Spring is in full effect for us here on the East Coast and we’ve got the rain and pollen to prove it. This also means that we’re just about at the halfway point for the year. Seems like the perfect time to do some tidying up, don’t you think?
It’s that time of year when marketers are knee-deep in execution and hyper-focused on launching those initiatives and campaigns meant to help you reach your goals. But as we prepare to enter Q3, it’s important to take a step back and assess how things have progressed so far this year:
What has been successful?
What has not worked out as well as expected?
Are there any campaigns that need some rethinking?
Are you still on track to meet your Q2 targets and your overall 2019 goals?
When we take the time to step back and evaluate, it puts us in a good position to finish the quarter off strong and set the tone for a productive Q3.
So, in the spirit of spring and the end of the first half of the year, I talked with some of the smartest marketers I know—my colleagues at DemandLab—and compiled a list of some essential housekeeping tips for your marketing efforts. Many of the tips are specifically centered around two of our favorite marketing areas – martech and data. For some spring cleaning tips on getting your content in tip-top shape, check out this recent post on “How To Spring Clean Your Marketing Content In 3 Steps.”
Housekeeping Tip #1: Freshen Up Your Folders and Files
When you’re up to your elbows in execution, folder structure and file naming conventions are among the first items to drop to the lowest part of the priority list. I mean, who has time for version control when two emails have to get sent by noon (and it’s already 11:45 AM)? Before you know it, your desktop is filled with Untitled Folder 1, Untitled Folder 2, Untitled Folder 3…
Take advantage of this time to do some more literal spring cleaning. Check the folders you work in, whether directly on your hard drive in a cloud storage system like Google Drive, as well as the folders that exist in any systems or platforms you use, like the program folders in your marketing automation system. What can be archived or deleted? Committing some time to file and folder clean-up will eliminate that heart drop that happens when you get a request for the original version of a three-year-old sale sheet.
Housekeeping Tip #2: Create Online Consistency
Consistency is key. This isn’t a new expression by any means, but one worth repeating. With customer experience management as a key focus for today’s marketer, maintaining brand consistency is critical. That means ensuring your visuals and messaging are uniform across all of your online properties.
Is the messaging of your social platforms aligned with your website messaging? Are your landing page and email templates using the correct logo? Are your partners using your most up-to-date brand assets? Make sure your customers and prospects are getting the same experience from your company at each and every turn.
Housekeeping Tip #3: Secure Your Systems
Whether you’re a team of 10, 20, or 2,300, chances are there are team members who are no longer with the company or external vendors who are no longer on the approved vendor list. Did they have access to your martech systems, and if so, have they since been removed?
Take an inventory of your tech platforms and review system access. Are there any users that no longer require access? Is the access level still appropriate for all active users? This keeps your systems secured and ensures that you aren’t paying for platform seats or licenses that are not needed.
Housekeeping Tip #4: Streamline Your Stack
There are now over 7,000 martech solutions for marketers to choose from (7,040 solutions to be exact). The average company probably uses about 10% of that number of martech tools in-house. But, 70 is still a lot of platforms to keep up with.
Evaluate your current martech stack for duplicates or gaps. Are there any platforms that are no longer needed, aren’t fully being leveraged, or are not up-to-date? Are there any recent releases or upgrades available? Any new features you can take advantage of? Technology works best for marketers when it’s tamed and used properly.
Housekeeping Tip #5: Overhaul Old Programs and Landing Pages
Have you ever started typing a URL into your web browser only to have it auto-fill a landing page URL from an event you hosted over 6 months ago that is still live? It makes you wonder… what other campaigns or programs are out of date?
Review what you have live from your marketing efforts: are there limited-time landing pages that need to be taken down? Content in your nurtures that’s now out of date? Web pages that need to be redirected? Take the time to remove, unapprove, or update any programs or landing pages as needed to ensure you aren’t feeding customers or prospects any out-of-date materials.
Housekeeping Tip #6: Out with the Old (and the Obsolete)
Bad data is bad for business. When you let your database get filled with dirty and incomplete data, it impacts the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and your revenue potential.
Purge junk leads from your database that will likely never become customers. (You know, the Mickey Mouses, Nigerian princes, and other bad emails.) And get rid of any dead weight. That includes the email addresses that have hard bounced or emails of contacts you know have moved on from their companies—any unmailable email addresses. They’re not serving you any purpose just sitting in your database.
Housekeeping Tip #7: Deep-Clean Your Database
Data is so important that it deserves two separate tips. This tip is focused on the good data in your system.
Perform some sanity checks on your data, especially if it’s not data you report on frequently. Starting to see a lot of records with no lead source or opportunities that aren’t attributed to buying groups, for example? Do some digging to find where things went off the rails, clean up your data and put together a plan to prevent it from happening again.
We’re not always able to get around to the regular maintenance and clean up tasks, but these are the tasks that keep our well-oiled machines running smoothly. So, carve out some time to tackle one tip on this list. Then share your housekeeping tips with us!
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