Marketing Management: Improving Implementation Performance

A stressed manager in a meeting

Ways to improve marketing implementation performance

So you devised the best strategic plan to advance your business objectives and then start putting it in to practice only to meet some issues and frustration a few months down the line. Sadly there can be many reasons why leaders struggle to meet their strategic objectives once the rubber hits the road.

For some, the end of the second or third quarter comes and you are smashing targets, under budget, on schedule and it is the potential for complacency that becomes the threat. For many others, they may find themselves below target performance, over budget, under resourced, behind schedule. In both cases what happens next is equally important. It’s neither the time to sit back in cruise control or succumb to the temptation to look for blame and excuses. It is the time to make some necessary adjustments to improve performance.

10 Ways to Improve Marketing Implementation Performance

  1. Understanding how your role in marketing implementation is evolving

Moving forward Marketing Managers will need to hone their skills at leveraging business data, consumer data, and market data to develop strategy on one hand, and acquire the unique ability to understand rapidly changing marketing landscapes at a tactical level for better implementation on the other.

Therefore we as marketers should work in alignment vertically and horizontally within the organisation to influence the marketing mix. We also should be the catalyst for driving creative campaigns with the science of measuring results, and the complexity of managing systems and technology.

  1. Keep strategies and plans ‘active’ to continuously improve

Regardless of whether you adopt Agile, Waterfall, Prince 2 or other styles of project management approaches it is just essential to embed one underpinning cyclical process within the team  PDCA

Plan – Do – Check – Act

I still see many great strategies, annual plans, and marketing campaign plans get shelved until the end of the term before a review ahead of the next static plan. Keep plans ‘active’ with more frequent reviews to understand your level of progress,  incorporate any new opportunities to exploit, make adjustments or embed improvements and go again. Trust the controls and measures within the plan to guide your actions all year round and drive performance in line with financial, time and resource based measures.

  1. Look after the bigger picture

It’s important for Marketing Managers to show entrepreneurial flair and think like the MD. It is vital that we keep on top of the marketing environment to better understand customers, competitive moves, market dynamics and trends to exploit emerging opportunities in both a proactive and reactive (RTM) way. Marketing builds a bridge called superior value between your organisation and it’s target customers and entices them to cross it for mutual benefit.

Excite and unite the team around that focus via internal communications and leadership flair. Managing by objective helps to attack silo working mentalities and inspire collaboration. Zoom out and think like a generalist. Instead of getting bogged down in specialist details, just keep on top of the scope, capabilities, trends and best practices of specialist areas and be the glue that binds specialists with marketing direction.

  1. Loose the battles to win the wars – cut your losses

Part of our learning is the understanding of what needs adjusting, what needs to be changed and what needs to be scrapped. Be honest and open to scrapping an investment. Well managed, controlled and data backed experimentation is necessary to gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage especially in the digital world.

Don’t throw good money after bad; throw it after the good you have found somewhere else. Tactical plans are an evolving portfolio where one aspect can fail but the portfolio can win so treat it that way. Some of the best evidence that a marketer has the building blocks to improve comes down to the willingness to face facts, especially when those facts aren’t good news

A quote about having confidence and humility in leadership

  1. Leading Teams

Both internally and externally (eg agencies) ensure that you have the ‘right’ people on board in terms of both functional and team roles. The former is about the blend of job descriptions and the other is about blending the attributes of people in a way that enhances the team performance. We need to build transparency, capabilities, mutual trust and respect within the team in a way that facilitates effective 2-way communications. Work towards becoming more flexible in your leadership style to understand, motivate and engage colleagues at a 1-2-1 level as well as a team level.  From there is essential to look after what I call the 4 C’s Co-ordination, Co-operation, Collaboration, Controls.  Better results will follow.

Great marketers also know that sales colleagues are your closest allies. They have the same goals so it is essential to work closely to obtain ‘buy in’ to plans and tactics on an ongoing basis and vice versa. Work collaboratively to develop ideas of how you can create, execute and analyze amazing marketing campaigns that deliver perfect, qualified leads to the sales team.

  1. Data is just cog in a big knowledge management wheel

So the cat is out of the bag and it’s causing a fuss. We are collecting data easier and faster than ever before and senior management is looking for more sophisticated data, analysis and ROI. To convert data in to intelligence data visualizers come in handy helping to reformat valuable, insightful data into visual graphs, charts, and graphics that make those numbers easier to digest.

