Top 3 Ways to Future-Proof Your Marketing Job
- AUTHOR Bonnie Crater
- March 16, 2017
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Bonnie Crater, CEO of Full Circle Insights, believes that while humans possess creative capabilities that make them an indispensable part of the marketing industry, they still must keep up with data advancements to stay competitive in the field. Marketers can use data to enhance their performance in 3 ways—first on the list is shifting strategy based on key performance indicators, to maximize ROI
Even new marketers who have been in the business for a relatively short time might have whiplash from all the recent changes in their profession. While the rapid evolution of digital marketing tools offers new platforms to showcase great creative and effective messaging, this new world now requires a data-driven approach that many marketing teams have embraced in theory but haven’t yet fully realized in practice.
In an increasingly data-centric economy, too many marketers are still struggling to accurately attribute their contributions to revenue gains. Too many are still focused on clicks and lead counts rather than metrics that more accurately demonstrate their place in the company’s value creation chain. The good news is there are steps you can take to future-proof your role in a transformed industry. Here’s how:
1. Closely align marketing initiatives with sales team activities:
The marketplace has fundamentally changed over the last decade, and marketing and sales need to evolve their roles to meet new challenges. It’s no longer enough for marketing to focus solely on generating leads; the purchasing journey now involves more people and typically progresses much further along the continuum before sales gets involved. That means marketing needs to connect its metrics to the sales teams’ and build revenue projections into its planning process, linking budgets with goals.
2. Relentlessly measure progress and evaluate processes:
Marketing must find a way to measure progress against goals using data that is credible with everyone, including the sales team and the executive suite. Marketers need to identify what works and what doesn’t from a revenue generation perspective, evaluating campaign performance with an eye toward continuously optimizing spend. They must identify where breakdowns between marketing and sales processes occur, paying close attention to the handoff stage, where too many opportunities are still lost.
3. Add CRM to the marketing technology solutions stack:
Cloud-based CRM solutions like Salesforce power sales initiatives nationwide, providing a platform to manage relationships, collect and process data and report revenue. Marketing technology solutions on Salesforce are gaining greater market share, enabling marketing teams to create a single source of data that is credible with sales and executive teams. Marketing professionals who are serious about aligning with sales must now embrace CRM as a core component of the marketing technology solutions stack beyond simple integration of a marketing automation platform.
The common theme across all three future-proofing measures is a closer alignment between marketing and sales. Marketing and sales colleagues should be collaborating directly to more effectively confront a transformed marketplace. They’ll need to speak in the same terms on data and revenue matters and address any breakdowns or performance gaps together.
And closer cooperation will require use of a common technology stack. This may have presented a significant challenge even a few years ago, but new tools like native Salesforce apps built specifically for marketing make integrating marketing and sales activities much easier today. The only remaining hurdle is an ingrained tendency for marketing to consider CRM a “sales thing” when in fact it is now much more.
As a marketer, preparing today for the marketing challenges of tomorrow makes sense, which is why marketers have embraced the possibilities of digital platforms and data-driven strategies. But truly future-proofing marketing’s role requires another step — staking out marketing’s rightful place on the value creation chain. That requires using technology to demonstrate value, and in metrics sales can respect.