Marketing & Operations: 4 Keys to Successful Scalability

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One of today’s business realities is that everything is marketing. Gone are the days when marketing and sales worked in their own silo. The effectiveness of your marketing department impacts other departments. At the same time, other departments have a direct impact on areas of marketing such as brand perception or customer experience.  

Over the years at Green Apple, we’ve found the connection between marketing and operations is one of the most important relationships in a business. On one hand, successful marketing should lead to more customers. More customers will naturally impact operational needs. On the other hand, many operations teams make decisions that directly impact marketing needs. Whether you’re the CEO of a company or a leader of a specific department, it’s essential to ensure both teams work together so that your company can thrive.

4 Keys to Successful Scalability with Marketing & Operations 

Here are a few specific ways marketing and operations can collaborate. That way, marketing is focused on the right areas of growth, and operations have what they need to scale the business:

1. Define your ideal customer. 

Operations are responsible for ensuring your company can fulfill the business it generates. Unfortunately, most marketing departments are only focused on generating leads… not how you’re going to serve them through the sales pipeline.  

When marketing and operations align, marketing understands the company’s capabilities and what it takes to follow through on what’s promised. This can help significantly when it comes to defining your ideal customer for better lead generation results

2. Align your technology and tools to optimize your processes. 

Most businesses function on an array of various technology platforms and software tools. In some cases, there might be more than a dozen platforms that support your marketing, sales, and operational efforts. While it’s not essential for there to be a seamless integration between all of your tools, it’s important to make sure the core components of your marketing technology stack are aligned with operational tools. 

When marketing and operations align in their technology strategy, they can run the race faster and farther for successful, scalable marketing.

3. Leverage data from both teams to make more informed decisions.

We have access to more data than ever before. Every marketing campaign provides dozens of analytics that can be measured. At the same time, the operations team has insights that can inform customer needs and marketing investment. But we all know there’s a difference between reporting on analytics and creating a data-driven culture for growing your businesses.

How can marketing and operations make sure they are collecting data in ways that can be used by everyone? Both teams need to agree on key business objectives and define which metrics are most helpful in evaluating success. 

4. Create open lines of communication between both teams

Effective communication breeds collaboration. That’s why consistent and candid conversations between the marketing and operations teams are vital. It’s not enough for marketing and operations to simply meet once a year or only collaborate if there’s a PR crisis. 

Instead, there needs to be a consistent feedback loop between marketing and operations. Operations can provide marketers with insight into what customers value. Marketing can inform operations about what’s being said about your business online. 

Need Help Getting Marketing & Operations on the Same Page?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past decade, it’s that you can’t create your marketing plan in a vacuum. As we work alongside clients to develop a marketing strategy, we’ve found that having operations in the room for important marketing discussions is key to building a plan that supports your entire business. 

A rising tide should lift all boats without causing one to capsize. If you’re struggling to get marketing and operations on the same page, our team can help. Schedule a discovery call to learn more about the specific ways our team can help you design a marketing strategy that supports every area of your business.

7 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in the New Year


The new year often provides a fresh start for people and companies. This is especially true for marketing. Many companies start the year with a fresh marketing plan (or at least a few adjustments from their current efforts). Most of the time, there’s a level of energy and excitement as you start the year with 365 days to achieve your marketing goals.

As marketing continues to evolve, it’s important to understand and implement the basic principles for earning attention and inspiring action. Failing to embrace the core principles of marketing might lead to mistakes that cause you to invest time, energy, and resources into marketing tactics that don’t move the needle. 

7 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in the New Year

After more than two decades in the industry, here are a few common marketing mistakes that businesses are prone to make in the new year:

1. Focusing on “tactics” rather than your strategy.

One of the most common mistakes business owners make is to focus too much on tactics and not enough on strategy. As a marketing agency, people often reach out to us and ask for help building a new website or a stronger social media presence. While these are admirable goals, they must be based on a strategic plan to truly return the best ROI for your business. 

If you’ve struggled to generate results and wonder why your marketing isn’t working, it likely has to do with prioritizing tactics over strategy. 

2. Getting comfortable with the status quo.

“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.” – Seth Godin

Doing things the way they’ve always been done is tempting because it’s safer. But in a world that’s changing faster than ever, sticking with the status quo only creates an opportunity to get left behind. 

It’s important for B2B companies and marketers to get out of their comfort zone. Embracing a mindset of growth and change is one of the best ways to ensure your marketing efforts continue to produce results year after year. 

