Become great at marketing strategy
Learn how to build and execute an effective marketing strategy
By Lindsey Christensen, CMO @ Thoughtbot
Course length: 1 hour
Turn your marketing department into a valuable profit center
For many companies, marketing strategy can feel like a black box.
Because there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, even smart marketers wonder where to start. For junior and mid-level marketers especially, crossing the gap from individual contributor to strategic leader can seem insurmountable.
It’s time we change that.
With the right approach and a few key frameworks, you can learn to think like a strategist and turn marketing into a key growth engine for your business.
Introduction video (2 min)
After taking this course, you’ll:
- Prioritize your marketing efforts – Use frameworks to identify the important initiatives to focus on in a sea of options.
- Make a tangible impact – Learn how to organize marketing experiments and measure results.
- Earn respect and recognition from management – Gain a greater understanding of stakeholder roles and how to communicate effectively.
Knowing marketing strategy makes you more valuable
No matter your role, Marketing Strategy is an invaluable business skillset. As a strategist, you’ll be leveling up your leadership abilities – you’ll become a key team member who can provide focus, guidance, and clear communication across yout organization.
The content is insightful, actionable and doable.
I appreciate the range of topics and the talent and expertise of the presenters. I’ve grown more as a marketer in the last several months than I had in years before.
CXL Institute has helped me tremendously in my journey to become the best digital marketer I can be.
It has opened my eyes to the capabilities of tools like GTM and Google Sheets. You guys have humbled me by teaching me that there’s so much more to learn!
CXL is just the best place to grow for a marketer. I learned more in a few months via CXL than what I learned in 8, 9 months on my own.
This course is essential for you if …
- You want to advance your career and start taking on more leadership roles.
- You’re looking to join a startup as a first marketer or head of marketing, and starting from scratch.
- You want to feel confident pitching and discussing new strategies with your marketing team and during interviews.
This course is NOT for you if …
- You’re unwilling to challenge yourself, or expand your logical and creative thinking outside your comfort zone.
- You can’t move quickly. Rapid iteration and fast learning cycles are the key to success in marketing strategy.
- You’re not ready to own your results. Taking responsibility for business-critical decisions should be something that excites you.
This course is for junior to mid-level marketers who want to understand, contribute to, and eventually lead strategic marketing initiatives. The course starts with the beginner in mind, showing you how to start thinking about marketing strategy and apply it at your own company.
Enrolling students should have a basic foundation in B2B marketing, including concepts like buyer personas, campaigns, and sales, plus an understanding of the most common tools used by marketing and sales teams.
Lindsey Christensen, is the CMO at thoughtbot, a product design and development consultancy with studios across the US and UK.
Prior to thoughtbot, Lindsey led marketing at high-growth startups like GrabCAD, and held a variety of marketing roles at engineering software giant, PTC. She’s been named a Top Woman in Boston Tech.
Your full course curriculum
Marketing’s role in business
In Lesson 1, we explore core marketing concepts and how they apply in product and service companies. Even if you’re familiar with these concepts, you’ll be challenged to look at things from a new perspective, seeing them as part of as an integrated whole.
- The 8 core areas of marketing, and how they support business objectives.
- Common misconceptions about marketing, and how marketers fall into their trap.
- How to effectively partner with sales, and why it’s critical to success in a for-profit company.
Creating a research plan
Albert Einstein once said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” We’ll be taking a similar approach. In Lesson 2, we show you why research is the crucial first step in creating an effective marketing strategy, and give you a clear framework for gathering data and resources.
This lesson will cover:
- How to pinpoint the stakeholders and the role they will play in your strategy — to execute successfully, you’ll need sponsors, collaborators, and allies inside your company.
- How to identify and source key market data, like information from internal documentation, databases, historical analytics and more.
- How to plan for unavailable market data - Whether previous teams worked on strategy or not, you’ll need to develop some information from from scratch, to reflect your new perspective.
Interviewing, analyzing, and augmenting
Executing your research plan requires analytical thinking, but with a people-focused mindset. In lesson 3, we’ll explore how to combine data analysis while nurturing interpersonal relationships at the same time – a challenging undertaking that will grow your leadership skills.
You’ll learn how to:
- Interview stakeholders about the market while assessing what role they’ll play in your strategy.
- Get valuable insights from marketing data including customer profiles, competitive landscape, marketing history, and market trends.
- Fill in the gaps and augment data to get a clear picture for decision-making.
Using insights to drive strategy
The goal of marketing research isn’t to accumulate data, it’s to uncover key insights about what’s working, what’s broken, and what hasn’t been tried yet. In Lesson 4, we’ll give you a framework to help find and organize your insights so they’re both useful and actionable.
This lesson will guide you through:
- How to organize your insights in a matrix - a document that cross-references the 8 core areas of marketing and a SWOT analysis.
Creating a cohesive strategy
All your research, analysis, and consensus-building leads to this moment. It’s time to formulate your strategy. Which core marketing areas will you focus on, and for which personas? Will you explore new channels, with a new spin on a value proposition? And how are you going to tie all of this together with a unifying campaign or set of campaigns?
This lesson will guide you through:
- Organizing a minimum viable marketing strategy
- Using an OGSM framework to align objectives, goals, strategies and measures
- Best practices for goal-setting and tracking.
Executing your plan
Lesson 6 is where the rubber hits the road. In this section, we’ll give you guidance on how to roll out your strategy and move into execution mode.
Set yourself up for success with:
- A kick-off meeting to build excitement and stakeholder support.
- Tools to keep you organized and sharing progress across departments.
- Best practices for continuing down an agile path to success.
Show off your new skills: Get a certificate of completion
Once the course is over, pass a test to earn a CXL certification.
Add it to your resume, your LinkedIn profile or just get that well-earned raise you’ve been waiting for.
Get this course and 50+ others when you sign up for CXL Institute
This course (and all others – full list here) are included with the CXL Institute subscription.
At CXL Institute, you can take online courses on growth, digital marketing, optimization, analytics, persuasion – all in a single subscription.
- World’s leading practitioners teaching you their best stuff.
- 50+ online courses on all things data-driven marketing
- New courses added every single month
Sign up for CXL Institute and get access to
- 50+ courses (full list here) on all aspects of data-driven marketing (new courses added every month)
- 4 Minidegrees that give you advanced level skills
Got a team, multiple users? Get our Teams All-Access plan instead.
The CXL Institute guarantee:
- 7-day no questions asked money back period
- You can immediately apply learnings and improve your results.
Get a subscription
All plans come with a 7-day trial for $1.
Get a minidegree
This course is available in the following minidegrees.
Some of the companies that train their teams at CXL Institute: