Pulling together: centralising your marketing


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The Internet has given rise to a new dynamic where the buyer is in control. As a result, marketing teams need access to new skillsets. Get some clarity on what these are.

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Pulling together: centralising your marketing

  1. 1. Pulling together Centralising your marketing teams to increase marketing effectiveness
  2. 2. Introduction The problems of disparate data and discrete strategies Over recent years, many global enterprises have seen the need to centralise key marketing functions. This trend has coincided with increased specialism of marketing practitioners over the broadening array of functional elements, channels and activities. Historically, these organisations have had distinct functions within the marketing department, and therefore parameters, including Brand, PR, Advertising, Events, Products and Direct. Evolving platforms and potentials have led to the need for extra dimensions. Database Management, Email and Digital, Search, Social Media and Insight have appeared to cover off various requirements, some marketingorientated, some coming from a sales perspective, some more technical angle or IT-dependent, some a heady mix of all three. Share The digital environment has experienced the largest and most diverse growth, simply because it is the most fertile area where customer conversations are taking place. The challenges are around taking what has gone before and incorporating what is possible and practical today, looking to optimise those conversations and have the greatest influence, ultimately, on the buying decision. From an organisational and leadership perspective, the challenges are not that of better ROI and more sales opportunities. So, what are the biggest headaches inherent in the marketing process as we face it now? This book aims to explain the changing world of modern marketing, and explain the techniques and tools you will need to adapt to it. 2
  3. 3. Challenge 1 Self-generated, inconsistent goals The increasing fragmentation and diversification of channels, has led to the spectrum of activity that marketing is responsible for being broader than ever. As a result, teams grow more specialised. Fruitful integration becomes harder to manage as goals become unclear, data fractured and messaging potentially diluted. The ability to balance and prioritise resource, and communicate from a single perspective to individual prospects, which is a realistic possibility, becomes impractical and inefficient. Each function chases its own KPIs, with its own strategies and initiatives. Synergy is lost resulting in a loss of productivity, efficiency, performance and value. The whole is muddled by the sum of its parts. The solution: Clarify the big picture You commonly hear the phrase ‘Where do you want to go, and how will you get there?’ Here is a perfect fit for its use. This should be followed by ‘How will team and individual contribute towards this?’ Without clear direction, each silo will remain focused on its own agenda and goals, which cannot deliver optimal value in the long-term. Share By defining a single, common organisational goal and strategy, everyone knows where they stand, and can contribute on that basis. Each team will have its own specific lead measures, but the overall end goal will be known to all and the same to all. This includes clarity on an organisational blueprint, an overall demand generation strategy that they need to align to. 3
  4. 4. Challenge 2 Digital silos While this is a challenge to all functional and operational teams, digital teams are more prone to siloed behaviour. Traditional marketing functions have grown accustomed to integration and collaboration. The emergent nature of digital marketing and the technical skills involved have contributed to the disparity of new digital channels and roles. SEO, website, social media, online media and pay-per-click become necessary but difficult to control and co-ordinate. As challenge #1 highlights on a broader level, overall ownership of strategy can be difficult resulting in each digital silo putting its own strategy together in isolation. So a social media and community management team could be running a competition, the IT team could be conducting a keyword audit, while the PR agency have been focusing on media coverage to enhance authority but without keyword awareness or utility. At the same time a vertical team may be about to launch a paid search campaign in isolation and a regional team could be running a new product webinar. Integrating enterprise stakeholders becomes impossibly hard, but it has to be the goal. When activity happens in collaboration, enhancing the cross-pollination of activity, deeper audience engagement and value is the result. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. The solution: An integrated inbound marketing strategy Key to reducing the silo effect of specialist teams is having a definable, referenced inbound marketing strategy. With this in place, each team can act independently, but with the aim of contributing most effectively to overall direction and goal. This drives synergy but also empowers each team to own responsibility for its actions for the greater good of the enterprise and its balance sheet. Share 4
  5. 5. Challenge 3 Content quality With the rapid rise of the importance of content marketing, production management becomes essential. The solution: A content marketing framework and strategy The role of centralised teams has evolved to be a central spoke and hub of activity. Whilst historically activity could be seen as more production orientated, this has evolved to facilitate best practice, along with providing support and consultancy for other stakeholders. A key to overcoming the challenges of dispersed content production is to evolve the wider organisational culture, and to give individuals from broad backgrounds the support and guidance they need to carry out their content marketing activity. The priority should be to make tools available to all that maintain brand and encourage collaboration, along with a focus on educating and driving best practice throughout the business. Where possible, seek to standardise and simplify processes which help to minimise inconsistencies. There’s the need to manage dispersed production, coordination with required subject matter experts, regional development, languages and localisation, control over quality, skills shortages and culture change. And this isn’t an exhaustive list. Across business units, sectors, functions, departments and regions, it would seem to be too much for an individual, and unpractical for a team, to be expected to manage all communications and content creation whilst maintain consistency in brand, quality in output and value to its audience. Share 5
