4 Things You Should Do Now for Better Marketing Results Later

Written by: Jason Andrade on 3/11/16 12:11 PM

Graph.pngYou’ve heard all about the awesome results that companies doing data-driven marketing manage. Companies that use data-driven marketing effectively report seeing increases in customer loyalty, new customers, revenue and more.

That all sounds nice, but maybe based on where your organization is now it also sounds woefully out of reach.

It isn’t. It takes some time and requires an investment in the right technology, but most marketing organizations can start practicing data-driven marketing if they commit to trying. The hardest part is simply figuring out where to start. Here are a few prerequisites to implementing data-driven marketing at your institution that you can start working on now.

  1. Clarify your marketing goals.

Having clearly defined goals is a non-negotiable first step to moving toward successful data-driven marketing. Your marketing department probably already has some goals worked out, but now’s a good opportunity to revisit them to make sure that:

  • They’re clearly defined
  • They’re actionable
  • They’re realistic based on past performance and industry standards
  • They’re tied to revenue and business objectives

That last one’s important and often overlooked in marketing organizations where leads are treated as the number one goal. Your real job isn’t to drive leads; it’s to help your company make more revenue. Your goals should reflect that.
  1. Invest in the right technology.

Successful marketing performance management is dependent on technology. You won’t get far without it. The marketing tech landscape is vast, which makes the tricky part figuring out which types of technology you really need to accomplish your goals. Don’t fall prey to shiny object syndrome and try to invest in everything at once, identify and focus on the two or three tech solutions you need most.

For different companies that will mean different things, but you need to invest in a good CRM and a marketing automation solution. You may also need a social listening tool, a content management tool, and a marketing performance management solution to orchestrate the rest of the your martech stack.   Determining which solutions are most worth a share of your budget depends entirely on the goals you worked out in step number one. For every technology solution you consider, ask yourself: how will this help us meet our goals?
  1. Standardize the metadata.

You don’t just need to have the right marketing technology, you also need to make sure that all your different tech products are compatible. Usually that means doing some manual work to standardize all your metadata between products and departments so that data included in your CRM can also be accessed and analyzed within your marketing performance management solution, your marketing automation software, vice versa and so on.

This will require making sure there are some common rules throughout your organization for how details are entered and shared. It will likely also require some manual work getting all the data you have now into the right format. The effort you put in will be worth it though, once you finally start to see the big picture that your marketing analytics have to show you.
  1. Define your waterfall.
Finally, you’ve got to work out your waterfall. A demand waterfall model ties marketing activities and goals more directly back to revenue. When a marketing organization takes the time to clearly define waterfall stages, it ensures that your marketing and sales team are on the same page and working to support each other – rather than viewing each other as competition.

You need everyone to be thinking in terms of the larger business goal of increasing revenue. Your waterfall will help ensure that’s the case and that both the overall goal and intermediary goals that help your business get there are clearly defined for all involved.  

You may not feel your team can get started on a data-driven marketing plan tomorrow, but you can definitely start working toward these four steps sooner rather than later. Once these prerequisites are achieved, your journey to data-driven marketing will be much smoother. You can start seeing those great results you keep hearing so much about from other marketing organizations.

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Topics: Marketing Maturity, Hive9, Marketing Stream