Content Strategy

How to Create a Marketing Strategy That’s Customer-Centric and Business Savvy with Formula.Monks’ Patrick Ward

By Skyword Staff on October 5, 2023

A Content Disrupted podcast with guest Patrick Ward, Vice President of Marketing at Formula.Monks.

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As a marketer, think about how often your decisions are questioned internally. The truth is, if you can quickly build a reputation as someone who uses marketing to drive business results, most of these questions will disappear. 

In this episode of Content Disrupted, Skyword Head of Content Casey Nobile is joined by Patrick Ward, the Vice President of Marketing at Formula.Monks, as he gets real about how to gain trust in marketing, unlock your marketing superpower (being the ultimate customer expert), and tackle brand building in stages to boost marketing’s bottom-line impact. 

Patrick oversees GTM, brand, and demand-gen strategy at Formula.Monks, a global consulting firm and the tech pillar of Media.Monks, owned by London-based S4Capital. He is also the Founder of NanoGlobals, an expert-led platform that provides the information necessary for tech companies and startups to find and leverage remote workforces and multinational business strategies. His writing has been featured in the likes of The New York Times, Ad Age, Fast Company, Morning Brew, Hacker Noon, HuffPost, and Business Insider. 

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Episode Highlights:

[01:40] Marketing the Marketer –  Patrick started his career agency side, but soon realized he wanted the opportunity to to represent bigger brands and have a bigger impact. So, he moved from Australia to the U.S. and started working brand-side in a lower-paying role where he quickly learned the concept of marketing the marketer. According the Patrick, the biggest key to whether someone is successful in marketing is how well they market themselves, especially within their own organizations. This underscores the need for marketers to demonstrate their value in driving business results and to confront common misconceptions about marketing in order to proactively gain trust within the organization.

[03:33] Being the Expert on Your Customers – Marketing’s superpower lies in being the expert on the customer and the voice of the customer within the organization. While sales departments often have the most direct interaction, it's marketing's role to delve deeper into what customers truly care about, laying the foundation for effective brand building. The shift in marketing from flashy creative to a metrics-driven approach reflects today's business need to show concrete value. However, it's vital not to rely too heavily on superficial metrics, which the C-suite often perceives as lacking depth. Contrarily, an overemphasis on metrics can make marketers forget their core strength: understanding what’s going on with customers at the core. It's all about balance. Metrics are as essential as directional indicators, but qualitative feedback is just as crucial. Marketers must constantly be the people to step outside their organizations to bring fresh, external insights into often biased internal conversations.

[06:48] The Concentric Circle Model for Brand Building – Brands like Coca-Cola, Apple, and Nike instantly evoke specific feelings or images. Most brands aspire to this, but achieving it involves mastering several stages of foundational brand-building first. Patrick explains how marketers can work through a concentric circle model, which starts with your brand’s true fans: long-standing customers and employees. Gather insights from these loyal followers to understand why they value your brand. From there, you can engage in  "client cloning," a process that involves using your customers' words to describe your product or service to others who match their profile. Once you've tapped into your core fanbase, you can extend your reach to prospective customers, or the middle circle, and aim for wider audiences and media exposure (the outer circle) from there.

[14:27] Marketing Strategies for B2B Companies –  Being the expert on your customers isn’t just about third-party data. Patrick suggests using customer success managers and review platforms to gather honest feedback from clients. Marketers should focus on uncovering hidden reasons behind customer purchases, while sales focuses on making the sale. In developing demandgen strategies, marketers have to help the business understand that there’s only a finite amount of people in-market for their business at any given time. A constant task of marketing is to find where out-of-market customers are consuming information and drive them towards being in market through content and other marketing efforts. 

[24:47] Marketing & Employee Advocacy – When it comes to engaging employees in the concentric circle model, marketers tend to try a ‘one size fits all’ approach. This is a misstep. Patrick explains that marketing has two aspects of the employee audience to influence. One: prospective talent. There is a huge fight for talent, and you’re going to have to convince the A players to spend time with your business. Two: current employees. It’s tempting for existing employees to give only 51% effort, so managers must strive to get them to 80%, 90%, or 100% effort. Patrick suggests organizing employees into different pods based on their interests and funding those interests (like public speaking opps, etc.) can lead to better results and higher talent retention numbers.

Follow and subscribe to Content Disrupted on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or Google Podcasts. Every other week, we host candid conversations with pioneering CMOs, researchers on the topics most relevant to enterprise marketers, from the psychology behind today's digital buying behaviors and how to craft more relevant creative to maximizing internal trust in the marketing team.


Featured image by svetazi on Adobe Stock. 


Skyword Staff