“First Mile” Questions Every Marketer Should Know

by Jackie Davis

Marketers venture into campaigns with the best of intentions. With goals of solid ROI, increased sales, and brand awareness, it seems like they are striving for the best. But according to Mark Pilipczuk, Managing Director of MAP Consulting LLC, marketers must tackle “first mile problems” to truly be successful.

“As a practicing performance/direct response marketer, I’ve always first asked myself or my clients a few strategic, or “first mile” questions,” said Pilipczuk. “Questions like: Who is your target audience? What is your allowable? What is your objective with this campaign, product launch, etc? What does success look like?”

Marketers and their clients should be able to answer these questions before they start brainstorming a campaign, but many don’t – and it costs them in the end. Without these expectations drawn out from the beginning, campaigns are likely to fail with budget, reach, and sales.

According to Pilipczuk, one of the biggest issues with the “first mile” is untrained marketers not knowing to ask these questions. “Check your marketing department. How many of them are trained, i.e. have degrees in the subject matter that you’re paying them good money for?” he said. “Don’t tell me ‘you can learn marketing on the job.’”

Pilipczuk points out that you wouldn’t hire an untrained doctor to perform surgery or an uneducated attorney to defend you in court. So, why hire an untrained marketer? With experience comes the tactical focus that Pilipczuk says will make campaigns successful.

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t try new things. But let’s get the first mile right by building marketing teams populated with properly-trained marketers,” he said. “Let’s lead with strategy. And let’s talk LTV, SAC, CAC, ROI, IRR, WACC so that we, as marketers, can sit at the adult table. And win.”