Fully capitalizing on that intelligence requires increased creative collaboration and analytical skills to develop unique actionable insights. By creativity we mean the technical abilities to think ‘inside the box’ logically and ‘outside of the box’ laterally and these are skills that can be developed but that is a whole other beast I will discuss separately.

For now you can make use of general and Round-Robin brainstorming techniques and the 5 Whys and Cause and Effect Analysis tools to develop the creative juices in the team towards building intelligence and developing insights. Increasing collaboration can go beyond meetings to software tools such as Trello, Evernote, CRM and other solutions enabling increased collaboration from the desk. Then there is the core issue of analysis skills which is where number crunching skills are needed (by you or a colleague) amidst collaboration to combine intelligence and leverage knowledge and skills to arrive at your justified conclusions and recommendations.

  1. Develop a customer mindset

The best thing you can do in practice is to train yourself to think like a customer and then champion the customer across the business to help guide insights and decisions with keen insight into what makes customers tick, their motivations and behavioral dynamics. Then it’s about measuring, monitoring, and adjusting that experience in real-time for each customer.

  1. Have an open mindset

The only constants in our industry is change so attempt to embed dynamic capabilities within the team and across the organisation to ensure that marketing can become agile enough to exploit emerging and real-time opportunities particularly in the digital space. That also means building on the attitudes towards risk taking upstairs and encouraging it next door, externally (the agency will love you) and downstairs to be open to new and untested but not unmeasured opportunities

  1. Demonstrate the value

Whether brand and/or revenue focused the aim is always to tie your work directly to increasing the bottom line so that marketing is no longer seen as a cost but an investment vehicle with assets that grow the company. Coaching the team to understand the types and relationship between KPI’s, operational and activity metrics will help them distinguish what is important at a team vs individual / tactic / channel level. Vanity metrics are not redundant but marketers should understand their time and place to ensure that reporting focuses on measures that deliver strategic objectives and business objectives.

  1. An influential budget

Done right all the above should build your influence at the negotiating table for budget and jointly funded projects with internal and external teams. Ultimately we will soon arrive at a point where sales and marketing teams will converge and understand the marketing contribution in greater detail. Then, fairly accurate income / value projections will accompany budget expenditures as the norm so get ahead and make inroads today.  An overspend can be mitigated with increased returns and you can make the case why under-funding marketing from the outset is an undesirable option.


About the Author: Marvin Miller is a Marketing Management & Campaigns Specialist who works across multi channel marketing strategy, campaign strategy and marketing implementation. You can follow his daily updates via Twitter and join his professional network via LinkedIn 

Planning For Better Digital Marketing

Digital marketing presents many challenges for modern businesses and individuals. The perceived ease of direct access to market, costs savings and measurability has had ‘solopreneurs’, SMB’s and many global brands diving in head first to capture early gains. But in an increasingly crowded space it is not merely enough to do it, it needs to be done well.

Many businesses are struggling to produce the kind of results that they seek in the digital arena. Many are still undergoing some degree of digital transformation, and there are those planning to deliver more digital marketing in-house.  Effective digital marketing requires adequate business resources and capabilities that can identify and exploit market opportunities. That is why it is essential for business leaders to do an internal audit using a digital capability framework.

What is the Digital Capability Framework?

A digital capability framework is an internal research assessment of the nine core areas that have a significant impact on your ability to successfully implement your digital marketing both effectively and efficiently. They all fall within three main considerations as follows:

The Essentials
  1. Leadership buy-in – The level of co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration from leaders to support and influence the positive outcomes of the plan
  2. Team ability – Whether there are the right blend of functional and team roles within marketing and across the business. Highlighting skills gaps, structural barriers and development issues
  3. Market readiness – For the audience and the media channel
  1. Strategy – Is there one? Does it lead and support tactical activity? The degree to which it is integrated
  2. Governance – Are there adequate policies/frameworks and processes in place to support digital activity
  3. Infrastructure – The current level of IT systems and capabilities highlighting any immediate requirements
  4. Measurement – What needs to be measured, the alignment between strategic and business objectives and any barriers to measurement
  1. Financial Monitoring– Crucially the degree to which are you able to connect marketing performance to your financial results, the barriers and improvements needed. Note that good CRM and/or ecommerce systems are essential tools here.
  2. Innovation – The extent to which internal business culture encourages creative thinking, the attitude towards risk taking, and the development of ideas through to innovative outcomes

How to do a Digital Capability Assessment

It takes research that is best devised based on the business context and performed as part of the marketing process. I would recommend devising your research methods primarily around quantifiable survey and interview methods that can produce a score out of 10 points for each (max 90 points). Then build in ‘open feedback’ qualitative areas that will provide insight in to the potential barriers you’ll need to overcome. Low scoring areas will be your initial areas for concern.

