Marketing effectiveness requirements

Marketing effectiveness means being there in the moment.

Marketing effectiveness requires a vision, a plan and focus

One critical area to focus your time and resources on is your marketing effectiveness. This simply means accomplishing your overall objectives in the quickest possible time and at the least cost. But first understand your ‘why’,  http://goo.gl/JmXFUw. Why are you marketing and how will it help you achieve your vision?

The proportion of businesses and not-for-profits who are lacking marketing effectiveness is too high. Many can’t see how to improve their situation. They are likely headed into oblivion if they don’t adjust to the new marketing environment. The new environment is driven by the cloud, content marketing, mobility, social media, big data and analytics.

Marketing effectiveness comes about by measuring how effective a business develops its marketing objectives, strategies and actions. Meeting goals and maximising spending to achieve positive results is critical. People are now under more pressure than ever to deliver results that can be tangibly measured. Today marketing is expected to fill the sales pipeline. It is also important to be able to demonstrate marketing efforts are having a clear impact on profitable growth.

Causes of poor marketing effectiveness

Running a business can be tough, as you can’t always be focusing on your marketing. It’s when many of the issues tend to crop up. If you aren’t happy with your marketing results, there’s a good chance you have some of the common problems listed below. The good news is that there are some simple ways you can start to improve your marketing effectiveness. Identifying the causes of poor marketing is a good first step.

Personal things

  • Your values are ignored because they are not congruent with those of customers.
  • Not focusing on real issues because your focus is more about your issues than the problems, frustrations, wants and needs of your customers.
  • What people think of you and your organisation is important so try being more practical, reliable, useful and helpful.
  • The focus is on short-term results and you do this when customers are looking for lasting relationships, not instant gratification.
  • You keep having the same old conversations while new conversations can lead to a better performance.
  • Being impatient for profit so instead of creating activities for long-term success, you focus on short-term profit.

Business things

The killer one is, spending too much time chasing sales instead of building relationships because building relationships should lead to new opportunities. And if you build trust, sales will flow more easily.

  • Your customer experience is poor. Customers need to have positive experiences at all touch points.
  • Insufficient resources are devoted to marketing because you haven’t prioritised your spending.
  • Adjusting your marketing to the new global environment is critical.
  • Your website is not easy to find so to be effective your website must be easily found.
  • Your social media must be consistent and relevant to your target audience since being erratic doesn’t work well.
  • Target audiences are too broad. You are not segmenting your market, or focusing on servicing a niche.
  • Your product and service range is too small. You are casting a wide net with ‘one size fits all’.
  • The market is bored because you are offering the same old products delivered in the same old way with no innovation.
  • Your business is not differentiated therefore your marketing and material are little different to your competitors.
  • Thinking past experience will work in the new marketing environment so it’s okay to keep using the same old strategies.
  • Your marketing has the wrong focus because it’s more about you and your business than your customers.
  • You aren’t creating marketing objectives, strategies and actions that actually work because of poor input into the planning process.

How will your marketing effectiveness meet your aspirations? It is important to have clarity in your objectives. This will focus all that is required to improve your marketing effectiveness. What will success actually mean to you and your stakeholders? Everyone in the organisation needs to be involved in marketing in one way or another. It must be a team effort.

Important objectives need to be addressing the following issues

Market segmentation.  Defining your customer base so you are focusing on the customers you seek to serve.
Customer-orientated marketing materials and content. Your messages must be relevant to your customers because they are the buyers.
The customer experience. Pay close attention to the experiences your customers have with your business or they will seek better experiences elsewhere.
Demand and lead generation. Furthermore, your website lead-pages, social media, blogs, referrals, events, follow-up and promotions must be in alignment.
Marketing tools. Contact relationship management (CRM), metrics and analytics are important since you want to have better control of your marketing.
Training your people. Training on your product, sales and marketing, company policies, competitive activities and about the market can make all the difference.

If your marketing is not delivering the results you want, then revisit your objectives, the strategies and the actions you are taking. If objectives, strategies and actions are wrong, you will only achieve mediocre results. Wrong inputs equal wrong outputs. Often it’s not the content that’s the problem but rather the messaging in the content. The messaging is focused mostly on your business interests, what your product does and how it works. Instead, it should be focused on the why and how your business and its products help your customers achieve their objectives. To improve marketing effectiveness always ensure you are focused on the customer, it’s not all about you.

Ways you can address your marketing effectiveness

The accelerating pace of change in the global marketplace is driven by technology and communications. This has caused many changes in traditional customer behaviours. It has meant that profitable growth and even survival depends heavily on making changes to marketing methods. A good start is to create more meaningful and effective objectives, strategies and actions.

People, systems, processes using technology equals increased capacity to adjust marketing effectiveness to the new marketing environment. The only thing you can be sure of is that change will continue. Your ability and capacity to keep up will be critical. Businesses that will succeed into the future will become more customer centric. A stronger appetite for change and a better understanding of modern marketing will be required in order to adapt to feedback and measurement.