3. Failing to recognize how marketing is interconnected with other areas of your business.

At Green Apple, we often say that “everything is marketing.” This is a mindset we bring to every meeting and every marketing strategy we create for clients. Failing to recognize how marketing impacts sales or operational decisions could quickly create breakdowns in other areas of your business. Additionally, developing a marketing strategy without considering other key initiatives in your company might lead to a lot of “spinning your wheels.” 

4. Being too rigid with your marketing plan and failing to adapt.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in recent years, it’s that businesses must be willing and prepared to adapt. In some cases, you can pivot your marketing tactics without abandoning your entire strategy. Sometimes, if there’s a major shake-up in your business or industry, you might need to overhaul your entire plan. 

5. Defining what your customers want without asking them. 

Marketing is all about helping customers understand how your business can help solve their challenges. It’s relational. And every good relationship is built on communication. If you want your marketing to resonate with customers, listen to them. Taking time to understand their challenges and create messaging built around their current reality is key to creating a more customer-centric culture

6. Talking about your products and services in a way that confuses an audience. 

Using complex phrases or industry jargon is one of the quickest ways to lose potential businesses. Customers will disengage if they can’t understand or relate to your message. 

If you work in a detailed industry, it’s important to find effective ways to explain the complex products or services that you offer. Making it simple for people to understand how they can become a client or customers is one of the easiest ways to gain potential business. 

7. Identifying the wrong KPIs or forgetting to measure results. 

Successful marketing initiatives often require the use of lessons learned from previous experiences. This means identifying the marketing metrics that matter most to the overall success of your business and developing the habit of measuring them on a regular basis. 

Green Apple Can Help Your Business Avoid Costly Marketing Mistakes

Everyone, from professional marketers to small business owners, makes marketing mistakes. But even if you make some mistakes, you should be ready to learn from them. If you’re looking for a way to take your marketing to the next level or simply need help managing everything that is required for reaching your goals, our team can help. Contact us to learn more about our unique approach and schedule a discovery call with our team. 


7 Ideas to Get Your Employees Involved in Marketing

In today’s world, everything is marketing. Subsequently, every area of your business has valuable insights or perspectives that could be beneficial for your marketing efforts. Taking the time to get your employees involved in marketing creates opportunities to connect with your audience on a human level.

While other teams and departments might not be responsible for your marketing goals, they can all play a valuable role in enhancing brand perception, improving lead generation, and creating more meaningful connections with your customers. 

7 Ideas to Get Your Employees Involved in Marketing

Here are seven effective yet fairly simple ways to get your employees involved in your marketing efforts: 

1. Invite Your Sales and Customer Success to Speak into Marketing Messaging

No one knows the challenges that your audience faces every day more than your sales and customer success teams. Knowing these challenges—and how you’re uniquely equipped to help them—is essential for sharing a clear and compelling marketing message.

There are several important questions your marketing team can ask sales and customer service to help improve your marketing copy and connect with your audience. 

2. Equip Your Customer Relations Team with Easy Ways to Share Positive Feedback & Reviews 

Customer reviews are powerful marketing tools. Yet many marketers don’t have direct access to feedback or testimonials from customers. This is where equipping your customer relations team with resources to capture feedback and reviews can really help. 

It could be something as simple as an email template they can use to ask permission to share a positive review or implementing a customer survey platform to capture feedback.

3. Share your Team’s Expertise through Your Content Marketing.

If you offer a professional service, your team likely has knowledge and experience that can be beneficial for your audience. Finding ways to empower your employees to create content for your marketing can be a powerful way to position your brand as a thought leader in the industry and earn the trust of your audience. 

4. Build an Employee Advocacy Plan

Your employees can also be your best promoters. This is one reason why many businesses have started creating a dedicated employee advocacy program within their organization. Helping employees understand their role as brand ambassadors can create tremendous dividends for the overall health and success of your company. 

5. Make it Easy & Compelling for Employees to Share Your Social Content

Your marketing team spends a lot of time, energy, and effort to keep your social media platforms running. And yet, most employees don’t recognize how helpful and powerful it can be to simply share the content that you’ve created. While there are many reasons why people might not share your social content, the best way to overcome all of them is to create social content that your employees actually want to share.

6. Create an “Employee Spotlight Series” on Your Blog

At the end of the day, people connect with people, not brands. Consumers like hearing from real people more than sales campaigns that aren’t designed with a personal touch. Employee spotlights are a powerful way to share stories from an employee’s perspective. These spotlights can be very powerful tools when it comes to building trust and loyalty among other employees and even customers. They can also be helpful in recruiting new hires.

