Becoming agile is the topic de jour for marketers, with more teams adopting the practices of their development counterparts, especially in today’s uncertain economic climate. Today’s marketers need flexibility in order to pivot programs when faced with the cancelation of all in-person events. With global economies bracing for a recession, marketers need to be agile so they can effectively manage their spend to continue driving business impact.
Understanding your spend data is a core component of maintaining and improving marketing performance, especially through uncertain times. And that’s where agility comes in. Running an agile marketing team isn’t just about moving fast, it’s how marketers “figure out what the right thing to be doing is, as quickly as possible,” according to Forrester. Agile marketing is about having visibility into your plans, identifying what programs are running the most effectively, and then executing on more of those programs to drive business impact. Let’s dive into those three areas a bit further:
Manage Spend Wisely: Budget is the ultimate expression of strategy, so when the strategy is changing, investments need to change as well.
- Step one is always go back to your plan. When strategy is shifting, marketing leaders need to ensure the new plan of action is still aligned with corporate goals, or whether those goals have also shifted.
- Next marketers need a clear view into exactly how much of their budget has already been spent, which funds have been committed but can be shifted (for example, a canceled event that has refunded a sponsorship fee) and where there is planned spend that hasn’t yet been executed upon.
- Once agile marketers know exactly how much is available to them, they can quickly start investing in programs that support the new strategy.
Measure ROI – Investment data needs to be connected to performance data for full visibility into which programs are the most effective.
- Marketers need to connect investment data to their results data. It doesn’t matter if results are measured through a CRM platform like Salesforce.com, a cross-channel campaign management platform Acoustic, or within a data lake, the two data sets need to be connected.
- Connected data sets will provide closed loop reporting for clarity into how efficient marketing programs are, so teams understand which investments are effective and which are not.
- Armed with clear ROI measurements for all their programs, agile marketers can make informed decisions about where to pivot their investments.
Drive Impact – Making flexible investment decisions that maximize the impact of every marketing dollar is a crucial part of success in today’s uncertain economic climate.
- Connect program and channel attribution data with investment data to sales influence to actual spend to get that 360 degree view of program impact.
- Marketers should incorporate historical ROI trend data into assessments to ensure trending insights are not skewed by one bad campaign or a seasonal slump.
- Incorporate ongoing impact assessments into team responsibilities, rather than waiting for monthly or quarterly reports to identify underperforming programs.
Clearly, agile practices ensure today’s marketers are stronger business partners for the rest of the organization. But agile teams aren’t just built on adapted business processes. It takes the right people, processes and technology to properly execute agile marketing practices. Clear visibility into financial data, and connecting that data to performance, is a critical part of being agile. This is why a growing number of marketing organizations are implementing foundational MRM (Marketing Resource Management) platforms to manage their plans and investments. This ensures they can quickly make informed decisions based on closed-loop reporting that incorporates data from investments and results.
Download your copy of The Forrester Wave™: Marketing Resource Management, Q1 2020 report today to learn how Allocadia can provide your marketing team with the investment insights they need to weather these uncertain economic times.