An effective marketing strategy is the key to customer acquisition and retention, which is in turn essential for business success. Marketers use a variety of techniques to drive new business, including eye-catching product design, compelling content and cross-selling opportunities. But it can be difficult to identify which elements in the marketing strategy are generating the highest returns. And increasingly, C-suites and boards are demanding metrics to justify marketing spend.
How can you make sure your marketing strategy is paying off and driving new business? How can you identify which elements are the best investment and identify emerging trends to stay ahead of the curve? How do you find the right balance between new customer appeals and campaigns designed to expand relationships with the existing client base? These three tips can help.
- Apply the 80/20 rule to marketing campaigns.The one constant in marketing is change, which means you can’t expect the same techniques that work today to work forever. The most productive marketing departments apply the 80/20 rule to their marketing strategy, using proven techniques 80% of the time to ensure a robust return and devoting 20% of their initiatives to more experimental campaigns. This approach recognizes that markets, products, customers and competitors are not static and sets the company up to identify and capitalize on emerging trends, but it requires the ability to analyze individual campaigns as well as the effective campaign types to accurately gauge ROI.
That means you’ll need full funnel metrics that allow you to precisely track volume, conversions and deal velocity. One company, a top social recruiting platform, achieved this by using a comprehensive marketing performance management solution, integrated inside their CRM, that allowed them to combine information from data silos containing marketing, customer service and product data on a single platform. The company was able to analyze its marketing and sales funnel across multiple dimensions, including opportunity, campaign, acquisition channel and segment. This enabled accurate campaign attribution.
- Find the right mix of new leads and expansion opportunities.Expanding existing customer relationships and following up on prior leads is an important part of the marketing process, but it’s also critical to generate new high quality leads in sufficient numbers to ensure that the company thrives and grows. Too many marketers make an art of what should actually be a science. To ensure that you have a healthy number of brand-new leads, you’ll need to be able to identify the right percentage of newly sourced leads vs. leads generated from your database and define how many new leads should come from the marketing team and the sales group. With a data-centric approach, you can optimize the mix of new leads and expansions, which allows the company to grow organically.
The social recruiting platform company mentioned above was able to achieve this by analyzing sales and marketing funnels by source, team and sales stage. The ability to accurately attribute revenue and identify where buyers were in the sales cycle enabled the marketing team to calculate funnel stage conversions and deal velocity with precision. The team was also able to align SLA (Service Level Agreements between marketing and sales) goals with funnel definitions to amplify collective operational impact, improving lead processing speed 20%, increasing accepted leads 10% and achieving a 100% increase in inquiry-to-win rate.
- Get visibility into how marketing drives revenue.In a highly competitive environment, marketers must demonstrate program value to justify expenditures to the C-suite and board. By making the invisible visible with multi-touch, weighted campaign models and assigning weight to different types of campaigns, marketers can accurately assess campaign performance instead of crediting first or last touches only or evenly attributing revenue to various types of touches across campaigns. Having these levels of insights allows marketing to gain a deeper understanding of their impact on revenue so that they can set more realistic annual targets and periodically gauge performance toward those goals, making adjustments on the fly as necessary to hit targets.
The social recruiting platform company’s experience is instructive here as well: The company’s CEO was raising funds to accelerate growth, and to support that effort, the marketing team had to demonstrate its ability to scale up its marketing engine to reach revenue goals. That meant they had to reverse-engineer the marketing funnel, specify the cost-per-inquiry from each marketing campaign and define the number of prospect inquiries needed to reach sales objectives by group. The team was able to achieve these goals by consolidating marketing and sales data inside their CRM platform for a single source of truth.
A data-driven business ecosystem requires an ability to quickly identify what works and what doesn’t, the agility to respond to evolving marketplaces and the capacity to demonstrate value to the leadership team. Robust analytics are a must in this environment, and marketers who find a platform that provides visibility into accurate campaign ROI can drive significant revenue—and earn a seat at the table with the executive team and the board.
Bonnie Crater is CEO of Full Circle Insights.