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Have you ever wondered about the volume of change you have to endure because you’re in a marketing career? I mean, really… it’s akin to a fire hose attached to your mouth and you just can’t keep up. But wait, that’s not the tricky part. Because technology, consumer behavior, media, analytics and digital options shift frequently, that means as a marketing leader you must shift with them and understand how to translate the change-environment that is occurring and how it impacts your business.

In our two-part series, we will uncover the definition of what translation really means and the value of doing it well as a marketer. We will also unpack the many variables that are attached to the translation environments you need to know. Let’s start with the first four of eight examples of real-life marketing initiatives that require a translation expert.

Translate Business Plan to Marketing Plan

This is marketing 101. You don’t need a Harvard B-school education to teach you that your marketing plan must align with the business plan. If you understand how creative, tech, messaging, personas, customers, competitors and media work and they can accelerate or decelerate business plan objectives, you will be the most coveted employee in the company.

It is critical marketers are involved in the business planning process from the beginning. How can they impact the right things if not? The simple fact is, operating in a vacuum is inefficient and will inhibit growth.”think2grow

Translate Marketing Plan to Content and Digital Strategies

Now that your marketing plan is complete and it aligns with all-things-business, it’s time to translate that into actionable content and digital strategies. Start by asking, “If my marketing is to succeed, what do my content and digital have to accomplish?” The answer is not easy. Content and digital are intertwined and you really can’t separate them.

Take a look at how they perform individually and against marketing plan objectives. An example could be looking at your sales funnel and seeing what content at the top of the funnel is actually fueling middle of funnel activity. Then look at the digital tools used in this process (web, automation, social advertising, apps…) and dissect how they operate tactically, analytically and create conversions.

Translate Content and Digital Strategies to Customer Demand

If you know your customer profile and their motivations to buy, this translation process shouldn’t be that difficult. However, we all know this is a trial and error process and our customer (persona profiles) are not perfect. In fact, our strategies rarely work the first time. Here’s the good news. Content and digital can lead to increased customer demand and new customers as well as an improved brand perception. This only happens when the translation of your customer needs and wants matches perfectly with your content and digital strategies.

Don’t forget, content and digital channels reflect certain types of customer profiles. These must also match your brand’s customer profile. Once you figure out this process and deeply understand the customer and also how they are successfully interacting and engaging with your content and digital channels, your translation will be on the road to a successful campaign.

Translate Analytics to Pivoting on Demand

Analytics and pivoting seem to be two of the hottest buzzwords of today, regardless of the industry. In Marketing it’s no different, in fact, it’s on steroids. Because of the many digital channels used in today’s marketing automation and lead-gen strategies, analytics are everywhere and they are only growing in demand and volume with the advent of AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics and technologies.

“No one doubts the fundamental changes caused by artificial intelligence (AI) that will emerge both long-term as well as short-term, particularly as the economy continues to move more towards increased automation.”  PredictiveAnalyticsWorld

As a marketer, you must be able to capture and distill vast quantities of data analytics from a myriad of web, mobile, social, advertising, apps, texts and other tactics and figure out what it all means. Then you must be able to change your strategy and pivot on demand. Sometimes that change can be crazy hard because it doesn’t feel right. But do it anyway. This is one of the hardest things to do as a seasoned veteran marketer. It’s where you throw knowledge and intuition out the window and go with a data-only decision. If you’re good at this, you will be a rock star.

If it’s one thing I’ve learned in translating the many variables in business marketing, it’s that all of them are complex and attached to bigger business objectives and volumes of data. Understanding how to navigate those will help you and your team creates actionable plans and strategies moving forward. Understanding this challenging process will also help you learn a new way to use your intuition by adopting data translation and pivoting successfully.


Scott MacFarland is a lifelong marketer with a passion for all forms of marketing… especially digital. His perspective is firmly rooted in digital content marketing and social strategies that nurture and convert prospective customers. is a digital content marketing and strategy consultancy that works with businesses big and small to solve their most difficult questions surrounding digital. Let us know how we can help you.

Scott MacFarland – Chief Content Marketer, Digital Strategist

HuffingtonPost  |  LinkedIn  |  Twitter @scmacfarland

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