Before any commercial airline takes off, the pilot has a very specific flight plan to get to the correct destination on time. If elements take him off course by a few degrees, not only will he miss his goal but he'll also wind up at a different place.

The same holds true for marketing. As a digital marketing leader, you are the pilot, your flight plan is the strategy, and your equipment are the tools to get you to your organizational and revenue goals. You also need co-pilots to help guide you as well as a means to barnstorm and break down silos within the Marketing Department itself.

Getting in that cockpit day after day, launching campaigns (both paid and owned) without precision or without a plan in hopes they'll take you to a good destination is no way to run an operation. So, consider whether this is the time to reset your marketing.

Giving Yourself Time to Think

With the acceleration of change in digital marketing, the undercurrent has been to "speed up or be left behind." So, most organizations have quickly made decisions to stay ahead. Making quick decisions works in the short term, but sometimes, you need to slow things down, think strategically, and get a plan to move at the pace necessary to be successful.

Your "slow" moment (there never really is a slow moment) is a time to examine the important KPIs, efficiencies, processes, customer data, marketing mix, and other elements of your "flight plan" to make sure you're getting to the right destination. After all, you need to be more like a jet fighter instead of as a crop duster.

A Marketing Reset is an evaluation of your current approach, looking at things with new eyes to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement.

Let's start by looking at the four essential elements. (Processes can vary by organization.)

1. Marketing Mix

Your marketing mix includes all the owned and paid activities your team works on (including paid media, owned channels, and content produced) to attract the right buyers to your brand.

Your Marketing Reset needs to consider the entire picture based on the customer journey to see ways to simplify reach while increasing speed and efficiency to each activity.

Some questions to consider are...

  • Does your email team ever coordinate with your search team?
  • Does your content team coordinate with display?
  • Are there points of customer interaction that could be improved with better consistency and messaging?

Your reset provides you with an opportunity for holistic approach.

2. Technology and Tools

Because of the speed of change in the industry, many marketing organizations have hastily invested in tools that may (or may not) continue to serve them as well as trendy technologies in the marketplace.

Doing a reset means looking at your overall goals—your destination—and deciding whether your technology currently in place can get you there.

Ask yourself:

  • Do the activities and data from one point solution smoothly integrate with another?
  • Can you pull together your cross-channel results to see what's happening in a complete view or do you have to log into multiple systems to get reports on the KPIs you need?
  • Is it easy to get new campaign ideas into market quickly... and if not, why not?

Speed, simplicity, price, ease of use, ability to integrate, and ability to scale are all considerations as you evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the technology during your marketing reset.

If there’s something better out there, get a plan in place to make the change.

3. People and Process

When you dig deep into a Marketing Reset, your goal is to simplify processes to get to your destination faster.

A large part of that simplification involves processes and the people who manage them. As touchpoints blur together and a customer-driven omnichannel approach is embraced, the structure of your internal teams also may need to shift. Perhaps technologists become part of marketing to support data management. Perhaps CRM leaders are invited into strategy meetings to offer fresh ways to better target core audiences based on data you already own.

In the Marketing Reset process, look for ways to blow out the org chart and bring the right people into the room to better engage the customer and reach them with relevance at the right moment.

And even if you think you're doing all this today, how can you do it better? What’s holding you back?

4. Use of Customer Record and Third-Party Data

For performance-based marketers, the push behind the need for a Marketing Reset is data. Because so much data is available—and because its proper use allows marketers to engage consumers better than ever—the legacy systems and ways of doing things are quickly becoming irrelevant and expensive.

Your Marketing Reset, above all, needs to explore how you're using data for marketing engagement.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you consolidating customer data within a data-management platform for a complete view of what's going on, so you can create stronger messaging to key audiences?
  • Do you see the correlation between cross-channel campaign activity and revenue?
  • Does your strategy wrap around the customer journey from the point of initial paid search click influencing their likelihood to buy after X number of emails and minutes on your website?

* * *

Technology has removed the complexity of advanced marketing and data science. Use your marketing reset to explore not only what you're currently doing but what you should be doing to speed your success.

Why reset now? Adjustments are necessary. The pace change within digital marketing in the past few years has been impressive. The innovations in data and technology across channels have allowed marketers to do things only imagined just a few years ago.

Focus your approach on customers—how to best engage them based on consolidated data from each interaction they have with your brand or company with technology to simplify the complexity—and you'll be on your way to that ROI destination well-ahead of schedule.

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Why You Need to Hit the Marketing Reset Button

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image of Will Margiloff

Will Margiloff serves as CEO of IgnitionOne, a provider of cloud-based digital marketing technology.

LinkedIn: Will Margiloff