So it is the Annual Appraisal time at work – The time to introspect on the good and not-so-good for the year gone by. Also the time to get feedback on what was good and what was not-so-good; take the lessons and move ahead into a new year.
As a I look back at last year wearing the lens of a marketer, I can say that it has been exciting and excellent. Most importantly, it has been wonderful to see the impact and difference marketing has made on business. As I go down memory lane to see what truly made a difference a few points stand out. In this post, sharing the 5 key points:
Marketing objectives are closely linked to business objectives
The role of marketing has changed significantly over the past few years – especially since the onset of the ‘digital revolution’. From being a supporting enabler for business, marketing is increasingly viewed as the custodian of the customer experience. As a result, success of marketing directly and significantly affects business, and hence it is imperative that marketing objectives are closely linked to business objectives. For e.g.: If a business objective is to be known as a ‘Market Leader in a particular area”, then a possible marketing objective can be to feature in a respected industry / analyst rating report as a Market Leader as an external (analyst / customer / partner) endorsement of a company’s brand is critical to achieve this objective. Or if a business objective is to increase business growth by X%, then a possible marketing objective can be to generate Y leads – where is a multiplier of X based on typical conversion metrics.
Marketing has well defined “measurable” objectives
Again marketing teams have always known to focus / report the ‘soft / qualitative’ aspects, and hence marketers are increasingly under pressure to demonstrate the marketing impact. The most effective way to showcase any impact is through metrics. The only pre-requisite to capture and report metrics is to know what to measure and how to measure. For this, it is critical to have a sign-off with business on what “measurable” objectives are to be worked on. For e.g: If one of the focus areas for business is to create a compelling content strategy to demonstrate thought leadership for external branding and customer lead generation, then a measurable objective could be to publish 1 content piece a month on the company blog. This becomes easy to track, measure and report every month as opposed to an objective which states “Create content to reflect thought leadership”. Defining measurable objectives at the start of the year helps set expectations among all stakeholders, and provides a direction for marketing to focus their efforts.
Regular Monitoring, Tracking and Reporting “marketing outcomes”
Again, while defining ‘marketing objectives’ is the first step – continuous monitoring, tracking and reporting the marketing outcomes on a regular basis is key. Leveraging the power of tools and technology to capture key marketing metrics and sharing these metrics with key business / leadership stakeholders on an ongoing basis is critical for long term success of marketing initiatives.
Being able to show the co-relation between “marketing outcomes and business impact”
Again, this is one area where most marketers and businesses struggle with. How to show the co-relation between “marketing outcomes and business impact”? For e.g: Let us assume a B2B company hosted an online event – like a webinar or a virtual round table. The event was outstanding with an attendance of 500+ audience. Now most marketers are always asked “OK Great. But so what?”. In general, online / offline events are great opportunities to identify prospects and convert them to potential leads through focused lead nurturing initiatives. However, such initiatives need time and effort. And time is money – so it becomes important to track both. It is exactly for answering the marketing ROI questions that marketing technology in the form of automation solutions plays a key role.
Marketing sits on the table with Business, Technology, Finance and Operations
Last but not the least – Marketing has to be in-sync with business, technology, finance and operations. Marketing has to be part of the discussions, has to be in-tune with key data and has to be a key participant in decision making. For this, a shared vision and goals along with an environment which fosters communication and collaboration with the customer at the center of the universe is key for marketing and business success.
Published with permission.
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