The end of the year often times brings up mixed emotions for marketing directors. It’s a time of the year often filled with holiday marketing activity and hopefully positive growth and results from the previous 11 months while at the same time, the daunting task of putting together a plan and argument for the budget necessary to drive the upcoming year’s results that have already been goaled for them.
Larger goals often require greater amounts of inbound marketing strategy and with that comes the need for new, and targeted campaign activity to drive everything forward. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of a few different areas that I believe growing marketing teams should focus on in order to hit their new goals while also providing general arguments that can be used to sell them to the executives who ultimately have the final say in regards to your budget.
Invest in Digital Tools
If you don’t already have marketing automation, you should definitely be getting yourself into it this next year. There’s a reason why “Best in Class” companies are 67% more likely to use marketing automation and it’s because it allows them to be more strategic, efficient, and effective in their digital marketing. If you’re already investing in automation, there are plenty of other great tools to help you take the different areas of your digital marketing to the next level. Check these guys out for email, look at this for your SEO, and hell you might even consider a bot for your campaign!
The Argument: Marketing automation allows teams to be more effective and efficient with their time and activites online while providing both marketers and executives insight into analytics that can clearly showcase growth and ROI.
Focus More on Targeted Advertising
You probably already have a presence on social media and you may be dabbling with the idea of social advertising but as Gary Vaynerchuk puts it, you need to be all in. Advertising on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn has come a long way in the past few years and provide marketers with all ranges of budgets the opportunity to target their audience in a very precise manner.
The Argument: Social advertising allows you to effectively target your key demographics and audience in a place where they spend the most time online for a relatively small amount of budget. Not only is this an efficient way of getting in front of your market but it also provides you the insight and analytics to help showcase success and ROI before a large investment needs to be made.
Consider Growth Driven Web Design
Website design and the processes connected to creating and updating it is changing. Gone are the days of static brochure websites that don't require redesigns for years. Responsive, conversion optimized websites are required in today's digital world and must take a continuous improvement approach. Growth Driven Web Design (GDD) takes an analytical approach to designing or redesigning your website with conversion rate optimization in mind, allowing you to continuously target weak areas of your website to better connect with and convert the right website visitors into leads.
The Argument: Your website is no longer a simple brochure that you can set and forget. Your website is now almost the largest brand element you have and you need to make sure that it not only looks good but also works for you. With analytics tools and a scientific approach to improvement, all activity will be trackable and attributable to growth.
Implement a Marketing Automation-CRM Integration
Sales and marketing alignment has been a hot topic for the last few years as the connection between marketing and the leads that sales works with has strengthened. It can be assumed that your sales department is already using a CRM of some kind and if you're using marketing automation you most certainly should have these two platforms integrated and sharing the necessary pieces of information between each other to provide both departments with the right amount of context to generate and close business. Integrating these two tools can give the sales team a better understanding of who a lead is, what they're most interested in and how they came to find your company before they pick up the phone to make contact. On the other side, marketing can better understand which of the leads they've generated have turned into closed customers while giving them better visibility into which of their marketing actions and processes have generated the most bottom line success.
The Argument: An integration between the two biggest tools of two of the most important client-facing departments of the company is a necessity in today's tight fiscal world where ROI is a requirement. This connection will provide greater visibility into where new business is coming from and establish accountability between and within departments to ensure that the budgets being provided to them are providing the right amount of return on investment.
Fighting for budget is never an easy task but if you understand what activities will be needed to hit the goals set for you and know how best to argue for them when talking to your executive team, life will become a lot easier for you moving into your next year of marketing activity.