We’ve identified five must-do’s to help marketing leaders prepare teams for success. These foundational elements help improve customer-centric experiences, decision-making, and operational efficiency to save time and money. For each, marketing leaders should collaborate with teams to complete an audit, evaluation, and action plan. The exercises will inform quick wins to implement in early 2023, as well as help with the development of comprehensive strategies.
1. Keep Audience Personas and Journeys Fresh
The first step with any successful marketing approach is to know your audience. A deep understanding of your audience’s goals, needs, challenges, information sources, and path to purchase will help you develop a strong connection with them. This information is typically presented visually in the formats of a persona and buyer journey. Keep these critical references fresh to inform marketing initiatives and content development.
First, confirm your target audiences, as they may have changed with adjustments in business strategy or product offerings. Inventory existing personas and buyer journeys to see what’s available and identify gaps. Note when each document was last updated, its current usage, and its file location.
Assess the quality and accuracy of the information. Does it contain previous assumptions that should be validated through research? Has the audience’s relationship with your category or brand changed? Maybe their media habits have shifted as consumption of virtual events and streaming video/audio has increased. How has their increased desire to self-serve impacted the buyer journey?
Determine what needs to be created, refreshed, or archived. Use readily available data to make quick updates (e.g., third-party research, web data, sales data). Consider what audience insights are missing that could be addressed through primary research, such as interviews or surveys. Address the most critical touchpoints to improve the customer experience.
2. Get a Handle on Your Customer Data
According to Hubspot, leveraging CRM data to its fullest potential is ranked as one of the top challenges marketers expect to face in 2023. Managing customer data is critical to building trust and enabling well-targeted campaigns. It’s also a requirement to deliver the personalized experiences that today’s customers demand. Get intimate with your CRM now to unlock the power of first-party data.
Document what data currently exists, where it’s coming from, where it resides, who has access to it, how it’s currently used, and what collection/management processes are used.
Assess the accuracy and completeness of the data. Evaluate whether the data is structured properly to meet current and future needs. Find out if you have proper opt-ins and permissions to leverage it. Do current processes for data storage, management, and use meet requirements for established privacy legislation?
Be sure to move and/or archive old records and fields, implement consistent naming conventions, explore data enrichment opportunities with third-party providers, update online forms, and ensure adequate user training.
3. Examine Your Marketing and Website Content
Buyers are inundated with content; unfortunately, much of it is lackluster. Writing and publishing bad content negatively impacts your brand and reduces trust. So, it’s important that marketing leaders work with their teams to maintain a robust library of quality content that’s up to date, helpful, and written for a specific audience. Complete the following to ensure that your content adds value to the conversation.
Take an inventory of your content and catalog each piece according to such factors as the target persona, buyer journey stage, type, format, and location.
For each piece of content, assess usage, accuracy, and performance. Make sure branding and messaging is up to date. Performance measures may include quantitative data, such as views, downloads, and attributed leads; or qualitative data, such as feedback from your sales team. Look holistically at your content library to identify gaps (e.g., content for specific personas, products, applications, journey stages).
Determine what to keep, refresh, and archive. An old piece of content can still have value if the information is timeless or ranks high on search engines. Consider adding more imagery, re-creating in video, optimizing metadata, or updating CTAs.
4. Understand and Document Your Tech Stack
Your tech stack has likely grown alongside the proliferation of technology solutions. Colleagues who brought in new technologies may have left the company — and in turn, left software rudderless and without a captain. A recent study by Gartner found that companies use only 42% of their tech stack capabilities. Be sure you’re getting the most out of current investments: Evaluate your existing tech stack before adding to it.
Categorize your tools by reason for implementation, capabilities, use cases, current use, integrations, stakeholders, costs, and subscription terms. Here are 10+ ways to visualize your martech stack.
Assess the impact of each tool against your marketing goals, objectives, and strategies. Evaluate current and potential usage, integrations, and the cost to value. Determine whether documentation and processes exist.
Make plans to sunset old or redundant technologies, establish new integrations, improve current adoption, and identify tools to investigate.
5. Revisit Ongoing Reporting
Much time is spent creating and reviewing reports while marketing teams are strapped for people resources. Don’t just report on data because you “have to.” Your data should help you actually make decisions. Auditing your ongoing reporting efforts is important to improve decision-making and eliminate redundancies to save time for more productive tasks.
Gather your channel, campaign, and pipeline reports. Document the format, frequency, key metrics, data sources, senders, and receivers.
Assess whether each report is helping you make better decisions. Your reporting should tie back to your marketing and business objectives. Is it easy to review and interpret? Are you capturing the right data — and is it accurate?
Your action plan may include many items. One of the most basic quick wins is to improve cross-sharing with other teams and departments. Another is to adjust the timing of reports to allow learnings to actually impact future campaigns. Consider creating a performance measurement plan: a document that translates the top-line business objectives into metrics and dimensions you can measure. It not only provides a framework for a customized configuration of your marketing analytics, but also forms a vital part of your wider marketing and tagging strategy.
An impactful marketing approach is enabled by fresh audience insights, usable customer data, quality content, and effective technology. Depending on your starting point — as well as the size and complexity of your organization — it could take days or weeks to complete each audit and evaluation. Prioritize based on resources and the biggest gaps that are holding back your marketing strategy.
Need help with any of the above must-do’s? No problem! Reach out to us for help with auditing, analysis, or strategy development.