About Hugh Macfarlane

Hugh Macfarlane is founder and CEO of align.me. He's the author of 'The Leaky Funnel', and hundreds of video blogs, papers and ebooks and a handful of research reports on all things alignment.

Build vs Buy, and some Surprise Benefits from Aspose.Slides

Build vs Buy, and some Surprise Benefits from Aspose.Slides We're all in. Funnel Plan has gone from being a great tool to help our consultants to build sales and marketing plans for clients, to a 'bet the farm' investment in a self-contained software product licensed as a software service (SaaS) model. Our clients have built over 2000 sales and marketing plans using Funnel Plan and we learn more every day about what clients want. So you'd think it reasonable that we feel we need to build everything ourselves, so that we can own all the IP. Our READ MORE

Avoid these 6 Common Errors in Marketing A/B Testing

If you're not testing, you're not improving. But, tests can not only fail, they can actually tell you lies. Here are 6 tips I’ve learned to avoid errors in A/B testing. 6 Tips To Avoid Errors In A/B Testing 1. Fail to test The first failure is easy: failing to test at all. You should be conducting A/B tests on the things you do most often, including: Email sends Home page and any other busy page Landing pages Ad groups Social media posts (sponsored) Retargeting ads and landing pages If you're not measuring those things, how are READ MORE

2018-12-02T17:00:22+11:00By |B2B marketing blog|

How to know when you should outsource marketing

When is outsourced marketing a good idea? When should you do it in-house? Here’s my experience... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eeY3fv6dyw Evolve your approach to outsourced marketing I’ve managed outsourced marketing for hundreds of businesses - and operated as the outsourced group Chief Marketing Officer for many of them. So, I have got a pretty good handle on what works and what doesn’t. Today, let me give you a really short summary of what I’ve learned should be outsourced – and when. The answer’s not complicated, but it does need to evolve as your business evolves. When you’re in scrappy start-up READ MORE

Failed Tactics: 5 Questions to ask before Quitting

What do you need to ask yourself before quitting on a failed tactic? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer that if a tactic isn’t working, you should stop. In fact, we base our whole outsourced marketing business on the idea that one tactic may not work, and if you hire an agency who is only good at that one tactic, they're going to keep on telling you that's the one tactic to do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZTUewtCygc&feature=youtu.be Again, don't mistake me. I am a fan of quitting a tactic and moving on to something else. But today, I've READ MORE

2020-06-29T16:45:46+10:00By |Evergreen, Tactics|

Where to Direct your Marketing Spend

If you had four products or services, how much money should you spend on each? Should you double-down on the one product or service that's making all the money? It may not be obvious, but the answer is no. Allow me to show you why. https://youtu.be/GGgQTblgaf0 Where should your money be going? Let’s start by analysing which of your markets are mature (and therefore unattractive) or new (and attractive), and where your products sit in those markets. Essentially, this means looking at whether your offer is a: Weak product in a mature market Strong product in a READ MORE

Using Focus as a Strategy to Dominate your Market

In every market there's a go-to provider – normally, that's the biggest provider on the market. So, how do you become the go-to-provider and absolutely dominate your market? The answer is to focus. https://youtu.be/NuStN9-L_nQ It’s hard to gain traction in a big market Imagine you hold 6% of your market – certainly the market is big enough for you to succeed. But if you flap around in this whole market, then you’re an invisible small player. On the other hand, if you can find a market small enough, then you can dominate it. Here's the switch: you READ MORE

How to Build a Buyer-Centric Strategy around Product Life Cycle Needs

What does it mean to have a buyer-centric strategy? When it comes to strategy, everyone has an opinion. People will say to you “all you need to do is…" – and that's your cue to tune out completely. But what should you tune into? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3nK65GQI60&feature=youtu.be In a buyer-centric strategy, pay attention to product life cycle needs Today, I’ll share a bit of detail around tuning into your buyer's needs at different points in your product life cycle, as well as some examples of contemporary companies that have made their strategy really buyer-centric. You may have seen a READ MORE

How to Maximise Profit

How do you make more money than your competitors? That's what Michael Porter set out to answer in his trilogy and what I’ll explain very briefly in today’s blog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ4YawXFz4E You may remember Porter’s ‘Five Forces’ from school. He used this model to explain why some industries are more profitable than others. Ultimately, we can't control our industry - but we can control the business that we're in. And that's why one of Porter's lesser-known ideas is more actionable for most of us. Choose the right profit model Increased profitability for your business comes down to deliberately READ MORE

How to Kick the Curve

How do you fundamentally change your momentum? Is it innovation? Is it expanding into new markets? Is it charismatic leadership? How do you kick the curve? That's the question Jim Collins answers in his second book, ‘Good to Great’, and what I want to talk to you about today. https://youtu.be/kTjLRALE95Q 7 Keys to Kick the Curve In his book, Jim Collins explains how businesses change their momentum. Over the course of 15 years, he looked at businesses that had achieved adequate market success. Then they had a clear transition, and then they kicked the curve – meaning READ MORE

How to Create Sustained Success

You might be close to the action in a start-up, or a cog in a big business. Either way, you have a critical role to play in the sustained success of your business. Today, I'm going to show how you can do just that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb0sHeqfLRg I'll be drawing on the work from Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their fantastic book, ‘Built to Last’. They gathered their conclusions by comparing 18 highly-successful companies against 18 companies that did reasonably well. Both groups had the same capital, technology and start time. Despite having similar opportunities, the comparison companies READ MORE