blog overview
MarTech
Frans Riemersma, 30 Mar '17

The Strategy Execution Stack

Our MarTech stack makes day-to-day strategy execution a breeze. Increase your sales window over 40% at just 5% of the price of your old enterprise solution.

As a manager you would like to know what your team is busy working on, so you can adjust strategic course and tactics in time. This simple MarTech stack enables you to do exactly that.

Imagine all team tasks are aligned with strategy. Everything your team does on a daily basis adds to achieving strategy. Sounds unattainable, but we’ve experienced that it is in fact possible. You really can manage your strategy from up high to down low, and back again.

How? We built a MarTech stack that spans from planning top level-objectives, down to performing daily tasks. It is so easy to build that you’ll be asking yourself why you didn’t think of it before. Oh well, there’s no point dwelling on the past. Forget about the wasted years. The future is here.

The results are impressive. At just 5% of enterprise software license costs, turnaround times for campaigns went from 6 months to 1 month. That yields a sales window as wide as a sea aquarium. What a way to create a competitive advantage!

After having implemented over 200 enterprise solutions we came to a simple conclusion. We detected there are three reasons enterprise wide solutions don’t work for organizations. Our MarTech stack is built to avoid these traditional pitfalls. And it clears the road for future MarTech-driven strategy execution mastery. The potential is huge.

Why strategy execution is difficult - 3 root causes

 To be able to improve strategy execution, you need a clear picture of the problem. Over the years, we’ve identified three phenomena that hamper strategy execution most.

#1 Strategy is lost in translation

On Friday afternoon, the entire company comes together. The C-suite presents their visionary plans. The following Monday morning, everybody’s excited to start work working towards a bright future. But how…?

We’ve all experienced that strategy doesn’t get executed as planned. Somewhere between the Boardroom and the Scrum board, alignment is lost.

It just seems impossible to translate abstract plans to concrete action. And don’t even think about translating plans into tasks tailored to individuals. Consequently, both the C-suite and teams are lost before execution has even started.

#2 Strategy is not urgent enough to execute

Reality has a habit of jeopardizing strategy execution. You and your team may have tried your hand at mapping which tasks need to be performed to achieve strategy. Which is a great start. It’s a great way to approach the future. But your company still exists in the present.

Just as your team is ready to start working on a better future, there’s always the present to attend to. “Sorry to disturb your meeting, but could you just help me with this one little emergency? Oh you’re in a meeting? I’ll just send you a bunch of ‘prio prio’ emails then.”

Reality is too unpredictable to successfully execute strategy the old way. Forget about planning the entire journey from start to finish. There are too many exceptions and too many emergencies to account for.

Strategy is never urgent, but emergencies always are. If you don’t anticipate emergencies to occur during strategy execution, you’ll never reach the strategic result. At the first little hiccup, strategic alignment will go right out the window, as does your sales window.

#3 Strategy is scattered across individual tools

Change is constant. You’re guaranteed to encounter the unexpected. There’s no way to specify which tools and functionality you’ll need one year ahead.

Nowadays, everybody’s running their own personal apps in the background, off the company’s radar. When time comes, people will look for their own tools to solve new problems. Personal apps are secretly running the company. We all know that.

But companies have collectively chosen to just ignore this entire phenomenon. What you ignore doesn’t exist, right? People hate working with complex, rigid enterprise-wide tools. But companies are still shoehorning staff into enterprise tools, ignoring the impressive adoption rates of MarTech tools.

Companies almost never facilitate the use of the multitude of small tools people favor over company software. Consequently, the black market of tools running in the background of nearly every company is fragmented.

People are spending a lot of time either adjusting the fruits of their labor to serve as input to enterprise software, or to find a way to bypass enterprise software altogether.

As employees improvise to remain productive in their own territory, strategic alignment suffers. Luckily, there is a way to align these short-term personal initiatives with long-term company strategy.

Combining the popular with the strategic

Making the enemies to our friends implies we break down strategy into individual goals, we include strategy into the daily routine, and we connect the individual tools. How do we do that?

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The solution is to work with the tsunami of apps people like to use, rather than against it. People will always discover tools that are more suited to the job at hand than enterprise software is.

Create a framework of apps that’s pleasant to work with short term and sensible long-term… When you think about it, the solution is right there, under your nose. High adoption guaranteed.

Start with the tools people are currently working with already. Everybody has their own favorites, so the project team should decide on which tool to use before the project starts.

Different tools with similar features may be chosen for different projects. Teams may choose Google calendar the first project, and Outlook the next. As long as tools are integrated, and the entire team uses the same tools during a specific project, you’re golden.

Logically, when you allow your team to choose their own tools, adoption will be superb. Then, all you have to do is connect the tools top to bottom, in a way that supports strategy. You can build strategy right in to daily operations. The easiest way to get a job done will also support the achievement of strategy.

What more can a CMO wish for?

Use our stack to structure strategic operations 

This is how we’ve created a strategy execution MarTech stack for our clients. The stack is crafted to support the achievement of strategy.

First, the team decided on a strategy, which is in essence nothing more than a coherent network of commercial goals.

Second, all activities needed to achieve the strategy are mapped. Proposals for new activities are judged against commercial goals. All activities that don’t support a commercial goal should not exist.

This is what the stack looks like.

Boardview MarTech stackThe strategy is captured in the Boardview.io app. The strategic goals that make up the strategy all add up to the BHAG.

On a weekly basis, for every upcoming week, team members define a handful of deliverables. Using a workflow automation tool called Zapier, members export these weekly milestones to tools like Trello, Asana, Wrike, Evernote, etc.

Upcoming deliverables are exported as cards to a Trello board (one card = one initiative), to monitor all marketing initiatives. Each card contains the latest briefing documents (PDF and Docs), project plans, assets stored in Google Drive, etc.

Detailed project plans for campaigns are managed in separate boards with the possibility to update progress and track via the Elegantt power-up.

Marketing produces content, materials and campaigns on demand. We created a stack we call Briefing Portal to collect all request from sales or HR to marketing, through Google Forms.

Orders come in and go out using an easy to use, standardized process. The system guides users intuitively through the process. Along the way it informs them about timelines and required information. For instance, if requests don’t serve a strategic goal mapped in Boardview, the request is declined, or added as an experiment. The user becomes aware that without this information the campaign request is delayed or even coming to a grinding halt. This reduces a lot of clutter, many ad hoc meetings and iterations, and puts marketing in the lead of operations.

If marketers find new best practices to improve the stack, they add it to a request intake form. There are checklists and step-by-step guides. New emerging best practices can be easily added, as there is a backlog of user requests.

This entire process requires no onboarding or training. It takes only one URL to get started. Each deliverable has a mail containing the next step and deadline accompanying it. And the mail of course contains comments to manage expectations of the requestors.

All types of marketing elements are managed, from complex inbound campaigns down to presentations, blogs, events, DM and emailing.

All parties involved are thrilled. Marketing, sales and various agencies love working with it.

The results: speed and flexibility at low cost

Using this stack has shown some significant advantages over the traditional approach. 

  • 4 months lead time down to 2,5 months! Imagine the increase of sales window! Time to reel in the cash!
  • 100% of marketing activities are in line with strategy = no marketing budget wasted.
  • 100% of marketing activities captured in 1 overview
  • All marketers & agencies can take over duties in minutes
  • Adjust processes to include new best practices in minutes
  • No training needed
  • License costs are 5% of typical enterprise tools
  • Implementation costs are 50% of typical enterprise tools

Inspired yet? Now you know what to do, it’s time to take action.

Build your own goal tree in the Boardview app. Or talk to us about how we can help you create your very own MarTech stack…


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