There is no doubt that there is a need to manage expectations with digital. build a  and make a commitment to learning. A tolerance for risk taking and a ‘test and learn’ culture is important because digital marketing is rapidly evolving and learning is key. The ability to make the right connections between market intelligence and opportunity is vitally important to establishing the unique insights that will boost your digital marketing performance.

It is also important not to get lost among the crowd along the journey and end up throwing good money at a bad situation. For the time pressed marketer and business leader it may seem like another task we simply do not have the time or resources for. You can either back a half-cooked plan, spend and then randomly firefight in hope that it all doesn’t go up in smoke. Alternatively you can plan the right way, then spend and place a fire extinguisher in the fewer areas that are likely to spark

About the Author: Marvin Miller is a Marketing Management & Campaigns Specialist who works across multi channel marketing strategy, campaigns and marketing implementation. You can follow his daily updates via Twitter and join his professional network via LinkedIn 

9 of the Most Common Leadership Mistakes

An image with how important good impressions are to leadership

Working environments are changing and leaders need to continually understand the best approach towards getting the best out of the people around them. So below are 9 of the most common leadership mistakes and what you can do to avoid them to save yourself some time-consuming and costly firefighting.


  1. Not Providing Feedback

According to 1,400 executives polled by The Ken Blanchard Companies, it is the most common mistake that leaders make. When you don’t give prompt feedback to your people, you’re depriving them of the opportunity to improve their performance.

It is important for leaders to look for random opportunities on an ongoing basis to give feedback using appropriate team moments to send a message about good practice and one-to-one moments for more descriptive, personal and directional feedback.

  1. Lacking Tact

The ability to tell the truth in a way that considers other people’s feelings and reactions to avoid conflict and find common ground. Being tactful will strengthen your reputation, credibility and ability to influence positive outcomes.

To develop the skill, become a more active listener, show empathy, and think more carefully about the right time to talk, as well as your choice of words and your body language. Most importantly, never react emotionally. By being more tactful you will also provide additional balance and strength for the times where you have to get your message across more forcefully and ensure that your rights are respected.

  1. Not Leading by Example

‘A manager is a title given and a leader is a title earned’

It’s a ‘show me’ role where others look to leaders for the values to adopt, the process to trust, and the procedures to follow to deliver results. When you seem disengaged from business activity, show unprofessional behaviors or fail to play by the frameworks and standards that you set others, you undermine your very own leadership.

Be aware that your team is watching and listening to you all the time. If you want to shape their behaviors you have to start with your own. Show them the way and they will follow suit.

  1. Overlooking the Cultural Environment

The way that you do things may get the best response in one scenario but may produce negative outcomes in another. Assess the fit between your leadership style and your working environment to identify where and how adjustments can be made. Understand your people, your end game and adapt your style to the situation and the individual.

  1. Failing to Define Goals

Without a focus on clear goals and objectives your team will lack direction, your expectations and they cannot be productive or prioritize their workloads. Set SMART goals that are aligned with business objectives and embed them with regular two-way communication for clarity, reinforcement and motivation towards a goal focused environment.

  1. Lacking Decisiveness

Procrastination, indecisiveness and moving the goal posts fail to inspire the confidence of your team and can be a fatal to your leadership.  To help make better decisions in a timely manner commit to a process.  Create a constructive environment that investigates situations in detail, generates a well-considered set of options, then selects, actions and leaves the rest to monitoring, review and development.

  1. Overstepping the Friendship Line

It is important to be seen as friendly and approachable. However there is a line to be drawn at ‘results’ and it should be respected at all times. Be wary not to get caught up emotionally as a friend to the point it clouds your judgment when it comes to tough decision-making. Your primary concern is the business goal, so ensure that everyone understands that fun and games is part and parcel of the journey but always comes second to the business needs.

  1. Using Blanket Motivation Methods

Misunderstanding what it takes to motivate your team. Firstly, many leaders fail to think and act beyond money motivation. Secondly many fail to distinguish motivating the team separately from the individual.

