We recently got 4 industry thought leaders together for a roundtable discussion about managed solutions, marketing automation, incentives, attribution, unemployment and more.
Marketing efficiency is all about getting your ducks in order
True efficiency in marketing is impossible - if marketing is a company’s engine - like an engine, no engine is 100% efficient. As digital marketers - many want to believe that marketing can be an exact science - measurement, analytics, attribution can all provide exact forecasts over user behaviour - but that is fiction. Digital marketing is a wonderful form of art meeting science.
To achieve efficiency, marketers must form strong collaboration between teams within an organization - marketing, analytics, product, tech, finance, data science.
If one of these functions goes out of order - like - opening a campaign in a new country, without forming a strategy first - any efficiency gained is lost.
Just because you can - doesn’t mean you should.
There is a lot of strategy in marketing - the need to balance spend against competition, the need to find the “sweet spot” in customer acquisition costs vs. the inventory costs. Strategy plays a part in the tactics - and while the operational part is becoming “simpler” thanks to automation:
Marketing efficiency is the results you achieve with every dollar of marketing spend, including the full cost of your marketing department.
Marketers are taking control in house. It’s the responsible thing to do.
We can allocate the trigger for this trend to the little trust in the digital marketing industry. We could blame it on Fraud - but we can also point the blame for all of us not asking the obvious questions: “does it make sense that my campaigns are getting 100M clicks / day in the US?!”
There was a lack of accountability in diverting responsibility to third party vendors. “Paying for results” was a way to let go of control, but it also allowed a lot of abuse and fraud to transpire.
Those who cared, developed skills, experience and maturity to question these “obvious” reports and decided to take back control in-house.
Now, we live in a world where marketing automation platforms are a reality. A Marketer CAN take full control over their spend, without having to absorb hours of operational tasks every day.
It also makes sense for a company where marketing may be the biggest cost item in their books to want to develop this competence in-house. It is a competitive advantage, and allows a company to demystify the “black box” by running experiments and refining their strategy on a continuous basis.
Marketing Automation and Marketing efficiency means focusing on strategy
We’ve never met a consumer company that wants to spend less of their marketing budget. Even in hard times - marketing spend equals more sales, and often - the answer to hard times is to spend more.
With that said, efficiency in marketing means being able to unlock the full value of the budget by understanding and capitalizing on the ability to scale up activity where the performance actually creates value.
Spending time on analytics, hypothesising, ideation, creative, experiments and strategy helps marketers do their jobs better.
Spending hours setting up URLs, uploading creatives and adjusting naming conventions has been the wasteful part of most digital marketers time.
In a world with marketing automation - a marketer will never again be a “media buyer” - a demeaning form of the role description.
Connecting monetary incentives to growth marketers can be a recipe for disaster
There’s a great Harvard study showing that short term incentives (i.e. bonuses, commissions) work well when a task is repetitive and simple.
I.e. if your job is to single-handedly move boxes from right to left and the faster you get it the more $$$ you get - you’ll find ways to make it infinitely fast to max out the monetary value you can get.
a) is not short term
b) is not a simple task
c) requires strategical thinking
d) all of the above
Creating an incentive package for a marketer will always create some sort of a conflict of interest.
Bring more conversions from paid media - get more bonus ? say bye bye to your organic customer base.
Decrease paid media customer acquisition costs - get more bonus ? say hi to the lowest quality inventory you could ever think of
Incentives set using the correct KPIs can help increase efficiency - key being: “the right KPIs”
The best incentives are the ones that do not come frequently, come as once in a while, and a big amount.
Marketing Automation does not make a marketer’s job redundant.
No marketer was ever fired for questioning the obvious. Elevating your job to focus on strategy, tactics, analytical, collaboration with your tech, analytics, product and finance teams helps your entire organization grow.
A Marketer has the profile and potential of leadership - and is the one who can carry an organization towards growth.
That is the job - growth.
Automation doesn’t make the marketer’s job redundant. It empowers them.
Automation helps marketers do the job they were hired to do!!!
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