Priscilla Mckinney, Ceo
Marketing technology can be the difference between a great business idea and a well-executed marketing plan delivering revenue at scale. At first glance, MarTech can be an overwhelming buffet of options – each with its own unique features, capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. New software, widgets, plug-ins, and more are constantly being developed to solve niche business problems. When building a marketing tech stack, the task falls to each business to pick and choose the right tools from thousands available to create the right combination in service to company goals. All too often, companies are enticed by a MarTech solution and are left to build a strategic system around its assumptions and system requirements. “Simply using the trendiest solution on the market without a rigorous assessment of its capability of taking your company in the right direction is like calling an Uber to take joy rides–it is simply not what it’s for,” says Priscilla McKinney, CEO of Little Bird Marketing.
She brings clarity to the process–reviewing MarTech solutions with a focus on and commitment to the strategy that drives its usage. This approach results in the union of a MarTech solution with an actualized marketing plan–which allows teams to execute daily marketing actions that roll up into KPIs (key performance indicators), contributing directly to reaching and exceeding marketing and revenue goals.
More than Tools—Creating a MarTech Master Plan
Without a comprehensive plan, marketing teams often adopt MarTech and find themselves spending more time operating software and platforms, trying one campaign and approach after the other. The proverbial spaghetti marketing follows as teams throw the next tactic on the wall, waiting to see what sticks. This tendency to not use the solution as a tool but rather be led by it forces adopters to build marketing and content systems around the chosen MarTech, and what typically emerges is a kind of patchworked system stitched together from bits and pieces of different technologies without a simplified, holistic view of a business’s total marketing effort.
That is where Little Bird Marketing excels with its one-of-a-kind SOAR System™ – an ongoing and continuous marketing flight plan that helps businesses understand, unlock, and unleash their true potential, measuring success all along the way.
A Comprehensive Strategy to Optimize MarTech
Little Bird Marketing’s SOAR System™ is:
S – Strategic.
Development of strong ideal client persona work, coupled with keyword, hashtag strategy and more is the beginning of the important strategic foundation.
O – Organized.
Strategy is organized for success with macro and micro execution plans.
A – Accountable.
Teams, technology, trends, and tangents are held accountable for the focus on strategy and the commitment to the organization.
R – Repeatable.
Creating clear dashboards to analyze results means teams can easily repeat marketing actions that win and abandon underperforming campaigns.
The SOAR™ System is designed to help busy leaders create a sustainable lead generation system within 90 days so they can remain confident in the growth of their company without losing focus on their other responsibilities.
At takeoff, SOAR begins by laying out the framework and clarifying the exact market to be served.
Strategic onboarding takes place over the course of two days, including persona development–understanding the ideal buyers’ pains, newly emerging frustrations, and persistent challenges. Understanding the broader market involves content gap analysis, a review of a competitive moat, and an audit of existing assets.
Next, a strategy is broken down into hundreds of marketing actions and put in proper order to create a unique flight plan that resonates with the most ideal audience at all three stages of the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, and decision). Over 30 days, the Little Bird Marketing team imports this strategy into MarTech systems to customize the needed project management that will enable, amplify, and maximize the content strategy plan for the entire following year.
Finally, by shifting the focus to execution and integration, the plan is broken down into deliverables that will be of undeniable value to the prospect. The right MarTech is brought into the marketing system specifically for its ability to automate, simplify, or amplify the content or campaign deliverables. “Instead of offering yet another MarTech solution, we have built a system that puts strategy and planning first, and lets the technology follow for scalable execution,” Priscilla adds. By first clarifying the necessary strategy, then bringing the right technology to bear, together a clear and sustainable cycle of lead generation is created.
Insource or Outsource, The System as You Like It
The SOAR System™ applies well to both companies with their own internal marketing team and those without. For those that do, Little Bird Marketing provides a ‘do-it-yourself’ (DIY) option that equips the internal marketing department with the foundational strategy and licensed system so they can take the marketing flight plan and execute it internally. This approach provides clients’ in-house teams with the necessary frameworks, standard operating procedures, detailed checklists, and training needed to execute the plan and measure success. The deliverable is an annual content marketing plan based on their custom strategy and goals and structured to take advantage of the best practices to enable internal marketing departments to propel efforts to new heights.
Instead of offering yet another MarTech solution, we have built a system that puts strategy and planning first, and lets the technology follow for scalable execution
Alternatively, for those without a dedicated marketing team, the Little Bird Marketing team implements SOAR via a ‘done-for-you’ system. Again, it all starts with a bespoke strategic overview but then provides content marketing specialists, SEO experts, digital advertisers, videographers, photographers, designers, brand experts, graphic designers, and various marketing strategists as needed from their team – providing an outsourced extension of the business. In addition to the framework and structure of the DIY plan, the ‘do-it-for-you plan’ ensures monthly execution of all marketing deliverables, letting organizations focus on core business operations, knowing all marketing is expertly handled.
SOAR has been tested and proven in diverse use cases over many years. While the majority of their work is in the B2B space, this framework is invaluable for any marketing endeavor. One example worth highlighting is the case of ThinkNow.
As a well-established multicultural market research firm, they looked to Little Bird Marketing to organize their digital marketing efforts. This successful company was at a plateau and in the market for meaningful expansion. This necessitated an overhaul of their ideal client persona development along with a new strategy for next-level thinking and revenue actualization.
Creating a new strategy to amplify their already tremendous thought leadership and the industry-respected blog was the basis from which a more developed and targeted content plan was developed. Over time, this plan proved incredibly successful in attracting higher-quality leads and driving brand awareness.
With the SOAR system in place, in as little as six months, the results were staggering. Duration of web sessions increased by 7.9 percent, organic traffic by 16.7 percent, time on page by 1 min 12s, social followers by 3.5 percent, social engagement by 108.2 percent, and sessions driven by social media was boosted by a whopping 198 percent. This is the result of creating meaningful and engaging content with a clear audience in mind.
Evolving Markets and the Beauty of MarTech
With a passion for penning great success stories and an eye for customer satisfaction, Priscilla has truly simplified MarTech and its perception in the market. She is in the process of authoring a book dubbed “Collaboration is the New Competition” to help people understand the dynamics of the new future of work, which she believes can only happen if brands and people work together effectively.
To that end, the journey to better MarTech adoption begins by getting clear about the company goals and building a strategy from them, and only then adding the proper MarTech to the equation. For example, every MarTech company has a different tech stack. They may use HubSpot, Trello, or Slack, which is their choice. These MarTech preferences should be tested for the right fit, effective integration, and with a focus on staying committed to the strategic marketing plan. At Little Bird Marketing, it is not just about getting things done, but getting them done in the right order with the right MarTech that compliments the goals. Priscilla says, “MarTech companies would do well to take more time to understand their users’ goals and workflows instead of focusing on the generic features and benefits of their technology solution.”
MarTech companies would do well to take more time to understand their users goals and workflows instead of focusing on the generic features and benefits of their technology solution
In addition to the collaboration between solutions and understanding user needs, businesses have to become empowered on their own and establish self-branding and marketing. As a result, Little Bird Marketing is also teaching cohorts of B2B professionals how to become LinkedIn influencers to more effectively use technology to amplify their online efforts to scale up success without scaling-up effort.
Little Bird Marketing is admittedly its own first client. They practice what they preach, providing undeniable value to their most ideal clients with the truth about marketing processes and proper use of MarTech within a comprehensive marketing plan. In this way, Little Bird Marketing is listening to the market and innovating at the same pace as the rest of the MarTech market to adapt to new solutions that give their clients a competitive advantage.