Improve your marketing effectiveness with some of these practical ways

  • Improve your fundamental knowledge of customers problems, frustrations, wants and needs.
  • Upgrade your business model because it is important to allocate sufficient marketing resources towards better customer relationships.
  • Advance your marketing planning and execution efforts because wrong strategies and actions lead to the wrong outcomes.
  • Understand your customer’s persona so you know exactly who you are dealing with.
  • Expand innovation and continuous improvement of products, services and marketing methods so you can stay ahead of the competition.
  • Focus on content marketing so you can improve customer communication and experience.
  • Ensure there is good follow-up and reporting because you don’t want good customers falling between the cracks.
  • Utilise important metrics and make use of analytical tools so you can stay on top of your marketing efforts.
  • Create a clear differentiation in what you are offering and your competitive advantage so you can stay ahead of competitors.
  • Investigate information technology tools and platforms because without good information and knowledge you risk falling behind.
  • Understand the real value of social media so you can improve its effectiveness for your business.
  • Ensure appropriate messaging requirements for each of your market segments because each segment will have different requirements.
  • Implement a product and service development processes so you products and services remain fresh and in demand.
  • Change your conversations with your customers and about marketing because they have the right answers if you have the right questions.
  • Improve your customer experiences both online and offline so they keep coming back for more.

Refocus your priorities, don’t become too engrossed with internal issues

  • Improve the mobility of your employees because that is what good employees will be looking for.
  • Utilise technology so you can  personalise your marketing materials.
  • Upgrade your creative, including logos, images and photographs so your business doesn’t look ‘tired’ or ‘old hat’.
  • Implement training programs so you continually improve business and marketing knowledge.
  • Consider utilising ‘big data’ so you can adjust your information and knowledge flow to better suit you and your customers.
  • Align all business activities focused on your vision and key objectives since you don’t want to be an aimless business.
  • Create useful and interesting content so that you stand out above your competitors.

In the last couple of years, content marketing has moved from experimental to operational

However, you may need to make it abundantly clear to everyone involved in content marketing what success will look like. This includes documenting how content will be written and distributed. You will want to keep everyone on the same page and clearly focused on the customer’s problems, frustrations, wants and needs.

If you want to build an audience, your content needs to be different than what competitors are providing. One reason content marketing fails is that it lacks a point of view. It is not relevant and useful to the target market. It sounds the same as everyone else or, there is nothing new. You must differentiate your content if your content marketing is to improve your marketing effectiveness. Through the use of content marketing, you can set your business apart from your competitors. It can also develop trust and credibility with your online communities.

As a start look at your current positioning and branding. Ensure it’s different than what anyone else is offering. Make sure it is reliable, practical, useful and helpful. Your positioning and branding should be the basis of your content marketing mission statement. More than anything, businesses want to engage with their customers. One of the disadvantages of traditional marketing was the one-way aspect of the conversation. Actual sales were the only measurement to see if an engagement was really happening. With content marketing, you can have a two-way conversation with your customers and use various tools to measure engagement.

Watching customers interact makes social media and content marketing exciting

Effective marketing is thinking about your target audience’s problems, frustrations, wants and needs first. If you’re not getting the results you want, you can quickly change track without a major investment of production and printing costs along with additional ad space.

Content is ‘King’, social media is ‘Queen’ and together they rule the customer world of the modern marketplace. With this in mind, content audits need to be higher on your priority list of things to do. If you are looking for ways to improve the way you do business? Content audits help to produce better content and could well be your answer. You don’t have to keep inventing something new in order grow your business. It might only be a matter of improving what you already have in the way of content.

Content audits help you to evaluate your content and the effectiveness of its use. It helps you to evaluate the performance of your efforts. You don’t have to be a trailblazer, you just need to do it better than your competitors. You begin by conducting content audits on various aspects of your business. Your content should focus your messages on whatever channel your potential customers use, (website, social media blogs, seminars, newsletters, etc). The consistency reminds customers why they have been dealing with you and helps to provide a more seamless customer experience.

You may be struggling with the fact that there are so many others involved in content marketing. However, none of them can tell your story because your story is yours and it is unique. Your unique content is the very thing that will set you apart from the rest. So it needs to be identified and used well. Content audits offer an excellent focus, read more, http://goo.gl/yKSPzP.

Marketing effectiveness requires creativity and innovation

Content Marketing has significant value in improving your marketing effectiveness, allowing for considerable creativity and innovation. The content you create and distribute on the Internet has a much longer shelf-life at a lower cost than any traditional campaigns you may run. Each piece of content you create can add to the total pool of content that represents your brand and works to get your customers continually engaging with you.

As your assortment of content grows larger and aligned with your market segments, you will notice increases in online traffic and engagement. A bigger collection of reliable, practical and useful information attracts more interest. The increasing body of work also lends itself to more creativity and innovation as ideas interact with each other.

Use your ‘daily journal’ to look at how you might address the following

Keep in mind that on the one hand, you might miss legitimate opportunities to “change the game” but, on the other, you might be wasting money on new technologies that are unproven. However, innovation is usually worth the risks involved and may even ensure your survival.

