Everyone in marketing will tell you how important the customer is. The whole point of putting together a marketing strategy is to find out what the customer is doing and what they’re looking for. You’ll then use these customer insights to put together your campaign. Without any of this information, you’ll be going in blind and are more likely to not see any growth or get to your end goals. After all, the whole point of marketing is to increase brand awareness and sales, which you can’t do if none of your target audience is interested or interacting with the content you’re putting out there.
We recently interviewed Elizabeth McGlone, another marketer who believes that putting customers at the center of your marketing strategy is the only way to go. You can do this by following their journey. You’ll get all the information you need and be able to grow above and beyond your goals.
In today’s Rediscover Marketing post, we’ll delve deeper into how you can follow a customer’s journey and more about why it’s important. Alongside this, we’ll look into other ways you can strengthen your marketing strategies, such as with data review and SEO/PPC.
Elizabeth McGlone is a Marketing Director at CertaSite and has been with CertaSite for about a year. Before that, she was a Marketing Director at an IT company called Pinnacle Solutions. CertaSite is a fire and life safety company where they take a positive and customer-focused approach. Elizabeth guides their go-to marketing strategy and works to get the word out to current and prospective clients about the services and products they offer.
Alongside CertaSite, Elizabeth also volunteers with the Public Relations Society of America Hoosier Chapter, where she is the chair of their sponsorship committee. She also manages her local Phi Beta Kappa alumni chapter’s digital presence. She has been able to build them an entirely new website and helps them maintain it.
After asking what Elizabeth was proud of her team achieving in the last year, she mentioned the fact that they have managed to build a marketing team. At the beginning of 2020, they didn’t have a full team, and Elizabeth didn’t join until August. When she joined, it was just her and her boss, and they built the rest of the team.
Even though Elizabeth and her team have had different key individuals come on in the latter half of 2020, they achieved over five times the marketing revenue in the last four months of the year than the previous eight.
Elizabeth shared that having the right marketing team and a strong marketing foundation is critical to implementing more sophisticated marketing tactics. This also allows you to get a pulse on customer experience and continue to improve it.
Elizabeth believes the one thing that marketing and growth leaders should pay attention to is the customer. She said that you should always focus on your customer and what they’re telling you. Look at how people are finding you and how they’re behaving once they do find you. Are they taking the path you anticipated, or are they revealing to you a point of friction – such as jumping back and forth between website pages because they are not finding what they’re looking for?
You should evaluate points of friction you have in your customer journey and try to eliminate them. Gather feedback from customers on what you’re doing well and what you aren’t offering. Find out what topics people care about and what’s important to them. According to Elizabeth, getting information from them in any way you can is what guides a successful marketing strategy.
If you need some help on how to map your customer’s journey, here are some steps you can take:
When discussing data and its processes, Elizabeth had a lot of insight to share. She believes everything is data-driven, and her team reviews everything. They have annual and quarterly goals for the department, and they outline what they need to do to achieve this. On a weekly basis, the team will meet up to check to see if they’re on or off track. If they’re off track, they discuss and make a plan for getting back on track.
A part of Elizabeth’s team’s weekly meetings is looking at specific goals for marketing for lead generation and revenue generated. These revenue goals inform targets all the way through the marketing funnel based on conversion rates, average deal rates, and more.
Alongside metrics, Elizabeth and her team also look at qualitative data. They’ll think about what content they should write and what people care about at the moment. From this, they’ll build a strategy around it to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person.
From a budget standpoint, the team is always monitoring what return they are getting from all marketing channels. They will look at things they are currently doing and things that could have been a missed opportunity. When looking at the potential missed opportunities, the team will have a look at whether it could increase conversion rates. If there’s a good ROI, they can then use it to prioritize new projects.
SEO and PPC are two important approaches to gaining traffic and leads to your website. We asked Elizabeth her opinions on the two, and she had a lot to say. Elizabeth shared that everyone wants an easy button to beat Google, but that’s simply not how SEO and PCC work. They are hard to get right. She believes they are both really important and that they should always be used together, not one instead of the other.
When looking at SEO and PPC, Elizabeth stated the most important thing for both is to focus on the customer. Let them tell you what you should be ranking for and bidding on as well as what content they want to see. There are a lot of creative ways to get this information, and Elizabeth thinks emails and sales calls are useful. Use the information to pick up the phrases your customers and prospects are using. Place this wording in your SEO and PPC strategy so you can speak the language your customer is speaking.
When looking at how much time and budget you should spend on SEO and PPC, Elizabeth thinks that you should focus 100% on SEO in the beginning. You can get the foundational pieces of SEO in place because you don’t want to spend money on PPC only to drive customers to a bad website experience. There are a lot of technical SEO elements – like site infrastructure – that affect the customer experience and are easier to get right the first time rather than going back to an established website and trying to fix everything. Once you have the essential pieces in place, you may want to then start allocating 20% of your time and budget on PPC to drive more traffic and leads to your business. Once you’ve built up a solid SEO foundation, Elizabeth recommends flipping it and then placing 80% on PPC because SEO is typically not very costly to maintain. There are a lot of free or inexpensive tools to help you keep a strong SEO foundation.
After finishing the interview, Elizabeth gave us one last piece of advice. She shared that in today’s world your marketing strategy needs a mixture of structure and flexibility. The world still isn’t back to normal, and there are still going to be changes. Elizabeth suggested outlining your long-term strategies but reviewing them on a weekly basis and building in the flexibility to pivot if needed.
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