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Put The Mayonnaise Away

Put The Mayonnaise Away

I was 15 and I thought I was invincible.

I was the kid who didn’t have to (or thought I didn’t have to) study and could still show up and ace a test.  This is one of those “skills” that does not serve you well in the long run.  School, work, and life inevitably get more and more challenging as you grow.  Going into more challenging situations unprepared as an adult sets you up for failure.

During high school, my mother, who was wheelchair-bound from multiple sclerosis, found out that she had brain cancer and underwent surgery to remove the tumor. Despite this, she continued to persevere, raising a child on her own, competing in triathlons, raising dogs for Canine Companions for Independence…you get the idea.

By 15, I had seen both sides of the poverty line.  When I was younger, we lived in someone’s garage that had a bathroom.  My mom slept on the couch and I got the closet.  By the time I was in middle school we moved to Land Park (an upper-middle-class neighborhood in the suburbs of Sacramento).

Why am I telling you my life story in an article on a marketing blog (there isn’t enough internet for my full life story)?  All of the things, good or bad, that I have experienced in my life have brought me to where I am now.  I have done everything from washing dishes to running my own company, and I am not above washing dishes again if that was what was necessary to provide for my family.  Most marketers (or business people in general) know what they need to do, we give free consultations away all the time; the plan is there.  Where people fall short is not having the tenacity to do the right thing, all of the time.

Anyway, I digress.

The vice principal at my high school, Brandon Contreras, once told my mother, “I have never met someone so intelligent who worked so hard at trying to do the wrong thing.” In life’s irony, I reconnected and worked with Brandon 20 years later.

I married twice, made all sorts of foolish decisions, and continued to look for shortcuts.  If there was a paved path to the beach and a rocky cliff next to it, I would always take the rocky path.

Get to the point Jake!

Eventually, I grew tired of making the wrong decisions.  I had the drive to be ridiculously successful, without the toolset to know how to achieve success. It was time to take a page from my mom’s book.

What it all boils down to is HARD WORK.  There are no short cuts in life.  No, really, I am going to say this once more – THERE ARE NOT SHORTCUTS IN LIFE.

I had glimpses of success throughout my life (out of dumb luck and being personable), but it wasn’t until I decided to truly apply myself that I realized that hard work always pays off.  You can sit around and wait to win the lottery, or yell at your roommates to put their shit away, or you can just put the mayonnaise away yourself and it will take one tenth of the time than whining about it does.

Marketing, or any job for that matter, isn’t always about the technical details.  What will make you successful in any environment is outworking, and out-behaving everyone around you.  What will make you even more successful is doing all of this with kindness and love.

Here is what I would like for you to take away from this article:


  • You will never fail by working hard.
  • Don’t take shortcuts.
  • Stay humble.
  • When you are tired and want to throw in the towel remember that someone else always has it harder than you.
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated.
  • Hug your mother.
  • Just put the mayonnaise away.
Marketing Misaligned: Your Buzzwords Aren’t Helping

Marketing Misaligned: Your Buzzwords Aren’t Helping

Marketing Misaligned

Your Buzzwords Aren’t Helping

You probably already know this, but there is a problem in marketing.  Specifically, marketers are not getting the job done. They are not getting the results they were hired to achieve.  It is my opinion this is because businesses don’t really get marketing, and marketers don’t really get business. Simply put, marketing is out of alignment.

Aligning Marketing to the Business

I’m a CEO, I get the perspective the most.  I didn’t launch Tactical to be famous, I launched it to make a ton of money.  My customers pay me very well to get results they can take to their executives or to their board rooms, and I’m very good at it.   Having said that, I’m good at it because I understand the essence of marketing and how to run a business.

Marketers are mercenary story tellers and every one of us knows that we can get sales to the starting line, but it’s the product and the sales team that will ultimately win the deals.  Whether you are the marketer or the business leader, if you want the most from your mercenaries, you have to give them specific, achievable goals that are aligned with your business.

As an agency, I’m an outsider and this affords me an opportunity to start with the basics on every project.  I get to ask questions about your company, your business, your customers, and your sales process. As an outsider, my questions are often insightful, and expose gaps in the business.  People are impressed and wowed at the impact and ramifications of their answers on their business, sales, and marketing strategies.

I also know that it would be political suicide for an insider to ask the same questions.  

For business leaders – it’s time to give marketing the safety they need to ask the right questions. Marketing has to ask the questions “Why would someone need this?”, “What value do we provide?”, and “Why are we their best option?”  

