3. Build Consensus. Don't overlook internal customers when launching a new market-facing campaign. Unless they buy into your plan in the early phase, you risk alienating them later if results are not up to expectations. At this point, all departments should be in agreement about the company's goals. And you should have completed the evaluation of past marketing campaigns. You now have the tools to prepare an informed roadmap to share with key stakeholders.
4. Launch the Campaign and Make Course-Corrections as Needed. No matter how good you are, you're going to get something wrong. By tracking results in real time and remaining unbiased in your evaluation of outcomes, you can make mid-course corrections to campaigns to maximize results. Recently, our company bet big on inbound leads from an expanded marketing automation program. But shortly after launch, we discovered that our clickthrough rates and form fills were wildly off target. After adjusting messaging, updating email lists and changing the content of email messages, our results continued to lag badly. Rather than seeing it through, we shut down the email campaigns two months into the program and reallocated resources to our telesales-based demand generation that was performing better than expectations.
Now more than ever, marketing departments are held responsible for driving pipeline and are accountable for bookings results. By collaborating on goals, gaining consensus on strategy and being data-driven, marketing has an opportunity to deliver value beyond brand to something much more tangible: sales and revenue.
Mark Godley is the chief revenue officer for Santa Barbara, Calif.-based HG Data, which indexes more than 1 billion unstructured documents across the open Internet, the archived Web and offline resources to produce a census of B-to-B technology installations in use at companies globally. Reach him at email@example.com.