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Why do I need a marketing strategy?

Because smaller companies tend to use a scattershot willy-nilly approach that does not achieve results. They throw things against the wall to see what sticks. They then perceive marketing as a cost center rather than an investment. Marketing is a process like any other. It needs a strong foundation before the house is built and someone with the expertise to lead it.

Often, the first place to start is the website. That is the foundation everything else rests upon. Next is systems like a CRM, email and marketing automation, etc. We don’t want to drive traffic to a website that is garbage. We also don’t want to throw money into paid advertising before we exhaust search engine optimization. SEO is free other than the labor hours. As SEO gets working and Google does its thing ranking and indexing, then we can turn to paid ads to supplement. Usually, in our industries, there is a longer sales cycle. So, this is a long game, not a quick fix.

Industry standard is 3-5% of revenue, but for a company of $33 million, even .5-1% would move the dial. My current employer is investing 1.8% of revenue in the marketing budget, excluding personnel costs and tradeshow costs. In the first year of a real, comprehensive marketing program, if the marketing program pays for itself, you are on track. Then each year will build upon that exponentially

It is your brand – how your company is perceived in the market. Brand management matters. Second, it is about relationships and nurturing those relationships by being a subject-matter expert and industry leadership. The sales team alone cannot accomplish that. Think of the power of networking and shaking hands. That’s what marketing does. It helps you stay in front of prospects at the right time with the right message and the right channel. It can generate revenue when done right.

Content can increase organic traffic by 30% and position you as a subject-matter expert in your field. It also helps with search engine optimization because as Google crawls your site to index you to be found in a search, it is looking for fresh content that ranks for your keywords.

They should work in lockstep and be collaborative rather than siloed. It is important that sales understands the value of marketing. It is important that marketing give the sales team the support they need. Communication is everything as leads or nurtured, qualified, and handed off for the close.

That depends on the project and time/resources involved. Most incremental CMOs charge gobs of money and make multiple six figures. That is not my goal. My goal is to make enough and change some worlds and some people’s lives with the talent I have. My rates honestly undercut the market, and there is probably no marketer on the planet with the combination of experience, knowledge, and certifications that I have.

Definitely. You can check out my recommendations on LinkedIn and Google reviews. Those include former managers, coworkers, direct reports, clients, subcontractors, service partners, etc. They tell you what they think of me and my work from their mouths, not mine.

I prefer to work with an ACH wire transfer or direct deposit to my business checking account for accounting purposes and to avoid hidden credit card fees. I also keep my personal accounts and my business accounts completely separate; so, there is not an option to use PayPal. And I don’t like to hear, “The check’s in the mail.”

That varies based on the terms of the contract and the work requests. A marketing strategy usually is one to two months. Then a retainer should encompass the remainder of the year. Most projects can take a year to get going and see results. I usually recommend you stay with a service partner through foundation, implementation and sales cycle to see results. You can hire me indefinitely or just until we turn things over to your in-house team. I am flexible. I don’t want to take your money if you don’t need me. I have turned down clients and sent clients to other consultants. If your culture is broken, your succession plan is broken, your delivery time is broken and your customers hate you, you don’t need me for lead generation. You need an ops consultant and an HR consultant. I won’t lie to you or take from you unless I feel we are the right fit and can see an ROI.

You can see the list of services on our Services page.

It will give you an assessment of your marketing, a strategy, tactical recommendations, and implementation, if desired. The goal is to enhance your brand, nurture relationships, generate leads, and drive traffic.

Primarily manufacturing and secondarily distribution, industrial, trade and technical. Any B2B marketing is in our wheelhouse.

I would do a discovery meeting with the decision maker, present a proposal, present a contract, then have a half day kickoff meeting to gather information. I will do research, talk to your subject-matter experts then put together the strategy based on your unique target market, personas, goals, and challenges. Finally, I will present that strategy and continue on retainer to guide strategy, review analytics and results, and consult with the implementation team.

