At our most recent breakfast briefing event, we explored the link between growth and marketing. To frame the debate we shared findings from the recent LEWIS Global Marketing Engagement Index, where we found a clear link between better marketing engagement and stronger margins / profits. In fact, the best performing businesses among the 300 largest public companies in the world (based on Forbes Global 2000 list) were stronger at earned media, social media and digital marketing. So, during the roundtable we were keen to discuss some of these themes with the senior marketers and find out more about their experiences, challenges, and successes.
Our guest speakers were Rachel Lockwood, Senior Director of Marketing from SAS, the global leader in analytics, and Simon Shah, CMO at Redwood Software, the workload automation company. Both speakers shared personal experiences and practical advice on how to improve marketing engagement in order to grow businesses.
We heard from B2B and B2C marketers in the room, who talked about the common challenges they face addressing areas including the move to multi-channel marketing, what to do when there’s a break in the sales funnel, how to use social media to drive sales, and effective measurement.
So, what were some of the top tips for marketers?
- Improve the link between sales and marketing, and balance innovation, creativity, collaboration and efficiency in order to drive value for your organisation. Without a balance, marketers can face poor results or fall victim to short-term thinking.
- Recognise that integrated marketing is nothing new, but it can be a challenge to join the dots. Make sure you look up and across in order to understand what is working and how your marketing can become more unified. But in all the analysis, don’t forget what is most important – the customer.
- Accept that the customer journey has never been linear, develop an approach that blends earned, organic and paid channels, and don’t forget traditional or offline marketing tactics. While the textbooks might show us neat models of linear customer journeys, the reality is quite different.
- Don’t lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve, and remember that what works today is unlikely to work tomorrow. Some of the most successful brands are actively seeking disruption in order to create innovation; this restless disruption keeps them moving forward.
- Be more precise in your targeting and then tell a consistent, unified story. Having a consistent message across all channels continues to be vital, yet many brands are forgetting this. Approaches such as account-based marketing are seeing a revival thanks to the hyper-targeting and personalisation.
- Brands must measure specific elements of the marketing ecosystem in order to drive performance, because top-line and bottom-line impact remain the lodestar. By measuring the details, marketers will have a deeper understanding of their ecosystem. They can then review and optimise at a granular level, learn precise lessons, and in turn impacts the wider marketing machine
The event was great exploration (although we could have chatted all day!) into the challenges facing many marketers in how to support growth. However, it was clear that many brands require help in pivoting their programmes, adapting their campaigns and creating new ideas and thinking. We believe that for brands to grow they must embed a culture of restless disruption. If history tells us anything, it’s that curiosity, and a drive to adapt and evolve leads to success. In today’s challenging economic climate, it’s even more important. For growth rarely follows the complacent.
If you’d like to read the full LEWIS Global Marketing Engagement Index, which quantifies and measures the performance of many factors across the marketing spectrum, you can download it here.
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