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Refocus from Martech Back to Marketing

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by Price
February 12, 2018

By Kandi O’Connor

Rebalancing act: How bank marketers can shift staff focus from martech back to marketing to drive growth.

How would you characterize the strength and effectiveness of your marketing organization? Do you have the right talent, martech tools, and focused strategy required to compete at the level necessary to grow your bank’s brand within your industry, and help your branches 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 a recent CMO survey by Duke University, Deloitte and the American Marketing Association, less 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.

CMOs just might be at a breaking point when it comes to martech adoption. Marketers have become burdened—both operationally and economically—with integrating hundreds of point solutions. According to IDC’s Futurescape: Worldwide Chief Marketing Officer Advisory 2016 Predictions, this would drive 20% of large enterprise CMOs to consolidate their marketing technology by the end of 2017.

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.”

Bank 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.

  1. 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 branches.

And what happens if your internal technical experts leave the team or the organization?

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 re-focus your staff on the strategic marketing activities for which they were hired.

MaaS also eliminates the need to hire for technology, which reduces the risks associated with tech obsolescence and attrition of trained staff.

  1. 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 and can’t focus on strategy, or 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 and managing custom requests from branches
  • Ad resizing
  • Assembling and distributing local kits
  • Reporting

Among the risks associated with these challenges are:

  • Losing ground in local consumer engagement. Is the competition more proactive than you and your local representatives? 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 utilizing high-paid staff for low-level administrative functions?
  • Branch dissatisfaction. Your inability to provide effective marketing support to local representatives could impede your ability to grow.

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, like finding and accessing marketing materials and local customization of templated materials. You can further free up senior marketing team members by redistributing administrative tasks to local teams and junior staff members. And 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 they become more adaptive and agile, which positions them 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. And even the most digitally savvy marketing organizations, with limited room for improvement, have experienced revenue increases of 20% to 40%.

A rebalanced, more agile marketing staff can compete more effectively, regardless of the pace of change and innovation in martech.

Kandi O’Connor is COO of Vya, a provider of simplified marketing systems that solve local marketing challenges for marketers in banking and finance, insurance, franchising and manufacturing. She has worked with clients for more than 20 years, helping them identify and address their most common local marketing challenges. Email: koconnor@vyasystems.com. Phone: (513) 552-0142.

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