Recently we’ve been focusing on the need of a global branding strategy and how, even during a period of crisis, long-term planning is key for your marketing success. But while a brilliant strategy is crucial to put you on the global market, you need solid execution to stay there. That’s when marketing operations comes into play.
Marketing operations include the people, processes, and technology that make your marketing work. Basically, it’s everything that happens after your strategy has been built and your budget has been decided. And in a time when organizations worldwide face uncertainty and look for ways to stretch their marketing budgets, rethinking the way you see your marketing operations is more important than ever.
If you feel there is a gap between your marketing strategy and your results, here are five tips to close that gap and maximize your marketing operations.
Don’t break down silos, but connect them
Executing your global marketing strategy cannot be a responsibility of marketing alone. Cross-functional, cross-departmental communication is key for marketing success.
While silos of any type (data, content, knowledge, technology) are the biggest enemy of marketing operations, they’re also inevitable in today’s complex organizations to ensure each functional group performs. The real problem is not that they exist but the fact that they are disconnected, slowing down – or even obstructing - information workflows. The answer is to not try to eliminate silos, which are inevitable and often have important benefits, but to connect them effectively. Open lines of communication between teams are imperative, especially in global organizations.
Marketing needs to be in tight alignment with every department. For example, sales or customer service teams, who speak to customers every day and get feedback about their experience and needs.. In a well-connected and collaborative environment, they can easily communicate this feedback to marketing, so they can work together in a more personalized strategy.
Even if silos seem disconnected within your organization, it’s never too late to turn things around. Ensure teams have adequate access to one another. Collaboration tools are a great way to connect your teams and take your organization to the next level.
Scale your team and processes to fit your operations
When talking about global marketing operations, there’s a tremendous pressure to perform. The marketing environment is constantly changing. And while expectations keep growing, budgets don’t.
If you are looking to scale, start with a thorough assessment of your current marketing organization, including processes, profiles, workload and skills. Identify stronger and weaker areas within your globalization strategy.
Then think localization, think collaboration tools, think marketing automation, and think outsourcing and partnerships.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better and if you want to succeed globally, your marketing team needs to stay flexible, dynamic and highly skilled. Having the right tools and partners to support you is key to scale without slowing your team down with hinder collaboration and needless complexity.
It’s vital to have the right tools, the right processes, and the right people to ensure your marketing goals are being met. If your team can’t support a specific process, it’s okay to outsource that need.
Act like a marketer, think like a customer
It’s very easy to zero in on our marketing goals and forget everything else. However, customer-centricity is vital to your marketing success.
Focus on your customer – what problems are they having? How can you solve them? What sets your company apart from your competitors, as it relates to your customer?
It’s not enough to simply tell your customers about your business and what you’ve accomplished. When thinking about each marketing activity, whether it’s case studies, email campaigns or even a product brochure, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself, “what’s in it for me?”
Keeping this question top-of-mind at all times will help guide your marketing efforts and keep them customer-focused.
And how can you ensure you’re thinking like the target consumers you want to reach? Luckily technology – and the use of data – can help you with that. Your digital ecosystem needs to be designed to provide a 360-degree view on your customers’ preferences gathering data from all enterprise touch points (sales, IT, customer service, etc.) and every marketing channel.
Personalize for the right reasons
From Amazon to Netflix and Spotify, almost every global company made personalization and tailored experience a priority on their marketing operations. And statistics continue to prove that personalization is the only way to go when it comes to reaching today’s savvy, demanding consumers.
According to Accenture, 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. But personalization isn’t limited to consumers - B2B buyers have equally come to expect some type of personalized communication. After all, there’s always a person on the other end.
But regardless of the technology and platforms to support you, customizing content for different audiences is a huge undertaking. Add up international languages and cultural nuances and you can easily get lost in the endless personalization possibilities.
The trick? Never lose sight of the ultimate goal of personalization, which is to provide relevant and meaningful information that resonates with your customers.
Set (and track) SMART goals for success
Imagine that you have the team, the processes, and all the systems in place. Now what?
There are a wide variety of metrics and data available that can track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, determine your marketing ROI and help you identify future opportunities.
We’ve said it before: expectations are high when it comes to global marketing performance. Without measuring the right metrics, you won’t be able to know whether or not you’re delivering on those expectations.
After all, why would you put in the effort of ensuring your marketing campaigns are perfectly targeted, your marketing team is collaborating, your customers are engaged, and you have the right people, all to ignore the results of all your hard work?