Is your marketing strategy working? This is a question marketing leaders must constantly ask themselves.
The first step to answering this question is defining what a marketing strategy is. Your marketing strategy is the operating plan for your organization’s marketing department. What should your marketing strategy do? It should allocate resources efficiently to drive revenue. And finally, you must understand what it means to use a marketing strategy. Ultimately, it should build buyer preference for your company’s products or services.
Your operating plan is your marketing playbook. It answers questions such as why am I doing what I’m doing? Who will do it? And by when? Organizations typically spend around 5% of revenue on marketing. That’s quite a budget. You need a tight plan on how that money is going to be spent. And what results is it going to bring to the business? Too often marketing budgets are not tied back to revenue. The wrong metrics are tracked. So, how do you know if your marketing plan is generating an ROI?
The ultimate indicator is leads. Is the marketing team generating enough leads? But it can’t stop there. You must also look at how many of the leads turn into opportunities. And how many of those opportunities turn into deals? Low quality leads have many implications, such as lower win rates and average deal size. It also lowers the trust between the sales and marketing teams. To avoid this scenario, feedback from the sales team must be taken into account.
Another key part of a successful marketing strategy is strategic alignment. There should be a strong connection with the other functional strategies. There should be functional alignment across the entire organization.
For example, your marketing objectives should come from the corporate strategy. Is the company interested in acquiring new logos, growing revenue or preserving the install base? This will determine how your marketing team should behave.
Additionally, your marketing strategy needs to be aligned with the product strategy. Some questions to ask here include:
- What new products are being launched this year?
- What problems are the products solving for your customers?
- Will you be selling to new or existing customers?
- What value does the solution bring to your customers?
To be an effective marketer you must have the answers to these questions. The same alignment must apply to the sales strategy as well. The marketing and sales strategy are most closely tied. What does the marketing team need to do to set the sales team up for success?
Similarly, you must have alignment with the HR team. Your strategy requires people to come to life. HR needs a good job spec in order to provide good candidates. If you’re not aligned with those responsible for bringing talent to the organization, it’s going to be an uphill battle.
Ultimately, the key takeaway to a successful marketing strategy is functional alignment. In order to increase your chances of your marketing plan working, you must have strategic alignment across the organization. It will increase your chances of making your number. And it gives the marketing team the best chance to effectively drive revenue.