“Don’t be afraid to take big steps when one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” 

David Lloyd George, (1863-1945), Politician

Casey Stanton - Fractional CMO

Casey Stanton
Fractional CMO & CMOx Founder

Casey S. Stanton is a marketing strategy expert and founder of CMO Exponential (CMOx), the Fractional CMO company. For over 10 years Casey has been leading marketing strategy for 7 and 8 figure businesses in both digital and brick-and-mortar markets. 

See Casey’s Bio and  Archive

At first, marketing might seem simple—just spread the word about your company, right? But, then you realize there are so many options for marketing campaigns, lots of tools that can be used, metrics to be tracked, competitors trying to beat you to the top online marketing spots, and unpredictable customers who are buying based on their feelings and instincts. You realize it is messy and there are a lot of variables.

Because of this, you start to realize you need a strong content marketing strategy and marketing initiatives.

What are Marketing Initiatives?

Marketing Initiatives are typically new ideas, campaigns, or solutions to solve either a new or previously existing problem. They are referred to as initiatives because they involve taking the first steps to tackle an issue. 

Marketing Initiatives are normally generated during marketing strategy meetings by the marketing team, executives or the marketing strategy consultant. 

Marketing initiatives go hand-in-hand with the marketing plan, but they are not quite the same thing. Marketing initiatives are the specific focuses within that strategy. They should help define and reinforce the marketing strategy.

Marketing initiatives are always new strategies to solve your problems and hit new goals. They aren’t improving things that are already working. They are the particular marketing goals that your CMO has decided to focus on. They should help you narrow your focus and create a more effective marketing approach.

The problem is, many marketing teams end up with way too many initiatives and many of them aren’t new focuses.

If you set 10-15 marketing initiatives, then you aren’t really focused on key areas—your strategy will be ineffective. 

These initiatives typically aren’t easily achieved and will overtax your team, causing failure.

 Common initiatives might include things like creating higher quality content, converting more website visitors, establishing a stronger sales funnel, and building a mobile strategy.

Tackling too much at one time just leads to the same problem you had before setting up the initiatives: you lack priorities and clarity.

So, marketing initiatives should be the select goals that encompass the most important parts of your marketing strategy. 

✓ First, establish your target audience and map out your brand identity.

✓ Base initiatives off your marketing strategy or use them to help form your strategy.

✓ Always add actionable and measurable steps designed to achieve the initiative.

Marketing Initiative Examples for 2021

Marketing Initiative Examples

There are a huge number of potential marketing initiatives that your company can use to improve your sales and direction. They can be used to hit short- or long-term goals. Here are some examples of initiatives to support your marketing efforts.

Increase Leads from Organic Traffic

While this may not seem like a revolutionary or new age goal, there are still plenty of businesses out there that do not get many leads from organic traffic and have never made search engine optimization truly a part of their digital marketing strategy.

Even for a small business, starting a plan to get leads this way is a marketing initiative that should prove extremely valuable to your company. This is an SEO-based initiative that would include specific actions such as:

  • Improve page speed (higher rankings, lower bounce rate) 
  • Rank for more keywords 
  • Publish [x] number of blog posts per month (new keywords)
  • Optimize current content that is ranking

Create and/or Foster a Community on Clubhouse

Launching in 2020, Clubhouse is all the rage right now as a new social media platform. It is opening lots of doors for many businesses, marketers, and entrepreneurs. It’s almost a cross between Reddit and Twitter—allowing visitors to go to rooms and listen to the real-time audio there. 

The facilitator of the room decides who can speak and any interested visitors can raise their hands if they want to participate. It almost becomes an interactive podcast, which many brands are finding extremely valuable.

As a new platform showing a lot of steam, brands are jumping on board to get established on it.

Examples of what would be included in a Clubhouse marketing initiative could be:

  • Set up Clubhouse App profile by choosing an account username and photo
  • Create a room on a topic relevant to your niche 
  • Explore rooms and get to know the platform etiquette and rules
  • Determine what value you can offer for a specific room
  • Find ways to network with other influencers and business leaders

Improve Public Perception via Environmental Initiatives

Many companies haven’t thought through a specific strategy to improve their environmental approach for a smaller footprint. Setting green initiatives can help improve your brand awareness and reputation through public perception. 

Be careful to avoid greenwashing (or misleading information to make you sound good) because that can do a lot more harm to your reputation than good.

  • Find points where you can improve the environmental impact
  • Measure customer concerns to find out where the most impact will be
  • Set defined goals (reduce emissions by X%) that can be used for marketing
  • Get the public involved in a campaign to support the environment
  • Incorporate your efforts into your brand to adjust perception

Launch a Podcast and Improve Customer Retention

Podcasts are like the direct mail of the 21st century. They can help bring in new potential customers and retain loyal customers. 

