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What Is Marketing Transformation?

Guest Blogger Michael Brenner Marketing Insider Group

Marketing transformation has many meanings, depending on who you ask. Simply put, it’s the pursuit of achieving scale, efficiency, innovation and profitability by using data and technology.

However, only about a third of businesses believe they have the right strategies in place to master a marketing transformation. So, how can your brand transform?

Here’s a guide on how to transform your next campaign with the development of marketing transformation.

digital marketing transformation

Source: Pexels.com under CC license.

Digital Transformation: Focus on These 3 Key Areas

I have discovered there are three key areas to concentrate on when it comes to marketing transformation.

1.    Empowering the Organization

Change can be painful for an organization. It forces you outside of your comfort zone. With marketing transformation, you’re uprooting your entire culture.

Finding the right tools, like a content marketing platform or marketing automation functionality, is relatively easy. Adopting those platforms to your business model and your people, however, is often a weak spot.

Everyone has to have buy-in on the change. You want your team to have a shared vision, even if that means reworking operating models.

Maybe you just need to simplify your framework or make some shifts in the way your team collaborates and delivers strategies related to marketing activities. You’ll have to knock down some silos. Roles may change, and there will be growing pains. But it’s a good thing for employee skillsets to grow. 

Having leadership firmly behind you here goes a long way.

2.    Managing Your Channels

How is each channel being managed today? Do channels cross where appropriate? Is the strategy for each channel optimized?

The old rules of channel marketing are obsolete. In the old framework, ideas are spun from insights. Content is created then shared across channels. Buyers respond. Sales go up. It’s a success.

Now, applying the same rules across each channel could be a big disservice to your brand. It’s all about the true value of each individual channel and how it influences sales.

Can you say right now what the ROI of your content is? Do you know if your blog is generating leads? When you manage your channels in an integrated manner, you’ll be able to find these answers. The data will be available and valuable to how you develop your next strategy.

How do you truly integrate channels?

You may perceive the bottom of the funnel tactics as having the best conversions. But there would be no funnel without foundational elements like SEO, content marketing and social media marketing.

Get Found. Get Shared. Get Leads

While it sounds “old school,” creating content around keywords is still the best way to optimize search on the internet. Then we need to use engagement metrics like social shares, subscriptions, bounce rate or page reading depth to understand if we are creating the right kind of content.

Finally, we need to test conversion paths to understand the best way to transform engaged traffic to leads or sales revenue.

3.    Using the Right Technology

You can build and define your audience through the lens of every touch point or journey, and then use a marketing platform to understand it all.

You can know where your targets are coming from (sources) and what content they like (page views). Then you can begin to follow that buyer and monitor their experience with your brand.

Maybe they don’t convert initially.

Then you can retarget them where they are, like on a social media platform. The right tools make all the difference here. You can scale this as big as you need to while also being able to remain efficient, effective and personalized.

Roadblocks to Marketing Transformation: Slippery Slopes Ahead

What can you expect in your pursuit of marketing transformation? Well, you are sure to encounter roadblocks in several scenarios, which means it’s often a slippery slope.

As a leader, you know that transformation is necessary, with 27% of senior executives stating it’s imperative to survival. Yet 33% see it as a challenge. How do you impact change while also ensuring that everybody is on board and the right tools and processes are in place?

Culture Clashes

As noted above, empowering your organization is critical to marketing transformation. It’s time to disrupt these change-resistant hierarchies that may be in place.

Adopt new techniques that emanate from agility and make sure your team has the capabilities they need to support the change.

As a marketing leader, you don’t have to go all in on day one. Start slow. Create a transformation mindset. Welcome new ideas. Get your team to see change as a good thing, one that will make their jobs easier and more in sync with generating returns.

The Business Isn’t Ready

Are we ever fully ready for change? Is there ever a perfect time to just go for it? Probably, not, but your business may not be ready because they lack the skills, resources, and structure needed.

Your team will need to assess how ready the organization is to implement and sustain change around technology, as well as people and processes.

The business may also not be ready in terms of understanding its buyer and what’s most important to them.

Once you do some analysis and determine where your weak points are, you need to address them in order to transform. If your team lacks some digital skills on how to interpret data, get them more training. If the business doesn’t understand its buyer, start researching them and peeling back the layers.

Slow, Traditional Processes Don’t Work Anymore

While you may have the right people, traditional processes will not spur transformation and they don’t support the talent you have. This is where being agile and shifting to a project-centric approach for innovation can turn things around.

Your central focus on transforming, as well as why change is needed, is to stay in touch with your customer. That means you need to employ data-driven practices to garner actionable consumer insights.

For example, what does your data say about how users experience your content? If it’s mostly by mobile, how effective is your mobile UX? Does the data point to user frustration because they bounce early or don’t stay very long?

With these insights, you need to be able to respond quickly with your marketing team talking to your development team. You must be willing to address the customer experience immediately.

In the end, you can overcome these barriers and have your brand fully embrace change. It won’t be easy; nothing great ever is!

Michael Brenner (@BrennerMichael) has been recognized as a Forbes top CMO influencer, and a Top Business Keynote Speaker by the Huffington Post. He is CEO of Marketing Insider Group, and co-author of 2 books including The Content Formula, and Digital Marketing Growth Hacks. Michael’s innovative leadership has resulted in massive growth for his clients. His workshops and keynotes for Fortune 500 brands and tiny startups have inspired profound personal and professional change.

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