Preserving Customer Wisdom: Is Your Most Valuable Marketing Asset Leaking Out the Door?
When times are good, leaders never stop having problems. They just get better problems. With the economy booming, marketing budget cuts aren’t the most pressing challenge right now. In fact, 60% of budgets are increasing and only 6% are decreasing according to Target Marketing Editor-in-Chief Thorin McGee.
Now a key challenge is talent acquisition and retention.
In fact, marketing leaders face this challenge more than any other business leader. Marketing has the highest turnover rate of 26 job functions studied by LinkedIn Insights Analyst Michael Booz — more than 50% higher than the global turnover average.
You probably already have key operational aspects in place to help when there is turnover, things like clearly defined processes and org charts.
But those won’t help overcome the loss of the core asset of any marketing department — customer wisdom.
So here are three ways to preserve that asset. Read on to ensure the next time one of your star marketing performers is poached by another company, your marketing department doesn’t suffer a major setback.
A Way to Log Your Learnings
To quote Niels Bohr, “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.”
Once marketers on your team make a mistake with your customers, they tend not to want to make it again.
They remember the pain. To quote ‘80s hair band Great White, “I’m once bitten twice shy.”
But once they leave your company, they take that pain with them. And the lesson. And new marketers on your team don’t know what mistakes to avoid.
This is especially important if your department is engaged in A/B testing. While the practice can produce significant increases in sales and leads, it can take a lot of losses — better called lessons — to get there. After all, the nature of true experimentation is that things don’t always work out as you plan. According to Smriti Chawla of VWO, when the CRO software surveyed customers they discovered that only one in every seven A/B tests is a winning test.
If you’re not going to get a lift, you better make sure your brand is learning something from those losses. You can’t rely on a single experienced marketer who does a lot of testing in your department to always remember. What is she leaves?
Of course, not to be overly negative, winning tests are important to learn from, too. As well as everything you learn from every other interaction your brand has with the customer.
So — log your customer wisdom. Create an easy way for everyone in your department, including the new marketer on day one — to learn what key discoveries your brand has already made about the customer. To make it easy for you, we gave away a free Excel-based Test Discovery Library tool in this article (no form to fill out, just an instant download) to help you create a custom library of wisdom for your company.
A Clear and Compelling Expression of Your Brand’s Value Proposition
Some marketers just get why your brand or product should be compelling to a customer, especially if they’ve spent a lot of time interacting with customers.
Don’t let that wisdom walk out the door if you lose those top performers. Conduct a value proposition workshop to get the best thinking from your most experienced marketers to create a forceful value proposition.
According to MECLABS Institute’s patented methodology, the force of a value proposition can be measured by four essential elements:
- Appeal: “I want it.”
- Exclusivity: “I can't get it anywhere else.”
- Clarity: “I understand it and you.”
- Credibility: “I believe in it and you.”
The value prop workshop is one step in the process of crafting a value proposition that addresses those four elements.
The end result should be a clear and compelling value proposition statement that answers the essential value proposition question “If I am your ideal customer, why should I buy from you instead of any of your competitors?” Make sure new marketers are given that statement as part of your onboarding process.
A Unifying Vision for Marketing Projects
New marketers aren’t only coming into a new department and a new brand, oftentimes they are entering the department mid-project(s). For a marketer without the context of why and how the project will be executed, a unifying vision for a marketing project can help get them get up to speed quickly.
It can include elements like:
- The project objectives
- The value proposition of the project (both for customers and internal stakeholders)
- The methodology used to conduct the project
- The project plan — including an understanding of what follow-up is necessarily to determine success and next steps
- How the project will improve the customer experience
After all everything is marketing. Not just ads and emails to customers. Internal documents that not only help new marketers understand a project and why it matters to their customer, but invite them into a project in a way that will truly tap into their passions — that is an important type of marketing as well.
I know some of you scan past my prosaic writing just to see what freebie you can get at the end of the article. So here it is. Get your free Test Discovery Library Tool to help log all the results and discoveries from your marketing tests (no form fill required, just instantly download from the article).
Daniel Burstein is the Senior Director, Content and Marketing at MECLABS Institute. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the marketing direction for MECLABS — digging for actionable discoveries while serving as an advocate for the audience.