If marketing teams want more budget to work with, they need to be able to demonstrate the ROI of their efforts. C-Suites are notoriously conservative when it comes to investing in new initiatives and unchartered territories, and as marketing budgets continue to grow, accountability becomes even more important. Every investment needs to drive real results and boost revenue.
According to a recent Gartner survey, two out of three marketers expect that their budgets will continue to grow in 2016. Both B2B and B2C organizations are investing heavily in marketing and using digital commerce initiatives to build direct bridges to their customers.
It’s important that marketers make investments in the right areas. Here are the three most important areas to watch.
1. The Right Marketing Tech
It’s essential to have the right tools and technologies in place to execute complex personalization, targeting, and analytics tasks. These include platforms like Kapost for content marketing, Intercom for customer communications, and Mixpanel for analytics. There are countless other tools, including CrazyEgg for website heatmaps and UserTesting for usability analyses.
In addition to choosing the right tools, you need to make sure that these resources work well together. Make sure that your marketing technologies make sense at the big-picture level. This will be a key area to maintain efficiencies in your marketing budget.
2. Connections to Customer Service
Customer experience is growing in importance, and marketing needs to be in the driver’s seat. When customers are happy, growth is easier: loyalty programs become more rewarding, and word of mouth grows as a powerful marketing source.
Marketers can add value to customer support teams by:
- Writing compelling marketing copy
- Providing interesting email content
- Sharing content from your blog with support reps
Provide analytics support to customer service initiatives, especially around engagement and loyalty. In addition to helping keep customers around for longer, marketers will also collect valuable data that they can invest back into ideas for new campaigns.
3. The Ability to Make More out of Less
Marketing isn’t about mass-market outreach anymore: it’s about depth and quality of interactions.
Marketers need to double-down on investing in quality campaigns that build one-on-one, authentic relationships with audiences over time. It’s not about sales-speak or writing aggressive web copy.
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The best companies know how to empower, educate, and engage their audiences. It’s important to add more quality to every interaction, which sometimes means having fewer interactions.
As temping as it may be to publish more blog posts or send more newsletter campaigns, try to resist the urge. Your audiences are bombarded with information: don’t contribute to the clutter that they’re already sifting through.
Efficiency will be marketing’s biggest theme in 2016. As marketing programs get bigger, the value of every dollar spent needs to be higher in terms of ROI. Get creative, and you’ll be surprised by what you can do with a lower budget.