Danielle EngholmDanielle Engholm

If there were any personal takeaways from the last two years, it’s that we’re not in control of the future as much as we like to think we are. And, from the looks of things right now, much remains unknown for the year ahead, particularly as we look at the state of the economy and what it will mean for business.

We’re seeing many companies get in front of this in ways that are shaping how we work a bit differently than in the past. Many are looking to step up their marketing and communications efforts by bringing on an agency for the first time (nothing new, right?). The difference? They’re needing to show results on short-term projects before securing bigger budgets for longer-term programs.

How do you prioritize and where do you get started when the “to-do list” is long, but you need to show measurable results quickly? With every challenge comes an opportunity. Working with laser focus can yield amazing results. While there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, there are things you can do to help ensure success. Here are five must-dos to deliver a program that can drive more immediate results.

Make sure you know what you need to measure. Set clear objectives that align with what you’re trying to do. If the budget is tight, know what’s going to matter most to your leadership team to demonstrate success. Clear, measurable objectives that tie directly to your goals are critical. Do you need existing customers to upgrade to your latest platform? Do you need leads in a new market? If you can outline what success will look like, you’ll put your agency partners in a better position to help you get there.

This article is featured in O'Dwyer's Nov. '22 Technology PR Magazine
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Lean on your agency to recommend a strategy. If a successful short-term project is going to determine your management team’s appetite for approving a bigger, longer-term marketing budget, let your agency help you shape the best strategy. This is also where the budget conversation needs to happen. Be clear on your objectives and budget and lean on your agency for recommendations on what is going to be the most effective plan. Securing media briefings may not be as successful in helping you achieve immediate KPIs as an ABM program. Let your agency advise on the best approach based on your goals with the time and budget available.

Be clear on who you’re targeting. Many companies define their target audience too broadly when they have a very specific KPI they need to reach. Bring it back to your objectives and what audiences you need to reach to help you achieve your goals. Whether you move forward with a paid campaign, an earned media program or another communications channel strategy, there may be an opportunity to focus your target audience even more—particularly when budgets and timelines need to be managed closely.

Address the barrier. Talk through what’s getting in the way of your audience taking the desired action. Does your sales channel have a complicated narrative that hides the value of your solution? Do prospective customers not understand how your offering is different than the alternative, lower-cost solution? Are you not reaching your audience through the right channels? Knowing what obstacles are in the way can help ensure that you’re implementing the right strategy.

Allocate budgets for meaningful measurement. When budgets are tight, you don’t want to spend more money on program measurement than on program execution itself. At the same time, you need to capture and deliver meaningful metrics for your leadership team to demonstrate the value of the program. If you’re working with an agency, make sure to leave room in the budget for measurement reports because often, this is the first cut.

Lastly, don’t wait until the program ends to share results with leadership. Provide “right-sized” updates throughout the campaign, so they can see progress against goals, anticipated results and value to the business.


Danielle Engholm is a Senior Vice President in Padilla’s Technology Practice focusing on integrated B2B marketing, PR and digital communications across industrial, heavy equipment, health, food and enterprise technology.