Marketing is in need of a serious makeover. As a department, we have a bad reputation. Mainly because it’s hard to prove that the work we’re doing is having an impact on the business. How many times have you presented a report that showed an increase in email open rates and been met with eye rolls?
Not only that, but everyone has an idea for different marketing strategies and tactics we should be executing. How many times have you heard “launch an abandoned cart campaign today,” or “we need a welcome series ASAP?” Chances are, it was more than once. And when those demands are shouted at the marketing department, we comply in an attempt to prove to them we’re capable and doing our jobs.
But we’re doing ourselves a disservice by executing a tactic-driven marketing strategy that only gives us operational metrics to report back on. We need to move beyond operational and tactical. These are still important, don’t get me wrong, but we need to focus more on strategy. Being strategic and purposeful should be far more important than executing every request that comes across your desk.
It’s time for marketing to build our reputation back up by focusing on strategies that will make an impact on high-level business objectives. Business objectives like revenue. In this post, we’re going to walk through how marketers can help grow revenue (and get their reputation back on track) by focusing in on strategic KPIs.
Benchmark Yourself Against Your Competitors
To begin, you need to understand how your business is doing in both operational and strategic areas of the business compared to other businesses like yours. But benchmarks shouldn’t just be used as an index of metrics. Benchmarks can be far more powerful in identifying new strategies and ideas you’d like to implement yourself.
Looking at your peers — especially peers that are very successful in your space — is a great way to identify new strategies and KPIs you want to measure. If a company like yours is finding success with a certain strategy, you should stop to think about how it might affect your goals if you implemented it.
Emarsys offers a free benchmarking tool that gives you access to strategic KPIs in the e-commerce space. You can select your type of e-commerce business and then dig into strategies that successful businesses are executing and reporting on.
Identifying High-Level Business Objectives
If you want to become a strategic asset to the business, you need to understand the goals the business has as a whole. Usually those business objectives come directly from the CEO. For e-commerce businesses, they usually focus on revenue and customer growth.
It’s important to understand what these objectives are because these are the areas of the business where CEOs, board members, etc. want to see marketing (or any department) make an impact. If marketing can’t show how they are impacting these higher business objectives, it becomes easier to ignore them a strategic asset to the business and push them aside.
As marketers, revenue and customer retention aren’t the KPIs you should be most focused on — they are the KPIs the CEO is focused on. But by being aware of them, you’ll be able to start planning marketing strategies that can make an impact on those metrics and show leadership why your department deserves a seat at the strategy table.
For this article, we’ll focus on revenue growth.
Connecting Business Objectives with Strategies
Once you’ve established the business objectives you need to focus your strategies around, you can start digging into different strategies and metrics that most impact these objectives.
If you know you need to impact revenue, you can start to identify different strategies that can help grow your revenue.
The image above shows the Revenue Growth Strategies dashboard in Benchmarketing.io.
By selecting one (or more) of the strategies identified above, you can start to build out a more complete marketing plan that has a direct connection to an overarching business goal.
Let’s focus in on Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV). Seeing CLTV Increase in the above benchmark report helps us understand that the e-commerce businesses who are really successful in this strategy have seen an average increase of 12% in historical customer spend over the last 12 months. By increasing CLTV over the course of a year, businesses can see a positive impact on profit and, in turn, revenue growth.
Planning Tactics that Execute Your Strategy
Now that you’re focused on revenue as an objective and CLTV Increase as a strategy, how can your marketing activity positively influence those metrics? This is where your tactics finally come into play.
You need to identify the tactics that improve the KPIs of your strategy. If you’re not able to do this yourself, Benchmarketing.io also features an Advisor tab that helps you plan out and identify the different tactics that are proven to best impact your chosen strategies. It gives life to the methodology of choosing objectives, then strategies, and finally tactics.
The image above shows the Advisor tab in Benchmarketing.io.
A proven tactic that’s worked for other businesses in the e-commerce space to raise CLTV is an Abandoned Cart email. By executing an Abandoned Cart email campaign, you can entice customers to purchase items they left behind and drive more sales. When Abandoned Cart emails are successfully used to raise CLTV, you’re helping to increase revenue over time.
You can select several tactics to implement under each strategy you’re working on, but remember to focus on how each tactic is impacting the strategy and results. It’s important to create a cohesive strategy that works together to help you get to your original goals.
Putting it All Together
Marketers need to take a strategy-driven approach. Focusing first on the objectives that matter most to the business, then strategies that can impact those objectives, and finally on the tactics that can improve the strategies you’ve put in place.
Now that you’ve walked through selecting an objective, strategy, and tactic, you have one strategy that you can add to your marketing roadmap to implement. This strategy would break down like this:
Objective: Revenue Growth
Supporting Strategy: Raise Customer Lifetime Value
Tactic: Abandoned Cart email
This is just one small piece, but it gives you a framework to use when planning out how you can change up your marketing strategy. You’ll no longer be focused solely on the tactics you’re executing and channel-specific reports; by shifting your focus to be more strategic, you’re laying the groundwork to become a strategic asset to your business.
Easily Connect Objectives to Strategies and Tactics
Have you gotten this far but are unsure of how you can take what you’ve learned here and apply it in the tools and resources you have available to you?
At Emarsys, we understand the challenges marketers are facing in validating the work you’re doing. The demand marketers are under — and the pressures to connect your work to business objectives — is not lost on us. That’s why we’ve developed a new Strategic Dashboard that easily connects this methodology for you. Based on two decades of e-commerce and retail data, our dashboard gives you a roadmap that connects you with the most successful e-commerce strategies and tactics available.
We’ve built a framework, much like you see in Benchmarketing.io, that allows marketers to tie objectives directly to strategy and tactics. By setting up your high-level objectives, you’re connected with strategies that directly impact those goals.
The image above shows the Strategic Dashboard in the Emarsys platform.
From there, strategies can guide you to the types of tactics that can best impact your strategy. Our tactics are turnkey and ready to activate — allowing marketers to deliver results within their organization through their marketing activities in days, not months.
The image above shows a ready-to-implement Tactic in the Emarsys platform.
The vision behind our new platform was to give marketers access to these strategic KPIs and make their lives easier by connecting the dots (and proving their worth) for them with ready-to-activate reports and tactics.