planning profitable growth STEP BY STEP

Marketing never had a user manual… Until now.

For many small and midsize business leaders, marketing is full of “what ifs” — what if I got a new website, what if I had better search rankings, what if I tried direct mail… Would that get our company to the next level?

Unfortunately, the answer is usually “no,” and you quickly pivot to the next assortment of tactics, what if you advertise on Facebook, what if you get that billboard, what if you buy marketing automation software, and so on. Your marketing is not lacking because of your choice of  tactics— success is not a lottery ticket or a roulette table. 

Success happens when you set objectives that align with your organization’s success, when your budget aligns with achieving those objectives, and that budget is used to fund the right tactics aimed at the right people. 

The Unified Marketing System™ (UMS) shows you how to do exactly that, step by step. 

We built UMS around those ideas exactly: the necessity of adaptation and the need to interact WITH your market, not onto it.

UMS provides a standardized set of strategies, best practices, and customizable templates allowing any business to concept/build/deploy customer-centric marketing plans and tactics and effectively/objectively measure success.

How does UMS help address your marketing goals?

How UMS Relates to your business

Common questions and concerns about estound's Unified Marketing System™

The Unified Marketing System (UMS) is a sustainable and scalable method for profitable marketing in your organization. This process helps identify and avoid the dissonance between what you say you want (i.e., “We need another warship”) and the inner desires that are hard to ignore (i.e., “I want to build a monument to my own greatness that can also serve as a warship”).

UMS is a linear process without a true “end.” The 13 Questions in the process are asked and answered across four different phases of activity. Each phase focuses on different types of work that contribute to the greater plan. Each question builds on the previous one, but if you can’t answer a question, then addressing it later is possible. Progressing through each question helps you determine which marketing activities will best serve your customers.

When you reach the last of the 13 Questions, work backwards to troubleshoot efforts that did not fulfill expectations. Doing this also helps you adjust any assumptions that may have been incorrect. You can also repeat the process from the start (do a soft reset), thus re-committing to your organization’s goals and resetting the next phase of your strategy. Over time, repetition happens faster and comes more naturally to you.

Among other things, answering the 13 Questions will help you create the following:

  •  A true purpose and goal for your marketing activity
  • A common set of objectives and stated milestones to help you track and achieve them
  • A way to describe the differences and similarities between what it is like for you to sell and your customers to purchase
  • A thorough understanding of who your customers are, what makes them tick, and how they make purchasing decisions
  • A method for valuing your customers and understanding what it will cost to attract
    more of them
  • A marketing budget designed specifically to fund your goals
  • Marketing messages that will resonate with your customers
  • A plan to make your relationships with buyers and customers more profitable
  • A portfolio of marketing tactics to help complete your goals
  • An understanding of how to adjust and refine your marketing program over time

As you begin this process, some questions might feel uncomfortable or give you pause. You may think, “What does this have to do with marketing?” By the time you have progressed to the end, though, you will see how each step builds on the previous one—and discover how understanding can gel with this approach.

All too often nowadays, marketing operates in a silo. In a more functional environment, marketing and sales would work together and in cooperation with the entire executive team. Marketing’s goals should be the organization’s goals and vice versa. The “Unified” name is more than a descriptor; it’s a reflection of how success happens.

It depends on your approach. Some will undoubtedly use this book as a “marketing boot camp” and try to fly through it in a week. Perfectionists who dot every “i” and cross every “t” might take the better part of a year to get through a full draft of their UMS work. But speed and quality rarely come together, and perfection is both expensive and unattainable.

While initially working through these materials should take about three months, fully implementing UMS should take about a year, depending on the time spent researching. The rest of the year, you’ll focuses on adjusting, refining, and working with your team to optimize the processes, develop a rhythm, and understand how much progress is possible.

It’s a myth that B2B and B2C are different animals. Creating strategies for one versus the other is not innately different. When it comes to leading and managing marketing, the fundamentals for both are virtually identical. It’s the tactics at the end of the process that make them different.

If the success of your business lies in your customer relationships—and if growth is tied to your ability to scale your relationships and relationship-building process—then UMS is a great fit. But if your business is purely transactional or commodity-based (when competition is based on price and/or availability with no customer loyalty), then UMS may not be the best approach.

Where is your marketing approach succeeding or failing?

Most importantly though UMS serves as a constant reminder that marketing is a process that never really ends. We do this dance over and over again, learning, improving, gaining efficiencies, and rolling with whatever unexpected punches come our way.

None of this implies perfection, no baseball player maintains a 1.000 batting average, no investor always picks the right stock, no courier delivers on-time every time. The purpose of having a consistent approach though — the reason we keep performing the dance — is not that we want to, or ever can guarantee success, but simply to increase the chances of success by minimizing the risk of failure.

“estound’s methods have transformed our business. The discipline they gave us helped us survive through tough times and then thrive with years of double-digit growth. This process works and we are evidence of it.”

- David DeCamillis, VP Sales & Marketing, Platte River Networks

Buy the Unified Marketing System™ guide book today:

This unabridged guide to UMS details:

  •  How to define long and short-term success
  •   How to run a successful marketing meeting
  •   How to best reach your target customer
  •   How to budget towards your goals
  •   How to plan a successful marketing campaign
  •   How to choose the right tactics
  •   How to measure your success
  •   How to strategically adjust based on results


We provide the methods, exercises, insight, and templates to help you avoid costly mistakes while planning for a profitable future. 


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