Companies that want to evolve will evolve, and companies that are reluctant to change will eventually be replaced in the marketplace. If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably in the first group. There are no “silver bullets” to solve all your marketing problems, just tried-and-true methods to diagnose choke points and fix them accordingly. Below are basic starting points that I believe all companies should consider, whether big or small, global or local, public or private.
1. Trust data, not your intuition.
Tools like Hotjar and Google’s Optimize are allowing companies with minimal budgets to obtain performance data for apps and websites. Gone are the days of guessing. As Peep from Conversion XL mentions, “there are no silver bullets,” but rather a system of iterative testing to yield conclusive improvements. Utilizing a scientific approach eliminates individual bias ensuring that marketing dollars are spent in the most responsible way possible.
2. Zapier is the way of the future.
Zapier is the “if this, then that” of the business world, allowing APIs from hundreds of companies to communicate with one another. It’s a game changer. Imagine that a company has a live chat option on its website’s sales page which asks for an email address before the chat starts. Using Zapier, the email can instantly be fed to Facebook for live retargeting, create a sales follow-up ticket in Zen Desk, and contribute to your marketing automation platform within milliseconds. This is just the tip of the iceberg – there are HUNDREDS of integrations and thousands of ‘zaps’ that can be created painlessly to propel your marketing efforts.
3. Ditch your custom CRM or outdated database.
Chances are that your custom-built CRM from 2002 is holding back your ability to automate. Ten years ago, a CRM would have cost thousands of dollars to purchase and even more to implement. Internally these systems have worked great, but in 2018 they are extremely limiting and costly to maintain.
Salesforce has shown the world how versatile a CRM can be, allowing for thousands of integrations and custom-use case applications. However, some companies can’t afford the investment or need a specific aspect of their old CRM to be preserved. This is where marketing automation tools like Hubspot, Marketo, or even Mailchimp can make the difference. Consider Mailchimp’s inexpensive marketing platform which allows for basic contact management, drip campaigns, live lists for digital marketing platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, and API access to Zapier, opening hundreds of thousands of automation capabilities.
4. Review your current channels for improvement.
Before introducing new channels into the mix, are you using your existing channels in the most effective ways possible? I suggest performing a self-audit to address areas in your current efforts that may need improvement. Ask simple questions like, do your emails have clear CTAs? Does your YouTube video have subtitles? Does your website load quickly on mobile devices? Do your Facebook ads have proper targeting?
5. Streamline your time-consuming tasks with SAAS.
Historically, design tools, video production, and campaigns were expensive endeavors. Fast-forward to 2018, and hundreds of Software As a Service (SAAS) platforms are providing creative solutions for pennies on the dollar. Canva or Adobe’s Spark are disrupting the marketplace for designers, allowing the average person to create stunning visual works. Lumen 5 automatically creates videos for your blog posts to be shared instantly on social media, YouTube, or any video platform. Hootsuite, Later, and Sprout Social allow people to complete social media scheduling, management, and influencer campaigns in just a few minutes.
Bonus: Outsource. outsource. outsource.
I continue to see companies hiring employees to address a specific task. Instead of hiring a graphic designer, social media expert, or (insert task-based title), consider outsourcing the position through Fiverr, Upwork, or hiring a freelancer. This saves money, allows for higher salaries in decision-making positions, and increases the overall output for small to medium-sized marketing teams.