The team can be motivated with empowerment and autonomy, collaborative working, recognition, titles, goals and more. But you also have to motivate at the  individual level. That overlaps with the above and extends to more such as work place culture, progression, extra responsibility, purposeful work and greater work life balance.  So find the time to interact and get to know what truly drives your people.

  1. Poor Delegation

Delegating effectively is a leader’s most powerful tool. However many refrain for lack trust in the capabilities of colleagues to do the job properly, or do it how they would do it. As a result leaders can become the bottleneck that holds performance back as well as related problems that cause stress and fatigue.

It takes a lot of effort up-front but embrace your role as a coach. Understand and trust in your colleagues capabilities. Aim to become better at giving excellent instructions and being hands on to boost and follow up on performance were required. Also hone your skills in corrective coaching and allow your team to be more empowered and grow. Good communication is paramount.


Your leadership and management style is exempt from the fail fast and learn philosophy because whilst failure will help you to learn they can have a heavy price to pay. By taking the time to learn how to avoid common mistakes you will shine by standing on the shoulder of giants who already failed so that you can learn how to become a more successful leader.

About the Author: Marvin Miller is a Marketing Management & Campaigns Specialist who works across multi channel marketing strategy, campaigns and marketing implementation. You can follow his daily updates via Twitter and join his professional network via LinkedIn 

Your Mid-term Content Marketing Review

According to the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) 2016 Reports 69% of B2C and 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content this year than last year. The fight for customer attention, spend and loyalty is more intense and now is a great time to review and act on how you have fared so far.

On the one hand there is research to suggest that more marketers have a documented content strategy, and no doubt eyebrows have been raised about the standard of quality content production and distribution. On the other hand it seems to me that many marketers and business leaders are still struggling with the organisational and content marketing issues of yesteryear, and are finding it very difficult to gain the desired traction in their content marketing efforts.

As a daily content surfer across blogs, websites and social media channels I still see a significant slant towards the quantity over quality content approach as well as dozens of link bait articles likely to hurt bounce and conversion rates not to mention search rankings.

Having analysed various companies efforts I dig deeper I find a lot of wasted content potential that is not advancing search (keywords, SEO, PPC ) tactics and conversions as much as it really could, as well as consistency and integration issues across the offline and online marketing channels.

Yes we are up against it. Content marketing is still an emerging philosophy with inherent challenges constantly under tactical development, particularly when it comes to measurement. However there are many instances where we as marketers need to shoulder some responsibility for marketing that is poorly aligned to business goals, and content marketing efforts that are failing for lack of an understanding and relationship with the sales funnel and customer journeys.

Are these the signs of resource or capability issues? Is there outsourcing issues that need to be collaboratively addressed? What internal working issues hold you back? Have stakeholder relationships not been correctly analysed and managed?

Now is a good time to assess the root causes and make the achievable adjustments/ changes needed to enhance your performance for this year and identify some of the learning’s to develop next years plan. So the following is a range of considerations that will help you review and improve your content marketing efforts.

Analyse your Content Marketing performance

Mistakenly assumed to be a straightforward task the challenge is to establish credible answers to the most important questions. How is our content advancing your strategic and organisational goals? Are you performing better than last year? How do you fare against your competitors? How can we improve?

Remind yourself – What is Content Marketing?

Whilst sales is one of the goals and there is an emergence of content used in the social selling process it is important to remind ourselves that it is not a tactic best led by sales goals. The core purpose is to start conversations with customers and prospects, focusing on all stages of the buying process and multiple personas, from brand awareness through purchase and loyalty to brand evangelism.

Marketing giant, Marketo recently reminded us of 6 good rules of execution to follow subject to my edit below:

  1. It’s not promotional
  2. It is relevant and contextual – be useful
  3. Answer a business question, solve a pain point or entertain – to build the trust and reliability useful to lead nurturing or engage an emotional response
  4. Ensue it’s well written
  5. Be relevant to your company objectives
  6. It gives proof – e.g. research, quotes, testimonials, actual metrics, stats

Why do I need a Content Marketing Strategy?

Without a content marketing strategy in place there would be no road map to produce goal focused content that engages in an integrated and measurable way.

Your strategy sets the focus for your creativity and innovation processes that lead to producing a highly effective portfolio of paid, owed and earned content. It is also is the impetus for collaboration and marketing integration across your business functions and roles to improve marketing in and consistent, effective and efficient way.

Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, quality content should underpin all forms of your offline and/or online marketing.

Overview: The 7 Pillars of Content Marketing Strategy

A diagram of the 7 pillars of content marketing
I wrote recently about the 7 Pillars of Content Marketing Strategy which explains top topic and structure in greater details and provides tips to excel but an overview is as follows:

  • Plan for Purpose – Your clearly defined objectives and business goals for content e.g. brand awareness, lead conversion, customer loyalty/retention, build email subscribers
  • Audiences – The details about your target segments / personas
  • People – Assimilating the key people and planning the tasks, responsibilities and procedures for everyone in the content process
  • Storyline and Principles – The brand story and propositions for the campaign including style guides, tone, design
  • Platforms – Decisions about where you will source, create, publish and amplify content
  • Processes – Outlining the series of repeatable actions for each piece of content
  • Performance – Specifying the budget, benchmarks and measurement KPI’s and metrics for control and monitoring success that matters

For more description, guidance and tips please read the article…

 Schedule a Content Audit

If you haven’t done one already perhaps it will be a good time to schedule a content audit to appraise and adjust content in terms of position, links, search value, accuracy, consistency and relevancy.

The overarching issue is whether each item within your content inventory is relevant to both your customers’ needs and your needs. An audit will help you clearly understand where you are, where you are going and identify and gaps for consideration.

During the process it is also beneficial to refresh content because as an ongoing concern out of date content is annoying and bad for business.

It is well worth investing time out at least mid-way through implementation season to consider these key factors and take necessary action. For some the process will validate much of an already successful year, highlight the need for a few pats on the back and spur on greater performance. For others I hope that it serves at as the catalyst to boosting your performance beyond your targets.

About the Author: Marvin Miller is a Marketing Management & Campaigns Specialist who works across multi channel marketing strategy, campaigns and marketing implementation. You can follow his daily updates via Twitter and join his professional network via LinkedIn 

Better Stakeholder Management

Marketers and business leaders are constantly being pulled in multiple directions and are often working to multiple priorities. Sometimes it feels like everyone and their dog has an interest in what you are doing, and at any moment someone will pop up with a ‘drive-by’ requirement or concern for immediate attention. It can throw a monkey wrench in that perfectly planned project.

The increasing number of  communication channels, more savvy customers and advancing technologies means that business leaders and marketers must work extra hard to churn out targeted messages that positively engage and satisfy a broad set of stakeholders.

If not carefully managed, disgruntled stakeholders can become problematic as they attempt to have their priorities addressed first which can lead to fire fighting the potential for conflict, poor responsiveness and dis-organised chaos.

9 Tips to Better Stakeholder Management

  1. Do a good stakeholder analysis

There are many different internal, external and connected stakeholders or stakeholder groups connected with your project all with different resources, influence and expectations. The common problems with stakeholder management typically lie somewhere between insufficient preparation, planning and foresight.


  • Identify and analyse your stakeholders using How to do a Stakeholder Analysis
  • Use your Power / Interest grid as a snapshot picture of your priority stakeholder(s) interests, issues and current to future status towards your project / organization
  • Use a red, amber green system and arrows to highlight the current status and shifts needed as a result of your project

Diagram of a sample power interest stakeholder model


  1. Plan your approach to stakeholder management

The resources that you allocate to stakeholder management should be directly proportionate to the size and difficulty of your projects and goals, the time you can make available for communication, and the amount of help that you may need.

Tip: Consider you/ your teams strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) to inform your approach

  1. What do you want from each stakeholder?
  •  The desired support – high, medium, low
  • The desired project role (if any)
  • The desired actions desired (if any)

Tip: Know and understand your strategic goals and how they advance the business objectives to help prioritize stakeholders based on the highest overall business return

  1. Prioritise Stakeholders

There are just not enough hours in the day or money in the bank to service and communicate with everybody and in truth not everyone will advance the pursuit of our goals and objectives.  Decide who to focus on and take a monitoring and/or defend approach to the others on a needs must basis.

Tip: Select primary targets and a second group (optional) to nurture with ‘fill-in’ resources when possible

  1. Draft the key messages to communicate effectively and efficiently

Aligning values, incentives and motivations around your project/ organization requires both effective communication and an active dialogue.On the one hand we need to creatively devise ‘on brand’ key messages for mutual benefit. On the other hand we need to go to war to grab their attention via a combination of ‘best fit’ communication channels (as determined by you), factoring in the level and intensity of communications, actions needed and desired outcomes for each.


