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Want to be a more agile marketer? Create more process.
While it may seem counterintuitive, process can increase your marketing agility. Like oil and water, process and agility are challenging to blend. Processes are firm, exacting and inflexible. Agility is fluid, iterative and flexible. But the two can be successfully combined.
Whether fulfilling a customer order, launching a campaign, or onboarding a new employee, process provides a necessary foundation for agility to thrive. The trick is building the right processes in the right way.
Process receives a bad rap, for good reason
A marketer’s eyes will glaze over at the mere utterance of process, governance and compliance. Many marketing professionals find processes punishing, restrictive and limiting to their creative freedom. And the research bears it out.
A 2019 global study of 5,000 employees conducted by OnePoll found that more than a third of a worker’s typical working day is wasted on outdated processes and unnecessary tasks. That’s nearly three hours a day in unproductive activity.
We all want to be productive, not just busy. And processes should standardize and simplify the necessary tasks that keep business running smoothly, not slow down decision making, serve as an internal check and balance, or institutionalize inefficiency. Unfortunately, the often-chosen alternative to a bad process—circumventing the system, winging it, creating your own shortcuts or other clever deviations—can be equally dangerous.
There is the wrong way to build a process, and the right way.
Good process, bad process
Kuba Filipowski, co-founder of Netguru, describes the five key features of a good process:
- Efficient. A process must be created for a reason. It either needs to prevent mistakes and failures caused by our imperfect human nature or optimize the tasks we carry out. In other words, it needs to make us work faster or better.
- Useful. A process should concern tasks that we carry out frequently or actions that bear significant risks and could potentially lead to serious consequences.
- In regular use. A process needs to be followed. Each person that a process is relevant to must know that it exists and should take care to follow it under all circumstances. The people who fail to observe a process need to be given adequate feedback and should immediately receive a link to the relevant process or checklist.
- Measurable. Metrics should be in place which would allow you to verify whether a process is being followed and to assess the impact the process has on the company’s performance.
- Constantly improved. Processes should not be set in stone. Every process needs to be updated and improved as soon as its circumstances change.
When processes are outdated, needlessly complex and frustrating, or simply make no sense, employees figure out ways to modify the process. But when processes result in missing a deadline, disappointing a customer, losing a big sale, or missing your quarterly bonus, employees won’t think twice about ditching the process altogether.
The only six marketing processes you’ll ever need
The larger and more geographically dispersed the marketing organization, the greater the need for processes. And that’s not all bad. Processes can help unify your brand, drive cost savings, ensure consistency in message, maintain high quality standards, increase efficiency and more. The trick is to put processes in place that work for you, rather than processes that you work for.
“The trick is to put processes in place that work for you,
rather than processes that you work for.”
There are only six core marketing processes that you need, at least initially. You need a lightweight process to help you coordinate marketing activities, to quickly allocate marketing resources, to efficiently orchestrate your outbound activities, to calculate the effect of your marketing programs, to help you remediate any exceptions or disagreements that might occur, and a process to help you celebrate wins, milestones and accomplishments.
This breaks down to the following six core marketing processes:
- Planning: how and when strategic and tactical marketing plans are proposed and finalized. (coordinate)
- Budgeting: how and when budgets and other resources are decided and allocated. (allocate)
- Customer Engagement: a consolidated view and calendar of planned customer interactions and outreach for the upcoming year. (orchestrate)
- Measurement: how and when programs will be tracked, measured and reported on. (calculate)
- Exception and Escalations: how disagreements and needed exceptions get resolved. (remediate)
- Next Practices: how institutional knowledge, experiences and achievements are shared, leveraged and celebrated. (celebrate)
Admittedly, establishing a process is more than just a handsome flowchart documenting the how-to-steps. It often means putting the right tools and technologies in place to support each process—usually a backend database and a frontend user interface. It also requires a disciplined marketing leader who reinforces the importance of the “rules of the road” on a consistent basis.
I guarantee you that these six core processes will make your marketing smarter, your team more productive, and your department more effective.
Regardless of whether you are building a team, inheriting one, dismantling, transforming or right-sizing, all marketing organizations benefit from having a solid marketing foundation at their core. This includes a set of lightweight, simple and flexible processes that enable a smooth and steady flow of brilliant marketing work.
These guiding elements should be documented, discussed and internalized by every member of the team. Without this foundation, a marketing organization can quickly become bloated, misaligned, unaccountable and unproductive—the opposite of an agile marketing organization.
