February SMPS Program – Twice the Revenue, Half the Effort – The Optimal Marketing & BD Formula

It all starts with your plan. Your Strategic Business Plan. That is the message that Tim Klabunde, CPSM and Sara Snavely, CPSM from Timmons Group shared with the packed room on Tuesday.

Tim kicked off the program talking about the explosive growth Timmons Group has experienced in the past seven years. This success, according to Tim, results from the firm having a clearly articulated 5-year Strategic Business Plan with each group having a 1-year tactical plan detailing the actions they will take to achieve ‘their’ part of the overall. And, monthly meetings that hold everyone accountable for their part of the plan.

Equally important to the success of their initiative, according to Tim, is Timmons Group structure for marketing and business development. Heads nodded as Tim spoke of the challenges of having marketing and business development working in parallel rather than in tandem. Both groups are trying to achieve revenue and growth goals within the firm. At best, they are not getting the benefits of having all resources focused on a single strategy. At worst, they are going in two directions and may be sending two different messages to the clients and prospects they want to reach. At Timmons Group, they have intentionally created a structure that has marketing and business development under one umbrella – unity.

How does it work?

Once the firm has developed its 5-Year Strategic Business Plan (SBP), each group (disciplines, market sectors, disciplines) then develops a 1-year focused action plan to achieve their groups’ goals under the plan. The SBP should be specific and metric driven (i.e. saying you want to grow your survey practice is not a strategic goal but indicating that you want to grow your survey practice by 20% each of the next three years puts a number to it).

With agreement on the specific growth goals, it is possible to put a budget together to achieve those goals. Without a budget and metrics, the strategic plan will likely not be achieved. Whether or not your marketing and business development groups are combined, like Timmons Group, use the creation of your groups 1-year action plan as an opportunity to create a unified approach to achieving the strategic planning goals.

Hold monthly meetings to discuss the status of your progress towards goals. Evaluate the metrics as they relate to the overall plan. Are you on track? If not, is there something that has changed? Is there an accountability concern? If actions aren’t taking place that are needed to support the goal, remind everyone (including leadership) of what was in the Strategic Business Plan.  Be sure to leave the meetings with the tasks that need to be accomplished before the next meeting and an understanding of who is responsible.

How Can I Unify Marketing and Business Development?

The question was asked, “What if yours is a small firm and you don’t have the ability to have create that type of structure at this time?” Tim and Sara acknowledged that the Timmons Group structure was a conscious decision that then was implemented. However, they did offer four strategies that any firm can implement.

  1. Create the structure: Get everyone on your team on the same page. Have marketing and business development as one united group.
  2. Communication: If you can’t achieve #1, then as marketing professionals, do what you can to help bridge the gap between marketing and business development. Look for opportunities to build greater alignment.
  3. Advocacy: Celebrate the positive outcomes of every joint marketing and business development effort. The more marketing advocates and shares the spotlight with business development (and vice versa), the easier it will be to build buy-in from your firm.
  4. Share Your Story: Share the success stories at every opportunity. Let your leadership know when marketing and business development have blown by the metrics identified. Everybody wins.

Regardless of the goals your firm is trying to achieve, the ability to link all marketing and business development activity back to your firms’ metric-driven Strategic Business Plan is the first step to achieving success. And, creating a structure within your firm (formally or informally) that links and celebrates marketing and business development success will lead to twice the revenue with half the effort.

Sally Orcutt | Director of Marketing | Client Savvy

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