In parts one and two of this three-part series, we discussed key digital marketing trends that need to be on your marketing radar for 2013. If you’ve decided it’s time for a digital marketing makeover, implementing your marketing technology solution is just the first step. With increasing scrutiny of marketing ROI by Senior Leadership, once your digital programs are rolling, you’ll need to be prepared to refocus your marketing efforts around driving digital value. Here’s how.
1. Gain alignment. Gaining consensus for your digital marketing program objectives up front is critical to adoption. The top three reasons that marketing automation solutions fail according to a study conducted by Frost & Sullivan and Bulldog Solutions include not having the right or sufficient number of people, not having the right processes, and not having sufficient content. Achieving alignment across all three areas is critical to a successful technology deployment. Further, it’s not uncommon to lack budget or support from Senior Leadership for marketing automation solutions. As such, it’s important to anchor budget requests for your digital marketing programs to something that is familiar to your stakeholders with results tied to it: Stating the benefits in terms of the anticipated financial impacts to the business is essential to driving digital value. [If you are developing your digital marketing program from the ground up for the first time, consider these digital marketing success stories.]
2. Define campaign objectives. Marketing technology by itself is just a widget, and it won’t be effective without a sound marketing strategy operating in the background. Marketing communications fundamentals such as defining campaign objectives up front are critical to driving digital value. Just as air travel would be reckless without air traffic control, so does the success of your marketing technology solution depend upon a well-developed marketing strategy. You are investing significant time and money into your marketing campaigns, and you need to make your investments count. A multichannel approach can help you to get the most mileage from your marketing budget, while technologies such as QR codes or PURLs introduce a measurement component that can help in driving digital value. Incorporate a compelling call-to-action to increase conversions and measure data including website conversions, click throughs, QR/PURL scans/hits, and ROI (the cost to execute the campaign versus the return).
3. Gain buy-in. If you work with distributed sales channels, driving digital value extends beyond your marketing strategy and marketing technology, and you will need to consider strategies for increasing adoption of your platform across your distributed sales channels. Marketing technology solutions such as Marketing Resource Management (MRM) systems empower distributed sales channels to quickly design, enroll, customize and distribute corporate campaigns developed for third party use, but it’s not enough to simply deploy the technology: Designing your business processes and practices to become the brand of choice – including offering benefits such as training and incentives for working with your marketing technology solution – can help to increase distributed sales channel engagement and, ultimately, drive digital value.
4. Close the loop. Marketing technology solutions such as MRM systems can help to track campaign effectiveness through metrics including email click through rates, campaign dispositions, and the ability to track and measure distributed sales channel engagement, including distributed sales channels’ budgets, spending, and use of turnkey marketing resources and campaigns. Both successes and disappointments should be reported back to Senior Leadership as soon as possible so a decision can be made about whether the initiative or campaign was insufficient or ineffective (see link point 7).
Marketing technology empowers marketers with a robust toolset for driving digital value from marketing programs and investments. However, strategic marketing savvy is still essential to digital marketing success. With marketing staffs increasingly being asked (even expected) to accomplish more with less, it’s critical for marketers to coordinate end-to-end multichannel campaigns with clearly defined business goals and objectives. Finally, results should be reported back to Senior Leadership teams on a regular basis to ensure visibility for successful digital marketing initiatives.
How are you leveraging digital marketing data and insights to drive digital value?