their Marketing Director or outsource CMO. Others already have an internal marketing role that benefits from collaboration with MadPipe. MadPipe just wants to win whatever ballgame you're playing, and is happy to collaborate and share the credit.
As part of an engagement, of course. On a standalone basis, you don't need that. The only thing that matters is the bottom line—what has it done for you exactly and lately? Is it generating interest, getting your name out in the marketplace, and recruiting (along with your collateral & salespeople) leads? You already know if it's a good investment. If not: MadPipe is NOT going to tweak it for you—MadPipe is going to replace it with something that aligns with your goals.
Avoid some basic traps.
Marketing is often unplugged from sales, not tied to the revenue center of the company, and fraught with issues of power and accountability.
The Trap: An autonomous marketing department IS a silo. It drains revenue but does not participate in increasing it. From a strictly fiduciary perspective, it therefore has no value.
On top of that: When it's left solely in the hands of specialists, and doesn't bring the broader organization together around company campaigns, activating internal brand advocates to champion the cause, it can't achieve the momentum needed to beat competitors who also have marketing specialists.
Solution: Create sales-marketing alignment, and place marketing in the service of sales. Utilize marketing as a base to create brand advocacy across departmental boundaries.
Successful companies spend money on marketing, and we assume that their marketing efforts are HOW they're being successful. It is often the case they BECAME successful first, and for other reasons, and that gives momentum to their marketing—not the other way around.
The trap: Your company mimics competitors' marketing strategies, thinking they are a pathway to catching up. But you never do.
Solution: Do the thing the competitors WON'T do.
The company tries to act (essentially) as a news/publishing outlet, creating generic industry content on the justification that it demonstrates credibility. Generic = primarily informative and barely (or doesn't) mention that the company actually sells anything. Sometimes the logic is even, "Let's become the industry's main news source."
The Trap: The company is NOT a publication—it will never become the Huffington Post of its industry, because that's not its core revenue model, and it takes 100% focus to actually run a publication, let alone a profitable one. The intended audience praises the material, which feels good. But the fundamental sales argument is not being made, and the initiative fails to build an active, thriving audience of brand champions who buy from and refer the company.
Solution: Make industry leadership the premise for your content campaign.
Somewhere, there's a blog post entitled "10 Things You Should Be Doing in Your Marketing". It's a collection of best practices anyone can Google and learn. Except the writer doesn't know anything about YOUR business, so it implies that one size fits all (i.e. there's a template for marketing).
- The template was created by marketing consultants, primarily to ease their burden and sell more marketing consulting. Just like therapy can often discover the need for more therapy.
- Anyone can google and learn those things, so they are the most commodified strategies with the *least* competitive value. Everyone has the same game plan, so it's neutralized.
- If there's a template created by marketing experts, why do we need marketing experts? Just fire them and use their template! Or hand your team a book—any marketing book.
- The difference between info you can google and decades of experience is nuance and context. Your marketing strategy needs to align with company revenue goals—a generic template just spends money for nothing.
Solution: Never accept a prescription without a diagnosis. Make anyone giving you marketing advice explain why it's right for YOUR company in particular, without reference to any other companies.
Most training consists of info, concepts, and tasks the consultant knows your team can't implement effectively by themselves. It's not designed to 'transfer' expertise but to sell more services. It's priced affordably because it's a loss leader.
The Trap: Instead of being customized to company goals, training is often a collection of "tips" and "best practices" that could just as easily have been a blog article.
Solution: Make the training utilize real world company examples.
Most marketing reports consist of:
- At best: mistaken or knee jerk analysis that doesn't convey enough nuance about what the numbers really mean. For instance, does the bounce rate on a page mean the page is no good, or the marketing campaign that is linking to it is no good, or is it a normal increase from doing marketing in the first place?
- At worst: selective data reporting, fluff and feel-good numbers, with no close tie to revenue, and not a lot of actionable/useful analysis. What exactly is the value of a 'follower' or a 'like'? What percentage of those results in a conversion? Are we measuring conversions and, if so, what counts as a conversion? Is it related to a campaign uptick or a seasonal spike?
The trap: You make decisions on which efforts to support or drop based on inadequate information. Even if you move the needle, you don't know if it's the right needle, because it's buried in arcane jargon that doesn't convey where it aligns with sales.
