Trailblaze & Grow Category: Marketing Trends

Trust your data

Learn, Trust, and Use the Data You Collect

Marketers are finally seeing the light when it comes to spending on analytics. A 2017 survey of nearly 400 CMOs found that the amount spent on marketing analytics will increase 376 percent over the next three years.

This has us incredibly excited at Trailblaze Growth Advisors because, as a team of marketing professionals, we are extremely analytical. We know that companies have long been collecting data, and we are so happy to see them ramp up their efforts and continue embracing the valuable science of marketing.

 

But There May Be a Catch…

While the survey of CMOs found a large increase in spending on analytics, it also revealed that the use rate of data is stagnant. Essentially, companies keep collecting more and more data sets, but few are effectively leveraging these insights to their fullest.

Marketing leaders tend to have creative backgrounds, and many of them are not entirely comfortable diving into statistical analysis and uncovering the metrics that drive results. They tend to focus more on the art of marketing while neglecting the scientific side.

However, any modern-day company that wants to remain competitive, increase revenue and customer loyalty, and acquire new customers must let data lead the way.

Data helps marketers understand what is working, what is not working, and how they can improve the customer experience. In fact, according to a recent Econsultancy survey, many data-driven methods boost customer conversions — analyzing customer journeys and A/B testing work especially well.

Quantitative results must be a major part of a marketing department’s progress reports. Teams should constantly use data to review the performance of their campaigns, better understand their customers, and predict their needs, as well as guide changes to their marketing mix, campaigns, customer journeys, and distribution channels.

Most importantly, you must be able to trust that you are measuring the right behaviors and results. Marketing departments need to learn how to rely on the data that they are collecting and analyzing. Bad data makes this work more difficult and increases costs — up to 20 percent of revenue, to be specific.

 

How TBGA Can Help

The ability to have a fact-based, behavior-based, 360-degree view of the customer is the key to developing marketing strategies that deliver the results you need. But in order to maximize your data, you must first have clear objectives. Is your goal to increase revenue, grow customer loyalty, or acquire new customers? Once you identify your overarching goals, let data uncover key customer behaviors and use analytical tools to develop personalized strategies to directly achieve them.

TBGA focuses on data-driven decision making. Our CMOs come with a proven track record of helping companies embrace, trust, and leverage their data into tangible results that boost their bottom line. We can help you integrate detailed data about your customers, your offerings, and the circumstances in which purchases are made. We can also uncover hidden insights that help you create or improve your products, services, and processes.

We have helped companies learn how to trust their data. We know the strategic objectives that move the needle, and we have established metrics and benchmarks to use as guideposts along the way.

We are eager to do the same for your brand. Contact us today for a one-hour consultation!

 

Photo credit: Eric Fischer via Foter.com / CC BY

What is a fractional CMO?

What Is a Fractional CMO?

When we say that we offer fractional CMO services, we are frequently met with some variation of the following question: “What does that mean?”

Then, after we define the term, we almost always hear this: “What a great idea! We did not know this was even an option.”

So what exactly is a fractional CMO?

Essentially, it is a senior-level marketer who embeds him- or herself into a company and drives its marketing results to the next level — either temporarily or on a part-time basis. This person comes equipped with a wealth of experience and knowledge, but unlike a traditional CMO, he or she does not come along with a high price tag or arduous hiring process.

Our fractional CMOs have proven track records. We have led marketing teams and sculpted marketing programs at Fortune 500 companies and startups alike. We do not work from hypotheticals; we know what works and what does not, and we apply these lessons and best practices to our clients beginning on day

1.  “It is essential to have a full-time CMO.”

The CMO’s role is certainly essential, but it is not essential for this person to be a full-time member of your team. A part-time CMO can provide the strategy based on hands-on experience in order to focus the blocking and tackling support that junior marketers provide. This focus steers the team toward high-value programs and away from low-ROI ones. In the end, you increase your return on marketing spend and do not waste time on tactics that do not work.

Even if your ultimate goal is to someday hire a full-time CMO, a fractional CMO can be there to support you while you search for the best candidate. Given the amount of time and money it takes to find top-tier marketing executives in the open market, partnering with a TBGA fractional CMO is a great way to quickly reap the reward of experienced leadership without sifting through hundreds of résumés or hiring a headhunter. In fact, he or she can help you vet candidates and determine whether they are the right fit for your company — all while managing your strategic marketing initiatives and mentoring your less experienced marketing professionals.

2.  “I am better off promoting an internal candidate.”

Think about the amount of time, training, and resources it will take to transform an internal candidate into a trustworthy, knowledgeable CMO who drives tangible results for your bottom line. It could take years.

