1st Step to Catapult Conversions

New entries to business today tend to be fairly savvy. Anyone willing to do a bit of Google searching can learn some common terms and concepts. Everyone knows that conversions (sales) are the goal. So, why are so many being drained of their funds – month after month – by ineffective tactics?

Tactics without Strategy is the Noise before Defeat.

– Sun Tzu

As we know, being able to recognize a term like Branding does not mean that the value of the concept is automatically understood. Yet when it comes to business success, whether for a startup or an existing venture poised to climb to the next level, comprehending the value of a Brand – designed to resonate with the target audience – can literally enable a venture to thrive (or keep it from failing), particularly since effective Brands drive conversion.

Realizing the need to systematically implement foundational elements first, including a well-crafted Brand Identity as the bedrock for business growth, can indeed mean the difference between an operation struggling or failing → and catapulting forward. Ignoring the basics is not a shortcut. That choice, instead, costs volumes of wasted time and money.

Creating and implementing an effective Brand ID is as fundamental as vetting the business concept and model for viability before going to market. There are some core pieces that simply must be in place, setting a company on the right path, in order for add-ons to work at all.

Frequency of confusion about this – plagued by lack of understanding regarding the baseline importance of a systematized approach to the fundamentals – in fact, was the impetus for: Brand Identity – Foundation for Conversion. It highlights why and how the right design and use of a consistent Brand Message (visuals, talking points, alignment across all points of presence) sets the stage for converting new contacts to customers.

What came to light again this week, via a new prospect operation that has been struggling for more than 10 years, confirmed that one article was simply not enough. While clearly there is much more to know behind the scenes in order to create and leverage a Brand effectively, the main message requires more attention in order to arm business owners who are making these decisions.

Regardless of which tactical avenue a company thinks they should use – i.e. increased spending on channels like SEO, PR blasts, or social media ads – they typically expect it to instantly solve their problems and win them sales. In fact, many are led to believe that it can. Without the right foundation in place first, this is simply not true.

The enormous disconnect about ‘tactics first’ is tanking businesses that could otherwise thrive. Aimlessly throwing money around sets a stage for nothing except lost funds. Yet, somehow a dominant segment of eCommerce business owners seems to think that having a high Google rank will score them customers, regardless of how the website presents.

Naturally, this type of confused disconnect has a source. The source here is the deliberately misleading and rabid promotion online of: (1) high website rankings as a Holy Grail, (2) the notion that sweeping PR exposure equates to interest and conversion, and (3) belief that an ad format alone will drive sales.

On the other hand, once crucial foundational pieces are effectively in place, tactical campaigns – that actually align with the strategic business direction – can be introduced. When that occurs, the right tactical channels can be leveraged for beneficial outcomes.

Otherwise, who would expect to gain growth from spraying water at a wall? This is the effect without a system in place to create capture.

water at wall - logo

Until the ground has been prepared and treated, seeds have been planted, and the soil richly fed, nothing can be expected to grow. Throwing water around where no fertile business soil exists – not to mention seeds – causes only the water bill to skyrocket…rather than the intended sales or profits.

Instead, when a proven systematic approach is used, this positions a business to automate and consistently replicate processes that secure winning results. Vet the concept, develop an effective model, plan strategically, develop and implement the Brand Message, and prepare to choose the right promotional campaigns through a strategic channel selection that will distribute the message in the most favorable directions. All of this should be done prior to launch for optimal outcomes.

replicable, automated system

With a Brand Identity in place, those who encounter your business for the first time can recognize who you are and what makes you special (why they should do business with you instead of the competition) instantly. They will begin to recall your differentiated value each time they digest the consistent Brand Message and see the aligned visuals, leading to Brand Recognition.

Like irrigation, every tactical campaign layered on top of a properly established foundation: enhances your position, increases traction, and causes a higher rate of conversions. Now, the money invested in replicable tactics is getting your message to the right place, poised for effective outcomes, rather than falling into a vacuum.

If you were either unfamiliar with these distinctions prior, or were misled – having launched by trying one of many spray-the-wall methods (without a systematic and strategic foundation) – it is never too late to put the right pieces in place. Channel those valuable funds, and that crucial time, in a productive direction.

Strategy must precede tactics every time. Set the stage first. Look at the big picture. Consider the targets, goals, and resources available (budget, personnel, etc.). Taking time to put the right pieces in place will change the entire landscape, and favorably impact the outcomes: in this case, setting the stage for effective conversions, and setting a course for profitability.

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STRATEGY Global Business Development

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We delight in catapulting growth. From a basis of experience with more than 1/3 of the F500 & global NPOs, we gap-close through Best Practices.

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From Business Plans to Brand Identity (including Website Front-End design), Marketing Strategies to Sales Optimization, Demand Analysis to Product Launch gain gap-closing Best Practices & results-producing expertise: decades of cross-industry, international, MBA-level insights for funded Startups to Fortune 500. Award-Winning dealings with more than 1/3 of the Fortune 500 launched the Consulting Practice, and our consistently 5-star ranked range of Growth Initiatives, in 2001.


