Business Insights

Business Insights

Ten Quick Wins For The New Marketing Director

When Franklin D. Roosevelt became President of the United States in 1933, he announced an unprecedented programme of initiatives that were intended to address the Great Depression, which was then its fourth year. He would refer to this burst of activity at the opening of his presidency as “the first 100 days” – and he would go on to be re-elected three times. While a new marketing director has a very different set of challenges, this initial period is a critical time to make your mark, to set your house in order and to start proving your ability to perform. Here are 10 tips to get on the fast track to success.

1. Stakeholder management is key
Your first priority is to define what success means and who is evaluating it. How is the marketing budget calculated and what metrics matter to the decision makers? Was your predecessor able to quantify and prove the performance of the department and its impact on the health of the business? If not, then this will be a crucial place to start.

When looking at priorities, you will need to draw out an action plan and define precisely how different efforts will be judged. You will then have to decide how this will be presented to the management hierarchy. It’s also essential to bring your team into this process, to ensure that they understand and are engaged with it.

2. Focus on generating leads, sales and revenue wherever possible
Are sales, and the resulting revenue, attributed to the efforts of the marketing department? If not, then make the case that they should be – and look to move resources to the efforts that drive the most revenue for the organisation (which, depending on scalability, may or may not be at the lowest cost).

Equally, if staff are being directed to unproductive busywork, or to work that doesn’t make an impact on revenue, see if it can be cut.

3. Work with the sales team to identify low-hanging fruit
When it comes to making sales you should also ask whether there are easy opportunities that are not being taken advantage of. When completing a sale, are customers presented with additional options to enhance their purchase? This might mean offering similar or related products, higher levels of service or ancillary products such as insurance and extended warranties – but upselling is far, far easier than finding new customers – and can often be much more profitable.

Taking this a step further, you should ask whether (and how) the business keeps in contact with previous buyers. These are people who have a proven interest in your offering, and it may just be that providing offers or simply emailing them will induce them to make a new purchase.

4. Find new marketing and promotional opportunities
There may also be significant market opportunities that have never previously been considered. All you have to do to find out more is to survey staff, customers and prospects about their experiences with your offering – and establish what they like, what they don’t like and what they think you could do better. There may well be obvious items that have never made it up the food chain before, or ideas that have been rejected without being fully considered.

5. Organise a website audit
Your website sits at the very heart of your digital marketing operations. Review precisely how the brand is being presented, how content is being posted and how users are engaging with your offering. A content refresh may well be in order – as will be a granular assessment of calls to action across the site. If CTAs are not being tested and optimised, then this is a process to set in motion immediately.

6. Paid search
If paid search is being currently used, it’s worth checking early on how paid search campaigns are being managed, and how their profitability is being gauged. If the ROI isn’t clear, or if the calculations are at fault, then you may want to pull the brakes on things and institute a scalable strategy, which will generate real results. Additionally, if there are obvious terms that are being missed, then it’s simple to include them. Moreover paid search can often be a good research exercise determining effective key words for an SEO strategy so it may be useful in the short term even if not a long term strategy.

7. SEO audit and ranking assessment
Admittedly developing a strong SEO strategy is a longer term goal, but it’s worth tackling early. Identify what keywords you are already ranking for and what terms you want to add to that list and then base your approach going forward around this. Your strategy will likely include building out a content calendar based on the relevant terms, but it’s also worth running a full technical SEO audit to ensure that easy wins aren’t being missed.

8. Email database
Your email database is one of your company’s greatest assets. If it’s not in order though, and you have duplicate accounts or you’re hitting bad addresses, then it may actually be a liability. It will hence pay back in spades to cleanse the database and make sure that it’s fit for purpose.

What’s more, there’s a great deal of value in audience segmentation, allowing you to precisely target different messages to different individuals. That might mean breaking up the database based on customer archetypes or it might mean finding common themes that tie sections of your audience together but that had never previously been identified (think of identifiers like ‘soccer moms’ or ‘DINKYs’, for example).

Data protection laws via the new GDPR rules are tightening significantly in May 2018 so it is incumbent on the Marketing Director to ensure that the rules in terms of data security and customer permissions are adhered to make sure the company is not liable to heavy fines

9. Internal marketing
When considering a marketing strategy that appeals to vendors, retailers and consumers, it’s easy to forget that it’s essential to get your own team on board. If your colleagues don’t buy into your plan then it’s going to make everything slower and harder – so be sure to involve, engage and inspire your staff from the get-go. Where there’s a bigger plan, share it – and if other team members have ideas of how tactics or strategies could be improved, then listen to them and see what you can learn from them.

10. Establish a marketing strategy
Now you’ve already got a short form plan – it’s time to develop a full, detailed marketing strategy. When you land on the ground, what are your assets and what are your commitments? Are these structured logically and are your results measured and quantified? With this in hand, you can begin preparing plans for the future and the bigger picture of how you’ll evolve the business’s marketing operations.
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Peter Craven

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