Solution: Always ask—what is the value of a particular metric.
The company invests a disproportionate amount of its marketing resources (budget, time, attention) in producing a website. The belief is the website will generate additional leads and is key to the company's growth.
The Trap: The more resources the company devotes, the more it develops an unspoken belief that launching the new website will create additional business. There's an immense letdown when discovering: a) It won't. It may merely *enable* the creation of new business. b) There's insufficient remaining time, money, and focus to engage in the kind of aggressive marketing and additional sales activity needed to produce that business.
Solution: Treat the website as a piece of sales collateral (it won't make the sale for you); prioritize using it to help you sell and close deals—Sales should run it; get the project to 'done' in the most efficient way possible (e.g. using Agile methodology); simultaneously create a multi-channel marketing plan around the near-finished material.
The company employs an internal narrative about digital that says 'we don't really understand it' or imbues it with mystique. As a result, we look for new rules that do not originate in our 'normal', non-digital experiences. We try to reinvent the way people interact, and can prioritize trivial mannerisms like "Never post on Wednesdays" or "Nothing in capital letters." Just as some of us who are more socially starchy might repeatedly confirm the time and place of a first date.
The Trap: We forego the opportunities for genuine human connections via digital, and turn our digital strategy into a series of formulaic 'best practices' that have more in common with manipulating a capricious MACHINE than engaging human beings.
The Solution: As a Digital Ecologist®, MadPipe's founder takes the attitude that the best template for how digital ecologies operate is natural/human ecosystems. Tony Soprano's mom hilariously would not answer the phone after dark. But she has a point—people remain people, even when using a digital device. So utilize what we know about building healthy relationships and ecosystems in general to shape our digital strategy. Important shifts like round-the-clock access are the details but not the end-game itself.
Recognizing the role emotions play in business is a fairly new phenomenon in professional settings, but it acknowledges that the barriers to our goals are often not purely intellectual or physical. We might struggle with control, status, or confidence in ways that hold us back and can only be addressed through transformative learning (vs. merely informative learning).
The Trap: We don't address the underlying causes of not achieving what we want. Whether from decorum, to save face, or to preserve relationships, this actually strengthens the boundaries that keep us disempowered (and disconnected) and it sublimates the conversations we would need to be having to reach orbital velocity on our goals.
Solution: Make it safe to acknowledge the emotional content of our work, at work, and acceptable to give and receive input on the emotions that contribute to or distract from our respective missions and personal objectives as professionals.
Side Note: Star Trek the Next Generation dared to introduce a wide audience to this idea in a professional setting. The inclusion of characters Counselor Troi (representing the conviction that our professional goals are rooted in our personal ontological framework) and Lieutenant Barclay shown in this video—who goes from uncomfortable struggles for advancement to near godhood—is an acknowledgment that it's now acceptable to discuss motivations, our internal dialogue, and our ultimate aspirations for fulfillment.
The question is not whether you'll grow your company. In this accelerating, uncertain, and disruption-prone market, it's grow or die. The question is how many false starts you'll pursue until you decide winning is too important to leave to chance. MadPipe is here to do one thing: win with you. Paint a target on your goal, and let's go get it.
Success is Seeing the Needle Move!
And everything else is codswallop.
You're Seriously Still Waiting?
NEED MORE PROOF?
SVP Global Sales, CTSI-Global
"For a twenty million dollar logistics company processing five million transactions daily and twelve billion dollars annually, there's still a ton of room to grow. MadPipe takes the lead on rallying our marketing team, filling key gaps in expertise, aligning the team with Sales, and producing measurable results. MadPipe took a website project a vendor sat on for a year and brought it to completion in 24 days. We consider the relationship integral to our team."
Visionary Goal: An industry leader in enterprise logistics and business intelligence wanted to achieve ambitious revenue goals, align their marketing efforts with sales goals, and produce an updated brand narrative and messaging for those purposes.
The Specifics: The company needed to get all stakeholders on the same page, get a new website delivered, new UX for their app, new sales collateral, implement marketing automation, optimize their ads, and improve their lead generation. They also wanted to be better known for their newer services and garner more sales leads.