If the marketing team has to be creative to answer these questions, you don’t have a marketing problem, you have a business problem.  These questions are fundamental to the success of your business. If marketing cannot clearly define them then they fail to deliver – that’s on you, Mrs. CEO.  

Firing the CMO won’t change the fact your business is not aligned to your customers.  Equipping the CMO with the answers to these questions will allow her to succeed in aligning Marketing to the Business.

Aligning Marketing to Sales

Every time someone talks about Sales and Marketing alignment, they really mean “Marketing gets with the Sales program.  Deep inside the heart of every marketer that really gets marketing, they all know this is a problem. Lost in the corporate buzzwords and revenue goals, there is a simple truth that marketers know and can’t say.  

  • Every time a CEO says “the only thing that matters is the bottom line.”
  • Every time the CRO says “no one cares about engagement, the only goal is revenue.”
  • Every time the CFO says “unless you can show me ROI we can’t approve more budget.”

The heart of every marketer wants to give one very real, very honest  answer, “That’s not how it works.”

“That’s not how this works.”

Every Marketer Ever

Marketing is like an engine.   Fuel, fire, and air create explosions that move pistons that turn crankshafts that transfer energy to the transmission  which spins axles that turn wheels.  You can’t measure its effectiveness by any component, and you can’t succeed when any component is missing.  Asking “What’s the ROI of my email campaigns?” is like asking “What the gas mileage of my transmission?”  That’s just not how it works.

But they don’t say that.  The marketer works to show the ever elusive “ROI” measured in top line revenue and bottom line profitability.  But no matter how much data they give, no matter how many facts they present, no matter how many reports connect their efforts to the success of the company – its never enough.  Never enough leads, never enough revenue, never enough proof.

Sales and Marketing alignment is just that, an alignment.  It’s a covenant between both groups around a common message and set of goals.  These two organizations cannot be silos.

This is math, plain and simple.  It requires crystal clear funnel goals that start with the total revenue number and work backwards from there.  You have to build the engine.

  • What is the revenue target?
  • How many Opportunities do we need to win to reach that target?
  • How many Opportunities do we need in the pipeline to win this deals?
  • How many Marketing Qualified Leads  do we need to become Opportunities?
  • How many Leads in Nurture will generate those MQLs?
  • How many engaged audience members do we need to generate those Leads?
  • How big of an audience do we need to get that engagement?
  • Will the market support this?
  • Where will we find this audience?
  • How do we communicate with them?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Is that budget approved?

If the Sales and Marketing teams are not both involved in this conversation, if they are not both in agreement about every single step in this process, prepare to miss your revenue target.

Neither of these organizations can function without the other.  It is a symbiotic relationship, two legs on the same body. If sales is demanding “more leads” and marketing is demanding “more budget” they are both trying to solve the same problem.  Pointing fingers is unproductive. Sitting down and making a plan is the only solution.

What’s the ROI?  If you have to ask that question, you didn’t make the right plan.  Neither team won on their own.

The ROI is your Quarterly Sales divided by your Quarterly Marketing budget.

Aligning Marketing to Marketing

This seems dumb, but it’s very, very real.  Marketing departments are rarely aligned to the science of Marketing.

Marketing is an industry that is full of artists.  The person who enters the field of marketing is typically not an analytical business driven professional.  About 80% of persons in digital marketing have no formal training in marketing, and are trying to figure things out as they go without the skill set required.  That’s OK, it works.

I believe marketing is a science.  It’s predictable, measurable, and when done right, very scalable.  I know that I can generate 1/300 marketing qualified leads for every database.  I know the open/click rates on cold emails, warm emails, opt-in emails. I know how many submissions I will get on a form before I ever deploy a campaign.

I’m am not a better marketer than anyone else in the field.  Armed with the same insight, I’m confident that any marketer who’s worth their salt will accomplish the same thing I can.  I am very good at asking the right questions to define the business objective, form the marketing strategy, and make a tactical marketing plan that will accomplish the goal.

They key to aligning a marketing team around the science of marketing is to give them a plan.  The artists don’t have to understand the objective, they just have to play their part very well.  Overwhelming a copywriter with demands to generate leads is a fast way to failure. Giving that same copywriter the tactical marketing goal of “We want people to feel…” will equip them to accomplish the tactical marketing goal and the strategic business objective.

This is why it is so important to have a plan. Leaders must be leaders.  Soldiers must execute well. If Marketing is aligned to the Business and to Sales at a leadership level, all that remains is effective management of the team.  

