Kicking out the average
Editorial

Kicking out the average

It may sound like a huge generalisation to make, but in the face of economic uncertainty, increased market competitiveness and the constant hunt for greater ROI, marketers’ KPIs have never been so tough.

Some would even go so far as to say that certain expectations being placed on the profession are unrealistic. With every new lead, conversion or successful campaign comes a hunger for more – often with less budget and resources than were previously available.

There can, therefore, be no disputing the fact that being a marketer in 2017 isn’t necessarily going to be easy. But it will be exciting and rich in potential – as long as the profession can ‘kick out the average’.

With the help of technological innovations, marketers are being empowered to do more, to make better use of their time, and to take back control from IT departments and expensive agencies that have previously called many of the shots. They no longer have to make compromises.

In the past, for example, it has been OK to settle for emails that don’t render properly on different devices, or that lack aesthetic punch. That’s because, for many marketers, there hasn’t been either the budget or the hours in the day to be able to craft the perfect asset. But tech has altered the landscape in this respect, which means OK is no longer good enough. If one marketer doesn’t create an engaging, litmus-tested email that capture’s the audience’s attention, they can be sure their counterpart in a competitor brand will.

If they’re ‘kicking out the average’, marketers need to strive to produce functional and beautiful campaigns – that’s how they’ll unlock the ROI their management teams are looking for.

Deeper segmentation is also required so that customers and prospects can be truly addressed as individuals, not just pools of contacts. It may sound laborious, but with technology to remove the administrative burden, it needn’t be. Every single learning has to be stored, records updated and journeys triggered, to capitalise on incremental pieces of new data gleaned about an individual. Otherwise, personalisation attempts will lack authenticity, which is something the recipient will see straight through.

There can no longer be a disregard for what goes on behind the ‘send’ button either. With ESPs (email service providers) becoming increasingly stringent, it is indisputably harder for legitimate emails to reach a recipient’s inbox. Marketers, therefore, need to improve their email practices and deliverability profiles now, or partner with an external expert that is well equipped to navigate the ever-changing email landscape.

The list of focal points could go on and on. Contact strategies, re-engagement mechanisms and multichannel journeys are just some of the things that need to be considered. But the key is to start making changes now. Where processes can be automated without them having a detrimental effect on the overall activity or strategy, marketers shouldn’t be afraid to let tech take on the hard work. That way, they can reap the efficiencies and use their newfound time to do things that are anything but average.

An experienced digital marketer who has owned and run agencies for almost 15 years, Adam is the head of cross-channel marketing automation specialist Force24.

Adam Oldfield Managing Director Force24
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