As marketers, we are used to huge expectations, tight deadlines, and high pressure. But now that marketing has gained a seat at the revenue table, marketers are now tasked with goals much more visible to the entire company such as growing revenue. In fact, in a recent survey we did with over 80 executives at the Marketing Nation Summit, this year, 58% said driving revenue growth was a top priority. Yes, it’s great we are finally proving the impact of marketing (we are no longer seen as a cost-center!) to the rest of the company—but it also comes with a huge amount of pressure to keep up, especially when the digital world is changing constantly. In the same survey with executives, 65% said that growing revenue was their top challenge for this year. While growing revenue is a top priority—it is also a top challenge.
So where do all these changes come from? It always comes back to the customer. The customer is always right—right? Customers’ expectations are constantly shifting, which makes it extremely tough to be a marketer—trying to follow them on their journey to buy your product. For example, if I think about myself as a consumer, I have recently been targeted (very well, I might add) on Instagram for all types of products and I’ve even purchased some items via their new ‘Shop Now’ feature. How many companies have a team or even a single employee focused on this new technology? Not many, probably. It takes time for companies to shift and learn new technologies or techniques, while it only takes a consumer a split second to change their journey and process to purchase. So just as customers are changing their buying and researching habits, we need to as well!
So as marketers, what’s the key to keeping up with our audience’s needs while growing revenue at an exponential rate? Here are three strategies:
1. Hire The Right Talent
Hiring a team of agile, adaptable marketers, rather than subject matter experts will pay off in the end. Peter Horst, former CMO at Hershey’s, mentioned in his recent session at Marketing Nation Summit, “functional lines are starting to get blurred” and more work is becoming agile and real-time based on our consumer’s needs. Just as consumers needs are changing, so are the types of marketing they expect. Today’s marketers need to be focusing on hiring people who can change roles based on the customer needs. If Instagram is the big thing now, it probably won’t be forever—we need to adapt, and so does our hiring.
2. Stop Vying For Attention From Your Audience, Start Giving It
How many times have you signed up for an email subscription and the first email you get is a ‘want to buy our product’ email? If you’ve already gained the attention of your audience by getting them to interact with an ad, bringing them to your website, etc.., it’s now time for you to start giving your attention to your audience. Listen to what their needs might be and adapt your message. Gerry McGovern, the founder of Customer Carewords, states that only 9% of buyer’s trust vendors’ websites. And because of that lack of trust, it is getting close to impossible to effectively engage with your buyer online. So, what is it that they want? Timely, personalized, and unique information that fits their needs.
3. Fix That Age-Old Data Problem You Have:
As we make our campaigns and programs more personal and relevant to our audience—the effectiveness will only be as good as the data we have. If you’re running a campaign to target senior level marketers within a specific industry and you have dirty data—the messaging you worked so hard on, to speak to that audience, will now flop. If clean data hasn’t been a priority for you in the past, it’s never been more important to make it one! During our the same executive survey mentioned above, almost 50% of executives said improving data and analytics is another top priority—so let’s join forces and clean up that data!
And those are just the top places to start! What do you have to add to the list? I’d love to hear more in the comments below.
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