The name of the marketing game in 2014 is speed: speed to acquire top-of-funnel leads, speed to engage those leads after initial capture, speed to push them to sales when the time is right, speed to close deals.
Every process, system or person that slows the organization is a barrier to marketing’s biggest goals: engage customers, build sales pipeline that converts to revenue. In order to keep their jobs, marketing leaders need to eliminate those barriers and turn up the speed. I’d like to share some practices we’re using at HiP to increase speed for clients and our own internal operations.
But first, some background. As marketers we’ve applied lots of technology – marketing automation, media buying marketplaces, sophisticated analytics engines – to make individual processes work better and faster. And they do in many cases. But those pieces often operate in a vacuum (or in silos, to use the tech industry’s favored way of describing disconnected systems). The inability to share data, content and campaign results between systems yields the exact opposite of speed: paralysis.
The complexity and disconnects are complicated by the fact that many of these systems, and the data they need to share, live in different companies, raising a slew of connectivity, data consistency, security and other issues that must be managed. None of those issues have much to do with engaging customers and driving revenue, do they?
Think of the complexity involved in managing these processes -- a subset of which a marketing campaign manager deals with on every campaign -- across multiple internal and external systems:
Submitting campaign information – and changes as they occur -- to multiple partners through email and phone calls
Managing the flow of content, target account lists and other requirements to partners
Manually collecting, assembling and analyzing performance data from different systems
What’s the solution?
An approach I like to call Marketing Acceleration Technology. It leverages automated connections between software systems and a centralized approach to campaign management, to take away many of the disparities and disconnects.
Increasingly, HiP uses Marketing Acceleration Technologies such as Integrate in order to streamline media campaigns for our customers and for easier internal management. The early results are so positive that I want to share them so others can evaluate their potential as well.
Internal campaign management, on a SaaS basis, for greater operational efficiency
The client-facing aspects of this are most important to those in the marketing space looking to grow their business on the strength of great service and making campaign execution painless for clients. We at HiP are certainly realizing that benefit.
At the same time, having a central place to manage our own activities and interactions without needing to install and maintain software is a huge benefit to our business.