Results from a recent survey conducted by Econsultancy show that nearly two-thirds of CMOs are feeling pressure from their CEOs and brands to prove the value of marketing initiatives while working with steadily — and significantly — shrinking budgets.
They’re also increasingly faced with the task of optimizing budgets for a growing number of channels. Consumers’ attention is more fragmented than ever, often spanning multiple devices at once. As a result, diversifying media budgets to keep your brand in front of audiences everywhere is critical.
The CMO’s Chase for Perfection
In today’s environment, CMOs have to be nearly perfect when it comes to marketing spend management. They have to stay mindful of advertising ROI by medium to ensure future marketing investments are directed toward the most impactful initiatives while reducing channel and data silos to better understand total marketing ROI.
It’s a big ask, but it’s not impossible. By adhering to the four best practices below, marketing leaders can maximize ROI despite smaller budgets and achieve quantifiable results that satisfy C-suite demands.
1. Use evergreen campaigns to take advantage of proven channels and creative formats.
Evergreen content is messaging that stays relevant for the long term. It might focus on customer testimonials; enduring product benefits; and features, tutorials, or stories that are relatively easy to create and require little ongoing maintenance.
High-performing evergreen assets are valuable because they can be incorporated into advertising, websites, branding, and virtually any other marketing initiative. Evergreen content gives marketers a strong foundation on which to build their efforts. For those trying to allocate dollars wisely when creating a marketing budget, this ends up having a major impact.
2. Continually test new tactics.
Test-and-learn marketing is another approach that can lead to improved campaign performance through data-driven decision-making. It compares the effectiveness of existing and new media, channels, and tactics. In the case of the latter, marketers might introduce several new tactics on a relatively small scale and then gather data to gauge performance. When testing and learning, ensure the data exists in a closed feedback loop to eliminate biases during testing, and when needed, consider new advertising ROI metrics for measuring tactical performance.
To use test-and-learn marketing effectively, it’s key to continually apply the insights to strategy development, iterate and optimize, and implement tailored tactics during testing. In a world characterized by constantly changing consumer preferences, ongoing experimentation is a marketing imperative.
3. Prioritize customer experience metrics.
Measuring marketing ROI should always be done with metrics and KPIs that are directly tied to larger organizational objectives. For many companies, those objectives increasingly include winning the customer experience battle — and for good reason.
Research shows that the customer experience might soon eclipse price and product quality as the key driver of consumer purchase decisions. That means paying attention to the length of customer conversion cycles, the digital and offline channels favored by target audiences, and the language that resonates with them. By gathering these and other relevant insights, marketers can make smarter, faster decisions about where to direct their limited budgets.
4. Emphasize quality over quantity.
Marketers understandably feel pressure to grow their lead pools and increase consumer engagement, but capturing fragmented consumer attention with a tight media budget requires a deep understanding of the customer and the use of precise targeting capabilities to connect with them — not just certain numbers.
Vanity metrics like impressions or likes don’t always translate to an actual return on marketing investment. A gap between campaign engagement and conversions typically means that some aspect of the customer journey or campaign creative should be reevaluated. Simply put, marketers have to make sure their strategies and messaging are aligned with nuanced customer preferences and make sure that’s reflected in the results.
Future-Proofing Your Marketing Strategy
The role of the CMO will evolve in the coming years, but the pressure to prove and defend marketing performance will always be a part of it. Rise to the challenge by constantly working to bridge the gaps between offline and online metrics; creating customer experiences that drive sales, loyalty, and retention; balancing investments in technology and talent; and measuring marketing ROI. These steps will allow you to make the right marketing investments that will lead to the desired results.
At Digilant, our team of strategic thinkers, creative minds, and digital advertising experts has helped more than 500 brands achieve growth and see results. To learn more about how we can do the same for you, click here.