  • Connections to customers and potential buyers.
  • Engagement so as to ensure a good customer experience.
  • Maximising you networks and word-of-mouth referrals so others are helping you with the ‘heavy lifting’.
  • The timeliness of delivery of what you have to offer because you don’t want unhappy and frustrated customers.
  • Responsiveness to customer problems, frustrations, wants and needs since you want to improve your performance.
  • Systems and processes you might use so you can enhance trust and satisfaction.
  • Information technology and communications you might use so you improve your creativity and innovation.
  • How to help the customers to achieve quicker and better results because if you give them better results they will return the favour.
  • Reducing the risks a customer might experience because you want them to be successful too.

Applying your creativity and innovation to areas like these provides you with more scope. Connect with and grow your customer’s business while offering a more personal approach to doing business. Promote your unique expertise and become a valuable resource to people looking for guidance and support. Understanding marketing innovation is key if you want to maintain your competitive advantage.

Today’s buyers are tired of being interrupted with one-size-fits-all messages. The Internet empowers buyers to search for and consume information that is valuable and relevant, enabling them to ignore the meaningless messages bombarding them at every turn. By embracing creativity and innovation in your content marketing efforts, you can deliver ever improving practical ways of providing customer service.

Use the right metrics to improve marketing effectiveness

Even when businesses say they have clarity around their marketing effectiveness and success, their definition is often fuzzy. Alignment of your marketing with your strategic objectives. A better customer experience and a stronger call to action can make a huge difference. While you might have electrifying goals if they are not quantifiable how do you know if and when you will achieve them?

Effectiveness and success should mean the same thing to everyone on your team? It is particularly important to ensure that everyone measures (or can measure) what they manage.

using-the-right-metrics

Aim to choose and use the right metrics that can make a difference for your organisation.

 

Research shows that many businesses are relying on low-level indicators such as social shares and web traffic. These are not bad metrics, but they aren’t necessarily helping you to move forward at the pace you would like.

What to measure and when you measure

Make the measurement of your marketing effectiveness a priority. Measurement processes are constantly evolving and it definitely takes the time to track. Analyse and report on performance, you will find it well worth the effort. You will, at some point come to realise just how important measurement is to be successful on a consistent basis.

The metrics you track over time will likely change. Evaluate your list of metrics regularly and ensure you’re capturing the data that will best address key business and marketing objectives. You should also think about how you can automate data collection with reports, surveys and dashboards. Only collect data you want to use and have the ability to take action on. Use metrics and KPIs to measure the planned outcomes in your Business Plan. You may also want to measure key aspects of your Business Model and Budgets.

What are your core metrics

It’s true that different businesses consider marketing programs successful for different reasons. But there are a few core metrics that most organisations assess and value when it comes to determining the impact of their marketing programs. Most organisations first measure things relating to emails and online activities such as:

  • Email opens: How many recipients of an email campaign actually opened the email so you can improve what you send?
  • Click through rate: What percentage of those who opened the email actually clicked a link or button to take advantage of the offer?
  • Form conversion rate: What percentage of those who clicked through actually finished the process by completing a form?

Tracking your marketing effectiveness

Tracking marketing effectiveness by these measures helps to determine whether your campaigns have been successful. Are they compelling prospects to take the desired action. You can then fine-tune your strategies to help generate more profitable revenue. None of the above metrics offers a view on how your marketing campaigns impact revenue. That’s why you may need an even higher level of analysis as you grow.

To truly understand the effectiveness of any marketing campaign, you must be able to track everything that happens. Closed loop marketing is the practice of analysing the entire chain of events that influenced a prospect to purchase and use a product. Examine the impact a specific campaign may have on your revenue and profit.

Track all campaigns that influenced a successful outcome. You can acknowledge each activity for its share of the revenue generated. You can even determine the marketing ROI of specific programs. Create visibility into where your leads end up in the sales funnel. Tie your campaigns to specific individuals so they’ll know when a transaction has been completed.

Getting started on measurement

Measurement can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. Don’t measure simply for the sake of having some numbers to present to your stakeholders. If you aren’t certain what you should be measuring, ask yourself these two questions:

  • Does these metrics support my key objectives?
  • Can I take action on these metrics?
  • Will they provide me insight into how I can improve my marketing effectiveness?

Unless you can answer “yes” to the questions above, you probably don’t need to be collecting data. It will probably be a waste of resources. Start by deciding on the importance and how frequently you’ll collect your data.

Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track performance

A good schedule to start with is measuring marketing effectiveness on a monthly basis, is important. Watch your KPIs make sure monthly goals stay on track. Create a spreadsheet that documents and tracks the following along with assigned responsibility.

  • Establish your marketing objectives in order of priority. Make this the time to have everyone on the same page.
  • Set key performance indicators (KPIs) – use to measure marketing effectiveness along with performance.
  • Have a plan for gathering performance information and who will be responsible.

Quotable quotes

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things”. Peter Drucker

“There’s a fundamental distinction between strategy and operational effectiveness”. Michael Porter

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