For the modern marketer, building a marketing stack often feels like a jigsaw puzzle. It’s almost like product development, where your version one will look different from your version eight. That’s a good thing: it’s important to invest in marketing tools that become better for your organization over time.
The challenge that most marketing teams face is that we aren’t fortune tellers. The customer acquisition, retention, and engagement worlds are evolving at a rapid pace. Ten years ago, could you have predicted that wearable devices would be “a thing?” That would have been tough, given that the iPhone was just a concept-in-the-making back then.
Your marketing tech stack needs to be prepared for any change. Whether you’re dealing with a surge (or decline) in customer demand or looking to track audiences across a new type of device, you need a system that can adapt to your needs quickly.
How do you know if your company is ready to start making optimizations? What steps should you take to get started? Here’s a simple guide to help you get started.
1. Poke holes in your systems by interviewing your teams and customers.
What is the marketing experience like? Are your sales teams having fruitful conversations with the right prospects? Are customers feeling supported throughout their buying journeys? Are engineers seeing details slip through the cracks? This cross-functional perspective should open your eyes to potential gaps and areas of improvement. Pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t. If you notice too many inconsistencies or disjointed user experiences, it may be time to identify areas of improvement.
For a resource on how to conduct a qualitative interview, check out this guide to running a messaging audit. You can follow the same steps to audit your marketing tech stack.
2. Give your audiences a direct feedback channel.
Does your marketing stack include live chat, survey, or feedback software?
If not, you should give tools like Intercom and Qualaroo some serious consideration. Now more than ever before, dialogues in the online universe are two-way. Your audiences likely have opinions about what they’re reading and seeing, so it’s important that you provide a forum for them to express themselves.
To understand the importance of customer feedback, take a look at this Lean Startup Conference talk from Charlie Scheinost, an engineering manager at Adobe. He and his team members take turns operating the live chat software for the product that they’re building.
3. Run regular A/B tests on customer-facing content and marketing resources.
The qualitative research that you do in steps 1 and 2 will help you identify general themes and concepts to build upon. But you also need quantitative research to see how trends scale across your marketing operations.
You can run an A/B test to optimize your titles, choose better images, and improve upon your marketing copy. Rather than running them as one-offs, you should be running them consistently as dedicated experiments. That way, you continue to make improvements to your marketing over time.
For some resources on building a culture of experimentation at your organization, take a look at this resource from Optimizely.
Your marketing stack is a living, breathing system that needs dedicated attention. Don’t expect to get things perfect. Focus on making improvements over time. Help your technology get better with age.