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Overcoming Obstacles to Get to the Next Growth Milestone

Our guest on this topic, Rhonda Giedt, was incredible and inspirational. I hope you enjoy!

Regardless of size, every company has a milestone they’re trying to reach.

But sometimes, it’s hard for you to get outside of your industry for a fresh perspective.

You’re very interested in trends and competitors. But, a fresh perspective can provide that spark of growth you’ve been missing or are struggling with.

Marketing fundamentals are the same across industries. But having an outside perspective can make a significant difference.

What’s different now?

The business technology world in 2023 feels like an episode of The Last of Us. Every week or month is a different experience. It’s not just about zombies. It’s about survival and human nature. Running a growth-phase tech company feels very similar right now.

You need a strategy for marketing leadership that can help you reach that next growth milestone. You need a destination, even when the destination keeps moving. But what is it?

A Holistic View

You could say 2023 is a crazy whirlwind where anything can happen. A formula that is successful for marketing leadership is to tie it into all aspects of the company. In other words, don’t think of marketing in marketing terms. Look at the business objectives.

You should do this in any economic climate to be successful. But when business is performing well, it can fall by the wayside. It can be easy for marketing to sit at the table and ask for a higher budget. You might say that you can provide more opportunities at the top of the funnel if you have more money.

But, if you’re looking at the overall business objectives, sometimes marketing needs to take a step back and suggest they provide a portion of their budget to invest in a great product opportunity that has become available. It could increase market share and accelerate into a new ideal customer profile. This is what’s best for business.

It’s all about Growth, stupid!

It’s not all about marketing and tactics. It’s about growth and looking at the bigger picture.

A few minor product or landing page modifications can help you tap into a new market opportunity. But it requires product focus. A fractional or interim CMO can assist a CEO because they don’t have the ego and they’re not looking to protect the budget or department.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Marketing strategies are an extension of business objectives.

It should be dependent on which individual company is trying to achieve. A marketing strategy for one business might not work for another, even if they’re in the same industry. The ICP is often slightly different and explaining that you can’t just rinse and repeat can take a lot of effort.

Marketing playbooks and strategies that have worked shouldn’t be thrown away because of a hot new trend. You need to understand the needs of the business so you can develop a customized marketing strategy to help them reach their next growth milestone.

Knowing is Half the Battle

There are three main themes that companies face. It’s not exclusive to early-stage businesses or Fortune 150 organizations. It applies to everyone.

1. What You Got Here Won’t Get You There

This can mean getting your next round of funding or going from $5 million ARR to $10 million. All companies hit a wall. It can be hard for executives and employees to shift their focus. They think their current customers got them to this point, and they will be the ones to help them reach their next milestone.

But what a company may need to do is shift its ICP. As a product grows and evolves, sometimes your ICP doesn’t. But it needs to adjust. Once you wrap your head around it and realize that you might lose some of your initial early adopters, you’ll gain a whole new ideal client profile.

Salesforce is a prime example. They started as an underdog going after small businesses and departments within larger organizations that were frustrated with traditional CRM models. Fast Forward to today, and they are now a full enterprise model. They have somewhat abandoned the little groups, but from a growth standpoint, they have knocked it out of the park.

2. Growing Pains

Often growing pains have nothing to do with the business side of things. It has a lot to do with the employees, especially those that have been there since the beginning or during the phase where it was a smaller team. They find it hard to understand why they previously oversaw 20 things and are now only responsible for two.

Companies must overcommunicate to employees why they are shifting. They should tell them that the business can grow more rapidly if each team member is laser-focused on their area.

Employees want to show value and bring value to the company. This way, they will be safe if the business has to do layoffs. Staff will feel that if you’re taking away responsibilities, it’s not a good sign. So communicating what you’re focused on and explaining why it will make the business successful is vital instead of telling employees not to worry and just do what you say.

Before growth can happen in the outside world, it needs to happen in the company.

3. Prioritization

Every size company faces this obstacle. We even face it as individuals. Think about your life. You have to balance work, life, friends, family, and everything else. It’s hard to prioritize.

There are a lot of different tools available that can help companies prioritize. But it’s tough to reach that next growth milestone by putting a stake in the ground, choosing three focus areas, and ignoring the shiny new objects. It can be tricky and scary for a lot of people. Especially as budgets tighten up and sales cycles get longer. It’s easy to suggest doing more research because you’re not confident it will work. It’s human nature.

But if you look back at history and the companies that stayed the course and doubled down. They are the ones that were successful and grabbed market share. They had brand awareness and built longer-term pipelines.

Fresh Perspectives Can Spark Growth

Getting a fresh or a unique perspective can help spark growth in companies. Some CEOs may be weary as they’re concerned about someone outside the industry not knowing their space or its nuances. However, it can keep companies inside a bubble. It also stops them from seeing an opportunity right in front of them.

It’s about finding someone who can bring a fresh perspective. Sometimes these little shifts can give you the edge needed to break through the current plateau.

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