7. Acknowledge Social Responsibility or Volunteerism In Your Marketing

Many companies have a corporate social responsibility platform or promote ways for employees to give back to the community throughout the year. Promoting these activities through your marketing channels can be a great way to highlight your employees and create meaningful connections with your audience. When you share content that is focused on your team, employees are also likely to share the event and the content with their family and friends, generating goodwill and increased brand exposure.  

We hope these ideas create an opportunity to integrate your marketing into your company rather than keeping it siloed. Finding ways to get employees involved in your marketing can be a powerful way to leverage your company’s community to create deeper, more personal connections with your audience. 

How Your Sales and Marketing Teams Can Support Each Other

How are you setting your sales team up for success?  In an ideal world, your sales and marketing team would be perfectly aligned, working together to increase revenue. Your sales team would have a set of marketing assets that they could use to support their process. And, your marketing team would fully understand the sales strategy.  The good news is that this scenario is entirely possible. Here are a few ways you can implement a marketing support system to increase sales. 

Have a Cross-Training Session

When sales and marketing understand each other, your team is running more smoothly and working toward the same vision. They can use this information to align their goals, see where they can help each other, and build a sense of teamwork that will open up future collaboration.  Encourage these teams to work together to build revenue-generating opportunities. You can accomplish this by holding regular cross-training sessions, during which marketing is trained on the sales process and vice versa. You may also try implementing team-building exercises between the two teams as well, strengthening their communication. 

Ask The Sales Team What They Need

“If I could provide you with one thing to make your job easier, what would it be?” This question can spark conversations within your sales team about what they feel they’re missing and how you could help them fill a gap in their process. You might be surprised what they ask for. As a bonus, it will open an opportunity to brainstorm creative ways that you could solve their issues.

Build Marketing Pieces with The Sales Team in Mind

In your marketing strategy meetings, bring in a sales team member to discuss their goals for that year. As you’re building your newest plan, consider sales at every step of the process. Are there any pieces that you could build that might improve the sales strategy?  A few examples of marketing collateral pieces that could support your sales team are: 
  • Whitepapers
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Case studies
  • Customer interviews
  • Testimonials
  • Brochures 
  • Business cards
  • Branded customer gifts 

Attend a Sales Team Meeting

The more you know about what’s going on on the inside of your company’s sales team, the better you can support their efforts. Try attending sales meetings, and likewise, offer for a member of the sales team to attend your marketing meetings as well. You’ll be surprised what you can learn from each other.  Not only should these teams observe each others’ meetings, but they should also provide insight as they see fit. The more opportunities you take to be collaborative, the more aligned your sales and marketing teams will be. 

Adopt An Open Door Policy

By opening communication in the previous methods we discussed, you let the teams know that they can communicate with each other to improve their processes. However, it is essential to make it clear to these teams that an open-door policy is encouraged. Though you may feel like the teams feel comfortable coming to each other, some may still be reluctant. Make it abundantly clear that collaboration is the key to success. Are you looking to align and boost your sales and marketing efforts? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

Should You Use LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool?

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LinkedIn, like any social media platform, can be a fantastic marketing tool. The success of your tactics on this platform is, however, dependent on two things: the audience you’re trying to reach and the approach that you take in connecting with that audience. In this article, we’ll explain why LinkedIn can be a robust marketing tool and how to know if it’s right for your company.

