We live in an era of marketing where technology has overtaken approach as a means of optimizing sales and marketing performance. Solutions from Salesforce, HubSpot and others are seen as the panacea for lead creation by way of creating visibility and frequency with the right audiences. The notion is that through application of these tools – seeded with content – organizations have solved the riddle of account-based marketing through brand creation, relationship management and, ultimately, client acquisition.
Unfortunately, this over-reliance on technology as a cure has checkered results, at best. Many organizations have invested in CRM solutions, however a very low number of those organizations report full and effective optimization. The gaps are attributable to several factors including lack of training, little investment in change management to support the solutions and lack of payoff for the sales and marketing reps charged with using the tools. The adage, “what’s in it for me” has never been truer.
If you look at additional issues that organizations face, such as substituting automation for good content, or lack of proper tracking across the organization (and broader marketing and sales disciplines), brands are risking under-optimization and ineffectiveness – which makes that multi-million-dollar investment seem like a miss, or a waste.
In our work with clients, we begin with a five-point process to help them understand the shortcomings of their solution set and how to improve performance. Our work does not focus on the technology. Instead, we conduct thorough 90-day audits and feedback on the following:
- Marketing Content: In many cases, the quality of content is inconsistent with the focus of the organization. Marketers can be so focused on quality of content that they underestimate the value of targeted messaging and value proposition. While we are huge advocates of quality creative as critical to outcome, it cannot be the sole engine of a program.
- Marketing Channels: Channel selection is being governed by faulty logic. The marketing and sales industries have so over-indexed on the power of technology and generational targeting ported in from broadcast and adapted to digital, that effective channel selection and engagement is a hodge-podge. As part of our audit process, we evaluate all channels and media, delivering a thorough output and strategic rationales for future investment and savings.
- Digital Infrastructure Assessment: Our approach relies on a thorough understanding of how effectively every digital channel is integrated (as well as offline content and channels). As such, we take a hard look at websites, SEO, SEM and other related assets to determine the level and effectiveness of integration.
- Team Attitude and Behavior: Central to the success of a CRM solution is the adoption and willingness to leverage by key stakeholders – particularly in the sales channel. We conduct end-to-end assessments of behaviors from the moment a lead enters the system through contracting (or failure thereof). As previously noted, lack of proper training and lack of articulation of personal reward are the two biggest blockers to adoption and proper usage. Our audit includes qualitative and quantitative surveys of stakeholders, including one-on-one interviews to understand motivation and attitude to enable development of change management strategies and execution.
- Key Findings and Recommendations: Armed with the data from our assessments, we provide a strategic handbook of recommendations, strategies and processes. These data-driven recommendations are designed to be immediately actionable and yield results within weeks and months.
Marketing technology solutions and broader automation tools are the future of marketing. Yet human interaction and common sense, replete with proper motivational techniques, are the central factor for success. Boston Digital has worked with organizations of all scales on these assessments and change management to ensure that they are optimizing the full value of their multi-million-dollar investments.
Originally published as part of the MarTech Insight Series on martech.com