How to Streamline Your Marketing Operations for Better ROI

2024 has seen a real increase in understanding of technology within marketing, and most importantly, automation.  

In their annual report, Exploding Topics note that automating customer journeys increases ROI by 41%, with 91% of marketers saying having automation set up, even only in part, helps them achieve their objectives. 

All impressive stuff. 

So, let’s explore it in more detail. This blog is designed to explore how putting the right marketing technology, automated processes, and data-driven decision making can streamline even the most complex of marketing set ups and boost overall ROI. 

The Role of Marketing Technology in Modern Operations

First things first: what do we mean by MarTech? MarTech, or marketing technology, refers to the systems and software that is in place in an organisation that helps to achieve marketing objectives. To put a techie term to it, when you have more than 2 technologies in place, it can often be referred to as a MarTech Stack. 

MarTech can be wider ranging depending on your needs, however most businesses should be using a CRM platform, some sort of analytics, your website, an email platform etc. These tools can be stand alone or bought separately from different suppliers. 

However, so often, technology is often bought to serve a single purpose, and little time is taken to make sure all the technology talks to each other. 

Having systems connect together can help marketers, and indeed finance directors, sales teams, and senior leaders, get a better picture of what is working well and not so well for customers, and will empower data driven decisions through evidence. 

This can become quite a mammoth task once a system is embedded! So, auditing what technology is in place vs what is needed now and, in the future, will be key to getting the best ROI for the technology being implemented. 

Key Marketing Technologies to Implement

1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: This is the beating heart of your organisation. A CRM holds all of your customer interactions in it – where they have come from, when they have bought from you etc. It is through a CRM platform that you will start to learn and understand more about who your customers are and, most importantly, what they want from your brand. 

2. Marketing Automation Platforms: Once you have your customers, then you need to be able to communicate with them. Automation platforms such as HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot automate repetitive tasks such as newsletter, reminders or offers, and will also help segment your customers into clear categories so you are getting the right messages out to the right people. 

3. Analytics and Reporting Tools: Tracking is core to every marketer, and indeed should be just as important to basically everyone else in your company. Tools such as Google Analytics are crucial to understanding online behaviours, and more advanced tools such as Tableau helps visulise data internally to make data driven decisions. MarTech is not just for external activity.  

4. Leveraging Data-Driven Decision Making: Data enables marketers to create personalised experiences, which is becoming a higher expectation from your customers, no matter what industry you are in. Data also enables marketers to review how successful campaigns, products and channels are, therefore leeting them streamline budget in certain unperforming areas and increase in others. 

Without a good source of data, you are making decisions based on gut feel and competitors, and throwing money at creative ideas that may generate nothing for your brand. Data, how your collect it, and how it pieces together, is critical for any sized business. 

5. Collecting and Analysing Data: Marketers who use automation are 46% more likely to report having an effective marketing strategy (Hubspot) 

The average marketer runs 9 campaigns per quarter and spends 6 hours per day on manual tasks—many of which are administrative or repetitive in nature. Automation lets marketers offload mundane work so they can focus on hitting their goals and improving ROI. 

Steps to Implement Marketing Technology and Automation

Assessment and Planning:  The biggest piece of advice that we can offer is to do a Marketing Operations Audit. What’s on of those we hear you say? It’s taking the time to review each of the 4 areas of MarOps – People, Process, Technology and Data.  

Take stock in each of those areas, and see where there is a lack of resource, skill or budget. Assign a score and be honest. It’s not about whether a system is someone’s baby or a popularity game. You’ll secure more budget in the future if you can prove money well spent – this will help you do that. 

Putting a new piece of technology in place is going to end up being a huge waste of money if you don’t have the right people, or don’t know what data or how you want to use it moving forward. 

Choosing the Right Platform: Just because you need a new email platform doesn’t mean to say your CRM is safe. Knowing what platform is going in and how it is going to work with existing technology is just as important as thinking about all the functionality you want your new system to have. 

Look through the different options on the market, and then use the MoSCoW list: MoSCoW represents four categories of initiatives: must-have, should-have, could-have, and won’t-have, or will not have right now. Some companies also use the “W” in MoSCoW to mean “wish.”   

Doing this will make the decision, and the justification to senior leadership and budget holders, more tangible. 

Training and Adoption: One of the biggest challenges any business is going to have is the roll out. We cannot stress enough how important it is to create super users and online guides, as well as a well-resourced training plan in place for new and/or existing technology. Refering back to the Exploding Topics article, 39% of those interviewed acknowledge that one of the primary challenges in automation is a lack of knowledge and training. Don’t let yourself be caught in that statistic. 

Continuous Optimisation:  Just because something has launched doesn’t mean it should be at the end of the technologies journey with your business. In fact, it should be the first stop. Budget needs to be allocated for additional optimisations throughout the year, and to implement new functionality as and when you need it instead of becoming outdated and the platforms becoming not fit for purpose. 

Finally...

Technology plays such an important role in Marketing Operations that it is impossible to see the significance. What we hope you take from the article above is how it plays a role in the bigger picture, and that considered technological decisions can not only streamline your organisation but improve the ROI. 

The Caveat, as always, is that technology alone, whether it’s marketing technology or the whole technology stack from finance to stock management, cannot be used in a silo. The processes, data and people around it needs to be just as optimised as the platform itself. 

Have a look at more around the role of marketing operations within your business and score how well you think you are doing. Share it with us on social media and we can give you some tips and guidance on how you can get it streamlined down and getting more bang for your buck.  

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