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Rewiring marketing: a practice based approach


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Many marketing managers are not aware if they are leveraging marketing efforts correctly or getting the returns that they anticipated. Often people believe transforming marketing is all about creating some digital assets. Marketing transformation is not piece meal improvement. The primary purpose of a marketing transformation is to increase the ROI of marketing your company. In this white paper, Browne & Mohan consultants share a practice based approach to marketing transformation.

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Rewiring marketing: a practice based approach

  1. 1. Page 1 of 5 Rewiring marketing: a practice based approach Dr T R Madan Mohan* and Nupoor Sinha** *Dr TR Madan Mohan is Managing partner, Browne & Mohan, ** Nupoor Sinha, is Senior Assistant Consultant (Marketing and Strategy), Browne & Mohan. Images used are owned by respective copyright owners.
  2. 2. Page 2 of 5 Introduction Today, many businesses are taking a leap forward on adopting Facebook, Instagram, and also increasing investing in awards and events. However, their marketing departments are under pressure to quantity the outcomes and impacts. CEO are disenchanted with the marketing spend us it just seem to be good at making noise with no real impact on the customer base or pipeline. Companies spend a fortune on the conferences and events but the outcomes belie expectations. It is not surprising for many companies find 75% of the participants who attended their events came for free lunch. Corporate gifts, industry exhibitions cost a dime, and yet ineffective. Albeit companies continue to pursue many of these acts they are afraid to pause and question fundamentals. Studies across industry indicate: 1) 50% of marketing budget is totally wasted 2) Only 34% of feel their content marketing works 3) 25% had no marketing strategy 4) 44% had no alignment between various marketing media Many marketing managers are not aware if they are leveraging marketing efforts correctly or getting the returns that they anticipated. Some believe in only the physical networking events and other lean heavily on social media platforms. Common problem associated with marketing include:  What is the best marketing mix,  offline and online that would complement each other  How to leverage social media and analytics to support pipeline  How to make social media relevant to every department  How to build and monitor listening  How to leverage and involve customers and employees in planning and execution  How to maximize brand awareness and stickiness. Often people believe transforming marketing is all about creating some digital assets like Facebook or Linkedin or have couple of video’s on Youtube. While these are key tools to market your products and services, marketing transformation is not piece meal improvement. Rewiring marketing must lead to better understanding of customer and improve revenue by serving manifested and latent demands. Marketing transformation must lead to a unified, contextual rich, many-to-many content driven communication providing insight, platform to engage and identify opportunities for business to experiment. The primary purpose of a marketing transformation is to increase the ROI of marketing your company. AOI: practice based framework So how can companies ensure their marketing dollars are well spent and drive intended outcome. On the outset, it is important to realize marketing function serves three fundamental objectives: inform, influence and advocacy. Any marketing activity is to help consumers know about the brand, differentiate it from competition and seek higher revenues. Companies use various marketing assets to communicate to the interest group their unique existence, product/service offering set, pricing and other advantages. Companies use several approaches to drive influence. Celebrity endorsements, awards, directed online community influencer marketing is all effective mediums of influencing consumers. Advocacy is the process of harnessing experiences of several customers to power your campaigns and engagement strategies. Corporate ambassadors, MVP’s, campus warriors are different approaches companies use to create an authentic and human connection centric marketing to drive positive words of mouth. Rewiring marketing starts with a vision, what is that needs to be achieved. Setting a clearly defined scope and context is the key for marketing improvements. Goals, both short term and long term, how the activities at each stage and across groups are connected and lead to the next broader goals need explicit enunciation. Assessing current organizational capabilities, customer expectations and engagements (both internal and external) is critical to define value levers of marketing function improvements. It is neither desirable nor practical to completely overhaul systems and procedures to implement marketing function
  3. 3. Page 3 of 5 improvement program. While considering improvements think of a bimodal mode: one to sustain current operational requirement of the business and other that brings agility for future business requirement. Browne & Mohan consultants have derived a practices based 3 step methodology in order to shape a robust value creation strategy for our clients. This framework is time tested, empirically proven and offers results. With hierarchy of objectives and key results (OKR) model as the underlying framework, our marketing transformation approach is integrative, and paced well with the objectives of the company. The first step involves conducting a comprehensive “as-is process marketing maturity audit”. This helps to identify current marketing activities, underlying processes, gaps and scope for improvement. This encompasses evaluating the current service levels in two phases. One from an internal customer perspective, what is the expectation of these customers, how these are met, what is the organization, consistency of communication and content, communication quality and impact, etc. Second, is from external customer perspective, mix of marketing assets used, marketing communication strategies used, content & knowledge management approaches, etc. The second phase is optimization of the marketing function. What works best is when companies know how to mesh mash both physical and online assets and the assets within each category. One strategy that could be effectively followed is to have a quarter-wise marketing plan aligned to sales expectations. Then follow up a “embellish” strategy where in the messaging starts from basic assets and progresses to high scale assets. The advantage of this is that content development and curate can happen in stages and stronger stories and messaging merge. When planning