Give yourself a marketing tune-up
When’s the last time you looked under the hood to see how all your marketing systems and processes were working? Everything seems to be running just fine, but it’s not until you can't get the insights you want that you realize that there’s a bigger underlying problem that has been wreaking havoc for months—or in some cases—years. It’s time to give yourself a marketing tune-up.
Marketing techniques and technologies are moving so fast it's hard to keep up. Whether your organization is mature or in its infancy, it's helpful to take a step back and evaluate where you stand with your marketing infrastructure, processes, and tactics. In doing this, you will remove outdated or unused technologies, optimize processes, and refine your tactics to exceed marketing goals.
1. Re-establish goals
Before you do anything, you need to make sure the whole team is on the same page.
Have your goals gradually shifted over time?
Have members of the team left or new members joined?
Has your overall organization changed direction?
Has your budget increased or decreased in a dramatic way?
If the answer is yes to any of these, make you clearly communicate the company's goals and consequently marketing's goals and strategies, so everyone is aligned.
2. Marketing tactics and strategies alignment
Now that your goals have been re-established and everybody's on the same page, take a moment to regroup on whether your marketing strategies and tactics are still relevant and your operations and infrastructure are firing on all cylinders. Not only are you evaluating the strategies and tactics, but also, how the team works with each other. Some considerations:
TRACKING: Are all marketing activities tracked? If you don’t track, you can’t measure or monitor. My motto is if you can’t track it, don’t do it. Even offline (events or printed materials) can be tracked. If you need some guidance, take a look at How to set up a marketing tracking system that truly works.
ATTRIBUTION: Are all marketing activities assigned to an attribution model? Attribution modeling is complex. Many organizations subscribe to first-touch, last-touch, or equal distribution. I don’t recommend any of the non-algorithmic approaches as they are not precise. If you’re spending more than $3M annually on paid media, you owe it to yourself to adopt an algorithmic approach to attribution modeling. You can read the post, Applying a marketing attribution model to learn more about this.
OPTIMIZATION: Does your website have optimized landing pages? Spend some time analyzing page performance. Ensure the pages are designed to turn a visitor into a prospect and a prospect into a customer. If you need help, you can read the post on Generating test ideas or download the Step-by-step guide to conversion rate optimization.
CONTENT STRATEGY: Does your website content, offers, and social media align to the same content strategy? If you haven’t thought about categories of content, I generally recommend the following approach:
Brand—Corporate in nature, think of recruiting or signage.
Thought-leadership—Content that is related to your business’ authority on what you do. It can also be aligned to marketing for your CMO, for example.
Category—The industry, product, or service your business is in.
Competitive—Good examples are promoting where your business is on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant or showing product features compared to your competitor’s.
Promo or offer—This category is a bit of an anomaly because you can have a promo or offer which aligns to one of the other categories. That said, in some consumer goods organizations, a straight-up price discount can be the main message, so I didn’t want to leave it out.
CAMPAIGN ORCHESTRATION: Are campaigns orchestrated? This might be an organization adjustment needed to have someone take point on ensuring messages and creative are aligned across marketing channels.
ASSET MANAGEMENT: Are design assets tagged and hosted in a central location for all teams to leverage? Even just posting on Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive works. It helps facilitate campaign orchestration and communications across teams.
COMMUNICATIONS: Are internal communications productive? Don’t send too many emails or have too many meetings, but make sure communication across the organization is tight.
PARTNERSHIPS: If you work with an agency, are they being transparent with costs they pass through to you? When was the last time you did an audit what they've committed to do for you. Something to think about.
There are even more items to unpack here that warrants another post, but this is a good place to start.
3. Technology audit
This can be a more complex step because sometimes we don't know what we don't know. Perhaps there's a contract that's been signed and the person who sponsored it has left and nobody knows that you're paying for some technology that nobody is using. Ack! A few things to help figure it out:
Start by department or function—Ask each function or department head in your marketing organization to name the tools they use. While this won't uncover the unused technologies, it's a start. Find out:
What the tool or technology is
What is its benefit
Who is the vendor
What the details of the contract are
How long have you been using the tool or technology
The last question is important because if you've been using a tool for a long time, it might be great, but have other technologies come on the scene that are better? Maybe the cost to switch is too much, but it's worth familiarizing yourself with the competition. It might help you renegotiate your next contract.
Inter-department—Do IT, Sales, or Customer Care share the burden of any tools or technologies with your team? Perhaps it's not showing up on your budget, but it does impact it. Ask yourself the same questions you did of your team and understand how much value marketing is getting from it.
Finance team—While technically inter-department, it's not the same relationship. Your Finance team can help you identify other tools, technologies, or services you may not have realized were hitting your budget or you were funding.
Now that you've scoped out what you have, you have to map it to the marketing goals you established at the get-go.
Implement infrastructure or processes you need
Cut what doesn’t work
Amp up what is working
Carefully monitor progress
5. Monitor progress and re-evaluate
Most importantly, you need to monitor progress daily or at the very least weekly. If you are a department head or CMO, your team should share progress every 2-4 weeks showing trends. If you don’t see trends, there is no context and you can’t see what has improved.
At the very least, do an annual audit using the previous steps as a guide. If new products are introduced, if there is a change in business strategy or leadership, you should re-evaluate what you’re doing.
If you feel overwhelmed and need help, contact us.