Foundational strength is important in building a solid house, a healthy body — and also a powerful marketing strategy.
The most common foundational marketing programs include Lead Scoring, Lead Management, and Lead Nurturing. With these, you can prioritize leads for your sales team, build and measure a demand funnel, and consistently communicate targeted messages to your database. Couple these programs with lead generation and content creation and you have a well-oiled marketing machine!
But like that bag of chips at the back of your pantry, these programs can get stale. By stale, I mean they are forgotten and never revisited for optimization or review.
The problem is compounded if existing team members leave the company, taking their foundational knowledge with them. New team members may have access to the systems hosting these foundational programs, but they don’t know how to properly use or maintain them — and possibly have no documentation on how they work. Stale, stale, stale.
If you’re in the beginning phases of creating these foundational programs — great! Follow the advice below to set yourself up for success later. If you’ve already built out these programs — also great, but you have some extra work to do to ensure they are still serving the evolving needs of your company.
- Build out reporting
This is the number one most useful aspect for monitoring and maintaining your foundational programs. Build reports based on your KPIs and monitor those reports for changes, which will indicate any issues. Some common KPIs include the number of records in lead score ranges, number of records in funnel stages, and number of successes in nurture streams.
The reporting tools you use will depend on your budget and the systems you already have in place, but you can always start small and grow your reporting prowess over time. Check out my blog post on campaign reporting for more information on how to do just that.
- Create detailed documentation
Documentation is the key to not reinventing the wheel as employees come and go. This timeless reference details all of your program components, and can include the following:
- High-level and detailed design flows
- A written explanation of program objectives
- Workbooks that simulate program outcomes
- Reporting framework
- Excel spreadsheets that designate the exact location and use of assets in each program
- How-to guides for team members to use these programs
- Conduct a performance audit
A quarterly or biannual review of all aspects of your programs helps to ensure they’re working correctly. Start by reviewing your reports for any issues. Next, move on to reviewing your documentation, which should outline each program’s components and objectives in detail. Look for ways to optimize your campaign logic, and make any necessary updates to fields or field values. Ensure your content assets are using the latest templates, imagery, and approved messaging.
After that, examine the activity history of individual members of your marketing programs, which will help confirm the program is performing as expected. Capture ALL of your notes and changes from this review in a Performance Audit Log.
- Take a measured approach to change
Should the need arise to make substantial changes to any of your programs, take a measured approach. These can include things like adding a number of new lead score parameters, bringing on a new inside sales team at your company, or adding or removing software systems in your MarTech stack that will impact your programs.
A measured approach to these types of changes involves a thorough review of documentation, and eventually a new set of documentation. It is up to you if it makes sense to update the current program structure to accommodate changes, or build something new and set a specific date for expiring the old programs and activating the new ones. Circumstances prevail in that decision — consider impact to live systems versus a dated change-set deployment. Whatever you decide: document it. And don’t forget to update your reports so you can continue to monitor and carry out performance audits.
The 6th century Greek Philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only constant is change.” This is so true — so don’t set these foundational programs and forget them. They are living and breathing parts of your company, just like you are.
The good news is you don’t have to go it alone. Our team can help you build these programs from scratch, or dust off your existing ones and breathe new life into them. Take a look at how we’ve helped other organizations improve lead management practices, implement lead scoring, and develop lead nurturing programs, and let us know what we can do for you!
Sarah Wight, Solutions Architect at DemandGen, is a seasoned technical administrator and strategist with 13 years of experience using Salesforce CRM and 7 years of experience using Marketo Marketing Automation. She is adept at building custom-fit marketing data stack solutions for companies of all sizes, in all industries, with a keen focus on functional attribution that fuels powerful reporting. Sarah is passionate about helping her clients make their marketing efforts highly visible, maintaining clean data, and optimizing the use of today’s leading marketing software.