Tell me if this sounds familiar: your fiscal year budgeting cycle approaches and you’re faced with the conundrum of how to exceed your marketing goals with a flat or reduced budget. You ask yourself (...among many other introspections):
- Where can we find new efficiencies?
- What’s driving the most revenue in my marketing mix?
- Are our current vendors helping us hit goals?
- Is there any overlap?
According to Gartner’s Annual CMO Spend Survey, this is a trend plaguing many marketing decision makers, with organizational spend rapidly increasing in IT, research & development, and innovation. Here’s the gist:
"Marketing spend is down, meaning you need to do more with less this year."
Doing “more with less” is a phrase we’re familiar with at Seer. That’s why we’ve built our foundation upon using data to find efficiencies and invest in marketing channels the drive revenue for our clients’ organizations. In consulting with clients spanning countless different industries, each with unique goals and challenges, we’ve learned a thing or two.
Enclosed in this post are actionable ways to integrate your teams’ data and identify opportunities for efficiency at your organization.
Breaking Down Internal & External Silos
If you’re running a marketing department, chances are you have a regular cadence of marketing “all hands” meetings, where each team discusses what they’re working on, progress to goals, important launches, etc. Then, the individual teams go back to their desks and likely do not speak until you reconvene the following week (or month).
Both within these meetings and outside of them, there are ways to go from fostering integration between your execution teams to empowering them to live integration.
Make Meetings More Actionable & Collaborative
At Seer, we’ve implemented actionable agendas for our internal meetings so they are less of a status check (or a reason to multi-task if a topic isn’t “relevant”).
Here’s what it looks like:
Share ALL the Data, Get ALL the Insights
When was the last time SEOs gave your PPC team a list of sites to run ads on?
How about when they gave your PR folks a list of newsworthy topics to pitch?
Or created a content roadmap based upon highly converting paid search terms?
These are just a few examples of how your teams should be collaborating to increase impact. If you have separate media teams, brand teams, digital teams, PR teams, etc., they should be sharing data. Plain and simple.
If you’re working with a few agencies that manage various aspects of your marketing mix, you should challenge them to do the same (if they aren’t already doing it regularly!)
Collaborate On An Action Plan
- Get everyone in the same room (or on a video call) together.
- Face time is important, don't underestimate it!
- Set the tone.
- Communicate that the objective of the meeting is to learn from each other and walk away with concrete scenarios where you will collaborate for greater impact and efficiencies to achieve your marketing goals holistically
- Ask each team or agency to present:
- Audience or competitive data they have from the past year
- Learnings from campaigns, website performance, tests, etc. (what worked, what didn't?)
- What they are focusing on for the next 3-6 months
- Leave the room!
- Let the teams come together to discuss where they can be collaborating more and what data and insights are valuable to receive on a regular basis.
- Ask for a roadmap.
- As an output, outline which contributors are responsible, consulted, and informed for each aspect of the marketing plan
- Keep the momentum.
- There should be a regular cadence of meetings following this exercise to open the lines of communication.
- We recommend monthly touchpoints at minimum (side note: your marketing team does not necessarily need to be on this call if you’re resource constrained!)
- You may also want to consider establishing an all-hands marketing QBR (Quarterly Business Review)
Rally Around Business Challenges
After this initial meeting, you can bring together your marketing teams, agency partners, and all the tools in their toolbox to solve the business challenges keeping you up at night. The output of these subsequent stakeholder meetings should always be an actionable, data-backed plan.
Here’s an example scenario...
"We need to cut our TV spend by 30% next year. How do we make the most of our air time?"
We brought Seer teams together with our Client’s traditional media partner and saw a +69% lift in website conversions by aligning ad copy to TV flights.
View the results
Find Ways to Eliminate Wasted Ad Spend
An easy way to do more with less is to eliminate inefficient ad spend. This is easier said than done though; it’s an extremely manual process to continuously monitor for new keywords that are wasting budget.
At Seer, we don’t like to waste our team’s time or our clients’ money. So, we created a tool that finds wasted ad spend in less than 30 minutes by aggregating a list of terms generating a paid search ad that are receiving 0 conversions.
Consider this example:
If you Google "bank account" you'll see that the #1 result is a music video from 21 Savage.
When the song first came out, banks were bidding on the keywords: bank account mp3, bank account lyrics, etc.
An SEO client of ours had no idea their PPC agency spent $60K in 2 months on words that included lyrics, mp3, video, etc. We came into the picture and caught it almost instantly using our proprietary tool that finds keywords that are spending your budget but not driving bottom-line impact on your business: Saving Benjamin .
What Would You Do With More Budget?
If you need to spend smarter this year, think about what you can do with several thousand dollars back in your budget. Maybe...
- Increase bids for search terms that are making you money?
- Create personalized content on PPC landing pages?
- Expand your paid media budget on testing new channels?
Here are few ways to help influence integration, data visibility, and overall efficiencies within your marketing department:
- Try one of our efficiency services that leverage SEO & PPC data to find & eliminate wasted spend (so you can reinvest in new opportunities!)
- Check out our YouTube Channel for how to visualize data as a digital marketer:
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