You should use LinkedIn as a marketing tool if…

1. Your target audience uses LinkedIn. 
Before you build out your LinkedIn strategy, consider if your audience is active on this platform. The last thing you want to do is spend your precious time on something that the right people will never see. So, ask yourself if your audience is on LinkedIn daily, or at least a few times a week. If the answer is yes, then begin building. If the answer is no, identify which social media platform may be a better fit for your business and a better use of your energy.  You might be wondering what the typical LinkedIn audience looks like. LinkedIn users are usually professionals of all ages, from newly-graduated college students to c-suite executives. This audience is looking to build their personal or business success in some way by building their LinkedIn network and making a name for themselves.  Knowing this, here are a few audiences you might reach on LinkedIn: 
  • Executives who are looking for resources, advice, and tools to help their businesses scale or become stronger
  • Companies like yours that are using LinkedIn to build a strong online presence
  • Job seekers who are looking for the right position to begin or advance their career
  • Individuals who want to make professional connections and learn more about their industry
2. You want to build relationships with individual members of your audience. 
LinkedIn is more focused on individuals than it is on companies. As such, it’s a wonderful tool to help you build meaningful connections with others in your industry, as well as prospective customers or job candidates. Those LinkedIn members often have something to teach us, and we can learn about them in the process. By building these connections, you can identify who might be a good fit to join your company’s team or who might find great success using your product or service. This approach can help you identify specific targets and give your recruiting or sales team a head start.
3. You want to be viewed as a thought leader in your industry.
When you maintain an active LinkedIn profile, you build your position as a thought leader within your industry. Over time, your followers will see you as the go-to person when they want to learn more about your area of expertise. This approach elevates your personal and company brand while educating those around you. You likely will not notice an immediate return from this part of the tactic, but it’s well worth the long-term return on investment.
4. You are growing your team and are searching for a new hire.  
Over the years, LinkedIn has grown to be a robust hiring platform. Companies have an advantage when hiring via LinkedIn because, once the applications begin rolling in, they can view the applicants’ profiles. At a glance, you can see their personal description, work history, endorsements, and more. You can then reach out to the candidates who align with your position criteria and start discussing the specifics and next steps. This platform makes it easy to keep track of applications and where they are in the process.
5. You’re prepared to engage with others’ content, not just your own. 
When using LinkedIn to accomplish your business goals, it’s important that you’re prepared to engage with others’ content, too, and not just your own. Remember that you’re opening yourself and your company up to relationship building. When you’re sending out content and taking a hands-off or auto-pilot approach, you may not see the results you were hoping for. Pro tip: To engage on a deeper level with your audience, search LinkedIn for industry groups to join that align with your company and audience interests. 

Best Practices for LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn presence can achieve several of your business goals if you approach it in a strategic way. To get the most out of your efforts, it’s crucial that you keep your profile up to date and be active in posting and sharing industry-relevant content. The more active you are—with meaningful, relevant content—the faster you can build your presence and reach your target audience.  Be careful not to share content for no reason or to give generic responses to others’ content. Your audience can sense your authenticity, and they will appreciate you for putting in the time to interact.  Ready to build and strengthen your online presence? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

20 Questions to Ask Yourself that Will Improve Your Customer Profiles

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Customer-focused culture is everything. After all, serving our customers is what we’re here to do, right? When you take care of your patrons, they take care of you—and tell everyone they know about how much they love your business. One of the best ways to provide exceptional customer service is to understand your customer. The customer profile can help you do that. In this article, we discuss the basics of a customer profile, along with 20 customer profile questions that will help you build your own.   

What is a customer profile?

A customer profile paints a picture of your current or target audience. You can create in-depth profiles to understand your customers on a deeper level and use that information to better serve them. You can create a profile in any format you’d like, whatever helps you visualize your audience the most.  Here are a few ideas that might help you build your profiles:
  • Create a separate document for each of your target customers. For example, if one of the groups you are targeting is young families with children, you will create a profile document for that group.
  • Consider using stock images to help you visualize your customer. You may find that visuals help fuel your brainstorming process as you dive into your customers’ needs.
  • Make the creation of your customer profiles a group effort by opening the discussion to your team. Group brainstorms can give you multiple perspectives and open doors to new ideas. Tip: Try free brainstorming platforms like Mind Meister to map your thoughts.
  • Use the 20 questions below to take notes on your customers’ motivations, roadblocks, needs, and wants—among other identifying factors. Leave space to note actions that you can take to further cater to that target audience category. 

20 Questions to Improve Your Customer Profiles

  1. How would you describe your typical customer? 
  2. What do your customers have in common?
  3. What age is your typical customer?
  4. What types of jobs do your customers usually have? 
  5. What problem does your business solve for your customers?
  6. How do your customers usually shop: online or in-store?
  7. What level of education do your customers usually have?
  8. Do your customers generally live in rural or urban areas?
  9. Where do your customers get their information—news, ads, etc.?
  10. What are your customers’ typical motivations and interests? 
  11. What keeps your customers coming back? 
  12. What is a frequent compliment you hear from your customers?
  13. What would keep your customer from buying from you?
  14. What is your customer passionate about?
  15. What is your customer actively against? 
  16. How do your customers usually find your business?
  17. What makes your customers choose you over the competition?
  18. What do your customers worry about the most?
  19. What do your customers do on a typical weekday?
  20. What hobbies do your customers enjoy?
Are you looking for a marketing partner to help you better understand your customers? We’re here to help! Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

4 Marketing Insights to Know Before Calling a Prospect

In today’s world, the buyer has more control over the sales process than ever before. On the one hand, this can make things more difficult for sales professionals. They don’t have as much control over the narrative and buyer’s journey as they once did. However, this new world order provides opportunities for business development pros. Rather than having to conduct tons of research on a prospect or cold-calling potential leads, they can instead use marketing insights—one of the many reasons salespeople are smarter than ever before  