They are engaging and informative, encouraging users to check back in and keep up with new episodes. Many have apps that deliver podcasts right to their smartphones and devices.

  • Determine a topic that is in line with your brand and offers value
  • Understand the audience you are after and who you are talking to
  • Create [x] number of podcast episodes per month
  • Choose [x] number of guests to host on the podcast per year
  • Promote the podcast via email and social media

Create and Install a Chatbot to Qualify Leads

When your customer reps aren’t active, customers can’t get their questions asked. Sometimes, these are basic answers that could be answered by a bot through basic messaging. This can really boost your user experience because they have access to support at all times.

While chatbots are not cutting-edge technology, many companies still do not have them in place for lead generation. They are not AI and will only provide the scripts you establish. 

They can be used to help provide answers to the most frequently asked questions or direct users to the right places to get answers. 

They are GREAT for saving your team time and money while cultivating qualified leads.

  • Determine what you want to get out of live chat (Push sales? Support customers? Etc.)
  • Establish [x] scripts per week to increase the chatbot’s capabilities
  • Test out your chatbox weekly to ensure it is working correctly
  • Incorporate methods to tag leads for follow-ups with live agents
  • Integrate the chatbot with your live chat for efficient support channels
Marketing Initiative Planning

What Should a Marketing Initiative Template Look Like?

The template to creating a marketing initiative really has to resemble a new solution to a new problem. You can use project management software like Monday.com or Asana to establish your initiatives and dole out responsibilities to your team.

Every marketing initiative should have defined key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you determine if your actions are succeeding or not. 

If you fail on a marketing initiative at first, it can stay a marketing initiative with a new strategy for success (because it is still a new problem).

When you do succeed at a marketing initiative, it can remain part of your overall strategy, but you will move on to form new focuses (initiatives). This allows you to set your focus on the biggest problems your brand is facing.

How to use Marketing Initiatives to Help Your Business

Marketing initiatives are all about setting priorities for getting new business. We have all seen it, your boss or manager comes to you saying “We are going to do a webinar this sprint” or “Let’s revisit our email marketing campaigns.” 

While these may well be very good ideas, the direct reports can sometimes feel frustrated with this as they know they already have a lot on their plate.

Business leaders and executives will inevitably fall victim to shiny object syndrome at some point. This can be because it is so closely connected to that entrepreneurial spirit that businesses are built and thrive on.

However, constantly starting new initiatives that are intended to drive growth can in fact do the opposite. 

Going in a new direction every quarter or couple of weeks means there is no traction at all and therefore no growth has actually been achieved. 

Because of this, new marketing initiatives have to be used conscientiously and with scarcity.

For managers and business leaders:

Think – is this initiative worth it? 

Is it worthwhile to take resources away from these other campaigns or efforts that are currently bearing fruit? The risk-reward analysis needs to be done correctly. 

If the initiative passes this test, has been thoroughly thought through and it is believed that it will bring growth or improvement to the business, then yes do it.

For marketing executives and marketing specialists:

If you have initiatives to bring to the table

If your marketing department uses the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) Model then you will be familiar with rocks and sprints. 

New initiatives should really be brought up during the quarterly planning calls i.e. when rocks are laid out.

This provides a structure for your marketing department that enables them to work efficiently and always towards specific outcomes. 

Plus, the team enjoys this structure as it avoids executive-level requests being dumped on them mid-sprint and thus taking them away from hitting their targets. 

Main Takeaway: Bring forward new initiatives during objective planning meetings, not during sprints. 

If you like the new initiative

Remember to celebrate great new ideas from your team! Something as simple as praise can stimulate more ideas in the future by giving confidence to your team members. 

Think about how you are going to incorporate this new initiative into your routine tasks and how it will impact your KPIs. 

Over-communication is a lot better than under-communication. Discuss and plan in detail how the new initiative will be implemented and who has what responsibilities.

If you dislike the new initiative

Remember to celebrate great new ideas from your team! Something as simple as praise can stimulate more ideas in the future by giving confidence to your team members. 

Think about how you are going to incorporate this new initiative into your routine tasks and how it will impact your KPIs. 

Over-communication is a lot better than under-communication. Discuss and plan in detail how the new initiative will be implemented and who has what responsibilities.

Closing Thoughts

Remember to celebrate great new ideas from your team! Something as simple as praise can stimulate more ideas in the future by giving confidence to your team members. 

Think about how you are going to incorporate this new initiative into your routine tasks and how it will impact your KPIs. 

Over-communication is a lot better than under-communication. Discuss and plan in detail how the new initiative will be implemented and who has what responsibilities.

Ready to discuss your go-to-market strategy?

Schedule your no-cost Marketing Clarity Call with our founder and CEO, Casey Stanton.