Marketing, Project Management, Resource Management

In 2020, Marketers Must Keep Their Eyes on the Ball

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In 2020, marketers may find themselves learning a thing or two from sports teams. In this article, Jen Dodos explains how marketers can get their houses in order, maximize what they have, and keep their eye on the ball for a successful year.

When it comes to planning for the year ahead, we marketers are often inundated with lists of technologies to buy or processes to implement. While some of these suggestions can be useful, I think that in 2020, we should get back to basics. For the sports fans among us, that’s keeping our eye on the ball.

Get Your House in Order

These days, professional sports teams have so much data available to them. But, what good is knowing a player’s sprint speed, vertical leap, or arm span if that information doesn’t fill a void or help the team find a competitive edge? There is a similar conundrum in marketing: What good is a sky-high tech stack if those tools and the data they collect don’t help us accomplish our marketing goals?

Marketing has one of the most jumbled tech stacks, in part because every platform is specialized. It’s likely you use a different solution to monitor, analyze, and optimize: SEO and website traffic, website heatmaps, ad spend, email interactions, and social metrics, to name a few. Those tools work well as point solutions, but they are probably creating silos for all your marketing data, processes, and people.

Rather than rush to adopt the hottest new technology, you should take stock of all of the tools you currently have. Is the team still using all of them? Have any been replaced but not been deprovisioned (leaving you spending scarce resources on unnecessary monthly subscription fees)? Think about the insights you’re getting: Are you getting all of the answers you need? Can you get the same information from another platform? Can other team members benefit from the insights?

Before making forward-looking decisions, evaluate your tech stack and determine where you can trim pieces. If you’re not sure what a certain platform is doing for you, or you’re winding up with more data repositories than you know what to do with, it’s time for a change. In 2020, keep your eye on the ball by getting your house in order.

Maximize What You Have

The best coaches in any sport figure out how to optimize the output of each player they have for the benefit of the team. Not only do they provide the training and equipment needed to help each individual player perform to the best of their abilities, but they also create the game plan to ensure that everyone on the team works efficiently and collaboratively to elevate team performance.

Once you’ve streamlined your marketing tech stack and reduced information silos where possible, it’s time to optimize what you have. As the proverbial coach, it’s your job to make sure that the remaining technology solutions support current strategies and set your team up for success this year and into the foreseeable future.

A Winning Game Plan for 2020

No matter the specific strategies they use or the players they have on the roster, most sports teams have the same goal: win. For marketers, the end goal isn’t so different. We must maximize the resources and people we have available to win market share, build brands, generate demand, create awareness—you get the idea.

But, too many of us get bogged down using tools and processes just because we’re used to them. If the tools you have in place no longer support your strategies and tactics, what’s the point of continuing to use them? Or, maybe you have strong team members and useful technology, but your team isn’t yet greater than the sum of its parts. This can happen when you have too many data silos or other inefficiencies because of disconnected systems and team members. As a marketing leader in 2020, it’s up to you to fully optimize your organization. It’s time to get your house in order, maximize what you have, and keep your eye on the ball.

This article was originally published on MarTechAdvisor on January 16, 2020.

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