It's an interesting perspective to stand at the end of one year and on the brink of another. As marketers, we find ourselves reliving and reporting on all the initiatives and careful strategy we worked so diligently toward in the past year. We breathe a sigh of relief as we reflect on the year behind us, but we must also face the task of planning and accomplishing even more next year. With all the achievements and failures of 2018 still fresh in your mind, now is the perfect time to buckle down and set your marketing team up for 2019 success.
The truth is, setting your team up for success doesn't have to be a difficult and daunting task. In fact, there are a few key practices and metrics that will get you on track in no time.
The Importance of Reporting
It all begins with reliable reports. Start by looking at how your company performed in the previous year. How were the bookings, retention and total revenue? Did the company achieve its goals? By starting with the company-wide performance, you'll better position yourself to gain insights into marketing's contribution.
Understanding marketing's contribution to the company is key in understanding its effectiveness, but it's not the only factor. Think about it: What does it matter if marketing hit its yearly goal if the company didn't? Marketing's success should be tied to the company's success. It's important for marketing to have a contribution goal to hit, but the reality is that if the company hits its goal, we know marketing is doing something right.
Reporting should be broken down into key categories. A good place to start is revenue, reputation and engagement. These three categories will give an overview of the health of your company. Of course, these reports should not just be run at the close of a year. They should be checked regularly. — ideally on a quarterly, monthly and even weekly basis. By regularly running these reports, you'll be better positioned at the end of the year to run a full annual analysis, because the reports and findings are ready to evaluate.
Another effective practice is to run regular full funnel analyses to continue tracking your performance on an ongoing basis. The full-funnel analysis will assist in tracking volume, velocity and conversion. These three metrics form the basis of your company's performance:
- Volume is the amount of leads and lead trends.
- Velocity is how fast the leads are moving through the funnel.
- Conversion is the measurement of lead quality.
Defining Budget and Measurements from the Beginning
With the previous year's data set in place, there's still one more thing to do before developing next year's strategy. Budget.
Budgeting is important for many reasons, but one obvious benefit to understanding your budget in full is keeping marketing spend on track. Many companies allot 11 percent of the companies expenses to marketing. Of course, you'll want to measure your efforts against whatever budget you choose, but what, exactly, should you measure?
You should be plotting categories and KPIs as you build your 2019 marketing strategy. It's easy to get hung up on revenue, but don't underestimate the importance of reputation and engagement. It's just as important to measure branding efforts as it is to measure lead generation.
Once campaigns and events are mapped to KPIs, you should begin developing an editorial calendar and specific strategies surrounding individual campaigns. Company plans will differ across industry and marketer, but having a defined company plan at the outset of the year is crucial. Make sure to socialize the plan with the right people to ensure a cohesive vision.
As we move into 2019, we'll continue to see the growing importance of tracking marketing efforts and impact on revenue. Setting yourself up for 2019 success means having a plan and ways of measuring in place. Remember to tie your marketing success to your company's success for more effective alignment.
It’s all about people, process and technology. Make sure you have the right tools in place to pick actionable solutions that align with your business objectives. Have a reliable process for continued analysis. Build in the creativity that helps you stand above the rest. These three factors will help you capitalize on your success trends and have a successful 2019.
Watch the webinar for even more insights.