Marketing Strategy, Project Management, and Automation — A Review
Talk is cheap! It’s easy for anyone to talk about how digital has changed the world and perhaps discuss all the digital channels available at our fingertips. What’s not as easy is perhaps outlining “how” these channels will be deployed and peculiar creative ideas that can be implemented to impact the bottom line of businesses.
This is what your marketing strategy covers. It’s the overall game plan for how you intend to reach your potential customers, engaging them and turning them into paying customers and loyal advocates.
In your strategy, there will be different touchpoints. One of them can be creating and launching a dedicated product website. Project management is how you intend to manage the process of research and content creation, manage the resources, technology, and people required for a successful launch from start to finish.
Automation basically is how you intend to use technology to simplify your processes and reduce your work time while improving the quality of your output.
I spent this week doing a deep dive into the marketing management — strategy, project management, and Marketing Technology (Martech) stack optimization as part of the CXL Institute’s Growth Marketing Minidegree program.
I thought the lessons were quite thorough. I loved Dan Mcgaw’s course on Martech stack optimization the most. I’ve shared some key learnings below.
Your Strategy begins with Research.
Building a strategy based on assumptions and gut feeling is an easy way to set yourself up for failure. You need to research first. But how? A good way to start is to conduct a quick SWOT analysis.
SWOT means Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
Your Strength and weaknesses are internal factors which you have control over. Opportunities and threats, however, are external and not in your control.
Next, you need to figure out your key internal stakeholders. Here, Lindsey introduced the RACI framework (Responsible, Approve, Consult and Inform). Creating a RACI chart for your strategy can be really helpful in internal segmentation.
Then, you need to aggregate and analyze all available data. Do this by bringing together all existing data from your existing tools and databases such as CRM tools, Google analytics, previous research reports — competitive analysis, user surveys, etc. and analyze them. If you identify gaps in the data, note them and explore using surveys to collect other information. I’ve covered user research comprehensively in a previous post.
Organize your insights using a SWOT matrix and use those insights to inform the creation of a minimum viable strategy. Your minimum viable strategy should encapsulate the following considerations:
- Alignment to your corporate vision
- On-brand focus
- Apt and well-thought-out objectives
- SMART goals
- Integrated measurement framework
- Clear timeline
- An agile and iterative approach
- The right people
Just before you execute, ensure that the whole organization is aligned on objectives and outcomes.
How you project manage your strategies will determine its success!
Creating a strong marketing strategy is just the first step of the way. Managing your strategies effectively every other step of the way is very critical to success.
Marketing project management essentially involves coordinating people, priorities, and processes strategically to achieve one key objective.
- People: Not everyone in your company will play an equal part in the execution of your strategy. You can easily divide people into drivers, approvers, contributors and keep informed. These are self-explanatory.
- Priorities: This is about making calculated campaign steps.
Look back: Determine what’s working, what’s not, what can be improved etc
Deep dive: Go into details. Draw out diagrams where needed. Score your items based on 3 criteria — urgency, effort, and feasibility.
OKRs: Define 3–5 key objectives on company, team, and personal levels. Set 3–5 measurable and achievable results.
Date Map: These help you stay on top of everything.
- Processes: This is the final jigsaw puzzle. You need to use the SPRINT framework:
Map → Sketch → Decide → Prototype → Test → Launch
3 challenges arise from a lack of project management
- Resource Issues: People, time, and output
- Scope Issues: Over-commitment, under-commitment, and scope creep
- Attribution issues: vague goals, per-asset underperformance, and Lack of actionable learning
Now that we’ve examined, strategy and project management, let's get into Marketing Technology.
What is a Martech Stack?
Your Martech Stack contains all the tools — marketing, sales, developer, and support that you use in business and marketing.
Your stack can empower you to have control over your customer interactions if they are selected and integrated properly.
Quick note: when choosing the tools for your stack, ease of integration is very critical. It’s important to pick tools that will minimize developer integration time.
Where does your Martech stack start?
The first point of contact with most businesses is the website. That’s where it all begins.
Having google tag manager integrated into your website is usually a great start. Other tools can then be integrated with Google tag manager in an organized manner. With Google tag manager, you’ll be less dependent on your developer as far as integration with tools goes.
To ensure that you’re not spending so much or wasting dollars acquiring tools, you can carry out a Martech stack audit. You can do this on a spreadsheet. Here, you’ll track all your current tools and how much you’re paying for each, determine where you’re spending the most, and evaluate based on the value the tool delivers.
How can you find new tools?
You should be checking out Product hunt. Tools are being uploaded to the platform weekly. Keep your eyes on them.
Check out what tools your competitors are using via tools like Ghostery and Built With. Dan introduced another tool — Datanyze. I couldn’t get to test the tool as it wasn’t available in my country though.
Marketing management really is a very important part of marketing and it comprises the strategy, project management, and the automation/tech stack. It’s like a funnel. The Strategy feeds into the project management which finally feeds into the automation.
I understand that two of these may run simultaneously but one thing is clear — before you start jumping on the over 3000 tools available, you need to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and how the tool will help you move your business forward.