Image Cover for Article From Underpowered to Unstoppable: The 4 Cylinders of a Modern Marketing Engine

I have made this mistake too often to count where my product or offer is so good that I mistakenly think I can run my marketing process on only one cylinder.

It’s painful to see great companies and products struggle with underpowered marketing. In a world where you see hundreds of Ads a day and recall none of them, you need a process to bust through your prospect’s cell phone addiction

Your marketing doesn’t have to struggle. Adopt your own marketing engine.

Like cars, your marketing engine can have its unique cylinders to drive success. At the agency, we use this four-cylinder model. Still, your business is unique, and this framework should be customized to your team’s needs (for example language and geography are commonly added 5th and 6th cylinders). 

Four Cylinders of a Marketing Engine to Drive Your Goals to Success


What should be in a “Classic” marketing engine?

Target 🎯

You have moved beyond assumptions and worked hard to understand your customer persona. Likely your competition has not done the work and is simply running off the gut of their most senior executive. Even as a small business you can beat them if you understand their needs better. 

Message 💬

You have moved beyond benefits to emotions and stories. Your competition is like most brands if they opened a Hotel you have no idea what it would be like. If Nike opened a hotel we all know what it would be like and why Nike continues to command 62% of the competitive sneaker market. 

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Channel 📺

We have all been stuck in a meeting where someone is droning on that our customers are not on Facebook so we should not advertise/create content/have a channel because that person does not “personally” use the channel. This is a HUGE mistake that sucks countless hours from the marketing team, “Which Channels should we be in?”

People spend about 30 minutes per social channel so I would be where you can find your audience the cheapest. Then test to see which drives better conversion for you.

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Many brands remain underpowered at this point getting stuck in endless channel debates vs having a process to figure out which channels add incrementally new customers at a CAC we like. Share shifting between Instagram and TikTok is not going to get you ahead.

CAC Formula

Timing ⏲️

Timing is hard but rewarding. A good example was when I was working with P&G’s their Pampers brand knew when you were your baby was going to transition from one diaper size to another and they would drop a coupon or ad on you to make sure you did not move to Huggies. That is Timing! For those of us who are not P&G 😂 ask the following questions:

  • How many ads/emails/content pieces do I have to get on target to get a buyer to move through the funnel?
  • Are there times of the year that this works better? Spring for a Pet brand, Holidays for a gift brand, and January for a Health brand.
  • Are there times you can buy media at a lower cost? Or shut media off altogether 😍  One of the concepts I did not appreciate as a marketer was this concept called Drag. Which is the window after an Ad runs that you get orders or leads. Typically in DRTV, this is 60 minute window but different channels have different windows. 

The marketing machine you are building needs at least a four-cylinder engine to get through the 7.5 hours a day we all spend on a connected device. Having less than that means while you may get to your destination it will be slower and harder than it needs to be.

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