What’s Your Marketing Secret Sauce?

The term ‘secret sauce’ was originally coined by Jack in the Box in the early 1980’s as a way to distinguish their flappy fast food burgers from their competition.  While their mix of mayonnaise, mustard, and chili sauce (oops, I think I just gave it away!) may have increased sales, fast forward 30 years and the term ‘secret sauce’ is more often used to describe what makes a company unique.

So What’s Nettra Media’s marketing secret sauce? 

Simply put: as a marketing agency, we Don’t rely on paid advertising to create explosive growth for our clients.  This is a big statement for us since we’re the most established Google Partner & Facebook Partner in Central California.  But more importantly, this is a huge paradigm shift since 98% of all marketing agencies scale in two ways: paid ads and billable design hours.

The issue with a typical marketing agency approach is twofold:

  1. Advertising never comprises more than 30% of a business? new customers.
  2. The majority of a company’s new customers come from referrals, business development strategies, and other non-advertising sources.

The current advertising agency (or marketing agency) business model can really help businesses that already have a marketing strategy in place since they’re asking the agency to carry out specific client acquisition tactics like SEO (search engine optimization), Google Ads, Facebook Ads, social media posting, or web design.

Yet many companies spending thousands of dollars on Google Ads have not spent a dime on creating a dynamic referral process.  This blows our minds since this kind of referral system can easily outproduce the best marketing campaign on Google!

Every business knows it’s usually 20% of their customers that comprise 80% of their business, and yet they have very few business development strategies aimed at creating more relationships like these. 

So to create scalable growth, we started developing non-advertising-related strategies that not only worked but outproduced a typical advertising campaign by up to 3X, creating millions of dollars of new business for our clients, above and beyond the performance of any advertising campaign.

This realization led us to develop one of most growth-centered approaches of any marketing agency within California.

We’re a marketing agency to some of our clients

As the most established Google & Facebook Partner in Central California, creating new customers with digital media comes pretty easy to us. So some of our clients that already have marketing and client acquisition strategies in place, hire us as a traditional marketing agency to fulfill specific tactics like SEO, Google & Facebook Ads, and email marketing, to name a few.  We love these relationships and are experts at scaling companies through these tactics.

We’re also an Outsourced CMO if you need big growth

To help companies create big growth, it requires us to wear the hat of an outsourced CMO (chief marketing officer). The CMO approach gives us greater visibility into a company’s customer acquisition channels, their business development outreach, and similar strategies with the goal of developing/refining new methods of outreach, their implementation, execution, and optimization.  In other words, as an outsourced CMO we become our clients? growth partner, focused on increasing the lifetime value of their customers and also decreasing the cost of acquiring customers.

Marketing summit

The success of our outsourced CMO service is reliant upon gathering as much relevant data as possible, understanding the client’s organization, services, goals, and competition.  Then we outline all of the potential customer acquisition channels and with the client in the room, we hold a series of meetings we refer to as the Marketing Summit. 

In our Marketing Summit, we come up with a viable idea for all 20 client acquisition channels, and then we rate each idea based on its impact, confidence of its success, and its ease of implementation.  The top scoring ideas then become the basis of a phased marketing plan.

For more insight, here’s an outline of our Marketing Summit:


Getting to Know You (and your Competition):

  • Perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis
  • Nettra will access your digital presence before this first meeting and we’ll review the findings
  • Nettra will perform a competitor analysis before this first meeting and we’ll review the findings


Focus on Acquisition Channels:

  • Cover 10 to 15 of the customer acquisition channels, create an idea for each


Finish Acquisition Channels, then Rate Ideas:

  • Complete the remaining acquisition channels
  • Rate each idea (from 1-10) based on it’s impact, our confidence in its success, and it’s ease of implementation
  • Sort the top ideas into Phases 1 & 2  of the marketing plan


Present Details and next steps for Phase 1 of the Marketing Strategy:

  • Nettra will take the findings from Week 3 and do the research before this last meeting to determine what roles Nettra and client will play, and the costs associated for each client acquisition channel we’ll initially target
  • For each channel, we’ll determine performance goals to gauge success

Our clients love the Marketing Summit because it helps them strategically allocate their marketing budgets instead of copying the marketing of their competitors or hopping on the newest trends.

In our experience, simply spending a lot of money on digital media will never produce substantial growth.  The key in successfully scaling a business is uncovering the levers of growth that are often hidden within the product or service itself, then optimizing the product offering so that your customers will rip it out of your hands.

So by gathering the above data over a series of meetings, coming up with customer acquisition ideas and rating each idea with the clients in the room, we create a concrete foundation to scale future growth. 

20 client acquisition channels

There are many ways to create clients, but we’ve invested thousands of hours to identify 

every client acquisition channel and we’ve listed them below:

  1. Business development
  2. Referral programs
  3. Public relations
  4. Unconventional public relations
  5. Content marketing: social media ads, display & video ads
  6. Search engine marketing ads (Google, Bing, Yahoo)
  7. Offline / traditional advertising (TV, radio, billboards, newspaper, direct mail, etc.)
  8. Search engine optimization (SEO)
  9. Email marketing / marketing automation 
  10. Viral marketing
  11. Engineering as marketing (creating lead capturing platforms)
  12. Hiring a sales force
  13. Blog targeting
  14. Trade shows
  15. Offline events (like organizing a meetup) 
  16. Swag products (branded promotional material)
  17. Webinars
  18. Influencer marketing (hiring a brand spokesperson)
  19. Networking
  20. Guerilla tactics

The truth

Your potential customers are out there! You can target them, reach them, and even engage them, but that doesn’t mean they become your clients.  

Companies that take the time to develop, implement, and optimize their marketing strategy will keep winning new customers.

The businesses that continue to market like their competition, spending thousands of dollars on advertising without investing any resources in other client acquisition channels, will continue to lose customers and market share. 

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Most established Partner in Central California

Web Marketing Association
Numerous national marketing awards

Speaker at national conferences on Google Ads