7 New Year considerations for the modern-day marketer
Proving the value of the marketing department (particularly to sales) has been an age-old debate, but never so poignant as it is in today’s environment. Tighter budgets, the proliferation of channels, the democratisation of the publishing process and the increasing dominance of Google and online marketing leaves teams juggling more priorities, and sales looking for increasing ROI.
Job functions, channels to market, and communications mediums have all changed.
How do marketers keep abreast of this change, and ensure their departments are pioneering, whilst driving impact and results at the same time? Here are just 7 areas where they might want to (re)visit and refresh to ensure they are ahead in 2011:
1/ Digital marketing is evolving; it’s no longer enough for a website to be a passive brochure, it needs to be a platform from which to monitor prospects’ activity. By coordinating outbound marketing campaigns with inbound website activity, a prospect’s digital behaviour can be monitored to provide a holistic view of their activity. Ensure you have technology in place to view outbound as well as inbound prospect engagement.
2/ Marketing teams also need to be able to build predictability and stratas into the marketing funnel as has been the norm with the sales pipeline. Marketing within a fully-fledged business should be able to deliver and report 35% sales opportunities. And if you can do this as a business you are still 100% ahead of the average. If these opportunities are handed over at the correct time, after a nurturing campaign, it will avoid them being dropped somewhere between the handover between marketing and sales (as is the case with 45%+ leads currently). Agree metrics within the business on what constitutes a marketing-qualified lead (MQL).3/ The focus needs to be on the data amassed from campaigns, the bedrock, the campaign analytics. Ignore the measurement side of campaigns at your peril. Showing successful outcomes will not only help support your activity but also keep prospects at the forefront of your business. Ensure you have access to engagement statistics throughout each stage of your campaigns.
4/ It’s imperative to develop or refresh your prospect marketing database. Most of the companies we speak to do not have this in one place, yet this really is the heart and the basis of future success. All too often the CRM becomes the final resting place or dumping ground of dead or redundant data. Conduct a quarterly audit of your CRM and marketing data to maximise campaign efforts.
5/ Marketing automation technologies provide the platform for automating and creating campaigns online. Adopting MA means reviewing your skill base and your resources as you adapt to the new environment. You possibly no longer need a database marketing manager, but an automation specialist, for example. MA is a great platform for integrating campaigns and for email, social media, telemarketing and web activity. It forms the basis of a nurturing strategy and can be embedded into a CRM system such as Salesforce.com. This can also integrate easily with your channel, as well as your geographic regions. Review your marketing technologies but also your skillsets to ensure you are getting the most from both.
6/ Consider your inbound in line with your outbound marketing activity. Consistent themes, education, and thought leadership will resonate to build a stronger story when combined across all the marketing channels. The new environment is about driving traffic to your hub – according to Hubspot, 90% sales start with search engines. Create remarkable content for PR and social media that resonates with your outbound activity.
7/ And finally, it’s sensible to consider which processes can or should be outsourced to free up time to focus on campaigns, creativity and meeting partners, prospects and customers. (Ironically, most marketers are too busy swamped with stuff to be creative!). Review process and productivity and see where and how things might be done more effectively. Any areas you can spend less but gain more?
Do you have other areas that are a key priority right now? Happy to hear from you.