Introduction to the BATON model

This short guide breaks down our marketing and business system, which allows clients to have a structure when working together.

That system is referred to as BATON.

BATON is an acronym for Business, Audience, Tribe, Offer and Network.

Each of these functions is common to any business when they are marketing a product or service as part of a viable business model.

To describe the individual parts of the BATON model in this guide we will refer to them as five functions. The illustration below highlights the functions within the BATON system.

The main focus in this guide will be on Audience, Tribe and Offer, as these functions are typically where we handle a lot of the marketing for your business.

Business and Network are more in-depth functions as most businesses are either established or in a start-up phase.

Therefore, strategies on business models and scaling the business will be bespoke to them.

There is no need to read through the entire guide as you can skip through to the sections which interest you the most.

Whether you are wanting to understand why we use BATON or the specific tools we use within each function to create positive results for clients, simply skip to the relevant section.

What is the BATON model?

An appropriate analogy for the BATON model is a literal passing of a baton through a 400 metre relay race, where each of the runners represents a business marketing function.

The model therefore represents taking a viable product or service (Business) to the stage of transacting with your customers (Offer) and then scaling it, where appropriate (Network), resulting in revenue for the business. This is done successfully by marketing effectively through all 5 functions, in the order of BATON.

The diagram below simplifies the movement between each of the 5 business functions and introduces the 3 levels of the BATON model.


And that is the extent of the complexity of the BATON model. There are 5 functions and 3 levels.

What are the 5 functions of the BATON model?

The 5 functions of BATON can be broken down into:

Business – creating a product or service people want or need

Audience – attracting attention to your product or service

Tribe – establishing demand for your product or service

Offer – selling your product or service to your tribe

Network – scaling the business to increase revenue

It is important to understand that if you are reading this guide as an established business having sold a product or service for many years, then naturally you have a viable business. When we do research and analysis for you, we would look for horizontal or vertical scalability of your product or service.

The same applies for any of the functions. There is always another level to take the marketing to either through a new strategy or by improving the current strategy being used.

What are the 3 levels of the BATON system?

The 3 levels of the BATON system are:

Level 1

Establishing a digital marketing presence from scratch and introducing a new product or service to the market.

This is generally for a start-up or a smaller business with a smaller marketing budget.

At Level 1, it is not about introducing all of the digital marketing tools available to a business and hoping that one works. Instead, it is about introducing a select few tools and testing them. The test allows for your business to determine if there is a viable audience and demand for the product. Capturing the early sales which give the thumbs up allows us to begin doubling down on what is working, cutting out
what isn’t and introducing new strategies.

The tools and strategies used in the BATON model are covered at the end of this guide.

Level 2

This level is for a business which has an established product or service. Potentially, the business is also running digital marketing strategies successfully and wants to improve and expand the tools being used.

Generally, the marketing budget will be greater, as advertising budgets are required to buy media space including Facebook ads, Google AdWords and others specific to your business.

At Level 2, the emphasis is also on increasing you business’ content marketing research.

Level 3

This level is for a medium to large sized business that truly understands the power of content marketing. The business has a budget for advertising but also for production of high-quality content.

Content can include training videos, news-worthy information, e-books, podcasts & other media specific to your business.

At each level, the work and investment required to complete the work increases. Therefore, it is important to apply the right level of investment to where your business is currently.

The goal is to work through the levels for each product or service you offer.

Level 1 needs little resources. It is equivalent to two internal employees or the smallest package a digital marketing agency provides. We provide this service through our Launchpad offering.

Level 2 needs a higher level of skillset to process content, build assets and manage advertisement accounts. This would be equivalent to two or three internal employees or the medium sized package a digital marketing agency provides.

Finally, Level 3 is equivalent to having a small media arm to your business. At this level you are positioning yourself as the brand authority and creating high quality content to support this. This approach requires upfront investment with a long term vision of ensuring your brand name is top of mind. For this, you can either hire an internal production team or team up with a digital marketing company that will work with in partnership. We do not recommend outsourcing the entire media arm as there is a risk that the brand’s vision will be lost.

Why can’t we jump straight to an offer?

A common question that we get asked is, ‘I have my product (or service) ready and I need to start making sales. Is this possible?’.

Absolutely. However, it is an expensive short term approach to selling your product.

It falls into the category of direct advertising. This means you are sending your offer to a cold audience. Advertising to a cold audience means it will cost your more in effort and ad budget to convert people.

With the sophisticated targeting tools available, there is a possibility to reduce this cost by only sending your product or service to people who will be interested in it.

For example, you can sell Chelsea football club merchandise to people who like the Chelsea football club fan page on Facebook.

The biggest thing working against you here is trust. As there is no trust built up between your business (brand) and the cold audience you are marketing to, there is less reason for them to buy.

What are the benefits of using BATON as a system?

Trust is the reason why the BATON marketing and business system excels. As building trust with your audience is built into the flow of the system.

Let’s look at our diagram again. This time I have added additional points where trust is being built.

Developing Trust with BATON

Therefore, the benefit of using the BATON system is that by building trust between each function your business can:

  • Reduce advertising cost
  • Increase conversion
  • Increase brand awareness

Trust is built through content marketing. Content marketing is explained further at the end of this guide.

The simplest marketing funnel within the BATON system would be:
1) Your business puts out free content which is in context of your product or service
2) People view this content
3) These people now become a viable AUDIENCE
4) Your business presents this AUDIENCE with more specific content
5) People who engage with this new content are considered your TRIBE
6) The TRIBE represent an established demand for your product or service
7) Now you present your TRIBE with your OFFER

This is an elegant and respectful way to position your product or service to people who are open to receiving and buying from you compared to hitting people with cold ads that add no value.

How so?

Because the content you produce is free and it adds value to them. Therefore, this simple sequence can sum up your new marketing funnel:

Free value > Trust > Permission > Offer

If we have permission from your customers to offer to them, the marketing becomes elegant and respectful.

How is it used for a business or client?

The first step is to get a full understanding of your business and what you want to achieve. We take the approach of a business agency as well as a digital marketing agency.

To understand your business, we produce a complete digital marketing & business guide specifically for your business.

In simple terms, we take your product or service and build out the complete infrastructure for it to flow through the BATON system.

Is it applicable to every business?

Presenting BATON as a system allows us to work to a structure. This does not mean that your business is forced to fit the system. This is actually not a factor at all.

Every business needs to present their product to an AUDIENCE and then qualify demand (TRIBE), and only once permission is granted OFFER the product or service to the customer.

Therefore, BATON is applicable to every business.

The main variable is, the tools and strategies that we use within each function to produce positive results will vary for each business.

A reminder of what has been covered in this guide

1) The BATON marketing and business system represents the 5 key functions that a customer will flow through. Through each function, trust is built, increasing the chance of a successful transaction. The BATON system applies to every business with the variable of which tools and strategies are used within each function.

2) Within the BATON system there are 3 levels. Each level adds to the work from the previous level in order to scale up marketing efforts. This means doubling down on what is working, cutting out what isn’t and adding additional tools. Tools can range from a simple video with a landing page all the way to a high quality podcast.

To have an understanding of what digital marketing your business should be doing today and in the coming years, consider the complete digital marketing & business guide specific for your business.

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