In 2014, the impact of marketing grew in new and exciting ways. The evolution of technology made content more targeted and engaging, and it helped marketers uncover valuable insights about their target customers; it also made it easier than ever to determine return on investment (ROI).
As 2015 goes into full swing, it looks like that evolution won't be slowing down.
For the modern CMO—for every marketer today—it's easy to feel overwhelmed by new progress in the field. Suddenly, data must drive all marketing decisions, strategies must be tailored to translate across a multitude of mobile devices, and CEOs are demanding to see measurable and actionable results.
You can feel as though you're drowning in new opportunities, obligations, and variables.
If you're a marketer who wants to stay ahead of the curve, here are some resolutions you should consider keeping in 2015.
1. Prioritize data
Marketing is now a science. Make it a priority to treat it as such in 2015. The data you collect holds valuable information for your company's operations, including details on how campaigns are performing, whom you are reaching and how they react to your brand, and what you're doing especially well (or not.)
Take advantage of all that information to reconfigure your strategy if it seems misaligned with the data, and track your results; doing so not only allows you deeper insight into how you're operations are faring but also keeps you and your team accountable by helping you determine the relative ROI of your various efforts.
2. Integrate your strategies
Do you find yourself juggling a digital strategy, a traditional marketing strategy, and even a mobile strategy—all with different goals and outcomes?
In 2015, make it a priority to integrate those disparate pieces into one cohesive marketing strategy and streamline your operations. Revisit your 2015 marketing plan and think about how all of those different segments feed into your overall goals, and revise tactical elements and budgets to reflect your objectives.
The goal is for all tactics to work together around a single strategy and to seamlessly support one another.
3. Embrace both amateur and professional content
Do you know what people are saying about your company? How is your marketing received among your target market?
Recognize that people outside of your marketing team are talking about and creating content around your brand. Whether through blog posts, tweets, or even conversations with family and friends, content about your brand is being circulated.
Instead of trying to quash this amateur content or drown it out with professional branded content, embrace it. Learn from it, and use it to improve the authenticity of your communication with your stakeholders.
4. Track, report, and actually deliver on your goals and objectives
Do you want a seat at the C-suite table? Of course you do—but you may be neglecting the responsibilities that will get you there: tracking, reporting, and delivering on your marketing goals and objectives.
To prove your worth, you need to be able to hand hard numbers to your CEO and the rest of the C-suite, and you can do that only by proactively resolving to tie your various efforts directly to sales.
If you can show that you are delivering results that make a positive financial impact on your company, you'll earn that seat.
5. Communicate with the rest of your company
What are your company's objectives for 2015, and where does marketing fit into those objectives?
To prove your worth beyond the walls of the C-Suite, communicate what you're doing to the rest of the organization and explain how marketing aligns with company strategy. Then, take it a step further and explain what other departments can do to help out and offer an open door for advice and suggestions.
Having an outside perspective helps you to refresh and realign your marketing objectives, and it helps those outside your department understand what it is you do and why it's important to the company as a whole. Moreover, showing that you are holding your marketing department accountable to those company goals fosters appreciation for what you do and encourages buy-in from the rest of the company.
* * *
2014 was a year of tremendous innovation for marketing, and 2015 will be no different. Today's marketers need to learn from the lessons of the past year and commit to taking steps that will keep their company ahead of the curve in the year ahead.
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