  • Create and share a communications matrix for a clear and concise snapshot update throughout the project term
Who to reach Messages Best Channels Desired outcomes Budget


  • Personalized marketing tactics are proving highly effective
  • Internally – align projects with stakeholder’s goals and objectives both vertically and horizontally. Include internal stakeholders early on is the project process as co-developers to aid ‘buy in’ 
  1. Action with small steps

Tip: It is far better to implement your approach with shorter action, goals and review cycles based around 2-way communications and near–time insights. This will enhance your stakeholder relationships based upon frequent and effective dialogue with the key players.

  1. Provide visibility

There are two main principles here. First, we cannot communicate to others something which we do not know about. Secondly, a lack of open communication leaves the door too far ajar for unfavorable assumptions. Both have the potential to undermine your credibility and efforts.


  •  Shape up internally to share news, intelligence and near/ real-time performance updates about the project / organization.  The good news is that it is increasingly possible with various communication and analytical technologies
  • Manage stakeholder expectations early doors with clear expectations about communication, timelines, and budget to help them understand your environment and how best to work together. This will build understanding, your credibility and reliability.
  • It is inevitable that new priorities and work requests will emerge so only allocate up to 70% of your time to planned work to leave time for flexibility
  1. Automate and streamline wherever possible

Tip: Define uniform processes and templates in order to streamline communications between different stakeholders.

  1. How will you know when you have achieved your goals and objectives

 It is a relationship best served and understood by engaging in two-way communications underpinned with appropriate listening methods and a well devised set of KPI’s and metrics that feed your goals and objectives.


  •  Use the 80:20 listening rule – it’s no longer what we say it is… it’s what they think and feel it is
  • Keep the end game at the forefront of your minds and action. Devise and report on KPI’s and metrics that advance the strategic and business objectives. Keep activity metrics at the performance improvement level
  • Track effectiveness and efficiency separately to help optimization


Following these steps will help reduce the impact of stakeholder ‘drive-by’ concerns or requirements that can negatively disrupt project performance and will provide a clear view of the progress being made. The added visibility in particular will also encourage discussions about how implementing any new deliverables will affect outcomes, deadlines, and resources.


About the Author: Marvin Miller is a Marketing Management & Campaigns Specialist who works across multi channel marketing strategy, campaigns and marketing implementation. You can follow his daily updates via Twitter and join his professional network via LinkedIn 

Making Big Data a Little Smaller

Big data continues to provide exciting opportunities for small, medium and large businesses to optimise business spending and become more customer-centric. Many marketers and business leaders are already using data, but there are increasing pressures to go beyond the use of mere intuition and increase the use of data backed decision making across the business.

The key issue for marketers is about how clever we can get with the data. Big data means nothing if we cannot turn it in something of value such as unique actionable insights, optimized processes, fuel for personalisation, more responsive marketing and improved customer experiences.

Once the ‘right’ types of data is flowing in to your organisation people still have to make the connections to derive value. It is how you turn the data in to market intelligence and that intelligence in to actionable insights that really matters. But many marketers can get overwhelmed by the volume, velocity, variety and veracity of data to the point of temporary paralysis and the ineffective use of data.

8 Tips That Make Big Data a Little Smaller

  1. Don’t collect data for data sake it will only get in the way

Make sure you are only collecting data that is relevant to achieving the business mission, long-term and short-term objectives. Plan ahead and consider scenarios to establish the parameters for data collection

  1. Become familiar with the internal and external data already being collected

Look across your organization and understand the types of data that is already being collected, what types of data can be used, where it is stored and whether it is already being converted in to usable intelligence such as news and reports

  1. Be clear and solely focus on the issue(s) you are trying to understand

Let the specific problem, trend, behaviors, or need be the guide instead of the data which could take you off the beaten track and lead to the perils of unnecessary data overload

  1. Proceed with questions

Start by asking a simple question: what are you trying to figure out? For example, you may want to know how customers move through your sales funnel. Do they call first? Do they visit your website, then call? Where do customers originate from online? Let the data answer the who, what, where, when, why and how

  1. Deconstruct the issue and start the solution with… why?

A good way to develop insights in to the root causes of particular issues so that you can develop creative solutions is to use Sakichi Toyoda’s simple 5 Whys technique. When an issue arises, simply keep asking the question “why” no fewer than 5 times and on each occasion look for answers that are grounded in fact and supported by data. Continue until you reach the underlying source of the problem, and until a robust counter-measure becomes clear

