Every once in a while a business might start to question whether or not what they’re doing is working the way it should. For the most part these questions point back to the marketing department as the products or services are one of the last things to blame.
When this happens to you, you should be prepared to figure out the problem and determine whether it is the marketing software or the marketing strategy that needs updating. Here are some ways to do just that.
Is My Marketing Software to Blame?
Today’s marketing software is designed to be highly analytical, data driven and action oriented. When our software can tell us what is happening but not why this can often lead to confusion and decisions based on guesswork rather than facts. Here’s how to know if it is time to look for something better:
Using one set of tools to manage your blog, another to track traffic, another to identify leads, and another to email them can be a huge headache. Rather than having everything in one central location all of your resources are scattered across different programs with different accounts and different interfaces. Remember what it was like last time you tried to teach someone how to pull a report together from all these interfaces?
If this sounds like you it is likely that you are losing valuable time jumping from tool to tool trying to put together some logical explanation of what is happening to your leads. All-in-one software would be a better investment that could help you to save the time and effort of managing multiple software tools.
There is a reason why marketing automation comes at such a premium. In addition to the time that is saved categorizing or following up with leads, not having an automated marketing campaign can result in lost leads or confusion as to which stage they are in in your sales cycle.
If you have a blog, use email subscriptions to automate the posts. A white paper or eBook? Automate its download with software while simultaneously collecting user data into your nurture cycle. A contact form? Make sure the end user gets an email with a confirmation as well the next steps of your sales cycle.
Confusing Reporting Metrics
At the end of each month, quarter or year it is likely that your marketing department will need to provide some kind of report. When the CEO asks you why sales from the first quarter are different from the second your software should be able to determine why. A robust marketing tool will provide you with actionable insight that will help you determine important metrics such as customer acquisition cost (CAC) vs spend, time to payback CAC, as well as other valuable metrics your CEO will love you for.
Is My Marketing Strategy to Blame?
If your software appears to be doing its job maybe it is time to look at your overall marketing efforts:
Consistent Lead Generation
If the number of leads you are generating from month-to-month is waning this could be a sign that the marketing strategy is coming up short. Fewer leads equal fewer potential clients and are the earliest indicator that your process needs work.
Decreases in Organic or Referral Traffic
While the number of people who visit your site from search engines can fluctuate from month-to-month you should have some idea as to how much traffic you generally get. The same goes for the amount of social media followers you have and there should always be a plan to increase the amount of followers you get and the amount of traffic that is referred from those sources. Thinking of your organic and referral traffic as a number that doesn’t grow is poor planning. These sources of leads should always be planned for and anything other than constant growth may be an indication that your approach needs tweaking.
Where are the Problems?
Lead generation and retention is at the core of every business’s goals. Most issues with marketing tend to be blamed on process rather than software which is why making the claim for software must be a solid one. Before you tell your CEO to spend more money on marketing software be sure to create identifiable problems with your current tools so that he/she can translate those problems into a good ROI solution.
It is too easy to say that marketing software is to blame and a thorough inspection of the data on lead generation, market conditions and your existing campaigns should be viewed with as much humility as possible. Because if you do get your CEO to invest in the tools and you still have marketing problems someone, might be updated!