As Leaders, it’s up to you to hold the stress and pressure of performance while the team you have built executes against the specific tactical marketing tasks you have assigned. Then watch the magic happen.

“Then watch the magic happen.”

So what’s next?

Every marketer wants to feel successful.  Every marketer wants to know that they have the praise and admiration of their colleagues.  They want to be recognized for the hard and brilliant work they are doing.

I love helping people, it’s what I do.  As such, Tactical Marketing Automation is going to be starting a series of blog posts, white papers, and and videos designed to help companies develop their marketing business plan, strategic marketing plan, and tactical marketing plan. 

If you haven’t signed up to our mailing list – now is probably a great time to do so. 

About Phil Bosley

Philip, CEO, has nearly 20 years of marketing experience and has served as a consultant, advisor, and resource for thousands of companies like yours.

Choosing the Right Charts for Your Custom Marketing Reporting

Choosing the Right Charts for Your Custom Marketing Reporting

Data Visualization is the creative side of reporting. It’s the pretty charts and graphs that your colleagues “ooo” and “aww” over in your team meetings, and if done right, you can set the standard by which other departments are measured. However, many marketers are not also data analysts and therefore struggle to develop effective data visualizations for their reports.  Consider this example: Mary wanted to show the revenue generated from her marketing campaigns with an emphasis on which campaigns had contributed most significantly to accomplishing their companies quarterly revenue goals. She had tracked and measured the data, but the monochromatic bar chart she used just didn’t seem to tell the story. After a brief consultation, she realized that since her goal was “to compare the success of campaigns” a visualization highlighting comparison was more appropriate, in this case, a pie chart.  While either would work, the pie chart is more effective and helping others understand the data by representing the relative contribution visually.

So what graph should I use?

There are many, many ways to visualize data and what you should use depends largely on your audience and the meeting context.  Many marketers have had their data challenged due to a lack of granularity, and many have had ignored because it was too specific or jargony.  The most important thing is that your data visualization be effective! Here are some basic considerations* for determining the type of chart you should use:

Line graph

Line graphs are used to track changes over short and long periods of time. When smaller changes exist, line graphs are better to use than bar graphs. Line graphs can also be used to compare changes over the same period of time for more than one group.

Pie Chart

Pie charts are best to use when you are trying to compare parts of a whole. They do not show changes over time.

Bar Graph

Bar graphs are used to compare things between different groups or to track changes over time. However, when trying to measure change over time, bar graphs are best when the changes are larger.

Area Graph

Area graphs are very similar to line graphs. They can be used to track changes over time for one or more groups. Area graphs are good to use when you are tracking the changes in two or more related groups that make up one whole category (for example public and private groups).

X-Y Plot

X-Y plots are used to determine relationships between the two different things. The x-axis is used to measure one event (or variable) and the y-axis is used to measure the other. If both variables increase at the same time, they have a positive relationship. If one variable decreases while the other increases, they have a negative relationship. Sometimes the variables don’t follow any pattern and have no relationship.


We hope this information has been helpful.  Data Analysis and Visualization are an entire field on their own.  We have not tried to be exhaustive. As always, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!
*Source: https://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/help/user_guide/graph/help_menus.asp
Using Salesforce Campaigns to Create Custom Lead Score Rules in Act-On Marketing Automation

Using Salesforce Campaigns to Create Custom Lead Score Rules in Act-On Marketing Automation



This article is an advanced use case for lead scoring using Act-On Marketing Automation.  Here we will explore the use case where a company is conducting multiple live events every year, and these events are being tracked through Salesforce Campaigns.  Act-On provides an out of the box feature called “Custom Touch Points” that allows a user to upload an event list and apply scoring based on this.  However, for companies that do many events, the manual process of uploading data is a tedious waste of time. In our use case, we want Act-On to apply lead scoring based on event participation without adding steps to the process after every event. This is an excellent use case for Act-On as true Marketing Automation and not just email automation.

A note for those not using lead scoring

Lead scoring is perhaps the most valuable, least used feature of virtually all Marketing Automation Platforms.  According to MarketingSherpa, “Organizations that use lead scoring experience a 77% lift in lead generation ROI…”  If you aren’t using lead scoring yet, this article won’t help you, but Act-On’s Marketing Automation Strategy Guide will!



While Act-On has native functionality that allows users to load event lists and apply scoring, organizations with many offline or untracked activities can find this cumbersome to manage. When using integrated Salesforce CRM, many organizations use the Salesforce Campaign feature to track and manage this activity. The Salesforce Report serves as a data source for any custom scoring model using Act-On Marketing Automation.

