Marketing effectiveness continues to become an increased need in businesses as the cost of sales increases and customers’ buyer behaviour changes.
The days of cold calling are limited, and marketing is required to extend its performance to more than just branding and communication materials. It must generate leads and the right type of leads to support the sales effort.
Marketing can carry an excessive cost to a business with little to no return being achieved. It is an area in which many people believe they have competence in doing tasks as they relate to pictures and content being its primary function. Without fully understanding the capability required and the contribution marketing can and should make to any company. Many marketing departments are dysfunctional in the development and delivery of strategy and implementing campaigns and tactics that contribute to business growth.
Furthermore, they are unhinged from sales, creating a chasm of lost opportunity and escalating costs. With a lack of leadership in this area of the business, it is important to recruit marketing professionals who understand metrics. Marketing has developed into a highly specialised skill area of businesses, and finding the right marketing professionals for a business can be a game-changer.
The shift to digital marketing has placed further complexity on how marketing departments should operate. No longer is just brand awareness and events going to cut it. Today, marketing must be fully complicit with inbound marketing strategies, search engine optimisation, social media, content marketing, and other online tactics.
Marketing efforts are now measured through conversion rates on lead generation, cost per lead, and sales pipeline contribution. Measuring marketing effectiveness is more transparent, with bounce rates and land page performance easily measured in Google Analytics. They have a set of key performance indicators – KPIs to deliver, much like a sales department.
Companies are now looking to re-engineer their marketing departments, and CEOs ask the questions:
- Should we be achieving better results from our marketing?
- How well is marketing aligned with our sales activities and requirements?
- Where can we improve our marketing performance cost-effectively?
- What business-level strategy should we employ?
- Should we outsource talent to assist in lead generation?
To assist in answering those questions and improving your understanding of marketing practices today, the following will provide some insights for you.
What is marketing effectiveness?
Marketing effectiveness is the quality of how marketers take your strategy to market and connect with the right target audience consistently. The goal of optimising customer spending is to achieve good results for both the short-term and long-term while building brand value and equity.
It is also related to Return on Marketing Investment. Marketing effectiveness is quintessential to marketing, going so far as to say, “It’s not marketing if it’s not measured”.
The factors driving marketing effectiveness are:
- Business Strategy: Understanding the strategic vision of the company, the goals, and year-to-year requirements for growth.
- Sales Strategy: Understanding the customer profile, target market, target customer, and spending requirements to ensure all marketing is aligned with company strategy.
- Marketing Strategy: Improving marketing effectiveness can be achieved by employing a superior marketing strategy that connects to the business and sales strategy. By positioning the product or brand correctly, the product/brand will be more successful in the market than competitors. A strategy that attracts and retains the right customer profile. A strategy for building brand value and equity.
- Marketing Execution: A strategy without measured execution is considered useless. How marketers go to market, and the channels they select can achieve significantly greater results when aligned correctly. With high-quality communication plans utilising the right mix of communications tactics to meet the new buyer behaviours and connect with the target audience, the efficiencies of marketing are established. At the tactics level, marketers can improve their effectiveness by managing and executing each of their marketing campaigns better. Examples would be improving electronic direct mail through a better call-to-action or editing website content to improve its organic search results, marketers can improve their marketing effectiveness for each type of tactic.
- Marketing Infrastructure: Improving the business of marketing can lead to significant gains for the company. The utilisation of highly developed marketing automation tools and customised Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software allows companies to develop highly customised and targeted communications that resonate with target audiences. There are many tools available to marketers to meet the demands of the highly connected world they now operate.
- Marketing Alignment to Sales: Marketing actions must be aligned with the sales plan with a focus on lead generation. Contributing the right communications and content that will support the sales plan. Continual feedback and measurement of the performance of sales with marketing leads are important parts of the marketing effectiveness measurement.
- Marketing Capital: Also known as marketing personnel. The effectiveness of marketing is directly impacted by the quality of personnel within the marketing team and their level of experience and acumen within the various marketing functions. With the diverse skills now required to support digital marketing efforts, the days of the generalist are well over. If companies are unable to afford a complete team of highly skilled and disciplined individuals, then outsourcing some elements, or the whole, of digital marketing is a growing trend.
- Marketing Measurement: If it’s not measured, it’s not effective. Marketing must be measured for return on investment (ROI). It must be understood for its complimentary value to that ROI.
Marketing effectiveness is an important step in the life cycle of any company as it is often a major contributor to the connection between strategy and execution. While some marketing managers conduct a limited internal review, for many, it can be the first time the marketing team has been independently and fully reviewed.
To aid the process, you can organise a sales improvement review. The review will answer all the questions in relation to sales performance, marketing effectiveness, and alignment with sales.
Please review our services, and contact us to discuss your specific requirements.
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