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Marketing Change Management: Switching Technology for Better Results

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Change is never easy. But it’s necessary for a company to evolve and achieve in the ever-changing marketing landscape. That’s where marketing change management can help.

Why evaluating your marketing analytics software is crucial

Marketing is shifting to digital, and new technology is at the disposal of marketers and customers. You need a fresh approach to branding across different channels in order to reach audiences with new habits, desires, and demands.

Creating the right messages for the right persons at the right times is critical. And that requires having the right analytics software in place to quickly and accurately measure your activities across various channels. With the right technology, you can understand what’s working and what’s not — in real-time — and tailoring your marketing initiatives on-the-fly.

Omnichannel is driving customers to purchase and educate themselves in stores, online, and via mobile devices. It’s critical to deliver consistent and effective messaging across all those channels.

Digital and omnichannel marketing are quick and in real-time, while traditional marketing is channel-driven and slow-moving. Your team must be able to move just as quickly, and you must have the resources to do so in order to keep up, and provide healthy ROI.

According to The CMO Survey, spending on marketing analytics is expected to increase by 66 percent in the next three years. This means marketers are expected to spend over 11 percent of their budget on analytics. On top of that, Forrester reported that marketing teams that use a full stack approach to marketing analytics are 39 percent more likely to see an overall improvement in their marketing performance.

But are you using the right marketing analytics software for your company?

Marketing change management is necessary when a business is still operating on traditional methods, or simply not realizing the full potential of their marketing campaigns.

Here, we’ll go over when you should consider switching tools, when you shouldn’t, and best practices for successful marketing change management when implementing new technology.

Signs your department should switch marketing tools

If your marketing and sales teams are on the same page, and fully ready to take on the challenge, both logistically and in mindset, marketing change management can be valuable. The most important ingredients in successful marketing change isn’t technology, it’s the people. And they need to be on board.

In fact, 44 percent of B2C marketers use data and analytics to improve their company’s responsiveness, and 36 percent actively use insights from analytics and data mining to plan and improve their relationship-driven strategies, according to a Forrester study. On the B2B side, more than 60 percent of marketers said they’ve witnessed an increase in sales of 11 percent to 50 percent because of marketing analytics, according to research by Regalix.

 Source: eMarketer
Do you have a specific goal in mind and an efficient content strategy? Are there needs you feel your current marketing automation software can not meet? These are the types of questions you need to answer before making the decision.

You may have already recently invested in a digital marketing platform. Change can be difficult at this stage, but necessary if you aren’t getting what you need out of it, are looking for cost savings — or, conversely, have more budget to invest in this space — or have encountered integration issues.

Warning signs that you aren’t ready

If you aren’t ready to adjust thinking and move beyond the “way things have always been done,” or don’t have a specific goal in mind, you aren’t ready for leading-edge marketing tools. Pushback from team members is a good indication that you may need to work on adjusting team mindset before delving into marketing change management.

Ask yourself if there’s a specific problem you’re facing that you’re looking to solve, or if you’re simply looking for new marketing software because you’ve been told you need it.

Marketing change management takes time, and if you’ve recently begun using a new system, the answer might not necessarily mean throwing in the towel. You might just need to give it time to materialize.

Switching could also be costly — while having the right tools is important, you need to budget for them accordingly. You might find with further analysis that some tweaks to your existing platform might be all that’s necessary to solve the issue at hand.

To justify switching, you need a clear vision of the problem, why your current tools can’t help solve it, and what you’re looking for in a tool that can.

What can marketing change management for analytics technology do for your company?

Innovation management can lead to the discovery of new revenue opportunities, help you gain a better understanding of buyers and their purchase processes, and determine how to distribute content alongside marketing programs that won’t overwhelm existing or prospective customers.

Changing the marketing technology you use can help you become a business innovation leader for the company.

From a team perspective, effective marketing change management can encourage collaboration. And for customers, it can prevent disjointed experiences and confused messaging.

Using a marketing analytics platform that fits your company has a proven positive impact on business revenue.

Harvard Business Review found that, “a one-unit change in the use of marketing analytics (i.e., the application of marketing analytics to one more area) yields a 0.39 percent increase in profits. This means that using three ‘units’ of marketing analytics improves profits by over 1 percent. For marketing ROI, the figure is 0.61 percent. This use metric has a positive and significant effect on both outcomes even after controlling for marketing analytics spending, product vs. service, and B2C vs. B2B.”

According to the 2016 Content Marketing Institute Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, 76 percent of marketers said they planned to produce more content in 2016 than they did in 2015. And chances are that number will continue to rise, making it all the more important to measure the ROI from your content marketing efforts.

9 tips for managing change in your marketing department

Managing technological change for your marketing department may be easier than you think. Follow these tips to ensure a smooth and effective transition.