These are the types of creative solutions Tactical helps our customers with every day!



Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

 Step 1 – Create a Salesforce Report

Configure your Salesforce Report to include all relevant Campaigns and the appropriate fields and Campaign Statuses.  Once you are satisfied with the contents of your report, save your work to the Unfiled Public Reports folder.

Additionally, make sure you configure your report to automatically refresh itself using the “Schedule Future Runs” option. (SF Article Here)

In this example, these Campaigns will have three custom Salesforce statuses:

  • Registered
  • Attended
  • Booth Visit

Remember to include the Contact ID and Email Address on these reports or Act-On will not be able to recognize the records!

 Step 2 – Sync the Salesforce Report to Act-On

Act-On’s native integration to Salesforce equips you to Import these reports in the Act-On Marketing Lists dashboard.  When you select “Import,” a complete list of Salesforce Campaigns and all Reports in the Unfiled Public Reports folder will be visible in alphabetical order.  If you have many such objects, the browser find function (Control + F on PC, Command + F on Mac) will help you locate your specific report easily.

 Step 3 – Configure the Recurring Report Sync

Once you have imported the Salesforce Report into Act-On, you need to schedule a recurring sync on the Report so it remains updated.  This sync will typically be scheduled to run once per day, and usually outside of business hours.

 Step 4 – Create Salesforce Fields for Your Custom Scoring Criteria

After you have defined what your custom criteria are, you will need to create fields on the Lead and/or Contact record to store this data.  In this example, we will use three custom Salesforce statuses:

  • Registered
  • Attended
  • Booth Visit

These three criteria will be created as the new Lead and Contact fields “Registered,” “Attended,” and “Booth Visit.”

We will populate these later in our workflow with True or False values.

Remember to add these new fields to your Salesforce Lead and Contact syncs, and to your Standard Field Names!

 Step 5 – Configure Segmentation

Now that you have your Salesforce Report and the appropriate fields, navigate to the synced Report in Act-On.  Configure segments that meet the criteria for your custom scoring requirements. Each criteria should be a subsegment of a general category.  For example:

Top level segment – Event Date is after 90 days ago

3 Subsegments:

  • Status = Registered
  • Status = Attended
  • Status = Booth Visit


This can be done using Act-On’s native “Profile” segmentation and relative date functionality:

 Step 6 – Configure Automation

Now that you have the appropriate segments, create an automated program that will manage updating your Salesforce fields automatically.

The Source List for the Automated Program should be the top level segment you created “Event Date After 90 Days Ago”.  If you would like contacts to reenter the program, Act-On Support will need to enable “program reentry” functionality.

Now add your conditional segments to the program:

Configure the program logic to update the Salesforce Lead or Contact field as True when a contact meets the program criteria. The program should look like this:

 Step 7 – Configure Scoring

At this point, all events are being captured in a Salesforce Report and this data is being synced to Act-On. Using an Automated Program, we have updated relevant Salesforce fields to hold the scored values, and when the scored behavior expires, the scored behavior will be updated as false. All that remains is to apply the Scoring Rule. In the Scoring Rules section, configure a “Profile” Score Rule based on the value of your Salesforce Field. In our example, we will score Registered as 5, Attended as 10, and Booth Visit as 40.

The Profile Scoring rules are configured as follows:

If you do not see your custom fields, it is likely you forgot to add these to the Standard Field Names as outlined in Step 4. Otherwise, your scoring should now look like this.

Based on the automated rules we have configured, Contacts will now be scored the given points for 90 days at which time the score will decay like any other behavior.

Podcast: What Makes an Act-On Customer Successful?

Podcast: What Makes an Act-On Customer Successful?

I had an opportunity to team up with my friends at Act-On Software to discuss the findings of a data study.  In this study, we evaluated Act-On customers and their success or failure relating to various features and found that certain features can result in 90% likelihood of satisfaction with the software.  We also found a few simple mistakes can almost guarantee failure.

An excerpt from the transcript:

“We asked the question, what makes an Act-On customer successful?

A lot of us, myself included, expected to see that it was our users that were doing sophisticated automation or sophisticated segmentation, or using these really advanced aspects of the program. And what we found, …it wasn’t the use of all of the advanced tools, pushing the system to its max, that made customers love Act-On. It was adherence to the Fundamental Three. Those three are simple, they’re in reach of every customer.”