  1. Consolidate, integrate and evaluate

It should be the goal for your IT infrastructure to support the growth of big data alongside analytic tools to analyse enormous, varied and rapidly changing datasets in a consolidated and integrated way.  The technology will quickly aid analysis but it is for marketers / business leaders and their team(s) to earn their crust by interpreting and evaluating data in ways that extract the real value

  1. Overlaying data to tighten things up

It is common for broad data sets to still be used in other areas of the business and via external advertising agencies. To improve returns on investment and increase marketing effectiveness it is important to share your insights both internally and externally. For client-side marketers working with advertising and creative agencies it is a relationship best viewed as a collaborative partnership to deliver your business objectives. A great way to align the specialist resources, capabilities and efforts of the agency with your business objectives is to overlay their broader data sets with your hard-earned insights to inform the brief, execution and ongoing development of your campaigns.

  1. Communicate and collaborate to activate creative solutions

Share relevant market intelligence; invite feedback and solutions internally as part of the ongoing knowledge management process. Sweetspot insights and creative ideas can come from anywhere inside and outside of the room so just fuel the fire and help it burn


About the Author: Marvin Miller is a Marketing Management & Campaigns Specialist who works across multi channel marketing strategy, campaigns and marketing implementation. You can follow his daily updates via Twitter and join his professional network via LinkedIn 

Implementing Multichannel Marketing & Inspiring Collaborative Change


Shoppers do not shop exclusively ‘online’ or ‘offline’ they shop on a ‘best fit’ basis influenced by a range of one and two-way communications across multiple channels. Multichannel marketing strategy is not merely about extending the communications and commerce pipeline to our target customers. When combined with technology it is also the means by which we can understand the complexity of modern day shopping habits so that we can optimise our marketing activity for future business growth. To do that, we need to increasingly understand the value of each channel at an individual and combined level.

Such a shift does have an impact on the internal structure and operations of your business. The very best results come from well-managed transitions that inspire positive and collaborative changes within your marketing team and horizontally across the business, particularly with the sales team(s) which can be very challenging but ultimately very rewarding.

Attribution Modelling Can Impact Assigned Marketing Budgets

Attribution modelling is about understanding what specific marketing tactics led to the conversion or sale. In today’s multichannel B2B and B2C landscape, where consumers engage with brands on a range of platforms and across multiple devices within a single purchasing journey, the single (last) touch attribution model presents an incomplete picture of marketing ROI.

We as marketers need to know what is working and measuring revenue growth, ROI and conversion rates is one thing but proving the marketing impact on business results to upper management and other business functions is entirely another. This is where successful attribution modelling really helps to increase credibility and secure the necessary budget.

Marketers that will excel both today and tomorrow are those that equip themselves with right tools to measure the impact of marketing spend in each channel at every stage of the customer journey more accurately so that they can optimise and scale up or down their per-channel spending accordingly.

Whilst attribution modelling does continue to have its challenges, rapid developments in technologies are continuing to turn this pipe dream in to a reality. Take the increasing ability to add tracking capabilities to offline channels in ways that digitally infuse offline journeys for instance.

Top Tips

  1. Test technologies to develop the right mix for you. This is one part of the puzzle, increased collaboration and effective communication pipelines to tackle attribution is the other
  2. Develop an understanding of how marketing is affecting the sales funnel to increase revenue and/or brand value. You will be able to devise influential marketing projections alongside your marketing budgets for your plans and campaigns. It helps shift the perception of marketing from being viewed as a cost center to a revenue and/or brand development machine


From Old Silo Marketing Habits to Collaborative Marketing

image3From experience I have found that silo marketing habits among agency, retail, leisure and professional services sector marketing teams are increasingly presenting barriers to successfully implementing multichannel marketing strategy, particularly when monitoring marketing performance. Silo working habits have inherent fractures that hinder your ability to fully leverage your collective marketing team and business strengths. Project by project collaboration is great but we need more of it, we need it to become the norm and doing that poses issues that generally fall in to two categories.

The first are the management issues relating to your organisations structure and culture. For such a strategy to flourish leaders should endeavour to have the right structures, processes, people and technology in place at a team and organisational level to support collaborative working.

The second is the ability of managers to adopt a leadership style that motivates colleagues, and facilitates effective communication and collaboration among team members and other cross functional business units.

