Martech Overload? Shift Your Focus Back to Actual Marketing!
How would you characterize the strength and effectiveness of your marketing organization? Do you have the right talent, martech tools, and focused strategy to compete at the level needed to grow your brand within your industry and help your franchisees grow within their local markets?
If you are feeling like your marketing organization hasn't quite pulled it all together, you're not alone. According to The CMO Survey, conducted twice each year by Duke University, Deloitte, and the American Marketing Association, fewer than half (48.4%) of marketing leaders rate their company's marketing excellence as strong or excellent.
One reason for this may be the relentless pace of marketing technology innovation, which requires marketers to evaluate, integrate, learn, and manage an ever-increasing number of martech solutions.
Compounding this for franchisors is an increase in subsector specialization, which is driving marketers to shift to more individualized, focused approaches. Individualized marketing certainly can pose a challenge to franchisors at a time when it is hard to keep up with all the new platforms and marketing channels available for spreading their message.
When it comes to martech adoption today, CMOs just might be at a breaking point. Marketers have become burdened, both operationally and economically, with integrating hundreds of point solutions. This will lead 20 percent of large enterprise CMOs to consolidate their marketing technology infrastructure by 2017, according to IDC's Futurescape: Worldwide Chief Marketing Officer Advisory 2016 Predictions.
CMOs will increasingly look to single-source vendors to make this happen. And vendors are stepping up, building marketing cloud platforms with greater integration capabilities. The end result, predicts IDC's analysts, is that marketers will "strive to lower costs, increase effectiveness, and rebalance staff allocations from martech back to marketing."
Franchise marketers seeking a more effective balance across marketing strategy, martech, and marketing operations staff can start by looking for "opportunity areas" internally that are in need of a reset. Where is the focus of your staff straying from marketing? Martech and administrative execution are two key areas to consider.
Martech: Consolidate and future-proof your infrastructure
How much of your marketing staff's time is devoted to the technical and operational administration of marketing technology? Consider the staff time invested in systems administration, user administration, reporting, and managing and adding marketing assets (including content) to martech systems that support your local franchisees. And what happens if your internal technical experts leave the team or the company?
One solution to the challenges and risks associated with martech adoption is to outsource operational administration activities to a marketing as a service (MaaS) partner. Outsourcing tech-driven marketing functions and execution services will allow you to refocus your staff on the strategic marketing activities they were hired to perform. MaaS also eliminates the need to hire for technology, which reduces the risks associated with tech obsolescence and attrition of trained staff.
Shift administrative execution to appropriate resources
Administrative functions related to marketing execution can rob your staff of time and focus. Is your marketing team bogged down in marketing minutia? Red flags to look for: if your team isn't coming up with big ideas, can't focus on strategy, or if you have high turnover on the marketing team.
Everyday tasks can keep you from planning, innovating, and creating powerful new campaigns. Such low-value tasks include things like managing revisions and approvals, tracking down logos or existing marketing materials, managing mailing lists, local customization, managing custom requests from franchisees, ad resizing, assembling and distributing local kits, and reporting.
Franchise marketers may get bogged down in activities such as executing electronic newsletters at the local level; updating, printing, and distributing marketing playbooks; managing franchisee store profiles (needs based on their store type); and managing participation in corporate campaigns.
Among the risks associated with these challenges are:
- Losing ground in local consumer engagement. Is the competition being more proactive than you and your local franchisees? Are you able to proactively grow the business?
- Staff turnover. Will you experience turnover because highly talented staff are not flexing their marketing talent?
- Costly inefficiency. Are you using high-paid staff for low-level administrative functions?
- Franchisee dissatisfaction. Your inability to provide effective marketing support to local franchisees could impede your ability to attract more franchisees and ultimately hinder your ability to grow your business.
Many administrative execution challenges can be solved with automation, internal redistribution of tasks, or outsourcing to a MaaS partner. Automation can facilitate self-service by local staff, such as finding and accessing marketing materials and local customization of templated materials. You can free up senior marketing team members further by redistributing administrative tasks to franchise field teams and junior staff members. The right MaaS partner will allow you to offload even more routine administrative tasks with confidence.
Marketing infrastructure as a point of competitive differentiation
Marketing organizations that rebalance staff allocations and recalibrate their focus from martech and administrative execution back to marketing often discover that they become more adaptive and agile, thus positioning themselves to be more competitive.
A commitment to agility can put an organization on a path to greater profitability. McKinsey reported that many companies using agile techniques have grown revenues by as much as four times across the segment offerings and product lines that have been optimized. Even the most digitally savvy marketing organizations, with limited room for improvement, have experienced revenue increases of 20 to 40 percent.
A rebalanced, more agile marketing staff can compete more effectively, regardless of the pace of change and innovation in martech.
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