How To Improve Marketing Strategy? Insights from “Here We Grow” Book Review

Last Updated: September 20, 2023 | by Paul Harstrom

Every business owner and entrepreneur desires to enhance their marketing strategy due to its significant impact on overall business success and growth.

An effective marketing strategy enables businesses to properly reach and engage their target audience, generate leads, increase brand visibility, and drive conversions.

By investing in marketing improvements, businesses can gain a competitive edge, expand their market share, and increase profitability. Another driving factor for improving marketing strategy is optimizing return on investment (ROI).

Businesses want to ensure that their marketing efforts deliver measurable results and positively impact the bottom line.

Marcia Barnes, CEO of Valve+Meter Performance Marketing, with her book 'Here We Grow

Marcia Barnes, the author and CEO of Valve+Meter Performance Marketing, shares her personal story of transformation in her book “Here We Grow.” 

She illustrated how she developed a successful marketing methodology that propelled a company’s revenue from $2 million to an impressive $440 million. 

Through her experiences, she provides valuable insights, strategies, and secrets for achieving similar transformative results.

In this article “How To Improve Marketing Strategy?” we will delve into the Insights of “Here We Grow Book Review.” We would extract effective methods and strategies to enhance your marketing skills that can accelerate your business and profitability.

Importance Of Maths Before Successful Marketing Strategy:

The book “Here We Grow” challenges the traditional view of marketing as a cost center that drains money from budgets and delivers unreliable results. 

Instead, it presents marketing as a powerful profit generator capable of driving growth and abundance in all aspects of a business. The key lies in understanding how to approach marketing effectively. 

That is by indulging in simple maths or number games in business and marketing.

Engaging in simple math and number games in business and marketing – 'Here We Grow'

Marcia Barnes shares her personal experience of realizing the importance of math in marketing and how it can lead to significant results. She highlights her initial aversion to math due to a lack of proper education during her school years.

However, when she entered the business world and pursued a career in marketing, she discovered that numbers play a crucial role in every marketing effort and decision.

The author emphasizes that while marketing is often associated with creativity and communication, it is essential not to overlook the quantitative aspect. Marketing involves:

  • Budgets
  • Campaigns
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Return on marketing spend (ROMS)

All of which are interconnected with financial outcomes. Business owners and entrepreneurs can drive transformational growth for their organizations by understanding and leveraging the math associated with marketing.

Marcia Barnes shares her journey of learning and embracing the math of marketing, initially with reluctance and fear.

As she started grasping concepts such as cost calculation, growth analysis, and return on investment, she realized that mastering these mathematical concepts enabled her to serve her clients better.

She discovered marketing decisions should be based on data, facts, and measurable results rather than relying solely on creative instincts. 

Marcia Barnes, Valve+Meter

There exists an undeniable link between math and successful marketing strategies. The following strategies demonstrate the pivotal role of math in achieving marketing success:

 Embracing Math in Marketing:

The author emphasizes that marketing, often associated with creativity, should not neglect the vital numerical aspect.

Every marketing effort and decision is fundamentally tied to numbers, encompassing budgets, campaigns, key performance indicators (KPIs), and ROMS (Return on Marketing Spend). 

By acknowledging this intrinsic connection, marketers can unlock the true potential of their strategies.

 The ThinkFirst Approach:

At Marcia Barnes’ marketing agency, Valve+Meter, a “math-before-marketing” mindset is adopted.

This approach prioritizes methodical, data-driven planning before implementing any actions on behalf of clients. 

By leveraging data and facts, marketers can develop robust strategies aligned with business objectives, focusing on ROMS, growth rate, and profitability as primary metrics.

 Gathering and Analyzing Data:

The author underscores the significance of gathering the correct data to set goals and guide decision-making.

Through an extensive discovery phase, their team poses critical questions to understand various aspects of the business. 

This holistic approach ensures that all elements, from revenues and margins to customer acquisition and marketing spend, are examined.

By acquiring comprehensive data, marketers can build accurate formulas and mathematical models to drive their programs.

 ROMS, Growth Rate, and Profitability:

ROMS (Return on Marketing Spend) is hailed as the ultimate metric, reflecting the financial return on marketing investments.

While it remains a primary focus, the author asserts the importance of balancing ROMS with growth rate and profitability.

By aligning these three factors, marketers can avoid stagnation and maximize profitability.

Strategic adjustments may involve investing more for growth when ROMS is promising or lowering ROMS goals to gain a larger market share when competition is intense.

Click here to connect with Marcia Barnes on LinkedIn

Case Study:

The author provides tangible examples to illustrate the impact of math-based marketing strategies. For instance, she highlights the case of Defenders, a company she was associated with, where understanding the math behind marketing led to:

  • Job creation
  • Business growth
  • Expanded opportunities for vendors and partners
Logo for Defenders

Additionally, Marcia Barnes’ philanthropic endeavors were made possible by the growth and influence generated through math-driven marketing.

If you want to know more about marketing tactics Click here to know What is StoryBrand Framework? The Key to Small Businesses Success.

