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  • Pete Steege

The 3 Gears of a Marketing Engine



Today' post is our 12th and final Marketing Triple. Over the past couple of months I've been talking about three-element dynamics in marketing that can be found in my new book On Purpose: the CEO's Guide to Marketing With Meaning.


This last Marketing Triple is different. It's not in the book, but it's an important one. I thought this would be a good way to finish off the series. Today's Triple: the three gears of the marketing engine.


I believe strongly that marketing that works is an ecosystem. It's something that is alive and I often refer to it as an engine. And I want to talk to you about the three gears that make that engine run. I found it to be true in any healthy and effective marketing ecosystem in a B2B company.


I use the acronym GPS because it represents the three gears: G stands for goals, P is for programs and S is for systems. GPS iss also a great description of a well-run marketing organization. It's intelligent and it's powerful. It helps you wherever you are. It's dynamic.


Let's talk about the three gears of the marketing GPS - the marketing engine!


Goals


This is my word for knowing what it is you're out to do with your marketing. Having an end in mind before you start doing stuff and spending money and hiring people and using your time; having that clear understanding of who it is that you help more than any other group of people or companies; what it is that you exactly do for them and how they understand that - that's at the core of everything you're going to do in your marketing. And the most effective marketing engine is one that is organized and driven by a consistent and cohesive plan for what you're off to do and why you're doing it.


Programs


Programs are frankly where most people start with their marketing. It's the stuff you do. It's the investments you make. It's the actions you take in the market or within your company to market your solution.


You may have heard the term "random acts of marketing". That's what happens when you start with a program without first deciding why you're doing it; you think about programs independently and not as part of your overall goals for your business and your marketing. So the programs gear in a marketing engine that works is a portfolio of actions and investments that you deploy consistently - in different markets, different phases of your sale, different regions of the country. When you step back from these activities, they all rhyme. They all work together. They're not the same, but they're consistent. And it's that reverberation of experiences in the market that actually move the needle with your marketing.


If you do one thing one time for any prospect, it's not going to do you much good because that blip in their world will be very unlikely to stick. But if you deliver a set of things that are calibrated to create that experience and remind them over and over again what you do and why it helps them, that's how you break through and get traction.



Systems


The third gear is also critical, and that is systems. All of the work you've done to come up with a plan and your goals and to implement these programs is a waste if they don't continue over time.


If you don't have effective repetition and you don't have a plan for how your marketing moves forward as your business evolves - as you launch new products, grow, contract, all of that - you need processes in place so people know who is accountable, who does what, balls don't get dropped, and your business succeeds over the long run with an effective marketing engine.


So goals, programs, and systems gears are the best way I think to describe them because they interact and you can't do the job with any one of those three essential ingredients missing.

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