Strengthen Your Marketing With These Three Foundations

With so many exciting new marketing trends, tools and technologies, it’s tempting to start adding them to your marketing toolbox. And although the evolution of your brand and marketing is critical for keeping up with innovation, disruption, shifting demographics and rising customer expectations, you can’t get far unless you have strong foundations.

So, keep an eye on the shifts, trends and exciting opportunities, but before you get swept away with the possibilities, revisit these top three foundations to set the right course for your marketing.

Foundation 1: Redefine the Role of Your Brand

Today’s leading companies have redefined the role of the brand, propelling massive change and growth – inside and out. What makes these companies different? They see their brand not as a marketing asset but as an operating system that galvanizes people and superpowers talent recruitment, employee engagement, customer experience, innovation and more.

In business, an operating system is defined as the common structure, principles and practices necessary to drive an organization forward. It ensures daily actions align with overarching vision, goals and strategies. A brand, at its best, does the same.


  • Does our brand drive the corporate strategy and decision-making process?
  • Do our employees know why they come to work every day?
  • Do our customers know how our company is different and believe in what it stands for?
  • Are our profit, performance and impact on people, communities and the planet inextricably connected?
  • Are our ESG and DEI programs, culture and EX fully aligned with our public-facing communications?

If you are not sure, revisit your brand foundation. Start with a brand audit to identify the gaps and then fill these gaps by developing a strategic brand framework – a cohesive set of beliefs and principles that align business strategy and systems, people and processes, performance and purpose, brand and culture.

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Your Brand Toolbox

Building a strong brand is anything but easy. To assist you with the entire process – from conducting your brand audit through rebranding, we’ve developed this Brand Toolbox.

Foundation 2: Lead With Digital

A recent McKinsey survey found that 70% to 80% of B2B decision makers now prefer digital, remote and self-serve engagement over face-to-face interactions, and they don’t plan to change their habits post-pandemic.

To be digital-first, you have to put your digital channels first, beginning with your website. With today’s largely self-directed and digital buyer’s journey, your website is your company’s chief digital asset.

And although this is no longer the only place that your audiences interact with your company online, it’s still your top brand ambassador, a proactive member of your business development and marketing team and a lead generation and recruitment tool. It must attract, engage and convert. It must answer questions and provide the right information to the right visitors at the right time in their decision-making process.

When was the last time you looked at your website’s performance? In today’s fast-paced business and marketing environment, you should refresh your website every 1–3 years and redesign it every 5.

To lead your company in building its next-generation website, download our comprehensive web redesign e-guide for in-house marketers.

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Your Ultimate Guide to a Website Redesign

Navigating your company through a website redesign is not an easy task, but it doesn’t have to be an ordeal. For more detailed information on the entire process from planning through post-launch, checklists and tips on avoiding common mistakes, download this e-guide.

Foundation 3: Plan For and With Flexibility

Marketing planning is hard! It’s even more challenging in the fast-changing business environment and economic uncertainty. To overcome these challenges, companies need to plan with a great deal of flexibility, enabling them to react quickly and intelligently when conditions change.

Make the “unknown” a part of your marketing strategy from the start with Agile marketing planning! Agile (incremental) planning is not a call for constantly shifting gears – modern marketing is complicated and takes time to yield results. It’s about planning for and with flexibility.

Agile planning makes it easier for marketing teams to continually reassess what’s working and prioritize the tactics that yield better results while quickly eliminating things that are less effective – before wasting too much time and too many resources.

To learn how to make the entire planning process more manageable and efficient (and your marketing program much more effective), read Agile Marketing Planning: Flexibility Meets Results.

Still have questions? You don’t have to venture into the complicated world of marketing alone! Substance151 can be your guide. Contact us to schedule a conversation.