ClearEdge CEO Leslie Vickrey joins TheEdge podcast to talk about her observations and predictions on 2018 marketing, as well as her advice to organizations looking to optimize their marketing budget.

Going into 2018, Leslie shares that the most important element to effective marketing is to align marketing leaders and sales leaders on the organization’s business goals. For marketing teams to be effective, marketing leaders have to always have a seat at the table when organizations plan their strategic future. This is necessary to strategize an aggressive, proactive marketing approach with the sales team rather than to just react to the sales team’s immediate needs. When the marketing and sales teams are aligned on a financial plan and goal, they’re able to identify strategies for both teams to work smarter together, as well as leverage each team’s skillset in order to reach those financial goals.

Leslie describes how an organization’s story is the key to their marketing strategy. Organizations have to be able to define their brand story in order to win over clients and retain loyal employees through a vivid story of who they are, and a clear picture on where they’re going. Brand storytelling is most important for organizations who may not think that they have a true differentiator. When you define who you are, a differentiator comes to the top and helps your internal team, and clients, understand what makes you unique.

Leslie touches on how important it is for organizations to not only know themselves, but also their target audience. The key to marketing is understanding how to capture your audience’s attention in a way that prompts a certain desired response. From there, Leslie shares that it’s critical to take an account-based marketing approach where organizations cater every interaction they have with the prospect; from reaching out to engaging them as a client. Touchpoints must be specific to the audience to accurately surprise and delight them every step of the way. Tune in if you’re interested in creating a marketing team that’s hyper-focused on increasing the organization’s bottom line.