Marketing Game Changers for 2013

It’s the season for wrapping up the old year and prepping for the next. I hope you are as excited about the potential of the coming year as I am, particularly as it pertains to how you can transform your marketing organization. Here are six ideas to get you started:

1.  Understand your sales lead requirements. This one is crucial, because if you don’t understand how many sales leads you need, you can’t properly support the sales organization and your company’s revenue objectives.  If you want to learn how to do this, read our article, How Many Sales Leads Do You Need.

2.  Tune or replace your sales model. There is no better time than right now to give your sales model careful scrutiny, especially if your results are faltering or you have a gnawing feeling that you are doing things out of habit instead of based on how effective the activity actually is. Even if you are relatively satisfied with your go-to-market model, there are probably ways that you can tweak it for better results. The objective of the sales model is to produce the maximum amount of new customers and revenue at the lowest cost. If you are in direct sales mode, perhaps you should consider incorporating a channel program. Likewise, channel-focused companies can sometimes benefit from adding a direct sales component. Also ask whether telephone sales can replace in-person, or the web can replace either method. If possible, test the new model on a small scale before rolling it out to the entire organization.

3.  Craft a service level agreement (SLA) between sales and marketing.  A SLA is a written (yes, written) specification of the relationship between marketing and sales, and what each group is expected contribute to the overall revenue objectives. At a minimum, your SLA will include these details:

  • Number of sales leads required and when
  • What constitutes a sales-ready lead
  • How leads are distributed to the field
  • How sales reps disposition leads
  • How marketing’s contribution is measured through a closed-loop system

4.  Transform your marketing initiatives into a “marketing machine.”  Almost every company does marketing. But relatively few do it on a consistent, relentless and reliable basis. We call this the “coin operated approach.” You put some marketing time and money in at one end of the process and you get a predictable amount of revenue at the other end. When you can do this, you are seen by the CEO, CFO and CSO as an investment, not an expense. This, my friend, is a very good thing for your company and your own job security.

5.  Join the Pull Marketing revolution. I’ve been talking about this for some time now for one primary reason: pull marketing works. It’s not a miracle cure for what ails you, and it takes time and a great deal of sweat equity. But if you start today, you will begin reaping benefits by the end of 2013. To read more about this important subject, read the blog post How to Accelerate Your Success with Pull Marketing.

6.  Resolve to be BOLD.  It’s a new year so why not make it a great year, instead of just another business-as-usual period of slight incremental progress?  If you set BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals) and you don’t quite reach them, you will usually find yourself farther ahead than if you never reached high in the first place. Here are a couple of BHAG ideas:

The Business Value Hierarchy

business value hierarchyA strategic approach to cure underperformance and leapfrog your competition

Protect and enhance your marketplace value by either becoming a top player (perhaps “the” top player) in your value category or better yet, launching yourself into a higher-value and more profitable category.  » Download the Whitepaper

  • Differentiate your company with a compelling and differentiated value proposition.
  • Double your website traffic.
  • Increase your inbound sales leads by 80%.
  • Align your marketing and sales organizations and processes for maximum effectiveness.
  • Shorten your sales cycles by 25%.

Any one of these six ideas can be a game changer for you and your organization.  Implement a couple of the strategies and you will start creating an unstoppable marketing machine.

Happy New Year!


Christopher Ryan
Follow me

You may also like


  • Jacob December 26, 2012   Reply →

    Agree that “doing things out of habit instead of based on how effective the activity actually is” is usually the death of any company. Setting those BHAGs is a necessity to survive. Success is never something to be coy about.

  • Rick Noel December 31, 2012   Reply →

    Solid advice Christopher. 2013 is going to be an exciting year, especially as it relates to pull marketing. The key is to adapt to the evolving marketing landscape, both online and off and to try to identify and leverage emerging marketing and sales opportunities where they fit. For example, 2013 is going to be a big growth year for mobile, so if mobile marketing makes sense for your business (i.e. you sell to people on the go), then look to become early adopters of mobile advertising, mobile applications and other mobile marketing tactics to gain competitive advantages. Is your website mobile friendly? What about your email marketing? This is part of being bold. The sales process has to evolve with changes in the customers buying process, which is many instances, is driving by adoption of emerging technologies. Thanks for sharing.

    • Christopher Ryan December 31, 2012   Reply →

      Rick, thanks for your comment. Agree that mobile will be an important component of pull marketing in 2013 and beyond.

Leave a comment