The beginning of a new year can be a magical thing. It’s a time of new beginnings, a reset on personal and professional goals, and hopefully new marketing budgets! If you’re anything like us, you’ve been prepping for the new year for a while—reviewing your year-end results, building out your marketing plan, and outlining SMART goals for your teams that support overall company and sales goals.
But, if you’re feeling a bit behind in your new year planning already, that’s OK too. We’ve put together a quick guide to getting your marketing team setup for success in January and beyond.
Understand where you’ve been successful.
It’s hard to know where you’re going without knowing where you’ve been. Take some time to measure what campaigns were most successful across email, social, your website, webinars, and events. Look at your standard engagement metrics and connect your opportunities and closed business back to the campaigns your customers interacted with to paint a picture of your customer journey and the supporting marketing campaigns.
Take stock of the marketing metrics at your fingertips, and those you’re missing.
If you’re missing pieces of the puzzle when looking back at what success was like for you in the previous year, start asking what metrics you could track to fill in the blanks. Are there fields you can require in your CRM system that will fill in data points you don’t currently have? Do you need to make sure UTM parameters are added to your links on social so you can connect content created by marketing to where they’re most accessed and shared? Think through what data will help you prove the success of your marketing initiatives, and start tracking now!
Establish a baseline.
Once you know what’s worked and how you’re going to measure to prove it, you can establish a baseline. If your average incoming marketing qualified leads number per month was 50 when you ran 5 campaigns that month, you know you probably won’t be able to double to 100 MQLs and do 5 similar campaigns. Use the data you have to tell a story, to give you benchmarks to measure against, and set realistic monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals.
Always keep your end goal in mind.
At the end of the day, marketing’s goal is often to support sales and overarching company goals. So you need to understand what those goals are and where marketing is responsible for driving them. If you’re only responsible for sourcing 20% of new opportunities, and sales is responsible for sourcing 80%, your measure of success will look a lot different than if the equation was flipped. With sales sourcing the majority of leads, marketing efforts will likely focus more on middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel supporting activities to help your sales teams close more business. Understanding sales and the leadership team’s expectations of you will help you prioritize and focus your marketing plan for the year.
Schedule in regular reviews, and be flexible to change.
Just like your new year gym schedule will probably change a bit come March, your marketing plan will, and should, too! Establish a regular schedule to review the metrics you have (this will help ensure you are consistently tracking data so it will be easier to set benchmarks for next year too). Discuss what’s working and what isn’t, based on what the numbers are showing, and don’t be afraid to make micro changes to your plans accordingly. The best marketing campaigns start out experimenting with a hypothesis, and it’s better to have built agile processes that you can switch up when something isn’t working, than go the whole year with a faulty campaign and have to suffer the consequences come December.
Looking for more guidance on making sure your marketing and sales processes are setup for success in the new year?
Reach out to our consulting team, we’d be happy to share our best practices metrics dashboard, provide suggestions, and even help with campaign execution to make sure you hit your goals this year.