Marketing and branding people are always talking about effective marketing as a measure of ROI and performance overall. But lately we’ve begun to add an additional dimension that affects performance—and ultimately success—at much earlier stages in the process. That dimension is Marketing Efficiency.
Efficiency as in smart, well-planned, thoughtful waste-free decisions. Efficiency as in eliminating duplication of efforts. Efficiency as in maximizing both our team’s and the client team’s time, energy and spend.
Efficiency has been topmost in our minds here as of late, since we recently completed the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) Annual Report and their theme is “15 Years of Robust Energy Efficiency Investment.” This sparked discussions on how we can continue to bring the dimension of efficiency to each stage of our work. For instance, when we address how we can most efficiently handle client discovery, our answers are: to provide a checklist of documents for review; create a list of stakeholders to interview and provide our interview questions ahead of the scheduled time; open a shared dropbox with access for all team members; hold staff meetings to review and align information and internal process; and more.
The outcomes for continuously addressing efficient practices are:
- increased client satisfaction—being respectful of their time and resources,
- speed to market—by shortening each stage in the process, and
- bottom-line value—when our time is capitalized, savings pass through.
This thoughtful approach to our work applies at every stage and every interaction, from creative development to client presentations and the inevitable revisions stage. Sometimes it entails setting agendas and expectations in advance. Sometimes it’s reviews of work-to-date to keep from moving backwards. Sometimes it’s going the extra mile to frame a discussion or decision by presenting a competitive landscape overview.
Of course it also applies to the implementation stages of an initiative, well outside of our internal processes. We address how to make the most out of opportunities and content creation. If we’re on a video shoot, we can also have still photos taken, tweet about the upcoming content, get testimonials from participants, or any other number of things. An infographic developed for a presentation is ideal as a series of FaceBook posts or Tweets, can add graphic appeal to an e-newsletter, becomes a captivating interactive element on a website, etc.
When searching the web to see how much information is out there on Marketing Efficiency, I came across an interesting article from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) titled “Marketing Efficiency and Effectiveness”. Nice combination of those two most important concepts. In it was this video recapping the challenges facing CMOs today:
Another BCG article expanded on the points covered in the video and offered up some best-practices solutions. Highlights are below:
The job of top marketers has grown exponentially bigger and harder given today’s digital reality. Traditional skills such as creativity and brand building, although still important, no longer suffice. Mandates have broadened. And marketing has become much more of a science, requiring technical, data-crunching abilities. With digital channels and tools constantly emerging, marketing organizations must become (to borrow a term from the world of software development) more agile, iterating much more quickly to adapt to rapidly changing conditions.
Our survey uncovered several emerging capabilities marketing groups must develop:
Many best-in-class marketing organizations act more like technology companies, using agile techniques borrowed from the software development world to speed up the development of initiatives and timelines.
Big Data for Consumer Insight
Today’s marketing organizations are awash in data generated from such disparate sources as websites, social media, sales, mobile devices, and customer-relationship-management systems.
Techniques are evolving beyond the traditional marketing-mix models (MMMs) used to optimize the return on marketing spending across mass-media channels and to link marketing activity to sales.
Content strategies are rapidly evolving to adapt to an ever more fragmented ecosystem of platforms and channels—mobile, e-mail, interactive tools and Web experiences, videos and short films, and editorial content—in order to reach consumers with relevant information when, where, and how consumers prefer to engage.
Best-in-class organizations are launching innovation labs to stay on top of trends and experiment with new approaches.
A single agency of record, no matter how large, does not always have all of the capabilities that companies require.
Sparked by our friends at MEEA and the concept of “energy efficiency”, we will continue to evaluate the energy put into every aspect of our brand and marketing initiatives, and directly address them from an efficiency perspective. More on the MEEA Annual Report.Share: