By Robert Pease, CMO Practice Lead for Heinz Marketing

This is part four in an eight-part series on the keys to marketing greatness in 2015.  Part one focused on demand generation, part two focused on content marketing, part three focused on database health.

We’re featuring these keys leading up to our webinar on November 6 where we will cover them in greater detail. Today we highlight the topic and importance of Process.

Process is definitely key to marketing greatness because it provides a structural and cross-functional view of what you are doing and how you are doing it.

You must map out the entire funnel from creation to nurture to sales coordination and conversion.  Have established criteria that define a prospect, an MQL, and an SQL.  Understand what the sales team needs and when.  Know what metrics are the best indications of performance to manage your team and report your success to your executive management.

Process is so important to all of these things so that everyone knows how it works, how it is measured, and how it can be improved over time.  Markets change and businesses evolve so having a process-centric view of your marketing activities is critical.

Sit down and map out:

  1. Interaction with prospects and customers – advertising, email campaigns, marketing automation, social media, etc.  Every touch point you control should be defined with clear ownership and metrics.
  2. Content production and distribution – the schedule and activities used to create original content or leverage 3rd party content as well as the systems used to manage them.  Content is the core of your process so be sure to include it!
  3. Analytics and reporting – make sure you have the answer to the question “is it working?” readily accessible.  Measure the ROI on your spend and apply scoring to leads but focus on what is most important to understand and report success.  The future will include more data not less so proper filters are essential.
  4. Oversight and management – be sure to include how you communicate as a team and where those information flows cross functional groups.  Give your team the ability to be creative and try new things but be sure to have the proper check points and reviews.

A best in class process will enable and measure outcomes, not just activities.  Sending an email campaign is an activity.  Launching a white paper promotion is an activity.  Knowing how many qualified leads you created across the sales funnel and which of those converted to customers along with how much it cost to do that is about the outcome.  Focus on outcomes in your process.

Join us November 6th for more on this and seven more keys to marketing domination in 2015.