Top Tips

  1. Audit your current position and plan for improvement
  2. Utilize team and 1-2-1 meetings to reinforce the need to make ‘the customer’ or ‘the brand’ united focus of all activity. Continue to unite, inform and excite the team around the company mission, clear SMART objectives, and align their values with the corporate and brand values
  3. Work towards developing or recruiting ‘generalist’ marketers to be the glue that helps bind together the specialist roles that may exist within silos of your marketing team
  4. Avoid just managing from the balcony and make time to get on the dance floor – Make time to interact with the team / colleagues in order to relate to them at a more personal level. Today’s workforce has motivations beyond pay such as doing ‘meaningful’ work, recognition, development opportunities and social involvement with the team beyond work


With Change Comes The Opportunity… To Make POSITIVE Change

image4Getting the best results out of a multichannel marketing strategy may need some changes to be made within the team and beyond it which at the implementation and controls end of your marketing strategy can be quite tricky. But it is always important for us to remember at this point is to remember that we are embarking on a process to bring about positive changes in line with our objectives.

The process provides endless opportunities but to highlight a few:

  • Modifying the structure of the marketing team – develop more agile, innovative, influential and integrated marketing teams that can champion the customer and brand across internal departments
  • Highly influential and predictable multichannel marketing data to inform decision-making
  • Increasing sales and marketing collaboration projects and campaigns that increases profitability
  • Letting the numbers, not hunches or intuition, drive your business decisions. Leading with intelligent data will drive you to the top of your profession.

Top Tips

  1. Find ways to involve management and staff members early in the marketing process with opportunity for input and feedback that informs and encourages wider ‘buy in’ and ownership of marketing strategy and tactical planning.
  2. Encourage collaboration and open communications on an ongoing basis for planning, projects, campaigns and news via IT. Apps and software such as Evernote, Trello, CRM systems, instant messaging and such are very good enablers.
  3. Consultative or persuasive leadership styles are better breeding grounds for effective 2 way communication and collaboration.

We shouldn’t fear change because change brings opportunities and standing still passes opportunity by.

About the Author: Marvin Miller is a Marketing Management & Campaigns Specialist who works across multi channel marketing strategy, campaign strategy and marketing implementation. You can follow his daily updates via Twitter and join his professional network via LinkedIn 


4 Small Steps to More Agile Marketing Tactics

Office worker contemplating Agile Marketing solutions

The competitive landscape is becoming increasingly difficult and marketers are expected to do more, achieve more and sometimes with less. Opportunities and threats can emerge at anytime and we need to be able to adapt quickly to ride the waves and avoid the pitfalls to be successful. To do so requires the ongoing commitment to building dynamic capabilities across the business for a more agile marketing approach that supercharges your marketing communications and campaigns via advantageous responsive marketing and real-time marketing.

Responsive marketing takes cues from the near-time customer and competitor insights and values agility and engagement to deliver highly relevant marketing propositions. Tactically, this means listening, more frequent scanning of your marketing environment so you know when and how to interact. Real-time marketing is really a subset of the more strategic, methodical responsive marketing.

Marketers at Oreo were able spark the craze for successful real-time marketing (RTM) with a social media moment during the Superbowl 2013 because they were already highly skilled at responsive marketing.

Not all of us have the resources for opportunistic RTM but many of us can repurpose our resources and planning to properly execute effective near-time responsive marketing with the option to dabble in to significant real-time opportunities. Take the fine example of loosely planned responsive TO real-time marketing by Pantene’s #WantThatHair campaign for the 2013 Oscars that tweeted tips for hairstyles like the celebrities from the red carpet that continued to trend during the 2015 Oscars.


  1. Develop and communicate a framework for responsive marketing tactics as part of marketing planning to ignite the scope for creative ideas across the business
  2. Scan of your marketing environment more often via Social Media e.g Twitter lists and RSS / blog feeds
  3. Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate to create, integrate and build capabilities – internally, cross-functionally and externally to leverage and develop your people’s knowledge, skills and experience
  4. You may want to schedule a regular time to discuss and brainstorm new ideas, set objectives that encourage creativity. Use free collaborative tech solutions such as Trello or your CRM to share and develop ideas from the desk


About the Author: Marvin Miller is a Marketing Management & Campaigns Specialist who works across multi channel marketing strategy, campaign strategy and marketing implementation. You can follow his daily updates via Twitter and join his professional network via LinkedIn