February 15, 2023

Marketers Must Adopt A Growth Mindset To Fix A Broken Lead Funnel

By Kurt Genden
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
TrueVoice Growth Marketing™
LinkedIn Profile

While marketing leaders are experiencing change all around them, many remain hesitant to undertake restructuring their operating models to meet the challenges of the digital marketplace. This is not surprising. Change is risk, and many marketers view change not as a time of opportunity and growth, but rather a time of disruption, uncertainty, and potential failure.

Fear of change is nothing new. In fact, it was more than five centuries ago that Niccolò Machiavelli wrote about it:

“It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success nor dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order.”

So why change now? There are many reasons, which I will save for a future blog post, but the most compelling and timely to mention is the demand that is being placed on CMOs to be a primary driver of measurable growth within their organizations. According to a recent study by McKinsey, 83 percent of CEOs are looking to marketing as a growth engine for their businesses. However, in their current state, most CMOs are simply not prepared to deliver on this demand.

Growth is not just a marketing issue; it is a whole-system problem. In far too many organizations, organizational silos prohibit growth from taking place. Effective growth marketing requires close collaboration among all stakeholders, including brand managers, sales teams, performance marketers, and analytics teams. CMOs need to establish a shared operating model along the customer funnel -- a model where insights are shared from across the funnel and decisions are made jointly on everything, including key performance indicators (KPIs), spending levels, and which audiences to target and when.

For a full funnel approach to marketing to work, it requires CMOs to address the most difficult silo to be busted -- that between marketing and sales. These teams are set up to work in tandem to drive growth, but are, in fact, often firmly ensconced in separate and comfortable silos that are more often like fortresses. In this structure, sales and marketing teams have their own processes, their own data, and their own views of how to manage and convert leads into potential customers. Without alignment and commitment to a shared single source of truth about customers and performance, the entire organization is at a disadvantage to realize its growth goals.

So how can CMOs begin to tackle this seemingly insurmountable task of organization transformation? First and foremost, embrace a growth mindset and define where change needs to happen. As a consultancy that specializes in tackling the systemic problems that prohibit organizations from realizing growth, TrueVoice works with CMOs at some of the world’s largest organizations to help them begin to think differently about growth and define where it can come from within and across the organization. Our full funnel philosophy, proprietary customer access, and test and learn methodology empowers CMOs to address the growth problem head on. By taking small, incremental steps to align people, processes, and technology with the customer funnel, corporations can unify teams quickly to achieve newfound levels of growth.

Full Funnel Philosophy: Prospective customers do not care about an organization’s silos, individual department agendas, or roles and responsibilities, they only care about the experience they have as they consider doing business with you. As such, employing a full funnel philosophy requires a complete top-to-bottom integration that starts with rethinking how work gets done across functions; it can’t simply be tacked on to existing daily processes. A coordinated approach, combined with a singularity of purpose, will eliminate the silos that prohibit growth and promote deeper collaboration. It is this collaboration that enables a highly efficient process that is impactful, measurable, and profitable; increasing and optimizing demand; growing and converting more qualified leads; and better retaining and growing clients. 

Customer Access: Growth requires customer-centricity and real customer-centricity requires a deep and connected view of the customer, supported by real-time integrated insights. By layering marketing and sales metrics with real-time prospect behavior – which we power with TrueVoice’s proprietary dataset of billions of points of live prospect metadata from more than 160 million individuals – teams are empowered with unified views of performance at each stage of the constantly evolving customer journey. This is the core of funnel management and the catalyst for growth. This allows for analysis, learnings, and decision making in real-time, building the muscle memory that leads to consistent success when decisions are made proactively, not reactively. By looking at live prospect data, corporate sales and marketing become more flexible and nimbler, rather than simply undertaking a backward review of performance data month-over-month or year-over-year. These real-time views allow for quick decision making to improve the media mix and spending to maximize return-on-investment.

Test & Learn Approach: Change is never easy, but by taking small incremental steps to prove the value to the organization and the individual departments along the way, change is possible. Employing a light footprint test-and-learn methodology that leverages the newfound customer perspectives empowers organizations with a new level of agility to marketing and sales activities. Running constant, iterative tests throughout the funnel, using the results to craft data-driven strategy updates, and lifting key performance metrics serve as a catalyst for the organization to change the way it views marketing. In this new culture of experimentation, organizations will begin to view testing as part of an ongoing conversation with your market in a world that never stops changing.

The pressure to generate growth will only continue to intensify for CMOs. By adopting a growth mindset and a full funnel approach, marketing leaders can make their companies more relevant to customers, develop a fuller and more accurate picture of marketing’s overall effectiveness, and provide a much richer and more complete picture of how exactly marketing is driving growth and revenue for the organization. Full funnel marketing is not just a campaign strategy. It’s a total shift in how marketers think and how marketing works and requires a commitment to building the collaboration and capabilities needed to transform marketing into a growth engine.

Fear of change is understandable, but the ability to adapt and evolve has become a fundamental -- and necessary -- skill. With a growth mindset, change and disruption are a gateway to a better future, one in which changes to operational structures are welcomed and embraced to ensure long-term organizational success.