Happy New Year! I hope you had a really nice holiday season. Mine was filled with some really nice family time – lots of movies, reading, and board games. We usually like to get outside for skiing and skating and enjoy the best the winter throws at us, but it was too bitterly cold for much of that.
In coming back to work this week I have been pondering how marketing executives should spend their time in 2018. There will always be budget fire drills, user conferences, and all-hands meetings of course, but what are the breakthrough actions you should consider? The ones that will stretch you both personally and make a substantial difference in how you run your organization.
In the spirit of the make-a-list season, here are 4 things marketing executives should do in 2018:
- Redesign how you engage with customers.
- Get closer to your customers.
- Really understand how your Marketing technology works.
- Pilot agile marketing.
Redesign how you engage with customers
If you are still focused primarily on messages and content that sells to your audience, it’s time to rethink your approach. Organizations that build trust and value through communication that educates and inspires are the ones getting ahead today.
Nobody likes to be sold to, but everybody likes to learn. How much educating are you doing in your marketing? Are you appealing to your buyers on an emotional level and a personal one? Are you fostering community building, helping your customers connect with a tribe of individuals in the same roles?
Implementing marketing communication strategies that place a priority on education, emotional connections, and community building will build the type of thought leadership and loyalty that drives long-term customer relationships.
Get closer to your customers – literally
You have heard this one a thousand times. It’s more important than ever today. In the age of relevancy and personalization, really getting to know your customer personas is critical. While we are big believers in buyer persona research, marketing executives need to personally get in front of customers. Make this the year you figure out how to get yourself and your team in front of customers (and your sales team) more frequently. After all, sitting in Corporate HQ never helped anyone become more customer-savvy.
Really understand how your marketing technology works
Raise your hand if you are increasingly anxious about your lack of marketing technology knowledge. Go ahead and close your door first if it will make you feel better.
Let’s make this the year that you start to really tackle those fears. Get yourself a tutor by sitting down with your Marketing Ops people or your Marketing Automation power users. Take our Marketo for Marketing Executives Workshop. Ask the questions that you feel silly about.
It’s really time you understand how the technology works and how you can get the most out of it. Those millennials are chomping at your corner office and they know how this stuff works.
Pilot agile marketing
Still struggling with optimizing your planning and execution cycles? Not as nimble and responsive as you would like to be? Try an agile marketing pilot. We are seeing more and more clients implementing three-week sprints, daily stand-ups, and a formal agile approach that rapidly condenses their planning and execution cycles.
Agile can really improve collaboration. It’s a Darwinian approach that helps organizations rapidly understand and bolster investment in marketing campaigns that perform best. And it really helps increase productivity.
So there you have it, 4 things that marketing executives should put on their to-do list in 2018. Stay warm everyone!