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CMO Checklist: 3 Must-Have Tips to Master Digital in 2015

2015 is the year of the tipping point for digital lives on the go. With changes in how customers see, search, and shop, digital marketing agencies are preparing to help CMOs get the most out of emerging trends in the digital landscape.

Here are three tips to master digital in the coming year.

 

1. Get Moving with Cross-Device Fluency

 

Mobile now accounts for 60% of time spent on the Internet, according to digital analytics company comScore. The shift is everywhere; from entertainment to even the way we tell time. According to Flurry, the mobile ad network owned by Yahoo, Americans now spend more time on mobile devices than watching T.V. With the anticipated release of the Apple Watch this year, web-enabled wearables will also become more common. In this emerging “Internet of Things,” smart objects will keep us constantly online.

And yet, as desktop continues to take a nosedive, marketers have been slow to move toward mobile. In a summary of Salesforce’s 2015 State of Marketing report, Marketingland reported that only 46 percent of survey respondents were utilizing mobile.

For the savvy CMO, success and higher ROI will come from optimizing campaigns for mobile and tablet users. Cross-device fluency is a must.

To get started, follow the best practices of the mobile fluent:

  • Understand your choices for Google-approved design, whether it’s Dynamic Serving or Responsive. Your digital marketing agency can help you with your decision.
  • Optimize for touch. Think about UX, and how larger images and minimalistic text might enhance your customer’s experience.
  • Test your campaigns across all devices to ensure fast-loading content.
  • Regardless of device, always make sure your Call to Action is visibly easy to find.

Design is Just the Beginning

In 2015, it’s not enough to build responsive landing pages. To master digital, your campaign tactics should also be optimized for mobile. This includes integrating push notifications, mobile apps, and location-based functionality into your digital marketing strategy.

To finish off the process, measure your conversion rate by each device and make tweaks for better future performances.

 

2. Create a Content Strategy That Sells

 

In the coming year, CMOs should place increased emphasis on building a smart content strategy. This means not only documenting your game plan, but making sure content is tailored and distributed in a way that helps your company’s bottom line.

The Power of the Pen

According to the Content Marketing Institute, a large percentage of marketers are operating under a verbal strategy, but few have taken the time to write down that master plan. In its 2015 report on Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends in North America, CMI found that only 35% of B2B and 27% of B2C marketers have documented their strategies. But for this group that took the extra step, higher success rates were reported for tracking ROI. Compared to their peers who only had a verbal plan, these marketers also reported bigger budgets for content marketing, more content produced, and wider distribution via social media.

The takeaway is clear: turn pennies into dollars with the power of the pen.

Predicting the Next Best Thing

With your smart strategy in place, 2015 is also the time to get savvy with your content. More than ever before, CMOs have access to a wealth of information to help in their content marketing efforts. Smart devices for consumers means smart data for marketers. Recent articles in Inc. and the Guardian have identified predictive analytics as “the next big thing” for marketers and sales teams. This method has its detractors, but when used properly, predictive analytics will help marketers target their best leads and prospects with engaging, customized content.

Distributing Content For a Bottom Line

Smart distribution tactics are also key to a content strategy that sells. Always consider the sales funnel for your buyer persona in content creation and placement. For your inbound marketing, work with an SEO company to leverage SEO-friendly content. Your digital marketing agency can also help you get leads with outbound tactics like paid social and search advertising. There’s a science to content marketing in 2015, and CMOs can lead the way to successful selling opportunities.

 

3. Align Your Marketing Department with Sales

 

 It’s ironic that at a time when people are more connected than ever, marketing and sales departments still fail at communication. With this in mind, 2015 is the year to make a serious effort to ensure your department’s goals and processes are aligned with your sales team. After all, who better to provide valuable insight on how to talk to your customers than those colleagues who interact with them every day?

According to Marketing Profs, an online training company, organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing enjoy 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates. To master digital internally, CMOs can take the lead in creating this tight alignment. Common language, shared processes, and the right technology are the goals to work on this year.

Align Your Language

Sales culture and marketing culture have their respective language and terms. To avoid misunderstanding and frustration, make sure both sides have formal definitions of what constitutes a “sales-ready lead.”

In a webinar by Marketo, presenters used the anecdote of the trade show to make their point. Whereas marketing might want to count scans or workshop attendees as leads, sales might only consider a certain demographic that attended a demonstration as leads. The takeaway is vocal and loud: don’t get caught in a Tower of Babylon. Speaketh as one tribe and ye shall get yields.

Align Your Processes

Close the divide between your two departments by training together more often.

Through this training, marketing will be better able to create leads with a high close rate. Meanwhile, sales will be able to receive and act on leads more quickly. Both will be better prepared to drum up new business.

Other ways to align your processes include shared pipelines, service level agreements for accountability, and joint review of metrics.

Let Technology Do The Rest

To facilitate a smooth sales followup to your marketing campaigns, make sure to invest in a good marketing automation platform. With one system in place for lead assignment and nurture programs, your organization will run more efficiently. Put simply, sales and marketing go better together.

Want more digital marketing tips?

Find out what top performing marketers have in common. Sign up to join “5 Habits of Highly Effective Marketers” live on Tuesday, January 27th at 10AM PT.

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