Marketing Insights Every Salesperson Should Know Before Calling a Prospect

Here are four specific marketing insights to share with your business development team to help them be more effective in their outreach to prospective customers: 
1. Their Overall History of Engagement with Your Brand
Today’s marketing tools allow you to track a prospect’s engagement over the past several years. These insights can help salespeople quickly answer questions like: What content have they read or converted on? Have they ever spoken with a sales representative before?  Even if it’s their first time speaking with a prospect, your sales leader can know the prospect’s entire relationship with your brand. This information is incredibly valuable for weaving the context of their history of engagement into the conversation. 
2. Insights Behind the Action That Qualified Them as a Lead
Knowing what action a prospect took to qualify them as a lead is non-negotiable. However, I’ve found that it’s also important to provide sales with an overview of what that resource or lead magnet is about. In many cases, sales professionals don’t take time to read all of the lead generation resources that marketing creates. Providing a brief synopsis that helps your sales team know what the resource is about makes it easier for them to create the connection between the action of the prospect and your products and services. 
3. Their Ability to Make a Purchasing Decision
Most companies know the job title or roles that would have the ability to say “yes” to a final purchasing decision. Capturing this information through your marketing efforts will ensure salespeople aren’t wasting time on leads that they can’t convert.  
4. The Career History of a Prospect
It’s useful to understand your prospect’s job history. In many cases, your CRM can track whether a person has moved from one company to another. You can also leverage LinkedIn insights to capture a prospect’s career trajectory and mutual connections. All these factors will influence how much a prospect can impact a purchase decision, how much educating you’ll have to do, and how quickly they can make a decision. Today’s business development professionals have access to more information about their prospects than ever before. The more your marketing team can help salespeople contextualize their messaging and save time getting to know the prospect, the more effective both teams will be in the long run.  Green Apple Strategy’s team is dedicated to understanding our clients’ target audience, creating compelling content, and generating the leads you need to grow your business. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

How Marketing Can Directly Impact Revenue with Sales Enablement

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Directly tying your marketing efforts to revenue generation is a challenge for almost every business leader and marketing manager. In today’s world, there are so many factors that influence a potential customer’s decision, so utilizing proper marketing tactics is essential. It’s the only way to know if the time, energy, and resources you invest are making an impact on the bottom line. 

One of the simplest and most effective ways for marketing to directly impact revenue is to focus on sales enablement. Essentially, sales enablement is equipping your business development team with assets that make them more efficient and effective. This includes content that helps prospects to answer the questions they ask, solve their problems, and build the case internally with their team.

But, what’s the best thing about sales enablement? All of it can be tracked, measured, and attributed to the bottom line. 

How to Create Sales-Enablement Tools That Directly Impact Revenue

How can marketing equip your sales team with resources that make them smarter and more efficient and effective? Here are a few important considerations when creating your sales-enablement assets: 

  1. Sales Enablement That Answers Potential Customers’ Biggest Questions. The most effective sales-enablement tools proactively answer the questions of prospective customers. This includes assets such as answers to frequently asked questions, at-a-glance competitor comparisons, and statistics that add credibility.
  2. Sales Enablement That Comes in Different Formats. Every customer is different in how they prefer to consume content. The good news is that you don’t have to create all of these resources from scratch. Re-organizing the content you create into various formats is one of the simplest ways to maximize your content marketing efforts. Equipping your sales team with content in various formats such as ebooks, case studies, blog posts, videos, webinars, and infographics is key.
  3. Sales Enablement That Is Easy to Find and Simple to Use. Sales enablement tools are effective if your business development team actually uses them. That’s why it’s critically important to create sales enablement tools that your team can use. Make sure everything you create is easily accessible, consumable, and shareable.
  4. Sales Enablement That Makes Your Business Development Team More Efficient. Marketing automation and technology have opened the door for new levels of sales enablement. Not only can you create resources for sales to use, but you can also send it on their behalf. Finding simple ways to leverage marketing automation to support your sales team will save them a tremendous amount of time and enable them to focus on having meaningful conversations with potential customers. 

The great thing about sales enablement is that all of it can be tracked. You can see what potential customers are consuming. You can know what content is influencing their decisions. You can share that information with your sales team to help them be even more effective. While marketing might not be able to take complete credit for “closing the deal,” empowering your business development team with sales-enablement tools that can be tracked and measured is a meaningful way to directly tie your marketing efforts to the bottom line