“Marketing impact”

Marketing Impact

Here’s what that Hinge Marketing study shows about the impact of various marketing techniques for High Growth and No Growth firms:

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Again, the green bars are High Growth firms (>= 20% revenue growth), the red bars are No Growth firms.

What conclusions can we take away from this summation of data?

Several, I think:

  • High growth firms are generally better at marketing (and elsewhere this same study suggests they invest much more heavily in marketing than No Growth firms). Their marketing efforts are more impactful.
  • High growth firms are better at getting impact from the more difficult marketing techniques on this list.

Quick definition of the most impactful technique on this list: Partnership marketing is a mutually beneficial marketing relationship between a firm and another organization (e.g., co-branded educational events).

As an example, imagine that you help medical product startups develop products. After a while, you notice that many of these startups have doctors involved in the founding team. For that reason, you put together a half-day workshop. The topic is “Designing Around the Technical Hurdles that Kill Most Medical Device Startups”, and you partner with a medical industry association to deliver a training roadshow in 6 major cities. They promote it and handle logistics, you show up and deliver training. That’s partnership marketing.

So again, one way to interpret this chart is: High Growth firms are better at executing their marketing.

Why might that be?

I’m bending over backwards to be objective here, but I simply can’t see any other explanation than this…

They specialize, and this makes them better at marketing.

Remember the previous chart about how specialization is common among High Growth firms?

I think that specialization makes their marketing more effective.

To somewhat arbitrarily stick with the example of partnership marketing, how would you ever set up a marketing partnership if you’re not specialized?

OK, I suppose if you’re a generalist developer you could partner with a generalist designer and trade leads. I’ve seen arrangements like that work.

But how impactful is that compared to my previous example, which relies on you having made the decision to specialize and then subsequently cultivated some specialized expertise?

Specialization does 2 things:

  • It addresses marketing inefficiencies
  • It makes it possible to cultivate exceptionally valuable expertise

I believe this Hinge Marketing chart is proof of both.

The beautiful thing about expertise is that it can be its own marketing. Sharing your expertise makes for good marketing.