6 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Process—And Your Bottom Line 

by Martha Kendall Custard in June 7th, 2021

Gone are the days where marketers rely on intuition to make decisions. We have data now, and lots of it. Using this data to make informed decisions requires intention and organization. 

Research even shows that the top marketers are organized. In fact, the most organized marketers are 397% more likely to report success.

Here’s where your marketing process comes into play. Having a solid marketing process that encompasses everything from your mission to implementation and everything in between can help achieve the level of organization and success reported by top marketers. 

Why do you need a marketing process?

First, let’s cover the basics. A marketing process is a series of steps used to assess customer struggles, identify marketing opportunities, and create marketing materials that reach and resonate with the target audience. 

This process typically involves 5 steps: 

  1. Mission
  2. Situation Analysis
  3. Marketing Strategy/Planning
  4. Marketing Mix
  5. Implementation and Control

Marketing is no small feat. There are a lot of moving parts, and efficiency can get lost in the shuffle if you don’t have a clear and strategic marketing process. A marketing process places purpose behind every action, ensuring teams only complete tasks that create value for customers, improving your bottom line in return. 

With clear intention behind every action you take, you can weave all of your goals, metrics, and strategies into one seamless action plan. 

In this post, we’re sharing some tips on how to streamline your marketing process. Let’s dig in. 

6 tips to improve your marketing process

Without efficiency, your marketing process won’t go far. 

Marketing requires the efforts of individuals with drastically different skill sets, from graphic designers to analysts and everyone in between. Getting these departments to speak to each other and breathe life into your marketing process requires a careful balance. 

Here are six tips to improve the efficiency of your marketing process:

  1. Conduct primary research on your target audience
  2. Make SMART goals
  3. Switch to asynchronous communication
  4. Use project management software
  5. A/B test
  6. Implement Agile marketing

Let’s get to it.

1. Conduct primary research on your target audience

Instead of guessing about the wants and needs of your target audience, consider asking them yourself. 

Understanding your target audience inside and out is a vital element of any good marketing process. Start by breaking down your market segments, creating buyer personas, and identifying how each persona will likely interact with the brand

types of marketing research graphic

Image source

Then dig into your primary market research. You can conduct online or in-person surveys, hold focus groups, hold phone interviews, and even utilize social media listening to gather firsthand to gather information on the wants and needs of your target audience right from the source.

2. Make SMART goals 

Clear intention is a big part of what makes a marketing process successful. Setting SMART goals is one way to ensure your marketing efforts are always aligned with your team’s overall mission. 

SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely
smart goals graphic

This framework converts your goals from an idea to actionable steps. You can outline goals for both revenue and brand, making them as specific as possible. For example, saying you want to grow your audience isn’t specific enough. Here’s an adequate alternative: grow your audience by X% using a Facebook ads campaign.

To make this example measurable, identify a key performance indicator (KPI). For audience growth on Facebook, this would be the percent increase in page likes or followers. You can look at your analytics for the previous few months to judge whether or not your goal is attainable. If you make the gap between your goal and what you’ve already achieved too wide, it could be impossible to meet. However, the gap should be big enough to have a significant impact.

Next, it’s time for a discussion as to whether or not your goal can be realistically achieved with your available resources and time constraints. Do you have the people to create and manage your ad campaign? Can you get the necessary graphics? How does your budget align with the goal? 

Once you’ve made sure the goal is realistic, set a timeline. How much time will you need to reach your goal? For big goals that take a long time, you can use short term goals to mark milestones within the larger goal. 

3. Switch to asynchronous communication 

Marketing teams have to communicate, but that communication does not have to disrupt deep focus. This is where asynchronous communication comes into the picture. It basically means communication with a time lag between the sender and the recipient. With this communication method, you don't have to commit to being available at a certain time. Instead, you plan responding to messages around your own schedule. 

There are many benefits to using asynchronous communication. Because asynchronous communication is recorded, it eliminates the need to take notes and recall details from meetings throughout the day. If there’s ever a question about the task at hand, you can always refer back to the email, video recording, or message to set the record straight. 

It also helps teams increase productivity by reducing distractions. Research shows that each email takes 64 seconds of recovery time. Marketing teams who batch check emails instead of replying throughout the day can devote that recovery time to working on strategy. 

To implement asynchronous communication, opt for recordings using software like Loom or Vimeo Record for video demonstrations and use email and messaging software like Slack for written communication. Teams who adopt this also have to clarify that messages and emails don’t have to be answered right away for the switch to be effective. 

4. Use project management software 

Project management software is the perfect addition to asynchronous communication, but it’s a game changer by itself as well. This tool organizes all of your tasks and projects into one hub. You can assign tasks within the software, set due dates (and get notifications!), and even link all of your assets in a project to keep everything in one place. 

Asana screenshot

Asana is a great example. This software lets you organize your projects into sections. You can tag your teammates in tasks, add notes, and even add clients as guests so they can give feedback. 

Using project management software streamlines your marketing process by keeping your projects and data organized. Plus, you can track the progress of your SMART goals by analyzing KPIs over time, right in the software. The ability to communicate within the software can replace some of the meetings and emails you’d otherwise have, giving you more time to focus on your work. 

5. A/B test

A/B testing (aka split testing) is when you show two versions of a web page or element to segments of your web visitors simultaneously to see which version yields the best results. The KPI for this is usually conversions, but you could also judge based on other factors like how much time a user spends on a page or how far they scroll down. 

A/B testing can test pretty much anything on your site. Let your customers show you what font they prefer, what messaging they resonate with most, what images and videos they like, and more. 

A big part of the marketing process is truly understanding your target audience. With A/B testing, your customers show you what they want through their actions. It provides an added layer of understanding on top of primary market research. 

6. Implement Agile marketing 

Agile marketing is the process of using sprints of intensive work to complete high-value projects then measuring the effectiveness of those products afterward, with the goal of improving the results over time. The key here is that marketers can quickly identify what’s working and what’s not. They won’t repeat what doesn’t work, but those projects are still considered successful because knowing what doesn’t work is valuable information. 

Here are some tips for implementing agile marketing:

Use sprints- sprints are relatively short project timelines, typically ranging from 2-6 weeks. 

  • Hold stand up meetings. These are brief check-ins (15 minutes max) that take place in the morning. Teammates go over what they did the day before and plan what they’ll do that day, identifying any major roadblocks and addressing them as a team. 
  • Track project progress. This needs to be in a centralized location that everyone has access to, whether it’s the aforementioned project management software or a simple white board. 
  • Prioritize teamwork. Agile marketing share’s project responsibility among all the team members, as the Agile marketing framework relies on collaboration. 
agile graphic

Now, get to work on your marketing process

Imagine boarding a plane, only to realize that the pilot had no flight plan. Sure, all of her instruments might be working and she might technically have all the data necessary, but without a flight plan, she’ll analyze the data in front of her and make decisions on the spot, without knowing how her decisions work together. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? 

Think of your marketing process as your flight plan. It takes the necessary data, and lights your path, ensuring all your decisions connect and work toward a common goal. 

While following a marketing process and staying organized and crushing your marketing analytics, these tips should make it a little easier!

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