It boils down to three questions:

  • Do you track website visitors with the Act-On Beacon?
  • Have you integrated your web forms with Act-On’s forms?
  • Are you regularly sending email through Act-On?

If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to any of these questions, it’s likely you have a problem waiting to happen.

Curious to know more? Check out the podcast here!

As always, I invite you to get in touch and let’s see how we can help!

Make Your Marketing Memorable: Why We Forget and How to Make Things Stick

Make Your Marketing Memorable: Why We Forget and How to Make Things Stick


That Awkward Moment

You know that awkward moment you meet someone for the first time and you go to call them by name; but its gone.  You’re embarrassed.  Then you spend the next hour calling them “hey you,” “girlfriend,” “dude,” “chica,” or “buddy.”

Or perhaps someone asks you to do the simple task of “remember this number” or a list of items, and how much work it can be to hold that information in the forefront of your mind?  These simple yet easy tasks can be tricky at times, why is that?

Before I can answer that question, let’s develop a basic understanding of the first two memory functions.


Your Brain Builds Blind Spots

Every day we are constantly surrounded by imagery and noise, however, we are not necessarily aware of all that is happening around us at every given moment.  Stop and listen to the sounds around you.  Were you aware of those sounds before being told to consciously listen?

Take your nose for example.  Your nose is a part of your visual field but you do not go around consciously thinking about your nose unless it is brought to your attention. The brain is a complex machine and likes to perform at high operating speed and will focus on what it deems as important in that current moment of time resulting in nixing out any information that is not necessary, like your nose or background sound.

The first intake of information goes through the sensory store then into the short-term- store (STS) section of memory.  This STS is capable of holding onto information for a brief period of time.  On average will hold onto information for about 12 -18 seconds before decay takes place; especially with information that you are receiving for the first time.

Short-Term Store also has the capacity to hold onto 7 pieces of information plus or minus 2 on each side.  However, the more you are exposed to information the deeper the information is encoded into your Long-Term Memory Storage.

For something to “stick” to your memory, the information needs to be accompanied by another piece of information that is either important, emotionally charged or repetitive.  This is why tricks like chunking or rehearsal are effective.

Memory Hacking – “Chunking”

Chucking is when we take a list of information and rearrange that list by grouping the items based on similarity or pattern.  For example, read this list twice (only twice) and then try to recite it back:

“Shoes – Brush, Socks – Elephant, Hair – Trunk”

Pretty difficult wasn’t it?  If you try to remember that list in that order you might have to apply some effort and study.  However, if you were to arrange the list differently, in pairs, it’s much easier to retain.  Try this one:

“Shoes – Socks, Hair – Brush, Elephant – Trunk”

See how much easier that was?!

Because the brain prioritizes efficiency, it’s ignoring certain information, it literally does not take in all of the information that surrounds us at all times.  As a result, you only encode the gist of a situation in your memory.

This is why we forget a person’s name when we first meet them, our brain is overloaded with information – there’s too much interference! While you are being introduced you are most likely thinking about what you are going to say next. Your brain is most likely busy trying to process and filter all the new sensory information that is taken a place around you.  Receiving new information and thinking about other things simultaneously bogs down the brain’s cognitive function which then interrupts processing someone’s name.

Because the brain likes to pair information with imagery thus tricks like mnemonics are successful tips for memorizing information.

Pro tip:

The next time you are introduced to someone new; consciously be aware of their name and pair it with something meaningful.  Whether that something is what they are wearing or an adjective of choice; Example, Red Russell, Tall Tim, Anxious Aaron or Beautiful Belle.

This should work like a charm and you don’t have to feel embarrassed the next time you go to “say” their name.

Make Your Marketing Memorable

The brain loves efficiency.

This is why  alliteration and other mnemonic devices work well and are critical to your marketing message.  Because information is chunked together in a nice little memory package for your brain, the likelihood of your audience retaining your marketing message skyrockets.    Alliteration is efficient, even if it’s sometimes cheesy, it’s easy to recall.

I still think to this day of the poster I saw in all my classrooms growing up in the 90’s, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  I even bet if you take a moment you will be able to recall many alliterated sayings that you have heard before.  That’s good marketing!

Brand strategists, journalists, and studios all use alliteration, just think about it!

  • Back in Black by AC/DC
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Coca-Cola
  • Best Buy

And the list goes on.  But remember the one critical rule:

Alliteration is always awesome as long as it’s not abused.

Knowing this, why not see if you can work some memory tricks into your next blog title, your next subject line, or your next PowerPoint training?