With planned summer vacations, neighborhood barbecues and a slower work-related travel schedule, it’s easy to get caught in a little bit of a lull at the office this time of year. However, this mid-point when things are a bit less hectic is the perfect time to assess how the first six months of the year have gone and make the necessary adjustments to win the remainder of 2015.
With buyers’ sophistication growing daily, marketers everywhere are constantly required to up their game with smarter, more targeted campaigns. Below, I outline three ways to assess how you’ve done so far this year and tips for making improvements to make the next six months your most successful yet.
Pipelines aren’t limited to just B2B organizations anymore. In a world in which there are more paths to purchase than ever, and in which driving repeat business and increasing brand loyalty are becoming necessary for success, improving and understanding pipeline is vital regardless of company size or industry.
If you are a B2B marketer, take a look at how many companies and people you have in each stage of the buying cycle. Hand-pick a few individual cases (both good and not-so-good situations) to see which content they consumed in their journey, and the time it took to handoff the record to sales. Consider creating new pieces of content or providing an incentive to move folks down the funnel who might be “stuck.”
If you fall into the B2C category, take a look at metrics like lifetime customer revenue, purchase frequency and average time from opt-in to purchase. Also look into your abandoned shopping cart program to ensure it’s performing at its maximum efficiency. Additionally, examine the types of messages you’ve been sending. Are you constantly pushing the sale? Shift some of the focus from “deal of the day” to helpful tips or information that will engage your customers on a one-to-one level.
How engaged are your customers and prospective customers? It’s basically impossible to sell something to someone if they aren’t already engaged with your brand. So, it’s always a good idea to assess how you’re communicating with contacts.
The best place to start is email engagement, since this is tied most often to lead development and conversions. (Take a look at Silverpop’s 2015 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark to see how you stack up.) You’ll want to look at your highest and poorest performing messages, while also comparing things like unsubscribe rates to your industry peers. Once you’ve completed this analysis, you’ll be able to incorporate what’s working best – and avoid what isn’t—into your marketing mix.
Other engagement programs to consider are automated programs like reactivation campaigns or a multichannel program that includes SMS or push notifications.
Mobile & Social Marketing
Did you know that around 50 percent of emails are now opened on mobile devices (Litmus)? If you aren’t already aware of what percentage of your messages are being opened on a mobile device, you should make it a priority to get this information as soon as possible. Screens are getting both bigger – think iPhone 6 Plus – and smaller – think Apple Watch. Ensure all of your emails, landing pages, etc. are responsive to meet the needs of the multiple screen sizes out in the marketplace. Keep in mind that the design needs to be simple and easy to navigate.
It’s also a good time to consider if SMS or push notifications (if your organization has a mobile app) would be an appropriate and beneficial option. The mobile channel offers an additional avenue for you to reach your customers and prospects. Be sure to incorporate the actions they take on these devices into other marketing efforts, and vice-versa. The same thought applies to social media.
Social is now a place where many people are discovering new brands, chatting with connections about product options, and reaching out to companies with questions or support requests. And, it serves an increasingly larger role in brand awareness, lead generation and customer retention. If you aren’t interacting with people on social media who are mentioning or researching your brand, it’s time to put in listening processes in place. If you are doing this, consider using the various networks to acquire new email subscribers, including using the myriad advertising options available nowadays to engage and connect with customers and prospects that meet certain criteria.
Remember: Done thoroughly and thoughtfully across the department, your digital marketing assessment can be both a report card for how well you’re doing and a springboard for substantial improvement moving forward. I have confidence you can make the remaining months of 2015 your most successful yet!
I hope you find these tips helpful and that you feel prepared to take on a mid-year assessment. For more digital marketing assessment tips, including interactive worksheets and detailed how-tos, feel free to check out the Ultimate Guide to Assessing Your Digital Marketing Program. If you have any additional tips or feedback, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, @EllenValentine.
1) White paper: Ultimate Guide to Assessing Your Digital Marketing Program
2) Tip sheet: 10 Tips for Becoming an Agile Marketing Team
3) Blog: 3 Tips for Making Digital Marketing a Priority in Your Organization