Integrated marketing requires that businesses align their marketing processes in a way that continuously improves the customer experience. Understanding the how your processes feed into each other as part of an overall plan is a crucial first step. Successfully integrating these processes along with establishing KPIs ties together the goals of each department into a single unified strategy to enable supporting larger goals.
There is a way to create order out of chaos. The growing complexity of marketing makes it crucial that companies document, define, and automate their marketing processes. In order to be effective, processes within the following categories, which overlap to some extent, must be defined and integrated:
While implementing a marketing automation solution can more than double the output that a marketing team can produce, one must do her homework before implementation. The success of marketing automation implementation does not primarily depend on the selected software, and it is not only about automation. Cross-functional coordination must be formalized by integrating the processes above and setting KPIs that focus teams on achieving corporate goals.
Integrated marketing is powerful and effective. Each customer or prospect interaction reinforces your brand, increases awareness, and builds trust over time. By coordinating the customer journey across marketing channels, marketing investments become more efficient and effective.
You can integrate your marketing programs by following a few simple steps:
If you follow the steps above, you can create a revenue generation loop that improves the efficiency of your marketing spend. If you need help, feel free to contact us.
Over the years, marketers consistently cite lack of time as the top challenge that they face. Marketing leaders are aware of the demands that their groups face, and managing this ever-increasing workload successfully is a challenge. Below are five tips for greater productivity and increased motivation.
Establishing clear and specific marketing goals and KPIs is one easy way of balancing these demands. As a minimum, the marketing team should have quantifiable metrics for revenue generation, customer experience improvements, brand strength and return on investment. Putting these performance measures in place not only helps you determine the effectiveness of your programs but also allows you to course correct and maybe ax ineffective programs. The resources decked against ineffective programs can then be allocated to launch new programs or enhance existing ones.
Create a clear method for prioritizing marketing support, and include your partners in the process. While the methodology should be based on marketing’s KPIs, it is important to account for metrics that go beyond addressing day-to-day support, but also include key KPIs that special projects and newly formed business units will influence. Otherwise, your team could be choking the next breaking product or service by considering only day-to-day metrics. With a transparent process for resource allocation and project support, all teams can focus on the collective goal: COMPETING TO SUCCEED.
Once a project is prioritized, utilizing a formal (read: documented) process for marketing support will minimize some of the unproductive back and forth that sometimes happens between cross-functional teams. Begin by creating request templates and a formal meeting for cross-functional collaboration. The template should be brief and include the project goals (revenue generation, improvement of NPS, other KPIs) and a brief overview of the background and support needed. While it may seem bureaucratic at first, this reduces potential miscommunication between teams as well as the number of iterations that the marketing team will have to cycle through before “getting it right.”
Once a project is ready for execution, proper and clear delegation is one of the easiest ways to increase productivity while allowing each team member to exercise his or her distinctive skill set will strength overall team success. Assigning tasks and accountability achieves multiple positive ends, such as:
There are many exciting trends to explore in the world of marketing. Exploring trends keeps marketing teams informed about industry developments, task automation opportunities and provides opportunities for skill development. (For instance, implementing marketing automation software can open up new avenues of productivity by streamlining and automating various labor-intensive processes.) All of this can increase the human capital of your team and make it increasingly successful.
While there will probably always be some good-natured joking about whether the marketing division or the sales team is more important, ultimately both have to be in synch. After all, all teams within the same company are on the same side. Facilitating an effective marketing and sales alignment can be one of the greatest communication difficulties managers and team leaders are likely to face. These tips will help keep everyone working together and focused on sales enablement.
These seven tips might be some of the first tools in your kit for marketing-sales collaboration but they certainly will not be the last. As these two important teams become aligned, leaders will discover many other ways of promoting collective synergy.
Most executives are familiar with the Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) metric that rose to prominence a few years ago. This simple and straightforward form of measurement was applied to the marketing activities of all kinds of companies to quantify the results of marketing activities.
As useful as this metric has been to the broad conversation about marketing, its practical application over the long-term requires a more critical examination. While MQL has certainly helped further the dialogue surrounding marketing operations overall, one more instance of the age-old breakdown between marketing and sales has taken place. Can this current schism be addressed? Can a different measure of marketing performance benefit both sides?
Though qualified leads have certainly helped marketers adopt a scientific, numbers-based approach, this method has proven to be less useful for the sales pipeline. Two specific shortcomings have become evident:
These two apparent shortcomings are closely connected. The emergence of these complaints actually points to a disconnection between sales and marketing.
Because few companies are selling products within a rapidly expanding market, each team must acknowledge the parameters of the market where your products or services compete. Specifically, your team should quickly react the competition’s actions. The MQL metric as it is commonly applied cannot accomplish this in a direct manner; thus it fails to draw attention to this all-important aspect of revenue generation.
In most circumstances, there are a finite number of customers interested in purchasing your product. It can be reasonably concluded that a company’s industry peers are using lead generation methods of similar sophistication; competition for greater win rates between companies is the natural result. Additionally, there is likely to be an upper limit to the number of units sold within a period of time. Since MQLs cannot grow faster than the current market, the closing rates projected by the metric have logical limits.
Sales professionals will also point out that market influence should take into account customer behavior, another aspect that the qualified lead approach does not account for. In the past, the traditional B2B marketing model did not always recognize the way that customer activity influenced marketing programs. Once a customer buying cycle is applied to current marketing efforts, additional shortcomings of the qualified lead metric become evident.
Though MQLs have been shown to have certain shortcomings, they can still be useful if they are applied correctly. Specifically, it is helpful to tie marketing performance to the conversion rate of closed deals. This is arguably the most important metric since it most clearly demonstrates the success or failure of all related metrics and strategies. If a large number of MQLs nonetheless have a low conversion rate, latter stages of the sales pipeline must be examined.
The emergence of competitive win rates is going to be the real evidence of an improved application of MQLs. Revenue growth never fails to be a strong measure of marketing performance, though customer retention rates should also be considered. Though we will no doubt see the emergence of increasingly nuanced marketing metrics, these two measurements remain valid.
Even with a solid strategy and careful planning, marketing plans can sometimes fail. A plan may fail to achieve business goals or it may stall out at one stage or another. Either way, a marketing team will face some hard questions. These four tips can help your team avoid (or adapt to) an underperforming program.
Since it is difficult to identify each and every way that marketing plans may fail, you should also develop ways to respond to setbacks before they occur.
Even though we all aim for success, knowing how to learn from failure can make your company stronger. The way that marketers choose to address setbacks, failures, and other fizzles can make the difference between a learning experience and a wasted opportunity.