Doing More with Less
Make no mistake—marketers are being asked to do all of that without added staff or extra budget. Before the advent of the web 20 years ago, B2B marketers mostly relied on just a few channels to connect with buyers: media and analyst relations, direct mail, print advertising, and trade shows. Now, the same-sized team is expected to:
- Create and maintain prospect databases and lists
- Create and keep up-to-date web and mobile sites and apps, landing pages, blogs, and microsites—and make them all search engine-friendly
- Create and maintain social profiles across multiple platforms
- Produce and execute social media marketing campaigns across multiple platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, SlideShare, and YouTube, among others
- Create vast arrays of content in many formats, including white-papers, e-books, infographics, webinars, and videos
- Build, monitor, and update online advertising campaigns across multiple platforms
- Create, run, and measure e-mail marketing and lead nurturing campaigns
- Learn content management systems, web analytics tools, testing and targeting tools, marketing automation platforms, pay-per-click advertising, and social advertising platforms such as Google, Bing, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Bizo (now part of LinkedIn), and others
- Handle traditional offline activities such as media and analyst relations, direct mail, print advertising, and trade shows and events
It seems pretty overwhelming, doesn’t it? Although cloud-based technology has made it possible to do all of these things faster, with a smaller staff, and for less cost than traditional methods, there are a couple of inherent traps in doing more with less. First, marketers are not being remunerated commensurate with the vastly higher throughput and successful outcomes that technology enables. Second, although today’s executive teams expect marketing to turn to technology to do more with less, there is often no plan for how that technology supports strategy, no plan or support for training, and no plan for what happens when the technology fails to deliver or even be properly integrated. That, in turn, is a recipe for burnout and, ultimately, employee retention issues.
One way to mitigate the pressure of doing more with less is to ensure that everything marketing does, every tool marketing uses, and every result marketing delivers will be in the service of supporting strategy. By putting strategy first, marketers can minimize unnecessary activity, reduce superfluous technologies, and better manage expectations along the way.