Three Ways to Prepare Your Marketing Team for the New Year

As 2015 came to a close, it’s likely you started planning your marketing strategy for 2016. A creative campaign, forays into new digital channels, and updated KPIs are all well and good, but is your team truly prepared for the New Year? We’ve identified three areas that all CMOs should evaluate before putting their 2016 marketing campaigns in place. Within Dell Digital Business Services (DBS) we are helping our customers examine each of these areas to optimize existing marketing program and create effective customer engagement engines.

Software: The marketing SaaS landscape is vast, and it’s easy to acquire a large quantity of tools to manage and track your marketing campaigns. Employees may have engaged small budget solutions to address immediate needs during the course of the year, or your IT team may have rolled-out a preferred vendor solution. This is the time to inventory, assess, and evaluate the tools and software solutions being used by your team.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I properly documented all tools in use, users, usernames, and passwords?
  • What are we using each tool for? Do the tools we have offer similar capabilities?
  • Do we have needs that are not being met by our current tools?
  • Can my tools scale in line with my programs?
  • Are your current tools compatible with your organization’s IT environment?

Skills: The digital landscape requires employees to rapidly learn new skills. Has your team kept up with the trends? As you plan new campaigns for 2016 it’s important to consider if your staff has the skillset necessary to execute programs in digital marketing channels. Even if they are comfortable with digital marketing tactics, they may need to brush-up on the latest ways to execute programs in these channels. Assessing the team’s skill level now will allow you to plan for training or hiring in the New Year. Online courses through Lynda, Skillshare, or General Assembly can provide quick, specialized training for individuals. Or consider customized training that can address skill gaps across the organization.

Data: Customer-centric marketing requires and creates an overwhelming amount of data. To manage, analyze, and act on this data you must step outside of the marketing department and talk with IT, who must work with marketing to address the information architecture needs of your organization. By taking a step back to re-examine your organization’s digital strategy you can create identify the data silos and shadow IT preventing you from scaling your organization’s digital marketing.

We have recently come out with a point of view on how to apply modern digital strategies especially in the context of B2B marketing. The paper can be downloaded here.

About the Author: Valerie Groneman