Marketing organizations are aggressively modernizing, automating and adding more digitally centered marketing methods as they focus on their mandate to discover prospects and create new customers. CMOs have added CRM for managing pipeline and customer relationships, leveraged marketing automation for nurturing prospects, spent millions on super-charged, branded websites and landing/social pages, and dumped billions into advertising technology (ad tech) to promote their offerings.
With all of this progress, we’re still missing a vital component in the quest to modernize our marketing approach. We are NOT connecting our target audience, prospects and future customers, or their data, to our marketing systems and processes – a critical missing link.
The prospect and audience marketing effort – predominantly driven by third-party media investment via ads, search and content syndication – is still very fragmented and, worse, seldom measured or optimized. Marketers are so detached from various ad-tech methodologies and processes that they’re essentially placing chips on a few different point solutions, hoping that they get lucky in their high-stakes game of ad-tech roulette. Disconnected and unable to adequately measure and optimize media spend, marketing organizations struggle, which has led to ad tech’s “black box” reputation. This is a hard blow to marketing executives as they realize how much money they’re actually spending on media between search, advertising, content syndication, events, etc. to create prospects—$40 billion+ on digital advertising alone, according to the IAB.
So, how can CMOs and marketing pros better integrate prospect/customer generation with marketing processes and systems? Here are 3 areas of focus to modernize your approach and obtain better return on media and technology investment:
1) Connect third-party media investment data to marketing systems and processes in order to better locate prospects and engage with customers.
Feed the leads and the data garnered from media campaigns directly into CRM for sales team follow-up or into marketing automation for nurturing prospects through the buyer’s journey – and then reuse marketing system insights for program optimization.
2) Set metrics and measure campaigns across all marketing channels and tactics.
Whether you deploy banner, email, content syndication, telemarketing, search or a combination and whether you utilize cost-per (acqusition, lead, sale, click or incoming call), it's critical to measure campaign performance BOTH individually and in aggregate. This allows you to anlyze performance by channel, media partner and creative/content/offer. With these insights, you can optimize by focusing on higher performing tactics and applying the resulting audience data for improved campaign accuracy.
3) Use analytics to garner insights, adapt to new opportunities and optimize campaigns and marketing programs.
Today, we can gather so much data from every campaign we run. However, if we don’t make it actionable, it’s useless and we end up wasting one opportunity after another. Many marketers are using marketing analytics dashboards for a clearer perspective of prospect interactions and data management platforms (DMPs) that combine first-and third-party data for an improved understanding of audience compositions (demographics, behaviors, propensities, etc.) – both of which enable greater campaign optimization and improved results.
Audience analytics, such as those displayed below, provide marketers with actionable data that can be used to adjust campaigns accordingly. For example, if you know that one media partner is reaching a more affluent audience than another, you can optimize your creative to deliver the right message to the right audience.
If you're investing in media to reach audiences and generate prospects, make sure you complete the missing link to connect your top funnel marketing programs and data directly to your marketing systems and processes. Your CEO and future customers will thank you!