As we undergo a time of uncertainty, global change and business transformation, it is important for marketers to focus on their two key responsibilities: delivering an experience to customers that is most helpful and relevant and supporting their businesses as they shift between the need to drive growth and drive efficiency on every dollar spent.
Marketers have always been close to the customer and the business, putting them in a unique position to lead their company through this unprecedented period. With the help of data and measurement, marketers have the tools to navigate the unknowns and difficult decisions that come their way.
There are four key benefit areas that marketers can focus on today to bring certainty to their marketing strategies:
1. Put customer experience first—always.
No matter the circumstances, the customer is always the No. 1 priority. In times of increased ambiguity, marketers need to be laser focused on the needs and preferences of their customers to ensure they are providing helpful and relevant content and not being tone deaf. In fact, our new research finds that 54 percent of marketers cite deeper insights into audiences, content and offers as a key area of improvement over the next year, and 49 percent cite a better ability to understand and engage customers. To understand how customers are responding, marketers need to double down on connecting and measuring their data across all customer touch points along the journey. In an unpredictable situation, marketers need to have access to these metrics in real time, not weeks or months in the future.
2. Ensure efficiency across your entire marketing budget.
With budgets under increased scrutiny, marketers need to make sure that everything they do is efficient and effective. Each action should ensure transparency and value. Marketers need to ask themselves key questions: What campaigns or journeys should be run in the current moment? What messages are resonating with customers right now? What programs should be kept or cut? Through data and measurement, marketers can achieve a holistic view of all of their marketing activities and get a handle on their priorities. At the same time, marketers can use this time to organize and rethink their measurement strategies and prepare themselves for cycles of future growth, which we know is top of mind.
3. Experiment with and test new strategies.
Successful marketers have always embodied characteristics of innovation and creativity. These traits will be more critical than ever as marketers shift planned tactics and campaigns to reflect a new landscape. Now is the time to test new strategies, whether that means creating virtual experiences or modifying the media mix to support new customer behaviors. It’s important to maintain an ongoing dialogue with customers by measuring results often—88 percent of marketers view real-time insights as important to their success. This allows marketers to gather feedback and then pivot or double down on their efforts based on response.
4. Unite and align teams.
Companies are already adapting to a new normal by transitioning to working remotely and using technology to collaborate. Marketers have always had to work closely across many parts of the business, from sales, to product, to IT and beyond. The key to staying connected is aligning these stakeholders across an organized system of record for all of their data. With a standardized approach to measurement, marketers can ensure that everyone is working from the same set of facts and toward the same goals and benchmarks. Marketers are already making progress in this area, with 44 percent claiming excellent progress in alignment on KPIs, metrics and taxonomy across teams, regions and partners.
This period of uncertainty presents an opportunity for marketers to lead with data-driven decisions in order to forge the path to certainty for both their customers and their businesses.