Fractional CMOs come in ready to contribute — and they could even mentor your up-and-coming internal candidates. Beyond that, they possess a fresh, unbiased outsider’s perspective. They will not be bogged down by company politics and bureaucracy. Instead, they will feel free to point out flaws, voice concerns, and give honest feedback and suggestions that revolutionize your marketing function.

3.  “I would rather save money by hiring a junior person.”

Similar to the above misconception, this is also a recipe for wasted time and delayed growth. Most businesses have little to no margin for mistakes, and if you hire an inexperienced CMO to lead your team, you open the door to this very issue.

Because our fractional CMOs have a breadth of experience across different marketing systems, tactics, and corporate environments, they possess a big advantage over junior employees. As senior leaders, they already know how to manage teams, assemble P&L reports, and quantify their impact.

4.  “We hired a great marketing agency, so we have it covered.”

Agencies should be an extension of your marketing strategy — not drive it. Your team will need to provide the competitive landscape, target segmentation, buyer personas, and differentiation.

Your CMO is also responsible for ensuring your marketing operations are running efficiently. Agencies are not equipped to dive deeply into a company’s internal operations and infrastructure, discover inefficiencies, and provide relevant solutions that move the needle.

On the other hand, when you hire a TBGA fractional CMO, your company becomes his or her one and only priority. This person is ready and able to roll up his or her sleeves, investigate the inner workings of your marketing department and company as a whole, and offer tailor-made solutions that result in measurable benefits.

 

We hope that we have cleared up any uncertainty surrounding fractional CMOs and how they can help propel your marketing results. If you have any further hesitations or questions — or if you are interested in scheduling a one-hour consultation — please contact us today!

 

Photo credit: familymwr via Foter.com / CC BY

Online Marketing

Online Marketing Trends in 2015

Online marketing, or digital marketing, has grown rapidly in recent years.  Two things are clear: online marketing is here to stay, and its growth is only set to accelerate in the future. The following are four of the trends expected to show themselves in 2015.

1. Content marketing will become increasingly important

Content marketing was one of the stars of 2014, and 2015 is set to continue and accelerate that trend. According to recent reports, more than half of business-to-business marketers are significantly increasing their budgets for content marketing in 2015. In addition, the type of content will shift toward long-form content, such as white papers, long blog posts and in-depth articles. Content marketing is becoming a vehicle not only for companies to market themselves but also to establish themselves as thought leaders in their niche or industry while also generating a loyal community or readership.

At the same time, there will still be a significant market for short-form content, which will primarily be utilized on social media platforms as a way to generate viral content.

2. Social media marketing will increasingly focus on mobile marketing

There are now more than 1 billion smartphone users worldwide. These users represent the most important segment of the Internet economy, as they are the ones who use the Internet the most, are the most engaged, and are most willing to post and share content – thereby contributing to content going viral. As a result, online marketing will continue to focus on content that is optimized for the mobile format, which includes short-form content marketing, as well as social media advertising that is focused on the mobile platforms.

3. Email marketing will evolve

Email is one of the oldest technologies of the Internet and is sometimes overlooked by marketing agencies and departments that might prefer to utilize flashier and more cutting-edge digital marketing strategies. Nevertheless, email remains one of the most important marketing tools available, and 2015 promises to be another big year for email marketing.

That being said, email marketing will also see a significant increase in the number and quality of tools available for marketing campaigns. One of the most significant trends is an increase in email analytics data, which helps marketers determine how often emails are opened and how often the links within those emails are clicked. The ability to determine which emails are most effective can then be used to create more effective email campaigns.

Email is also increasingly being used as a gateway to social media channels. In the past, email was largely considered its own section of an overall marketing strategy. However, the goal of email marketing campaigns is increasingly to drive traffic to social media platforms, where that traffic can be presented with a company’s social media marketing campaign.

4. Digital marketing budgets will increase

Perhaps the most fundamental trend in digital marketing is the fact that the industry is growing rapidly. With the number of Internet users increasing and knowledge about how to monetize that traffic increasing at the same time, it makes sense that budgets directed toward these efforts would grow as well.

According to recent reports, about 80 percent of companies are expected to increase their digital marketing budgets in 2015, with the vast majority of those companies expecting to increase their budgets between 5 and 15 percent.

At the same time, the number of workers in the digital marketing industry is expanding as well, with digital/social, content creation, data/analytics and mobile strategy among the skills most highly valued by marketing agencies hiring new employees.

Sources

Photo credit: Will Lion / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND