As 2018 comes to a close, marketing teams are focused on executing year-end campaigns to achieve a strong finish for Q4. At the same time, they’re looking toward 2019 and making plans to ensure their campaigns deliver value quickly in the new year. Before they can make projections, marketers must engage in retrospection to see what worked and what didn’t.
A full accounting of past results is a requirement for data-driven marketing. Other prerequisites for success include cooperation between sales and marketing at every level, a single source of data truth, and a common understanding of the purpose of different types of campaigns. Here are five tips on planning that can help marketing drive the revenue train in 2019:
1. Look beyond the most recent performance data:
One pitfall for marketers is the recency effect — the tendency to consider only the most recent campaigns in planning efforts because the lessons learned are still top of mind. But to achieve a truly data-driven marketing strategy, it’s necessary to take a deeper dive.
When marketing and sales share a single source of data truth, with marketing not only pulling data from the CRM system but also pushing data from martech solutions into the CRM system, it’s possible to take a holistic view of campaign performance data over time, and to generate numbers that everyone trusts. That helps marketers be more data-driven in their approach.
2. Avoid the halo effect:
It’s a great feeling when a campaign succeeds in generating demand, and it’s tempting to see programs that are a big hit with sales as a model for future success. Good performance management technology allows marketers to attribute revenue to campaigns, using funnel metrics to make sound decisions on future marketing spend.
But at the same time, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that not all campaigns are designed to pump up the pipeline. Leads at the top of the funnel have to be nurtured to build awareness and generate revenue downstream. So, when planning for 2019, make sure everyone on the team (including sales colleagues) understands the value of each type of program.
3. Make sure marketing and sales are on the same page:
In addition to coming to a mutual understanding about the purpose of different types of marketing campaigns, it’s advisable to ensure that sales and marketing colleagues speak the same language and have a common understanding about each other’s roles.
Performance management software that accurately attributes revenue to marketing campaigns in a jointly used system for reporting and data like Salesforce is a must. It makes it easier for marketing and sales to establish and build on service level agreements, draw the same conclusions from reports, etc.
4. Foster collaboration between marketing and sales executives:
Teamwork between sales and marketing at the operations level is essential. With access to a single source of data truth and common reporting tools in the CRM system, sales and marketing colleagues can work together closely on handoffs, assessing campaign success, etc.
But true alignment between the two teams requires buy-in from the top. The marketing and sales team leaders should work together on yearly planning, reviewing regional objectives and other relevant factors. When sales and marketing executives collaborate, it sets the tone for improved collaboration and teamwork across both departments.
5. Ensure your data supports your ABM strategy:
An Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy can significantly improve conversion rates. That’s why ABM programs are at the top of many marketing executives’ to-do list for 2019. But unless you have lead-to-account matching technology, an ABM approach can consume a lot of resources to match leads to accounts.
Using a CRM system like Salesforce is essential so that it can function as the master record for leads, contacts and accounts. But for maximum efficiency, an account-matching technology like Full Circle’s Matchmaker is needed because it takes the manual work out of the equation and allows both teams to see rapid results after implementation.
In the coming year, marketers should keep their capacity to generate value in mind. When planning for 2019, know who drives the revenue train, stay focused on the data, use the right technology, and keep cultivating cooperative relationships with the sales team. That will ensure success in 2019 and beyond.