Unify your Marketing Operations

The last few months have been an incredibly challenging period of change for, amongst others, marketing teams.

CMOs are under pressure to restructure their team and reduce and reallocate the marketing budget while still being expected to achieve the same growth targets. Marketers, on the other hand, are losing team members to redundancy, being asked to do more with less funding and resources, and to quickly upskill in digital marketing, a skill they previously outsourced to an agency or relied on their now redundant internal digital resource to complete.

If you’re a marketer now finding yourself suddenly managing your digital strategy or needing to find new ways to increase conversions without spending more, or even if your digital budget has increased but you need to ensure it is spent wisely, then we have the checklist for you.

Today’s post will cover:

  • A few simple tips to efficiently check your customer journeys
  • Identify and address common human and tech errors that will impact conversions.
  • A standard process for monitoring and maintaining online ad funnels

Where things go wrong

Hundreds of hours per year are spent (and some might consider it wasted time) manually checking the functionality of customer journeys and still, 3–5% of annual ad budgets are lost on leaky marketing funnels. How much are you spending on your ads each month? Alright… now, what is 5% of that amount? That budget is being wasted on everything from really micro problems to major issues in a critical campaign.

What are those issues? Consider a few scenarios. You have your landing pages, and the designers or someone who’s handling conversion rate optimization are making constant improvements. Then, there are all of the functional aspects of the pixels and widgets on your website. There are your analytics tracking and attribution modeling. Another possibility is engineering, when, for example, a developer makes a push to CSS class or a javascript update and you don’t realize that it’s interfering with some of your pixels and widgets.

A quick summary of the avenues you should be constantly checking:

  • Ad channels
  • Landing pages
  • Pixels and widgets
  • Links
  • Forms
  • Website

Process for reviewing your customer journeys

Now, we can talk about what you can do about these issues. How to wrangle this chaos to have a little more control with all of these systems and customer journeys. We’ve suggested a process that will streamline identifying any issues in your customer journeys and marketing funnels.

Sort your landing pages and map your customer journeys

  • Map all of your customer journeys
    a) Create a new spreadsheet with columns for each step
    b) Add columns for Spend & Traffic
    c) Open and evaluate the customer journey path
    d) Copy & paste into the next step of the funnel
    e) Add a row each defined CTA (JUST the CTA)

Pull your sources and prepare your data

You can expect this part of the process to be manual and repetitive.

  • Pull reports from your various campaign sources (for example, ads channel, social media platforms, email platform, etc)
  • Prepare your data
    a) Sort and count your ads, group by unique final URL
    b) Sort and count the final URLs
    c) Sum the Spend & Traffic
  • Group and filter to unique base URLs
    a) (Optional) if you have unique experiences for different parameters

Plot your journeys & run your cross-funnel checks

  • Take the high-level checklist of brand-damaging issues below and use your preferred tool to upload the pages from your customer journeys into each tool.
  • If you don’t have access to those tools within your organization, the spreadsheets that track spend and traffic through the customer journey that you’ve just made will help you convince the gatekeepers that running this report for you is important.
  • For some of them, it may take manually clicking through the journey to find problems, but that beats finding out from customers, sales, or your CEO.

Analyze, prioritize and share issues across teams

So you now have a fledgling Source of Truth for all your live customer journeys and know where the issues are, but what do you do with that knowledge?

Once you’ve identified the roadblocks (ie a list of issues) in your customer journey, you need to understand the impact they’re having on the customer journey. For example, is it a 404 error where the entire page is down so your visitors cannot convert or is it a layout issue that’s not pretty to look at but it’s not stopping visitors from shopping or downloading your assets? Once you can outline the impact in terms of spend, traffic, and ROI for specific journeys affected. Then you can start to get buy-in and prioritize based on High, Medium, and Low priority to fix.

With your issues clearly defined and prioritized it’s time to notify the team members who will be responsible for correcting the issue. More importantly, you have a clear case with data and opportunity costs for why they should pay attention to your request. This could be:

  • Web team or developer: for support in fixing the website issues
  • PPC or social media manager: to pause any paid ads or organic posts running to the campaign
  • Marketing coordinator: to pause email and nurture campaigns running to the campaign
  • CMO: to notify them of the impact on targets and KPIs

A checklist of brand-damaging issues

Now you have a process, just what issues are you looking for? Run through this checklist for each page in your Customer Journey Map. If desired, screenshot each page and its console to help your developers find and fix Browser Errors and broken images.

  • Page Uptime
  • SSL Certificates
  • Buttons
  • Form Submissions
  • Page Speed
  • Browser Errors
  • Links
  • Images

With this manual process in place, you’ll reduce your ad waste and ensure your marketing funnels operate more efficiently.


Originally published on Medium.com