The Best of 2019: Improved Marketing Operational Efficiencies

Caroline Hook, Account Director

Long gone are the days where the sole focus of marketing was to generate awareness. Today, businesses demand strong integration between marketing and sales, which means marketing teams are charged with driving qualified leads through the pipeline, nurturing prospective and current customers, delivering an integrated brand experience across touch points, and demonstrating clear ROI for the organization’s marketing investments.

Maximizing investments is all about the mantra, “Work Smarter, Not Harder!” This is especially true when marketing teams are faced with numerous business priorities—achieving aggressive annual growth goals, combating new or evolving competitors, entering new markets, and launching new products or services. Meeting these demands requires marketing teams to be agile and responsive, and this frequently leads organizations to review and evaluate their people, processes and technologies.

Looking back at 2019, R2i had three specific client instances where this type of evaluation surfaced, and we were able to play a pivotal role in helping these clients capitalize on the, “Work Smarter, Not Harder!” mentality. 

When the Client Outgrows Their Current Systems
In the first client scenario, R2i started a brand refresh project with a SaaS provider in the financial sector. Targeting a niche audience, the client achieved success to a point but realized their brand positioning and outreach efforts would not meet the ambitious growth goals set for 2020.

Following a discovery to better understand the client’s target audience and the metrics of past marketing efforts, we turned our focus to behind the scenes. The client’s small, scrappy marketing team was leveraging an email service provider service with basic automation to execute on numerous email campaigns. 

The campaigns were geared to drive and engage leads, which were manually processed and routed into a homegrown CRM. Our discussion with the client exposed the fact that the current tech stack required numerous stop-gap solutions to process and connect data from one system to another, costing significant man-hours and exposing the data to human error. 

For this client, the path to operational efficiency was a tech stack roadmap that would migrate them onto a robust enterprise marketing automation platform with native integrations with an enterprise CRM. Doing so will allow the team to achieve several benefits:

    -  Streamline campaign creation, reporting and visibility into the lead journey.
    -  Analyze and understand which campaigns engage leads. 
    -  Align multi-channel media efforts with customer buying journeys.
    -  Design a scalable lead management process to easily score, prioritize, route, and nurture leads.  

This client also can seamlessly integrate the marketing automation platform with their new enterprise CRM tool. This will allow the organization to create better sales and marketing alignment and shared learnings in real or near-real time.  

When Marketing Needs to Double-Down on Digital
In another client scenario, R2i worked with a client in the travel sector to redesign their website. A combination of a content management system re-platform and a migration of three key properties into one, the project was geared to help the organization sell experiential vacations during which customers would hear about time-share programs. 

Knowing the marketing team had historically sent out approximately 20,000 emails every month to help drive this effort, there were considerable internal resources allocated to building and launching the emails and fielding inbound calls to the call center. Naturally, this led R2i to offer a two-pronged approach to meet the business need. 

With a recent implementation of an enterprise marketing automation platform, we ran the implementation through its paces by conducting an audit, implementing new workflows and governance rules, evaluating templates, leveraging tactics to ease the email template creation process, and providing hands-on training to the internal team to reduce the lift needed for these campaigns. 

In a parallel path, we analyzed the website to identify how it too can help pre-qualify leads. By introducing web qualification forms, the site can help the business vet interested vacationers in real-time and serve them with applicable vacation package offers that align to the consumer’s interests—a true win-win. The forms also will reduce the organization’s reliance on its call center, offering a more efficient way to capture and route contact information of new leads into the organization’s CRM for cleaner data that can be put to use faster. 

When Marketing Needs Media to Scale 
R2i also helped another client who manufactures and sells HVAC systems to launch a multi-channel campaign that needed to communicate with two new distinct sets of customers—professional contractors and homeowners. During the course of the engagement, corporate leadership communicated to the marketing team the need for a shift: the company was looking to roll out the campaign to multiple geographies throughout the world. This meant the media plan needed to be built for scalability to deliver on quick go-to-market in numerous locations.

Understanding this business need as well as the target audiences, the buying journeys, and the lead-generation initiative, we focused first on restructuring the client’s Google Ads account. The restructure needed to align with the business’s organizational structure to give each strategic business unit visibility into performance by product and by geo. 

We also had to account for the needs of each audience as well as those who were not readily identifiable by their search. Shoring up a solid foundation would allow the client to implement, test, optimize, and roll out a vetted structure across the organization in a more effective and efficient manner.

Through this restructure, the client realized these benefits:

    -  Increased conversion opportunity with new destination URLs and campaign/ad group alignment
    -  Greater budget control
    -  The ability to cater towards high-converting keywords and eliminate low-performing keywords
    -  The flexibility to respond to seasonality
    -  Enhanced keyword governance

The client also reduced the risk of self-competition among business units, who now had the improved ability for business units to focus on capturing net-new leads.

Embrace Change to See Progress
Change is a constant in today’s marketing reality. Marketing teams have to navigate changes with aplomb. Being nimble while staying true to the brand and the needs of your audience means teams must be open to changes in technology, people, and processes. For many organizations, that means stepping back and asking how can we work smarter, not harder?

For information on improving the operational efficiencies of your marketing team, contact us at www.r2integrated.com/contact.


About the author: Caroline Hook

Caroline Hook offers more than 15 years of marketing communication experience, strategically advising clients in health care, manufacturing, tech, education, and nonprofit verticals. She has worked on an array of client initiatives including awareness and lead-generation campaign development, corporate rebranding, website redesigns, and technology assessments and re-platforming. Caroline is passionate about helping clients connect the dots between their technology stack and marketing efforts, leveraging data to data and insights to enable client organizations to maximize their technology investments and achieve their marketing goals.

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