In the world of marketing, there always seems to be a shiny new object people are talking about, whether it’s artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), influencer marketing, account-based marketing, (ABM), chatbots, you name it!
And with these new and sophisticated technologies, marketers are saving time, diving deeper into analytics, targeting more precisely, and ultimately providing better customer experiences.
But how can an organization truly accomplish sophisticated marketing strategies and tactics when the basics of marketing are harder and harder to find?
Are the basics of marketing lost?
A question we should ask ourselves: Are the basics of marketing lost? For some marketers and organizations, maybe not. But if you dig a little deeper, more than likely you’ll find a lack in some foundational marketing talent, knowledge, and processes.
What are the basics of marketing?
Let’s take a step back and define what the basics of marketing entails and break them into three categories: Talent, processes, and technology.
The talent that sits within the marketing department is crucial. From a broad perspective, this can include writing, design, and strategy.
Have no access to a writer who can construct a well-thought-out sentence? Then your readers probably won’t understand your value proposition.
No design expertise? Then that social banner, email, or eBook will likely fall flat.
Lacking a well-defined marketing strategy and plan? Without a strategy, there’s no hope in making an impact on the market and achieving company goals.
There does seem to be a shortage of key, foundational skills in marketing. According to Econsultancy’s Skills of the Modern Marketer report, only 10 % of respondents rated themselves as an ‘expert’ in strategic thinking.
Marketing can be complex with many moving parts. So more than ever, having set processes in place is critical. And whether your marketing team adopts an agile or waterfall approach, someone in the marketing department with a project management mindset is imperative to help develop processes and ensure they are followed.
A few critical components you’ll want in place to make sure the basics of marketing are covered include:
- Workflows, including reviews and approvals
- Budgeting processes
- Campaign creation and execution processes
- Templates for print and digital assets
- Marketing and editorial calendars
Technology can lend a hand to help marketing teams follow set processes. Marketing resource management is crucial for marketers to adopt. This is where you can keep track of workflows and budgets. There are many deadlines and tight purse strings, so with the right technology, marketers can stay on top of targets and use marketing dollars wisely.
And this fundamental technology is not only for operations. Marketers need the right tools for data, campaign execution, and analytics as well. Without easy access to complete and accurate data, there’s no way to create compelling, personalized campaigns. And if the measurement aspect is missing, how can improvements be made?
Technology is taking a larger role for marketing teams. According to Gartner Research, 29% of CMOs’ budgets are allocated to purchasing marketing technology.
To build a solid foundation, here are three recommended technologies to have in place:
- CRM platform to store contacts and key information
- Marketing automation for creation and execution of campaigns to those contacts
- Reporting and analytics to measure the performance of executed campaigns
When you’re ready to add more to your marketing tech stack, you can implement a project management / workflow platform to keep tabs on the many moving parts as well as a creative suite of tools to develop beautiful content and images for your campaigns and websites.
Blueprint for success
When building a house, you need a solid foundation before placing in floors and windows. The same goes with marketing – before implementing a sophisticated marketing campaign, be sure you have the basics covered when it comes to talent, processes, and technology. Once that’s covered, you’re ready to add on a screened porch on the back of your house. When everything else is in place, more sophisticated programs like ABM are much easier and more successful.
We hear a lot of experts preach that marketers need to send out individualized communications based on customer behavior and preferences. In reality, many organizations are still struggling to just get a simple email out once a month. Don’t feel like you’re alone in this. Companies are moving at light speed, and sometimes the simplest things are forgotten. We all need a little reminder now and then, and to remember that the basics of marketing are the foundation for success.