You’ve seen it happen over and over again. Your marketing organization sits down and really does the work of outlining their goals and creating a marketing plan. Then, as the organization’s different departments get mired in the day to day of doing their jobs, the plan is deviated from and ultimately forgotten.
Having a marketing plan only helps if you can figure out a way to stick to it. That’s where dynamic marketing planning comes in. Rather than simply creating a static plan at the beginning of a period, planning should be doing in an ongoing fashion that allows for evolution based on results.
If you haven’t made marketing data-driven planning a cornerstone of how your marketing organization works yet, here are a few strong reasons to consider doing so.
You’ve seen how easy it is to have good intentions while developing a plan that then end up all for naught once the plan’s forgotten. To keep marketing planning consistent and evolving, everyone has to buy into to keeping up with it day by day.
A consequence of that will mean putting structures into place to stay in regular contact with the other departments you work with. That means regular meetings, technology that enables frequent contact between employees in different departments, and shared planning and goals. It takes some real commitment and effort to get to the point where you’ve established ongoing collaboration with other departments, but marketing planning requires it and the benefits make it well worth the work.
A data-driven marketing department will not only be collecting a large amount of useful data, but also working to translate it into valuable marketing analytics that tell a story about who your customers are and what they respond to.
The more insights your team works to glean from your data, the more information you’ll gain that can also benefit the other departments in your company. You can share metrics with sales that enable them to more successfully convert the leads you send over. You can share data with finance that demonstrates the ROI your marketing activities bring in and helps them make more informed decisions about where to allocate the budget. And you can share data with customer care that enables them to get a better feel for who your customers are and the types of concerns and issues they have.
When you break down your silos and start sharing information across departments, everyone benefits from knowing more – including the customers that get a better, more unified experience because of it.
Vested Interest in the Customer Experience
If marketing’s primary utility is producing leads, then there’s little reason to pay attention to what happens after the baton is passed to sales. But marketers that plan for organizational outcomes know better. Your goal shouldn’t just be to generate leads; it should be to help the company gain as much revenue as possible.
That means not only following which leads become customers, but also paying attention to which of those customers become the most valuable. To do that, you have to pay attention to the whole buyer’s journey, from the first touch point a prospect has with the company throughout their tenure time as a customer. Taking the big picture view gives marketing valuable insights into how to target your marketing at the future customer advocates that are most valuable to your company, rather than by trying to attract through any means necessary.
Interoperability with Critical Applications
Sticking to marketing planning is considerably easier if you implement technology designed specifically for that purpose. Marketing planning technology makes it easy to see the relationship between your goals, your activities, and your results every day, so you always know right away when you should veer in a different direction due to a particular campaign or activity not performing as well as it should.
That ongoing information is crucial to staying on track with your marketing plan, and it becomes more valuable if you can easily share your metrics and analytics with everyone else in the company who can benefit from them. If you go with a marketing planning solution that’s compatible with the main types of tech all the other departments in your company use, sharing the insights your data provides with them is easy.
Leads are one small part of what marketing can contribute to the company, but it takes a shift in thinking to begin to see that. Instituting marketing planning not only makes marketing better at aligning your activities with your goals, but it also helps you to see how your activities influence the big picture. When you stop focusing on leads alone, you can start to bring more value to the company and demonstrably show your value.
That’s good for sales, since they start getting better leads. It’s good for customer service, since they’ll get more help from marketing to maintain and improve relationships with current customers. And it’s good for finance, who will get a clearer picture of how your marketing spend relates back to the revenue you bring in. And all of that will, of course, come back around to being good for marketing. Your data will make a clear case for maintaining or increasing your budget, and your value will be clear to the entire organization.Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0