The secret to continued growth is the creation of habits. Rather than making a new habit in a vacuum, bring your entire marketing team on board, and take results from “ho-hum” to highly successful. Habits can help scale your business and maintain momentum for continued growth.
Regularly, marketing teams will come to us for website redesign and for help with digital marketing. The first place we start is by coaching them toward creating new habits. Here are our top 7 habits to help their marketing team hit their goals:
1. Follow a content calendar for monthly content production.
Don’t just look at the calendar. Follow it. Keep everyone accountable. If you don’t have enough manpower to keep up with your content, start outsourcing. Always play to your strengths: if your team is exceptional at blogging, focus on that. If your marketing team can create quality, engaging videos quickly and easily, use that to your advantage. In order to have a good variety of content, create a crowd-sourced content calendar document (shareable spreadsheet) with ideas, and have team members plug them in at various intervals. Make the habit easy to start with (use tools you already have at your disposal), and build it out as you progress, as needed. If you overcomplicate at the start with too many steps, your team will avoid doing it.
Gut check: Don’t create content just for the sake of creating content. Make sure it’s valuable to your audience.
2. Track and report metrics every month and quarter.
If you don’t know where you’ve been, you have no idea where you’re going. Tracking, reporting and analysis helps inform your next marketing team decisions. These steps will indicate your strengths (that you can bring to your leadership) and the weaknesses that should be addressed internally before they become larger problems.
We find it’s most help to findings in an uncomplicated manner:
Find what’s useful–don’t just fill in a spreadsheet or conduct a data dump
Analyze the numbers (or risk meaningless data)
Be consistent in your presentation–build a simple slide deck if it helps
Be comparative: month-over-month or quarter-over-quarter can show trends, and patterns to give context and understanding
Gut check: Give context within a sea of (regularly-tracked) data. This should relate back to what efforts and working and what isn’t.
3. Perform A/B Testing.
Is this the correct thing to do? Do you have the data to prove it?
If you can’t answer these questions when leadership asks, you might lose out on budgeting dollars. A/B testing is the scientific method of marketing. Make a hypothesis rather than an assumption. Test one variable at a time. Prove your hypothesis true or false, and move on to the next test. (Start with Options A and B and then move on to Options A and C.) When you continue to test, you are allowing yourself continual room for improvement rather than guessing and debating internally. Once you begin guessing, you risk not showing in search results, not reaching an entire sector of customers and more. While creating your test, tracking is key. Have a consistent start and end date to compare equally. Make sure your process is organized from start to finish, so that when you test two different sets of ad copy, for example, there is no other variable pulled in.
Gut check: Solid conclusions come from controlled, organized experiments.
4. Audit results to make better decisions.
Highly effective marketing teams don’t just happen. They build a culture and habit of questioning and analyzing. Ask your team: which channels are leading in conversions? Where are we spending more to advertise but have lower visitor engagement? You have to put your money and energy where you’re getting results. In order to find this out, assign one person on the team to report monthly. Put your heads together to find the actions connected to the (positive or negative) results and dig in to see the “why” behind your numbers.
For example, if Google Analytics shows a 95% bounce rate, but you’ve spent a lot on facebook advertising, to obtain 1000 new visitors, this may be, unfortunately, a total waste of money. Use a tool such as SEMRush to look at organic traffic to see how people are getting to your site. Even beyond knowing your traffic sources, you need to know whether this is the traffic that you want. Create a report that shows changes based on the metrics, and then adjust it and reiterate your plan.
Gut check: Plans can–and should–be adjusted with new information.
5. Automate your email campaign.
Any successful marketing team will tell you: automation is one of your best friends, and as the saying goes time is money. Automating your email campaigns will save you time that you can spend accomplishing other tasks for your team. It also helps you effortlessly keep up your relationships with customers and visitors (whether they’re loyal or brand new). And when you keep up that relationship with targeted, personalized or triggered emails, it pays dividends by giving you the top-of-mind status with your ideal audience.
Gut check: Let automation do its thing as much as makes sense before you (or sales) jump in with manual follow-ups. (Habits #1-3 are key here, too.)
6. Set up regular meetings with a counterpart in sales (or another department).
Sales is where the rubber meets the road. Successful teams not only work together, but listen to learn, collaborating on projects and accomplishing the part they’re good at. When you talk with your sales counterparts, they can give you better insight into the customer persona, and how the audience is responding to various marketing tactics and exercises you have in mind. Bounce ideas off of your sales colleague to get a better sense of how it may land with your customers.
Ultimately, collaboration puts two heads together so that your plans are well-rounded. Companies with a sales-oriented culture may feel protective of their clients. To get past this, the marketing team must invite the sales team into the conversation: Ask them their opinions. Be prepared to learn from those outside of marketing. Anytime you cross over into different departments for a one-on-one, you’ve created a fantastic new habit.
Gut check: Stop creating in a bubble and open up the conversation. Only farmers should work in silos.
7. Assign accountability to only one team member for every task.
Assign every task and avoid the “I thought you were handling this” scenario. Independent work can ramp up once everyone receives their assignment (like a well-oiled-machine) and you can ensure each and every task gets done. Does this mean that the team member assigned a task completes it all themselves? Not at all. They’re simply in charge of ensuring it is getting done and reporting back that it’s been accomplished. In fact, some tasks may require the entire team’s involvement, but only one name should be listed on your checklist of to dos. This allows everyone a bit of ownership and growth and side-steps any mission creep or blame games that may occur in the midst of a project.
Gut check: Everyone on the marketing team steps up their game when tasks are assigned.
More efficient. More effective. More successful. Sound good? Make it a habit–or seven–so your marketing team can create a new kind of culture and do as much as possible with the time and resources they have right now.