  6. 6. Challenge 4 Disparate data In the era of ‘big data’, organisations can access as much information as they need on their audience, and gather more as a part of the dialogue with this audience. However, many companies lack the people and the knowledge to analyse the data in the best way, more do not know how to use the insights gained on analysis, and many more do not have the time to do either. Even taking these challenges into consideration, the biggest problem remains that the data is held across a variety of systems, in a variety of formats, each one containing different fields or types of data. The solution: A unified marketing automation strategy In order to effectively deliver dynamic communications, with the right content and message at the right time, a marketing automation platform is key. This provides the infrastructure that unifies inputs and data points in a single, usable environment. In turn, this drives communication of the most relevant and timely information to your audience, dependent on where they are in the buying cycle. Share The result is an inability to be as relevant to their audience as they could be with the use of personalised, customised and triggered communications. Cut-through, engagement and relevance are undermined, and the power of targeted communications diluted. This is only compounded as a generic ‘batch’n’blast’ communications approach becomes the default that speaks to the largest proportion of prospects in the least personalised way. 6
  7. 7. Summary actions Hands-on, little and often. Historically, campaign strategy and implementation have been built on the perceived need and agreed solution by committee, usually a compromise, and inflexible implementation where the plan is executed irrespective of customer response or take-up. The plan is the plan and we do it this way because this is what’s been agreed – we don’t necessarily care what our customers think because we don’t think about what our customers need. It can all be so different. Of course there needs to be a plan in place, but how much more effectively is that plan implemented when we’re able to take a little-tweaking-butoften approach, grounded in tactical responses to specific, known customer needs. An open-minded strategy facilitates ongoing, personalised customer conversations based on where they are in the sales cycle, not on what our key messages are. Goals are common to the business irrespective of what area they come from – in terms of synergy, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Share Covering your customers’ needs, not your sales pitch aspirations. Shepherding data from diverse, disconnected sources. Content is key to enhanced customer relationships, but has to be grounded in the new truth, that customers define their product needs and expectations, and then seek out information, on their terms, to meet those needs. Your new product features that you’ve invested millions in developing? They’re irrelevant if they don’t sound like something your prospect could do with. And they won’t know that until they’ve searched the market themselves. You’re best strategy is to be there with the information they need when they need it, not trying to force yourself or your product story on them. Content, then, becomes fluid. Your bank of it, your ‘content cupboard’, will grow over time so that it is capable of supplying directions at appropriate points as prospects journey through the buying cycle. The tools and data used to communicate span a tangle of platforms including online, offline and social. Don’t forget that traditional media still has a bearing on where prospects are in their journey. So a conversation between a prospective customer and a member of your team at a trade event may well have registered more nods of approval and mental notes than any amount of targeted (poorly or not) email activity. How do you factor this into your customer journey? Having a central hub of data is becoming more of a reality. This key tool enables you to gather, manage, use and update customer insight whatever the platform they’ve used. Perhaps more crucial than having the data is being able to use it. Talented analysts will support the most efficient, cost-effective and impactful use of the information you have to target the right prospects, at the right time, with the right messaging as a part of a unified marketing automation strategy. 7
  8. 8. Resource Centre You may also enjoy reading: Download > Modern Marketing and Demand Generation Marketing Automation 101 Guide Download > Download > 10 Steps to Content Marketing Success Download > About Ledger Bennett DGA www.lbDGa.com Telephone: +44 (0)8458 383883 Email: info@LBDGA.com Milton Keynes: Ledger Bennett DGA Tungsten House, Warren Road Little Horwood, Milton Keynes MK17 0NR London: Share Ledger Bennett DGA 1st Floor Centric House 390-391 Strand, London WC2R 0LT We are a B2B Demand Generation agency that uses sales and marketing know-how to help customers increase revenue by deploying Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and Marketing Automation strategies. Our highly focused Demand Generation programmes drive our customers’ business performance, helping them to: n Generate more opportunity n Convert that opportunity into sales n Retain customers and grow their value Using more measurable and cost effective techniques than traditional full service marketing agencies we are able to maximise business revenue in the modern world where the internet has fundamentally changed the behaviour of the buyer.