The Hurdles: The various teams brought lots of different demands and considerations. Marketing vendors were less responsive than required. Stakeholders lacked the sheer time and focus needed to build consensus, plan actionable next steps, and hold all participants accountable. These hindrances jeopardized their ambitious goals.
MadPipe's Solution: Create a new brand-story for the company, aligned with the Sales Department's needs. Assemble a marketing team around a consensus model for decision-making and an agile process for project execution. Put milestones in place with continual measurement for all participants internal and external to the company (including vendors). Relentlessly drive projects (like the website) to completion.
Direct Results: The team delivered a new app UX, new website, new sales collateral, implemented marketing automation, and overhauled the ad and lead-gen functions to produce improved numbers.
Ultimate Result: By the end of the first year, the Company was positioned to pursue a forecasted 3-fold growth in revenue vs. the previous year.
"We couldn't do this stuff without Daniel DiGriz and MadPipe. They're very much a huge part of our team's success." - Richard Perry, VP of Product Management
"I've had the best year in sales I've ever had since MadPipe has been onboard." - Josh Miller, VP of Sales
Director, Clark Hulings Fund
"MadPipe has been an invaluable partner on multiple projects. Whether it's specific tactics to accomplish quotidian marketing goals or developing long-term, multi-tiered strategies to build momentum and drive revenue, MadPipe causes its clients to move forward at surprising speed."
The Clark Hulings Fund
The Visionary Goal: An advocacy organization for creative professionals wanted to become the primary provider of entrepreneurial education and business training for their constituency.
The Hurdle: Needed a unicorn mix of expertise to 1) wed adult learning, digital transformation, and instructional design with marketing savvy, 2) recruit sufficient learners to an entirely new educational program, 3) overcome industry perceptions around the feasibility or practicality of such a program, 4)imbue the program with sufficient gravitas to meet the standards of exacting supporters, and 5) launch extremely quickly.
MadPipe's Solution: Rapidly design and deploy a full suite of educational programming on an agile model (plan and execute in tandem). Programs include a graduate-level fellowship, digital learning portal, and learning event series, supported by a user-driven learning community, a widely distributed, syndicated podcast. Develop messaging that translated the organization's mission into compelling narratives. Assemble a marketing team with the expertise to disseminate that organizational narrative.
Direct Results: Brought podcast to 30,000 downloads by the start of 2018. Attracted 15,000 unique users to view 54,000 pages of the learning portal. Graduated 9 graduate Fellows from a pilot in 2016 and 18 from the full program in 2017. Awarded 13 senior fellowships for 2018. Numbers continue to climb.
Ultimate Result: Based on learner inquiries and media coverage, The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists is widely regarded as providing some of the most innovating and substantive business education to professional and working artists. The audience continues to grow, and the organization has multiple new streams of revenue.
"For a virtual company in 4 cities, MadPipe directs marketing for 8 employees + 22 contractors, with hard deadlines they can't screw around on. MadPipe suggests new campaigns, trains whatever we need, troubleshoots roadblocks, recommends tools and resources, and analyzes our metrics. Now 90% of our business comes from search and there is new business from social."
Visionary Goal: A successful copywriting firm with a staff of 30 wanted to achieve ambitious revenue goals, become known as the enterprise and mid-market go-to for copywriting, and have an easier time garnering leads.
The Specifics: The company wanted to reduce lead generation overhead, yet increase the mix of enterprise and mid-market to small-business clients, and command top-of-market prices, and work on more optimal projects.
The Hurdles: Not enough internal bandwidth to simultaneously maintain an effective marketing program and meet the company’s operational demands. 100% of leads coming from referrals, but time-consuming to generate and not generally enterprise (heavy with small business). Wanted valuable search leads.
MadPipe's Solution: Draw on the company's brand narrative to hone and present its value proposition for enterprise prospects. Outline a packaging and pricing schema for recurring revenue services. Optimize the Sales Team's approach. Create a content/SEO strategy that produces a high volume of traffic & steady leads.
Direct Results: Significant uptick in traffic and leads: 90% of leads come from organic search. Dramatic increase in enterprise and mid-market clientele.
Ultimate Result: Company crossed a new milestone on annual revenue and brand reach.