The last year had implications across industries, and you’re likely on the verge of a competitive shuffle. With CMOs and marketing departments recovering from a year of scaled-back spending, where you invest your marketing dollars this year can reposition you within your market.
Now is the time to invest in the right data-driven technology solutions to unlock better marketing insights. Not a cobbled-together living room of disparate furniture pieces with pre-chosen colors that clash (off-the-shelf solutions), but a custom-designed set that fits your unique space (building your own Martech solution).
If your focus is on lead generation and growth, creating a culture obsessed with data and building the right technology to utilize that data is the key to unlocking better marketing results. Here’s how:
1. Little Wins Can Have a Big Impact
Whether your processes are paper-driven like ours were back in 2014, or you’re owning and operating a fully-functional marketing suite with solutions like HubSpot, Marketo, or ActiveCampaign, finding new ways to connect and use your data can get stalled if your team isn’t used to flexibility and change.
Little wins can have a big impact.
Starting in small ways – like adding a few fields of customer service data to your marketing contact records – can unlock more successful campaigns.
When your team experiences a data investment in the form of results, you’ll shift the mentality from “let me work with what’s comfortable” to “what new insights can we unlock?”
2. Invest in the Right Resources
If you’re going to radically change how successful your marketing can be, sooner or later you’ll run into limitations with off-the-shelf solutions.
They won’t scale at the pace you need to, and their strategic objectives won’t always match yours.
These robust software platforms are trying to serve hundreds of industries, and your company’s unique parameters will require some custom tailoring to unlock a level of targeting that passes your competitors’ capabilities.
For better results, you’ll likely need to shake up the status quo by investing in an in-house tech staff and pushing away from safe, comfortable platforms.
Gradually migrating over to custom solutions and focusing on your organization’s most critical needs first will help show progress and justify shifting more spend towards future builds.
3. Connect Your Prospect and Customer Data across Touchpoints
Eventually, brick by brick, you’ll be able to build a unique Martech solution that can connect different areas of your business for better customer insights.
Imagine the level of targeting available when you’re feeding data from live customer service calls and real-time inventory management into your next marketing campaign.
Knowing which pain points each audience segment is experiencing – and increasing the urgency by displaying how much stock of a product you have left in real-time– can help you get the right messages to the right people at the right times.
Take that one step further and imagine how the learnings from that marketing campaign can fuel better customer service and inventory management.
Now you’re creating a platform that can help optimize every single aspect of your organization.
4. Unroll Changes with the Largest Sample Size Possible
Traditional marketing wisdom test with a small sample size then roll out those changes to larger and larger groups. This approach works fine when you’re dealing with small-scale marketing activities.
When you’re operating locations across the country and running different campaigns on different regions, the impact of a new data input can perform very differently in a limited test vs. at scale.
By rolling out your changes boldly to bigger audiences, you can learn quickly and not waste time in endless cycles of misleading results. Bigger tests mean shorter paths to a working solution that can serve the many needs of your business.
5. Learn and Adapt Quickly
Testing at scale means you need a clear and established system of iteration, and a good way to filter feedback that pushes you forward vs. the rabbit-holes of one-off changes that don’t justify the cost or effort.
Setting this system up early – when you’re running a few campaigns per year – can help you avoid scrambling to get a solution in place when you’re marketing at scale.
Identifying clear, organization-wide KPIs and long-term goals can help decide whether or not to take action on a particular piece of feedback. Plus, it can give you something to point to when you explain your decisions to your team.
Set Yourself Up for Scale
When you’re solely focused on the next campaign, planning for the next three or five years can sometimes feel too far out to justify shifting resources.
If you can identify the data inputs that would help make that next campaign more successful, you can begin to prioritize what technology to put in place – and what off-the-shelf replacements are needed to make that happen.
Working gradually, you can overhaul your organization’s Martech mix for a custom solution that can power a new era of data-driven marketing and unlock higher results.
Start small and test big, and you’ll see a shift in culture and a clear ROI.
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