Clients in 18 market-leading countries worldwide.

 Over 16 years of contributing internationally to our clients.



Growth Hacking Wins: Think Different

Whether conceptual, technical, or otherwise, today’s examples of growth hacking span a spectrum. This spectrum has produced a modernized bridge composed of tools for traffic attraction, commonly tracked and measured through analytic metrics that intend to cause increased conversions (i.e. visitor to customer) through hastened or magnified audience engagement. When coupled with the wisdom of traditional strategies, these methods can reinforce and catapult results.

Many layers of planning in effective growth hacking
Layers of planning form the foundation for Growth Hacking


The trick remains that – while everyone seems to be talking about it – not everyone becomes instantly effective in their efforts. A solid base of experience will always accelerate success rates. After all, knowing the answer in advance makes any question seem simpler.

As with each sector of business, any angle or technique of tactical marketing, and every aspect of life, the learning curve is comprised of layers. Growth hacking may sound like a simple solution. In fact, any effective system, replicable process, and successful campaign requires: (1) planning, (2) attention to detail, (3) testing & upgrades, and (4) ongoing monitoring in order to determine opportunities for improvement.

methods - for start-ups

INDUSTRY Contingencies

What most growth hacking discussions intend to promote now boils down to enhanced effectiveness of digital marketing and sales. Whether or not your venture functions from an eCommerce model, the type and price point of the product of service, and the pain points of the target base will always influence an ability to utilize the more common growth hacking techniques with success.

Yes, quality content marketing should enhance credibility and visibility for any operation. Will it substantially increase the volume of closed sales or drive a surge in revenue? That depends upon the combination of practices and processes you use, how well you know your target market, and how effectively you understand the best ways to connect with them to solve their problems or address their explicit needs.

questions to ask at each stage

B2C versus B2B

Also, consumers and businesses behave differently when it comes to decision-making processes, timelines, and influencing factors. Much of what we hear discussed about growth hacking pertains to consumers. The idea relates to scaling volume, according to typical buyer behaviors and swift consumer choices, at relatively contained price points.

Alternatively, the objective becomes market share (a factor of traction and engagement: incomplete on conversion, particularly as it relates to freemium service offerings). Secure eyeballs, secure engagement, secure conversion through subscription with the goal of upgrading a percentage of subscribers to premium features and accounts. This actually relegates a freemium subscription level to engagement and traction rather than conversion.

So, the approach is ultimately always determined by the end game and larger vision. What are the goals? When demonstrating (to investors for next-stage funding, for example) that a venture has strong or broad market capture, this potentially weighs into the business valuation. Without revenues to show in tandem, merit of the offering is diluted.

Dialing into consumer interest areas, according to existing or potential demand, can provide a healthy opportunity to combine growth hacks with other marketing and sales campaign tactics to accelerate market acceptance. Start-ups, emerging ventures, and mid-sized operations can especially benefit from layering growth hacking tactics on top of sales and marketing foundations.

in an internet minute


Leverage is the ultimate bottom line. Whether conceptual, or truly algorithmic and strictly analytical, the idea of growth hacking focuses on creating exponentially greater results through contingencies: formulas that compound outcomes based upon enhanced systematic and replicable practices.

Because, today’s truth is: fierce competition awaits at every turn. The staggering fact that 540,000 new businesses launch every month, in the US alone, helps us realize how much we need every available tool. That knowledge, coupled with the volume of information bombarding us (i.e. bombarding our targeted prospects) – like 100,000 new tweets in an internet minute – requires us to identify and implement the most effective tools and techniques that budget and time will allow.

FB & twitter stats

Starting with something simple, like building a loyal following on prioritized social media, can be a useful step. Realizing what is involved at this stage, before graduating to the next, will enable more controlled scalability. Part of scalable control means being able to deliver what is promised, which leads to customer retention as well as referrals.

After all, throwing money at ads before developing and consistently implementing an effective Brand Identity across all points of presence is a common pitfall for new and emerging businesses. Undeveloped ad “spamming” depletes vital resources that are needed to build other aspects of a functional growing business. Approaching your overall business development systematically – one step at a time – will establish the company’s long-term foundation for success…the right way the first time.


STRATEGY Global Business Development


→ Top 1% Transformational Consulting, 2001 – 2017

From Business Plans to Brand Identity (including website front-end), Marketing Strategy to Sales Optimization, Demand Analysis to Product Launch → gain gap-closing & results-producing expertise: decades of cross-industry, global, MBA-level insights for funded Startups to Fortune 500.

Award-Winning dealings with more than 1/3 of the Fortune 500 launched the Consulting Practice, and our consistently 5-star ranked range of Growth Initiatives, in 2001.

→ Clients in 18 market-leading countries worldwide.

→ Over 16 years of contributing internationally to client success!


@StrategyGBD ~> twitter.com/StrategyGBD

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