The Art of Data-Driven Marketing Strategy:

One essential component of an effective marketing plan is the utilization of reliable data to guide decision-making.

Let’s explore the significance of data-driven marketing strategies and how they can fuel your business growth.

The Ideal Business Financial Model

For a successful marketing strategy implementation, developing a tailored financial model that aligns with your unique circumstances is crucial.

By analyzing various variables within this model, you can gain insights into your forecasted results.

Exceeding your set goals while ensuring repeatability and scalability signifies effective business growth.

This dynamic math model forms the foundation for crafting ROI-driven marketing plans across diverse industries.

The Crucial Role of Data Tracking in ROMS Calculation

To effectively track the return on marketing spend (ROMS), setting up comprehensive systems is paramount.

These systems tie every marketing dollar spent to incoming revenue, providing a clear correlation.

The specifics of this tracking approach will depend on your business, the marketing tactics employed, and the most suitable tracking methods. 

Employing dynamic numbers, unique identifiers like phone numbers and email addresses, and other tracking mechanisms enable a transparent path from marketing efforts to revenue generation.

Overcoming Challenges in Sales Data Collection:

Collecting accurate sales data can be challenging, often met with resistance from sales teams focused on closing deals.

Implementing automation within a customer relationship management (CRM) system can streamline the lead pipeline and prompt sales inputs.

This ensures that sales data is captured consistently, contributing to developing reliable insights and informed marketing decisions.

Navigating the Data Landscape:

When it comes to measuring marketing results, four scenarios commonly arise:

  • No data: Relying on intuition, past experiences, and industry practices.
  • Customer inquiries: Ask customers directly about how they discovered your business.
  • Bad data: Incomplete or incorrectly attributed data that hamper decision-making.
  • Good data: An organized system that captures and attributes data accurately, maintaining data hygiene.

While customer inquiries and insufficient data might seem viable alternatives, they often lead to overconfidence and missed opportunities. In contrast, utilizing good data enables strategic decision-making, resulting in the optimal allocation of marketing resources.

By leveraging accurate insights, businesses can channel their investments effectively, seize new opportunities, and achieve sustainable growth.

Case Studies:

Marcia Barnes presents a real-life case study where a home services company transformed its marketing approach using a math-focused strategy. 

By reallocating resources from traditional media to digital marketing significantly improved ROMS and revenue generation. 

This example highlights the power of data-driven decision-making and the potential for growth through targeted investments.

In another case study, Marcia Barnes emphasizes the detrimental impact of inaccurate data and flawed marketing decisions.

By illustrating a real-life example of misallocated spending, she highlighted the significant financial losses and missed opportunities that can arise from improper data management. 

In an increasingly data-rich world, businesses must prioritize aligning sales and marketing efforts to generate reliable and actionable insights.

Cross-departmental Workflow:

Cross-departmental workflow refers to the interconnected processes and activities spanning different departments within an organization. 

It embodies the way tasks, information, and responsibilities flow seamlessly between various company sections, often intending to achieve a common goal

Imagine a scenario where one department initiates a project that requires contributions from multiple other departments. Each department plays a distinct role, and its activities are interdependent. 

It means that the successful completion of one department’s tasks directly influences the work of others. 

Effective cross-departmental workflow hinges on the following:

  • Clear communication
  • Collaboration
  • Coordination

It ensures that everyone involved knows their role, understands the sequence of activities, and is aligned with the overarching objectives. 

This workflow is crucial for promoting efficiency, minimizing redundancy, and fostering a holistic approach to problem-solving and decision-making. 

In general cross-departmental workflow facilitates the seamless integration of different parts of an organization, contributing to its overall success and growth.

How To Build a Foundation of Good Data:

To achieve marketing success, organizations need access to accurate and comprehensive data. To build a foundation of good data, Marcia Barnes advises:

  • Tracking all conversions and leads
  • Establishing systems for data generation
  • Ensuring accountability across teams

By analyzing this data and identifying areas of improvement, businesses can:

  • Optimize their campaigns
  • Enhance conversion rates
  • Identify new marketing opportunities

With a strong foundation of good data and a disciplined testing methodology, businesses can excel in their marketing efforts and accelerate growth and profitability.

LEAD Diligently adheres to using these principles when advising and coaching our clients. Click here to learn more on how you can work with LEAD Diligently to accelerate results.

The Power Of Testing and Iteration In Improving Marketing Strategies:

A math-before-marketing approach necessitates a test factory, a controlled environment for small-scale testing of marketing tactics.

Marcia Barnes explains that businesses can identify winning strategies and scale them for maximum impact by conducting systematic tests and measuring the results. 

The key is to invest in repeatable and scalable tactics while cutting those that fail to deliver the expected results.

Barnes emphasizes the need to evaluate test results and make data-driven decisions. She introduces a framework categorizing test outcomes into failed, winning, and core results. 