  • Coordinate internal communications. Make sure that everyone on the team is on the same page, and that communication is open about the goals and strategies moving forward. This includes management, marketing, sales, and IT staff, who will all be integral to the change.
  • Audit your data. Be prepared for importation to a new system by performing an audit, and budget for the time and effort it will take to do so.
  • Set clear, achievable goals. Have clear and specific goals in mind in terms of what you want to achieve, and devise key performance indicators (KPIs) so that you are well-prepared to monitor performance toward those goals.
  • Manage expectations around the technological transition. Understand that marketing change management won’t happen overnight — it takes time. Ensure that you and the team are fully ready to embark on, and invest time in, the journey.
  • Prepare for pushback. You may have to deal with some pushback from stakeholders. You’ve probably heard every excuse from “it’s too expensive” to “we don’t have the manpower” and “we’ve always done things this way.” But more important than having tools, processes, and strategies in place, is having the right ones.

    Careful articulation of the plan can help ease any misgivings and anxieties amongst the team and company leadership, especially if you demonstrate how the processes, technology solutions, and vision will work in your company’s unique environment.

    Assess your current marketing strategy, and outline specific goals and tangible deliverables using innovative digital marketing ideas. Provide a detailed competitive analysis that benchmarks your company’s performance against not only leaders in the same industry, but other leaders as well. Propose a plan for what you can do better, and how you plan to accomplish it using leading-edge marketing software and technology.

  • Keep your marketing team engaged in the change management process. Give your marketing team the opportunity to contribute their ideas, provide a big picture overview, and encourage continuous learning to keep them fully engaged through the process. The more the team is involved and informed through every phase, the more enthusiastic they will be about the potential for results, and the role they can play in bringing them to light.
  • Identify revenue metrics for the C-suite. When approaching the CEO and CFO, focus on revenue metrics specifically: how many leads and active prospects do you believe this change will help generate? What’s your expectation for conversion to customers? And what’s the prospected budget and projected ROI?
  • Delegate change management effectively. Marketing change management doesn’t necessarily require more resources, but rather allocating existing resources effectively. Clearly define roles, handpick the right people to fill them, and give them ownership, authority, and accountability over their tasks. Appoint people within both marketing and sales to present a unified vision, and communicate the same message to your audience.
  • Know what works best for your company’s culture. Take company culture into account with your strategy, and put people and content at the forefront, not technology and process changes.

What should you expect from your new vendor when you switch?

Ready to switch marketing tools? Here are a few things you should expect from your new software vendor.

  • Your marketing analytics software provider should support your company’s specific processes in order to make marketing change management seamless.

    With the right analytics tools, you’ll be able to create insights, determine the ecosystem through which your team can market most effectively, adjust processes accordingly, and be ahead of the curve.

  • You can react quickly to marketing dynamics and customer concerns, and measure the impact of marketing campaigns on the bottom line. If you see that one initiative isn’t generating the anticipated results, you can make modifications. Or, if an initiative requires further attention/investment because it’s hitting the mark, you can make adjustments on the fly to maximize opportunities.
  • A good vendor partner will help you pinpoint potentially missed opportunities through things like key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracking metrics, including audience conversions, social and content attribution, and marketing revenue.
  • Ensure your vendor guides you, devising a detailed marketing plan that outlines why you’re undergoing this change, identifies your target audience, and defines your unique selling proposition, positioning statement, and pricing. This will help get you off to a good start.
  • Help should be provided in thinking about offers for customers and their intended purposes; making plans for promotional strategies; and discussing conversion strategies and how you plan to turn prospective customers into active ones. That might be, for example, through the use of sales outreach, sending out products samples, or producing more down-funnel content.
  • Seek out a new vendor that will assist with things like listing out marketing materials and their associated costs, determining established and aspirational partnerships with related brands that will support the marketing plan (e.g. content syndication through other websites or influencer support), and outlining a referral and retention strategy.
  • How can you run useful competitive analyses to uncover opportunities you’re missing out on? Marketing technology should be able to point you in the right directions. For example, the Social Media Industry Index suggests that businesses in sports and entertainment actually see the most success on social media through Facebook, while Twitter is a top medium for broadcast media, Instagram for the music industry, and LinkedIn for pharmaceuticals and wine and spirits. Would you have guessed that?
  • Finally, a new vendor should work with you to summarize costs, and project how the plan will contribute to the company’s overall revenue goals.

Also consider important innovative new capabilities for measuring ROI in a variety of ways, particularly social media. The CMO Survey found that social media spending will account for 20.9 percent of marketing budgets over the next five years, yet only one in five marketers can actually prove the business impact of their social media activity quantitatively.

Social media ROI measurements should be part of a holistic approach, though, that also includes the measurement and analysis of content marketing, web traffic, conversion activity, newsletter signups, app downloads, e-commerce transactions, and more.

New marketing technology should justify marketing strategies in terms of business value, and help you become more confident in putting a dollar value on social and content. A vendor should make the transition seamless, ensuring no gaps in service throughout the process.

Bottom line

Marketing change management is a continual process – it’s transformational, not static. Which means needing to re-evaluate, re-adjust, and move forward. Technology is constantly changing, the marketing industry is constantly changing, and consumer desires and habits are always moving.

According to Forbes, “the ability to implement process changes and calculate careful organizational impacts will differentiate those CMOs that say they want to change from those that know how to make change happen.”

Are you ready for change?

Proving the value of social media and content is difficult — but not impossible. We created The Marketer’s Field Guide to Social and Content Marketing Attribution to show you how to prove your impact. Get your free copy now!

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