Originally Published in: Performance IN
October 12th, 2016
Advances in technology, especially over the last decade, have afforded marketers countless new opportunities for real-time campaign execution and personalised delivery across devices.
However, without buy-in from the entire c-suite, even the best-laid data and technology-driven marketing plans may not make it past initial planning discussions. Many marketing executives can feel like they are caught between a rock and a hard place as they try to explain complex marketing strategies to business executives that have sales or engineering backgrounds.
These executives are usually not up to date on the newest marketing technologies nor do they have a full understanding of the ways that marketing leads to sales, especially since many newer channels and even older ones (i.e. TV ads) don’t allow for direct correlations.
Considering all the options that exist, it is more important than ever for marketers to be able to demonstrate ROI and added value that results from their digital marketing efforts. To this end, marketers need to show they are driving significant increases in incremental revenue. Consider the following best practices when seeking executive sign off on your next campaign.
Demonstrating that a certain channel or tactic is adding value to your organisation is essential in creating the right media mix for your business. When proving efficiency using basic metrics, the accuracy of targeting and testing methodology is paramount. Tracking results through control group testing and taking a flexible approach is key – it’s important to find out early on if an element of your campaign isn’t working.
By using one technology, you won’t know if you’re getting the best results possible. Benchmarking against other providers in the industry will keep your marketing efforts honest, and be sure to incorporate multiple touch points into your tracking as well as an independent attribution model. This will reduce bias results and keep the outcomes transparent.
While marketers should also use first party data to prove ROI rather than relying on click-through rates or last click attribution to define success, many companies do not have that level of first-party data available. Whatever data they do have at their disposal should be used as a guide. Marketers should also apply a rigorous testing methodology to measure the impact of their activities.
Aligning goals across business units early on is vital to achieving effective results and sustained success. In some cases, CEOs have different targets from the rest of the business, meaning end goals don’t align. If big-picture goals vary from the desired day-to-day benchmarks, create two targets for increased accuracy and clear measurement and ensure everyone at the c-suite level is aware of the variances.
Find out as much as you can about your consumers’ behaviour in advance to create a solid foundation and stronger insights long-term. Attribution models that are personalised, yet simple are the most effective.
Speak their language
Executives tend to best understand the language and value of their own disciplines and backgrounds. Too frequently they try to implement solutions that may have worked for them in the past, even if it is not practical for the marketing department.
For example, if a company’s president comes from an engineering background, his solution might be to outsource work to Asia where there is cheaper labour. While that might work for engineers, it would be a disaster for the marketing department, an area of business where understanding local culture is essential. It is important for the marketing department to understand where the president is coming from in order to best position new marketing strategies and campaigns for ultimate signoff.
Understand how and when to scale
Scale is necessary for any business to ensure fresh pools of potential new customers, but it’s important to know your ceiling price from the start. Work out how much you’re prepared to pay to scale up from the start of your campaign. This will vary depending on your goals.
Understanding the potential of each channel, whether that be social, direct, search, or programmatic, will help you determine your maximum spend. Each channel offers unique benefits and possibilities. Running your digital campaign across multiple platforms simultaneously allows you to tap into the strengths of each one while enhancing the quality of measurement. Partner with specialists you trust, get them involved early and be open to shifting focus as results dictate.
For the best results possible, it’s important to keep strategies simple and break your goals down into measurable results. Don’t overcomplicate metrics and ensure your business is aligned to make sure success is maintained at all levels. Embrace change, listen to valued partners and be flexible to keep your brand at the forefront of the ever-evolving world of marketing.