Creating flexible processes is one of the simple steps you can take, starting today, to boost your organizational and professional agility. I call these actions power moves and I’ve summarized the top nine in an agility guide which is available as a free download.
OpsStars Virtual Event Preview: Q&A With Rachael McBrearty, Chief Customer Office At LeanData
Now in its fifth year, OpsStars has grown into a must-attend event operations and revenue-focused executives turn to for targeted education and networking./
Demand Gen Report caught up with Rachael McBrearty, one of the LeanData executives shaping the agenda for the event, to get a preview of what attendees can expect during the virtual event on October 20-21—including presentations from high-growth B2B brands Zoom and Docusign.
Demand Gen Report: RevOps was the hot topic at OpsStars last year. How does RevOps fit into LeanData’s vision today?
McBrearty: Last year at OpsStars, we were really proud to spotlight Revenue Operations as an important new operating model for growth in B2B – and the role operations will play in enabling it. Much of our agenda centered around “The Journey to RevOps” as the event’s topline theme.
Fast forward nearly one year, and we’re seeing even greater momentum behind the RevOps movement. The COVID-19 pandemic drove a greater imperative for sales and marketing leaders to improve go-to-market alignment to support growth in a challenging economy. We’ve also seen RevOps expand further into the enterprise. Management consulting firms like Boston Consulting Group have even launched cross-practice initiatives around RevOps to support some of the world’s biggest companies in moving to this model.
Working with our customers, we spotted the RevOps trend early on – even before it had a name! From this vantage point, we strongly believe RevOps will become the dominant operating model for driving predictable, efficient revenue growth in B2B.
DGR: “The Rise of Ops” – what’s the meaning behind your OpsStars 2020 theme?
McBrearty: This year we wanted to shine a spotlight on operations professionals themselves – and the increasingly strategic role they play in the revenue process.
Ops is really the backbone of go-to-market strategy and execution – and ultimately revenue growth.
Even more so in recent years, as this role supports increasingly sophisticated and complex sales and marketing strategies and programs. Yet Ops still operates largely behind the scenes.
We see this changing, however, as Ops play a more visible role and increasingly takes a seat at the table. This year’s OpsStars will recognize “the rise of ops” and their role as superheroes of the modern revenue engine.
DGR: Can you tell our audience more about the “virtual” experience planned for OpsStars attendees this year?
McBrearty: Virtual events are new for everyone this year – we’re all learning as we go! However, we put a great deal of thought into the best way to structure OpsStars in this new format.
Networking is one of the key reasons people attend OpsStars, so we wanted our attendees to come together as much as possible in a virtual setting. For example, although the event is held across two days, we’ve limited each day to four hours to make it easier for people to carve out time to attend and participate without distraction. We also have a number of workshops to bring people together, and we’ll set up a Slack channel to encourage conversations around key topics amongst attendees, presenters and sponsors.
Now in its fifth year, OpsStars has always been an event “by Ops, for Ops.” Through a virtual platform, we aim to continue our tradition of bringing together sales, marketing, customer and revenue operations leaders to share best practices, career development and networking.
DGR: Lead management seems prominent on the OpsStars 2020 agenda. Has that expanded from last year?
McBrearty: Yes, we’re so fortunate to have the ops teams from Zoom and DocuSign giving attendees a peek under the covers at how their teams successfully managed unprecedented spikes in demand nearly overnight due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both for Zoom and DocuSign, their ability to scale lead management to keep up with this level of demand was critical to powering their rapid response to incoming requests.
Nearly all companies were impacted by COVID, however, and automated lead management is essential to helping them pivot to go-to-market in days, or even hours, as business conditions change. This level of agility has become critical for business continuity and execution in these uncertain times.
DGR: Lead-to-Account Matching & Routing recently became an “official” martech category. This is great validation for LeanData. What do you think it says about the future growth of the category.
McBrearty: Yes, this was a major milestone for our company! TOPO (now part of Gartner) released the first in-depth Market Guide for Lead-to-Account Matching and Routing in August. Up to now, this technology has been somewhat of a “best-kept secret,” with B2B adoption estimated at 48 percent. However, TOPO says it is now one of the most critical applications in the tech stacks of modern sales and marketing organizations. We were gratified to see TOPO named LeanData the dominant vendor in this space.
This is no fledging tech category – it’s been in the works for the better part of a decade. But TOPO’s report is a significant validation of what we and our customers have worked hard to create. We believe formalizing Lead-to-Account Matching and Routing as an “official” tech category, with de facto standards and best practices, will create more awareness around the technology and make it easier for more companies to adopt.
