Marketing can be a bit of a science. It can also be a lot of experimentation! Especially in today’s marketing landscape. Can you guarantee success? No. But there are certainly things you can put in place to help ensure success.
How can you best work to ensure marketing success?
Quick Tip 1: Have a plan in place.
Seems simple, right? But not everyone recognizes this. You can’t prove to anyone that your marketing efforts are successful if you don’t have something to reference success against. And not just something in your head.
A marketing plan should be well thought out – and documented. It should encompass your marketing (and sales!) goals, your anticipated marketing spend, your audience, your message, the channels you want to include that message in, rationale for those channels, and so much more. If those areas are not documented, then you likely haven’t put enough thought into it.
Quick Tip 2: Ensure marketing and sales alignment.
Make certain you have alignment among all key players within your marketing and sales teams. In some cases, this might be easy. Marketing may be “you.” That’s great. It’s easy to align with yourself! But don’t forget about sales if you have someone in this role. Marketing is an extremely valuable sales tool, but let’s make sure your sales team agrees.
As an example, your marketing plan may look to generate leads. Awesome. What are you doing with those leads? Does your sales team even have time to follow-up on them? Are they qualified leads in the eyes of your sales team? Ensure alignment – or those leads may get lost in space – and leave some unhappy prospects in their wake.
Now let’s say your marketing team is robust. That’s awesome. However, is everyone on your marketing team aligned? Does your social team understand what your public relations team is working on? Does your public relations team understand what content was just produced for your latest product piece? Do your content strategists understand what is performing effectively on your web site? Align. Align. Align. Or success may not see its maximum potential.
Quick Tip 3: Outline your success measurements.
You’ve got your plan. You’ve collaborated with your sales and marketing teams. But do you have success metrics in place for everything you are investing your marketing dollars in?
Let’s just say, for example, you have a solid social media plan. It’s even documented! You know what you want to say, who you want to say it to, how you’re going to promote it, and at what cadence. You do all those things you set out to do. Did it work? Hmmm…how will you know if you don’t establish key objectives? Are you looking to drive brand awareness? Great. How will you measure it? What are your reach goals? Engagement goals? Growth goals? How do those differ by channel? Identify these so you can later prove success.
Quick Tip 4: Check in on your measurements.
Great. Objectives are in place. Are you tracking towards them now? How frequently are you checking performance? Knowing when to measure can be challenging. What you invest in today may not show a return until next year. Or even the year after! But either way, this is your money being invested, and you need to monitor performance to identify short and long-term wins.
Get this: 74% of marketers can’t measure or report how their efforts impact their business. That’s according to research conducted by ITSMA and Vision Edge Marketing. With the rise of digital; however, there really is no excuse for not leveraging all the great data available.
To simplify this a little (because it’s not easy to keep up with all that great data!) consider identifying those individuals responsible for monitoring success in what channel, or for what campaign. Make this a part of someone’s job. Divide and conquer, but also make sure all measurement owners are coming together to share results and collectively optimize efforts across all of your marketing channels.
Quick Tip 5: Adjust your plan based on performance.
Don’t be afraid to change your plan. No one said success comes easy! Or on the first try. There is nothing wrong with adjusting your strategies to ensure you stay on track to achieve your goal. Sometimes things simply don’t work – and there’s not a terrific way to know that in advance. You can do all the right channel, audience and key word research – and sometimes things may still not go according to plan. So, don’t get discouraged – simply understand what’s happening and then adjust as needed.
Let’s look at emails as an example. You have a plan in place, you have objectives in place. You want to increase opens and click throughs, as well as conversions. You’ve put thought into how to achieve these objectives. But opens are simply not performing at the level you anticipated. You know this because you’ve been monitoring your open rates. So, what’s next? Now you might consider testing your subject lines, and perhaps the from line. You also notice your click throughs are not performing to expectations. Time to reconsider how your displaying your offers? A nice start!
There’s always room for improvement. Don’t let that scare you. Embrace it! And let me know if you’d ever like a little help in moving your marketing efforts forward…