MARKETERS are problem-solvers.

The question you need to always be asking in business and the businesses you work for is: What’s the Problem?

Once you identify the problem – whether that be product awareness, lead generation, prompting a first purchase, incentives for high-ticket purchase and subscriptions, retaining customers and encouraging referrals – you can use a marketing campaign to solve it.

A marketing campaign is a planned sequence of activities designed to meet a business objective (or problem).

When you think of it this way, your agenda is going to become very clear.

You’re going to start saying: “I know where to spend time and energy”, because the biggest problem marketers have isn’t figuring out what to do but figuring out what not to do.

In digital marketing especially, the possibilities are confusing.

Should you do a podcast? Would a YouTube channel work? Maybe you should work on SEO more. Do you try to curb the cart abandonment? Or perhaps you focus an onboarding sequence after the customer buys?

These are all great marketing activities but trying to attack those tactics at once (and by a team of one or a handful!) would be unworkable.

What you need is a framework to start making more educated decisions on what tactics to employ and why.

Russ says a common mistake marketers make is thinking one campaign could be built to meet all the objectives of the business.

That’s not possible.

You need to look at specific campaign objectives that will solve a particular problem and build campaigns that connect from one goal to the next: awareness to lead generation, for example.

Or lead generation to first purchase. Or from first purchase to high-ticket purchase. Or from first purchase to subscription purchase. Or from first purchase to subscription purchase to retention.

The campaign might meet two or three objectives but will never solve all business problems at once.


Bottlenecks hold up your business and prevent it from growing.

When you get into a room with your team or you’re trying to find out where to spend your time as a marketer, look at the list of six campaign objectives and identify the bottleneck.

Where’s the problem? What is holding up the business?

A bottleneck looks like this: where you might have great prospects but they’re held up, like in a traffic jam.

There’s a section of your business, say, lead generation, where you’re able to achieve awareness in  getting traffic to your blog or people are listening to your podcast but it’s getting down to one lane when it comes to the next step of lead generation because you don’t have a solid, predictable campaign in place to open this up and let the leads flow in.

If your client, or if you as a business owner, have ever said something like, “If everybody just knew about us, they’d buy from us. We have great stuff” – that’s an awareness/engagement problem.

If you have an awareness problem, you’ve got a bottleneck right up at the front. You’re not bringing in fresh blood: new, aware, prospective customers.

That’s a massive bottleneck you’ve got to solve by building a specific campaign.

If you’re saying, “We just don’t have an email list to send our offers to” – that’s a lead generation problem. You need to build a campaign that specifically attacks that objective.

You might create a campaign that just has one objective: referrals. Or one designed to drive first purchase.

You might have a campaign that’s designed to drive awareness/engagement and lead generation. That is, to hand these new people who have become aware of the company’s products to lead generation.

Or move them through the customer journey from lead generation to first purchase.

But we’re not going to build a single campaign that can generate leads while also retaining customers. That’s not how it works.

Some bottlenecks look like this.

Unlike the previous “wine bottle” bottleneck, this shows a problem somewhere in the middle (where it goes down to one lane).

Because we’ve got the back end and the front end figured out, somewhere in the middle, in this bottleneck, the growth of the business is being hampered.

Imagine what would happen to the business if you opened this up and let three or seven lanes through.

Once you’ve identified the problem, you and your team can work out how to open up this bottleneck.

COVID-19 has created new bottlenecks in many ways for businesses.

Some businesses have experienced a market problem, others an offer problem.

This “new normal” has created problems at the purchase stage where numerous businesses simply can’t sell any more than what has been selling.

What campaign can you use to build and run to predictably and intentionally open up these gaps?

Asking that question is setting the stage for marketers to do what they do best: solve problems with campaigns.

And if you are successful in creating campaigns that manage to open up the bottlenecks and allow a free flow, the business will experience exponential growth.

Blog Post created from Russ Henneberry’s DMDU Connect LIVE 2020 Presentation.

If you would like to watch the full presentation, CLICK HERE and start your FREE 7 Day Trial.

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