How to adapt your SEO strategy to navigate through the pandemic
- When you’re starting with your adapted SEO strategy, it’s important to acknowledge the changes in your working environment. All remote teams need to evaluate their communication needs to improve their efficiency in the ‘new normal’.
- You don’t want more unfortunate surprises during turbulent times. Meaningful reporting can connect content, SEO, marketing, and web activities to give everyone the visibility to plan for future projects.
- The idea is to reduce unnecessary meetings to empower your team to work on their own. Start by communicating your SEO strategy and what everyone will work on.
- One of the first changes should be to look at your website and your content to make it more relevant. Explain how COVID-19 is affecting your businesses and how you’re still supporting your clients.
Right after the initial shock of the pandemic, many businesses are reassessing their strategies to remain successful. Organic search can help you set up a successful SEO strategy to support your business’s recovery.
Conductor has written a post-pandemic SEO strategy playbook with practical tips to explore business opportunities through organic search.
Content created in partnership with Conductor.
The power of SEO during COVID-19
As we are all spending more time at home, Google searches are increasing. There is an estimate of 20 billion searches every day.
This is a great opportunity for businesses to capitalize search traffic to increase sales.
What’s more, SEO is a low-cost and very effective method to increase your brand awareness before you increase your ad spend.
What’s important though is to understand how COVID-19 has affected SEO and how to adjust your strategy.
Defining your remote communication style
When you’re starting with your adapted SEO strategy, it’s important to acknowledge the changes in your working environment. All remote teams need to evaluate their communication needs to improve their efficiency in the ‘new normal’.
Start with internal communications and the tools that will get your team more productive. Foster an environment of transparency and accountability and document the team’s workflows.
Improved visibility can help you prioritize the crucial tasks that you need to focus on. Moreover, the more transparent you are, the easier it becomes to collaborate with different departments towards shared objectives.
Conductor recommends the use of surveys to gather feedback about your website, your marketing campaign or even for content ideas. It’s a great way to plan for short and long-term projects while getting perspective from various teams.
All the findings can help you set up your communication style, how you’re interacting as a team and how you can be more productive.
Create meaningful reporting
You don’t want more unfortunate surprises during turbulent times. Meaningful reporting can connect content, SEO, marketing, and web activities to give everyone the visibility to plan for future projects.
It’s not enough to create reports that nobody is interested in reading. It’s time to build digestible reports that your stakeholders would appreciate.
There are many things that you can measure to support your SEO strategy. You can also work alongside different teams to discover interesting insights that can lead to multiple wins.
For example, working with the sales team can help you spot opportunities to appeal to potential customers. Search insights can help you create the right content while providing valuable data to your salespeople.
Keep in mind, your executives should include what your stakeholders want to see. It’s important to align your tactics with the key factors that will affect your business success, such as traffic, revenue, retention, etc.
Looking for creative reporting? The Conductor team is recommending the use of a five-minute video that can replace a time-consuming report.
Use it to describe your team’s performance and what you’re planning to do next.
Train your team to be self-sufficient
The best way to maintain your productivity in a remote environment is to train your team to be self-efficient. If there are many similar questions from your team, how about creating a report answering these questions?
The idea is to reduce unnecessary meetings to empower your team to work on their own. Start by communicating your SEO strategy and what everyone will work on.
Encourage your team to share their ideas and work on an action plan that will get the most of every team member.
Identify high priority changes
This is the best time to focus on what matters. Work with your team and your key stakeholders to define your priorities and how to spend more time on them.
It’s important to communicate all the changes with your customers to keep them up-to-date with what’s happening.
Start by answering the question:
What do customers want to know about my business and any recent changes related to COVID-19?
The answer can help you work on your internal and external communication to give everyone more clarity on what’s coming up.
One of the first changes should be to look at your website and your content to make it more relevant. Explain how COVID-19 is affecting your businesses and how you’re still supporting your clients.
Look at your current SEO strategy and adjust the keywords and content plan, if needed.
Review your online profiles and business listing to keep all relevant details up-to-date.
For example, ecommerce companies should update all the information around delivery details, product availability and potential offers.
If you are changing your working hours or your business focus, make sure you communicate the changes with your customers.
There’s no over-communication during a crisis.
Looking at the bigger picture
It’s not just about surviving the current situation. Your business should also look at the bigger picture of what’s coming up next.
It’s the best opportunity now for planning, reflection, and collaboration.