for marketing, consider the complete assets at your disposal and build a embellish strategy that improves reach and richness of marketing communication complementing sales. Different marketing assets serve different purpose and effective at different stages of sales cycle. Assets such as breakfast meeting facilitates more personalized one on one discussion that may be more effective in later stages of sales cycle. On the other hand, assets like newsletter or blog may be more useful in the early stages of sales cycle. Marketing assets also vary by their cost and impact. Some of these cost a dime and more effective to lock-in, while some may be low cost approaches to increase reach only. Create awareness through push marketing techniques including e-mails, newsletters, social media advertising, physical advertising mediums including events, conferences etc. Ensure website has enough call to action appeal and open contact channels. From a sales side, once the consumer expresses his/her interest we should feed information to evaluate our services/products. Purchase decision require high impacting demos, product demonstration, virtual try-on’s and one-on-one walk through. Post purchase
  4. 4. Page 4 of 5 requires marketing channels to receive customer feedback, strengthening relationships and use this opportunity to cross-sell/ offer additional services/getting recommendations/references. It is important to realize sales motions differ across segments within a company. Segments vary on the “value” of purchase and sales may have different approaches to interact and influence customers. Order qualifying criteria may not be just enough in that segment. Marketing must be able to push the company over to order winning plateau. Marketing platforms must facilitate experience sharing and credibility reinforcing cures for direct sales to influence and close deals. Thought leadership vehicles including standards, industry frameworks and innovation ideas fly well in face to face meetings with the customers. Breakfast meetings, Industry association, standard setting bodies, and Knowledge sharing conferences serve as valuable platforms for direct sales to position the company at state of art knowledge. These platforms allow discussions to be personalized and centred on solving the problems the clients face, hence meeting service immediacy. On the other hand, a low value low engagement segment may need a consistent and continuous campaign policy. Mail them a newsletter, case studies and customer wins to increase awareness about your brand. Marketing transformation execution, the third stage requires deployment of company-wide process and system changes with common objectives and measures for both business and functional outcome. Define a clear roll out plan is defined with key change owners at every level, milestones and time frames. A continuous review mechanism with appropriate incentives for driving change at all levels is required, think of some gamification to involve content contribution from insiders and customers too. The end goal would be to continuously assess and refine at all levels. Measuring marketing efforts in terms of the outputs, outcomes and impact is crucial to marketing transformation. Most often companies measure the outputs of marketing team which may be in the form of number of blogs/ Facebook posts/ Awards etc. However, we ignore the value this output in terms of its quality and longevity. Companies can realize better return on investments in their sales and marketing when these functions are congruent and well-coordinated. Congruency can be gained by ensuring same goals drive their quarterly activities, common goals entwine both functions at various levels and incentives encourage them to support each other. Coordination improves when event plans, promos, content marketing and other assets are aligned with sales motions. Awarenesss Interest EvaluatePurchase Post Purchase 1. E-Mails 2. Newsletters 3. Social media 4. Events, conferences 1. Website 2. Email 1. Expertise- Blogs, White Papers, Case Studies 2. Experience- Number of Customers, Number of Reviews 3. Credibility- Awards, Analyst Reports 1. Product Demonstrations 2. One on one walkthroughs 1. Customer Feedback 2. Strengthen Relationship 3. Offer Additional Services
  5. 5. Page 5 of 5 What must you remember when rewiring Marketing Our marketing improvement programs experience has taught us few do’s which are presented below. Do’s  Planning is key to marketing success, plan well and execute faster Have a 2quarter marketing plan aligned to sales to define broad directions  Run a fortnightly marketing sprint to ensure productivity is high  Tinker monthly plans and activities to meet current requirements  Not all marketing assets may work, do not invest time in fad, prioritize  Consistency is key, stick to day of the week and hour of the day plan for FB or even Instagram  Smart extension and reuse is a must  Do not be limited by outputs of your team, enlarge partners across the organization & outside  Interns and freelancers bring a lot of value, if they could be directed well  Content Marketing improvement that deepens end customer visibility has high payoff  Create process, product and change owners at all levels  Top management team has to consistently create the sense of urgency  Keep challenging the assumptions, ask for data,  Improvements can be obtained through outsourcing that yields quick & significant impact, but direction and control are key to quality of outcomes  Hold weekly reviews with the partners  Experiment often, reuse often  Look at both organic and inorganic analytics about customers.  Improvisation is a continuous process and sometimes it is necessary to tweak certain areas after the implementation has been done. Bibliography Adele Sweetwood, The Analytical Marketer: How to Transform Your Marketing Organization, SAS Institute, 2016. Amy Gallo, Refresher on Marketing ROI, Harvard Business Review, July 2017 James D Lenskold, Marketing ROI, American Marketing Association, 2004. John Doerr, Measuring what matters, Penguin, 2018 Rossi Patricia and Krey Nina (Eds), Marketing Transformation: Marketing Practice in an Ever changing World, Proceedings of the 2017 Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, 2018. Scott Brinker, Hacking Marketing: Agile Practices to Make Marketing Smarter, Faster, and More Innovative, Wiley, 2016 Browne & Mohan insights are for information and knowledge update purpose only. Neither Browne & Mohan nor its affiliates, officers, directors, employees, owners, representatives nor any of its data or content providers shall be liable for any errors or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Open Universities and other academic institutions may use the content but with prior approval of Browne & Mohan. © Browne & Mohan 2018. All rights reserved Printed in India