I specialize in B2B marketing. Not only do I have 30+ years of marketing experience, but I have worked in-house and as a consultant for more than 25 small- to mid-sized manufacturers, distributors, technical, and trade companies. What makes me different from every other B2B marketer out there? I managed Welding Design & Fabrication, Gases & Welding Distributor, and American Machinist. I understand milling, drilling, boring, lathing, tooling, tolerances, CMMs, CNCs, RAMs, EDMs, Fanuc, Kuka, Motoman, cobots, robots, CMMC compliance, and the challenges in the industry. I was welding certified from Lincoln Electric. I have my Six Sigma Yellow and Green Belts and will have my Black Belt in 2024. I understand Lean process improvements and avoiding rework. There is probably no marketer on the planet with this combined knowledge and experience. Plus, my clients become my family. I am all about their best interest as evidenced in my LinkedIn recommendations/testimonials. I tend to work with the owners/presidents/VPs/CEOs/CMOs of businesses that have 200 employees or less and are at $50 million or less in revenue. Those are the companies that need affordable foundational and growth marketing strategies because they often lack the in-house expertise, and agencies tend to be too expensive with no one in-house to manage them. In 2023, I founded Barracuda B2B Marketing to meet this need. We have the industry expertise and knowledge, and we firmly believe in servant leadership to empower B2B companies through realistic and proven foundational and growth marketing strategies and incisive, data-driven tactics to elevate their brand, maintain a strong digital presence, and generate quality leads for the sales team.

On our Home Page, you can see my memberships and accreditations. I go to meetings and webinars, read blogs, subscribe to websites for information, read books, and experiment. When AI hit the market, I dove in and use it in many capacities. Marketing is ever evolving and changing. We need to adapt with it in order to leverage its full power.

I have worked for the Timkens, Smuckers, PNC Banks, and CWRUs of the world, but I prefer the little guy who needs me. I like to be a jack of all trades and wear many hats rather than be a little cog in a big wheel and if I disappear the machine keeps on grinding. I like the freedom and flexibility of family-oriented companies that are not institutionalized. Most of my clients are under $50 million in revenue and 200 employees. I have worked with startups, too.

The only way to measure it is to have the systems in place – a CRM that is used by the sales team and a marketing automation platform where we can track data. Data is the measure. It will tell us how many leads convert, the cost of each lead, and the revenue growth as compared with expense. If your marketing program pays for itself in its first year, you are doing well. This is a long game.

I would need to look at any competitive information, financials, strategic plan, goals, current marketing work, website/email/social access, analytics, keywords you are trying to rank for, and your tech stack.

I look at the industry, the target customer, unique challenges, sophistication of sales and marketing programs and processes, tech stack, etc. Everyone is at a different stage of evolution. The same strategies do not work for everyone. They have to be tailored.

Your information is yours. Mine is mine. My processes and methods are proprietary as are yours. I have worked with clients in the same industry at different times and treat them each as unique. I am willing to sign confidentiality agreements so that all intellectual property stays yours and mine. I also do not want people to take my confidential information and use it to compete against me or to sell it. I get it. I respect it.

After our initial discovery meeting, proposal meeting, and project kickoff meeting, I will report out weekly on progress and keep in touch via email or phone with stakeholders if I need further information. We then will have a final presentation of strategy with the contract for retainer. If we continue with a marketing strategy retainer, I will meet monthly with your team for an hour, the project manager and marketing subcontractor if not in-house for an hour, review analytics, and make monthly strategy recommendations.

Both. I can do just strategy. I prefer to implement and manage my strategy though to ensure its success. I like to keep clients for at least a year to get that program off the ground and ease the path to what can be a difficult or overwhelming project for someone who has not done it effectively before.

Yes, we also do branding, including websites, logos, and brand guidelines.

I have to balance my workload and current clients. So, I would let you know when we first talk what my timeline is like for availability. I never will take on too many clients. That causes a disservice to them all. When I am doing this part time in addition to my other role, I would probably take 1-3 clients depending on scope of project. When I am full time, I could manage 12-15 clients for the year.

You can terminate my services upon completion of the contract and not renew, but I will need to be paid for the services in the contract due to time invested and allocation of resources, as well as other clients I may have turned down to commit to your work. I have not had an unhappy client. I will do the strategy and present it to you before you commit to the retainer or implementation of the strategy. That will be a separate contract so that you can make a decision based upon our initial work together.

Yes, I actually have done sales process improvements, trained direct reports and subcontractors, and consulted on implementation of a CRM and marketing automation platform. I taught college for 30 years. I have also done communications training at a variety of my employers.