If you’re using Conductor, look at your workflows to understand the impact of the crisis in your visibility. Adjust your plans accordingly, if needed.
Stay on top of change with regular monitoring and use your SEO strategy to maintain long-term success for your business.
Ready to explore practical tips to improve your SEO strategy post-pandemic? Download Conductor’s SEO strategy playbook for additional ideas and templates.
The post How to adapt your SEO strategy to navigate through the pandemic appeared first on ClickZ.
Why behavior analysis is important online business
- A typical consumer now owns an average of 3.6 devices which means a person’s journey may start from a laptop and end on a mobile or a tablet.
- In the ecommerce business, the cart abandonment rate is the thing that haunts most of the business owners.
- Developing analytical skills can help you better manage these obstacles.
- MD of SEO Discovery shares a guide to help you understand Cohort Analysis and Behavior Analysis to eliminate roadblocks and improve engagement.
In today’s digital age, the customer journey is getting complex day by day and if you are doing online business then it’s vital to understand your customer journey. A typical consumer now owns an average of 3.6 devices which means a person’s journey may start from a laptop and end on a mobile or a tablet.
In the ecommerce business, the cart abandonment rate is the thing that haunts most of the business owners. According to Statista, 88.05 percent of online shopping orders were abandoned in March 2020 worldwide, which means over 88% of people added selected products into the cart and left without buying for various reasons. This is a massive business opportunity loss for ecommerce players.
Developing analytical skills can help you better manage these obstacles. Without adequate knowledge of analytics, your marketing won’t work because you won’t know what worked and what didn’t work. All the marketing suits come with analytics tools to help perceive the behavior, engagement metrics, and demographics of the visitors coming to a website. The most common web analytics tools are Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Kiss Metrics, and Mixpanel. They generally come with the following features and capabilities:
- Real-time analytics
- Mobile analytics
- Attribution modeling
- Ecommerce tracking
- Funnel analysis
- Cohort analysis
- Cross-device tracking
- In-page analytics (Session recording, click tracking, heatmaps)
- Goal conversion tracking
- Event tracking
- A/B testing
Every feature has its own data sets which can be compared to help you make informed decisions. Today we are going to understand Cohort Analysis and Behavior Analysis to eliminate roadblocks and improve engagement.
What is a Cohort Analysis and why is it important?
Cohort analysis is a subset of users grouped by shared characteristics. It simply allows you to compare the behavior and metrics of different cohorts over time.
Cohort Analysis Example – Finding Engagement Drop
Let’s suppose you have an online food ordering website/app and using acquisition date (when users started their first sessions) cohorts you can find out when in the customer lifecycle your users tend to drop off.
The best way for visualizing this data is to chart out the retention curve, portraying retention over time.
This retention curve clearly reflects the most important insight – around 75% of the users stop using the website after the first day. We can see a downfall in the engagement. Hence, it’s evident to improve the overall experience and abet customers through daily offers/coupons to boosting retention.
Cohort Analysis Comparison – Organic vs Direct
The below cohort analysis indicates that organic traffic has a better retention rate than direct.
Visitor behavior analysis and its importance
It’s a process of tracking user behavior on a website and there are some great tools in the market that give accurate information. Tools like Hotjar, MouseFlow, Crazy Egg record visitor sessions to see how visitors are navigating on the website. They also offer click tracking and heatmaps to analyze the most engaging and ignored (skipped) elements on a page.
If you look at the above heatmap, you would notice that no one bothered to click on “PORTFOLIO” in the top menu, which means people aren’t interested in see the portfolio. Maybe we have to replace it with something more interesting (like Case Studies, Achievements, and more) which grabs a visitor’s attention. These kinds of insights help you add/remove elements to improve page engagement.
Using filters, you can further segment your audience to dig deep and pull out actionable insights, see those filter below:
In Google Analytics, behavior flow gives you a visual presentation of how people are navigating on your website. You can apply segments to get a deeper view of their behavior and it also enables you to apply different dimensions on top of these segments to get actionable insights.
The power of these analytical tools lies in the fact that it allows you to view which customers leave and what’s making them leave your website/app – so that you can fix it. You can also hire a professional digital marketing agency that can help you find these hurdles and remove them to enhance your overall engagement.
Mandeep Singh is the MD of SEO Discovery. He’s mission is to provide affordable digital marketing services to startups and SMEs. He’s an official member of Forbes Agency Council. You can find him on LinkedIn.
The post Why behavior analysis is important online business appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Advice needed. I’m a cheapskate and I have a compulsive tendency to NOT SPEND any money at all.
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