5 Questions Marketers Must Answer Before 2016

I heard Christmas music on the radio today, and I’m not even annoyed. It may only be November, but as a marketer, the end of 2015 has been looming on the horizon for a while already. If you work in B2B marketing or sales, chances are it’s been on your mind a lot, too. So, I figure, why not embrace it wholeheartedly?

Recently we sat down with Shannon Duffy, VP of Marketing at Pardot, and Justin Hart, VP of Member Acquisition at Surf Air, a members-only private airline, to discuss how sales and marketing teams can end the fiscal year with a bang. Take a look at these five questions they think need answering by the year’s end, and then watch the entire recorded webcast here.

1. What worked (and what didn’t) in 2015?

Let’s start with the obvious. You already have tons of data from your marketing automation tool about each campaign you ran and every deal your sales team closed this year. But with a never-ending wealth of information, what’s the best way to make sense of it all? Shannon and Justin suggest paying attention to two primary things: engagement and pipe.

Measure engagement and pipeline in terms of both content and channel. Which pieces of content received the most clicks and downloads — and from which channels (e.g., banner ads, organic social, email drip programs)? Similarly, which pieces of content and which channels drove the most revenue? The least? Laying out all this information in front of you can help you plan your campaigns and budget for 2016.

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Audit all your campaigns using your marketing automation tool. Learn more about how ROI reporting in works Pardot here.

 

2. How can we pack our pipeline for the new year?

The year is ending soon, but your work as a marketer is never done. As salespeople race to hit their quotas, you’ll be busy laying a solid foundation for the new fiscal year. After all, sales will need new deals to work come January.

There are a bunch of different tactics you can use to pack your pipeline. For example, you can launch an end-of-year promotional campaign that will generate revenue in 2015 and generate leads your sales team can work in the new year. You can also implement a cold lead nurturing campaign. Set up a drip campaign for all the leads in your database that “died” this year with the goal of reengaging them. (You can find an in-depth article about cold lead nurturing campaigns here.) However you choose to do it, it’s marketers’ job to fill the pipe so everyone can hit the ground running after the holidays.

3. What can we automate that we aren’t already?

Even if you’re a seasoned marketing pro, chances are there are still some aspects of your workday that can be automated. In the webcast, Justin shares an excellent marketing automation use case from Surf Air. The company holds tours of their airplanes up and down the West Coast so people can see the planes in person before they become members. To streamline and personalize this process, they use dynamic lists to send invitations to prospects based on tour location. When prospects RSVP, this information automatically appears in both Pardot and Salesforce — making life easier for the Surf Air team and their prospective clients.

Need some automation inspiration? Check out 9 Creative Ways to Use Pardot Automation Rules.

4. How can content support our goals?

Shannon is a big proponent of creating one big “anchor” piece of content that supports your marketing goals, and then slicing and dicing it into smaller (dare I say snackable?) pieces of content to use all year long. For example, if you write a long e-book, you can break it down into chapters that can become blog posts and mini e-books. If you have interesting data, you can create a slide deck or an infographic.

Don’t forget: not everyone is at the same point in the buying process, so consider breaking up longer content into various assets that resonate with people at different points of the sales funnel. Check out this blog post for tips on mapping content to the buyer’s journey, plus a worksheet to help you get started.

5. How can we delight our current customers?

As you’re auditing your yearly performance, so are your customers! Why not use this as an opportunity to remind them how great the past year has been?

Justin has an excellent suggestion: give your customers a personalized “year in review” to remind them of their journey over the past year and all the things you’ve accomplished — together. Not only will give them the warm holiday fuzzies, but it will also serve as a reminder about how valuable your product or service has been to them.

Want more tips?

Learn more from Shannon Duffy and Justin Hart in the recorded webcast, Maximize Your B2B Marketing Efforts for Huge End-of-Year Wins. If you have suggestions of your own you’d like to share, we’d love to read them in the comments below. Merry Q4, and a happy new year!