No matter the times we are facing, there are four key things that will remain consistent and, if used properly, will result in a positive overall return on investment: people, process, tactics and technology. At TWIO, we always keep these four components in mind when approaching any project for our clients.
When defining a new initiative within an organization, you should identify it as a priority and start with these four key parts. With regard to identifying the priority, I recently read a great analysis for setting priorities in the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg Mckeown, “The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years ... One leader told me of his experience in a company that talked of ‘Pri-1, Pri-2, Pri-3, Pri-4, and Pri-5’ This gave the impression of many things being priority but actually meant nothing was.”
When we map out the priority for our clients, we work with them to narrow down the main objective. Then we can apply the four components to get positive results that ground a company, keep it focused and drive positive turns.
If we organize the right people who have the right skill sets, experience and capacity, they will work together to define the process. From there, we can set the metrics of success (return on investment) and apply the right technology to speak to the right customer and drive bottom-line revenue.
These four key components should always consider both online and offline customer touch points, because joining digital and offline touch points can increase customer lifetime value.
Step one revolves around the people.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Understanding the culture inside your organization will help you understand how to align processes, schedules and meeting frequencies, and define team building success metrics.
Truly knowing your people inside of your entire organization is the key here — this includes the marketing, sales, information technology, finance and even human resources teams. It also includes your partners, which could consist of public relations firms, a website agency, a digital marketing agency, community partners and maybe affiliate programs your business is part of.
Now, let’s roll into step two: the process.
As consumers change how they buy, you have to change your process for selling to them. This means taking a step back to determine different ways to intercept the consumer on their terms, whether you’re trying to get a purchase from that consumer or hit another type of conversion metric. This is where you should build the road map to success while also aligning sales data to work against for growth opportunities.
The process we see our clients taking helps us, as the agency partner, to map out the playbook for each instance and drives the tactics we propose. This will eventually determine the tools we will need to succeed. Process mapping includes but is not limited to defining success metrics, budget targeting, tactical planning, content and advertising plan mapping, implementation of the technology stack, and defining reporting metrics.
This is where step three comes in: the tactics.
The tactics are otherwise referred to as the marketing playbook and flywheel that we put together and activate for any business goal for any one of our clients. The tactics will flex and adapt to the business needs, but the core options will remain the same across the board.
Your marketing playbook should become the architecture around customer journeys that analyzes the various touch points and provides seamless support to your customers and real-time multichannel experiences both online and offline. See the diagram below for the tactic options.
And finally, we implement and optimize step four: the tech stack.
As a business, the technology stack that you own and invest in becomes your toolbox. This is what makes your flywheel spin. Integration of your tech stack, and applying processes to those tools, is what will bring all your various pieces and parts together to turn your digital marketing engine on.
An example of a tech stack may include: a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that includes email and marketing automation, customer service tools, your e-commerce platform integration, optimized website experiences, your data asset management tool, and your internal project management tool.
Think of this as a flywheel that takes time and strategic effort to get moving, but once it goes, it’s easy to speed up, slow down and adjust.
The bonus takeaway is increased revenue.
The No. 1 goal to any business is always to maintain or increase revenue. Understanding the needs of the customer and target market demands, as well as understanding the tone of these markets and customers, can help you speak properly to each group and will inevitably bring a positive return on investment to your strategy.
When you use what we consider the four key components that remain consistent no matter what — people, process, tactics and technology — your flywheel will start to spin. Big things can happen when all the little things compound over time. The tools you test and refine ultimately drive increases in revenue from specific target customers who become loyal, repeat customers.
To see Carly's article on Forbes, click here.