Marcia Barnes, Valve+Meter

This framework helps marketers identify successful tactics, iterate on winning campaigns, and cut ineffective ones. Businesses can focus their resources on the most impactful strategies by aligning test results with ROMS (Return on Marketing Spend) goals.

Build a Long-term Marketing Plan:

Creating a long-term marketing plan involves developing a strategic roadmap that outlines the goals, objectives, and actions required to promote a business or product over an extended period. 

This comprehensive approach allows organizations to envision their marketing efforts beyond short-term campaigns and seize opportunities for sustained growth

A well-crafted long-term marketing plan considers factors such as:

  • · Target audience
  • · Market trends
  • · Competitive landscape
  • · Available resources

By defining clear objectives, whether it’s brand awareness, lead generation, or sales conversion, a long-term plan provides a structured framework for decision-making and resource allocation. 

It outlines the various marketing channels and tactics that will be employed, from digital platforms and social media to traditional advertising and events. 

Moreover, a long-term approach emphasizes adaptability, enabling adjustments based on evolving market conditions.

The Flywheel Effect, Transforming Marketing From a Cost Center Into a Profit Center:

In the book “Here We Grow”, the author mentioned the importance of adopting the following approach to drive growth and profitability:

  • Flywheel approach
  • Aligning and integrating all teams
  • Focusing on metrics and data

The flywheel effect, derived from Jim Collins’s book “Good to Great,” is the idea that a wheel gains momentum with each rotation and releases stored energy, becoming faster with every turn. 

In the context of a business, the initial energy used to start the wheel represents the money spent on marketing to generate revenue. To establish a flywheel structure, the entire company is viewed as a circle comprised of four teams: 

Marketing – Sales – Operations – Finance

  • Marketing serves as the engine for the flywheel, driving awareness, finding prospective customers, and running test campaigns to identify tactics that deliver a return on marketing spend (ROMS) above breakeven.
  • The sales team converts leads into revenue.
  • Operations deliver the product or service.
  • Finance manages finances and reinvests profits into marketing.

When all teams work together effectively, marketing generates enough leads for sales to meet or surpass revenue goals and ROMS. Efficient operations and effective financial management contribute to increased profitability.

Conversely, if any unit underperforms, it slows down the flywheel and hampers growth. 

There are also some areas outside of marketing that can impact the effectiveness of the flywheel. These include:

  • Call/answer rates
  • Revenue per transaction
  • Sales close rates
  • Reputation management

For example, improving call/answer rates can reduce waste and increase revenue potential. Balancing close rates and revenue per deal is crucial for optimal performance.

Moreover, the operations team plays a significant role in marketing success by ensuring timely order fulfillment, positive customer experiences, and reputation management.

In the Math-before-marketing methodology, research and data analysis are conducted to establish breakeven goals, ROMS, and other metrics to measure program success.

Marcia Barnes, Valve+Meter

Marketing opportunities aligned with these goals are tested, and tactics that consistently meet or surpass goals are added to the flywheel. The more successful tactics added, the faster the flywheel spins, contributing to growth.

Click Here to learn more about How do Business Executives Apply Financial Intelligence for Profitable Growth?

Here We Grow


This book review of “Here We Grow” provides a comprehensive overview of How To Improve Marketing Strategies, equipping businesses with the knowledge and insights to develop and implement effective marketing campaigns in the ever-evolving marketplace.

We encourage you to buy this book, devour it, and apply the principles, and if you are serious about growing your business, contact Valve+Meter. LEAD Diligently highly recommends them to help you accelerate results!

How LEAD Diligently Can Help You

Lead Diligently offers expert-led leadership development programs to help you build business executive skills & advance profitable enterprises.

We are on a mission to help our clients gain the clarity they need to wholly pursue their God-given purpose and grow profitable enterprises.

LEAD Diligently appreciates the work Marcia Barnes is doing with Truth At Work, a marketplace ministry for executives that creates a life and business-changing experience.

What is the Math behind Marketing?

Here We Grow Book Author Marcia Barnes

By leveraging data and facts, marketers can develop robust strategies aligned with business objectives, focusing on ROMS, growth rate, and profitability as primary metrics.

Gather and Analyze Data

ROMS (Return on Marketing Spend) is hailed as the ultimate metric, reflecting the financial return on marketing investments. While it remains a primary focus, the author asserts the importance of balancing ROMS with growth rate and profitability. 

Who is Marcia Barnes, author of “Here We Grow”

Valve Meter CEO Marcia Barnes Author Here We Grow Book

Marcia Barnes, is the CEO of Valve+Meter Performance Marketing. She shares her personal story of transformation in her book ‘Here We Grow’.

She illustrated how she developed a successful marketing methodology that propelled a company’s revenue from $2 million to an impressive $440 million.

Through her experiences, she provides valuable insights, strategies, and secrets for achieving similar transformative results.

What is the benefit of the “Here We Grow” methodology?

It coordinates marketing, sales, operations, and finance efforts, boosting growth and profit with a transparent methodology.

Marketing managers use math to figure out budgets, measure campaigns’ performance, and make choices that lead to successful marketing.

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