Market-Focused Plans Deliver Business Growth
For over 30 years, PQ Systems (PQ) has helped manufacturers implement quality improvement programs. Their solutions include statistical process control software, gage management software, measurement system analysis, training, and consulting services. Beth Savage, President & Owner since 2015, had a desire to further amplify PQ’s reputation for customer focus, building on their history of growth and delivering even bigger growth in the future.
To meet these aggressive goals, PQ aimed to shift from a product-focused organization to a more market-focused one, and they wanted insight on how to best drive the process. Savage identified their needs to develop a plan that would deliver higher growth, to develop a sustainable, cross-functional, integrated go-to-market approach, and to develop internal capabilities so the team could implement ongoing. It was also important to bring in a partner that would maintain PQ’s strong culture. Savage stated, “We weren’t looking for an external resource to do the work, but to collaborate with us so we could build our capability and capacity through the process.”
Savage met Amy Connor, CEO & Owner of CMO-OnLoan, based on the recommendation of a mutual contact. After discussing multiple options, Connor proposed a monthly engagement where Savage and Connor would meet to discuss the roadmap for implementing the strategic plan with Connor acting as a strategic sounding board. In a few months, Savage and the team had developed internal capability and evolved their focus to an integrated, cross-functional go-to-market approach.
The next step was developing an outcomes-focused marketing playbook that clearly linked to business goals. With a small marketing team, PQ needed external resources to help them develop their plan and to identify the resources needed to implement it. Savage’s goals were to see marketing KPIs that indicated marketing was driving business results and that the marketing team would be resourced appropriately to implement the plan. One of CMO-OnLoan’s senior consultants, Kathy Drury, led the project with the PQ marketing team. Drury worked with PQ to develop an integrated sales and marketing plan with corresponding key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress.
A key project that enabled PQ to better link marketing results and outcomes was the customer funnel analysis. The team identified lead sources, costs per lead, and close ratio. This analysis enabled the team to create a lead generation plan that clearly linked to business results. The team then used a CMO-OnLoan tool, the Marketing ROI Calculator, to make confident decisions among marketing tactics.
The team delivered weekly and monthly KPI dashboards which kept them focused on the most important business drivers. The dashboards also provided leadership visibility into how marketing KPIs were impacting business results.
A second key project was developing a customer segmentation of current customers. The output included a contact strategy that prioritized the highest growth opportunities with clear roles for both sales and marketing. During this time, CMO-OnLoan analyzed resource needs and provided a short-term resource recommendation. It included Drury facilitating the request for proposal (RFP) process to find and onboard a digital agency to help PQ make significant progress in their digital presence.
Once the plans were aligned, Savage’s desired outcomes were:
a) clear indicators showed that marketing was driving business goals
b) successful implementation and enhancements based on results
c) increased confidence in marketing decisions
Drury collaborated with the marketing team, met with leadership weekly, reviewed and provided feedback on projects and analysis, reports, market analysis, etc. Within a few months, marketing KPIs continued to show how marketing was impacting business goals and the internal team was prepared to implement on their own.
In less than a year, PQ accelerated its shift from a product-focused to a market-focused organization with a strategic marketing playbook the team was confidently implementing. Savage concluded, “I appreciate how the CMO-OnLoan team both helped us meet our goals and were flexible throughout the process.”
Connor stated, “Beth and the PQ Systems team have great products and a strong culture. They just needed some guidance so they could build upon their marketing foundation and enhance their market focus. I can’t wait to see what they will do next.”