Recently Demandbase and marketing operations (MOPs) training provider Highway Education released their “The State of Marketing Operations: 2022” report. It includes insights from various marketing operations luminaries like Darrell Alfsono and Sara McNamara who are certainly aware of the challenges facing professionals in this field. One of the report’s important takeaways is that marketing operations practitioners are in high demand, and there’s a real need for more formal training opportunities.
As I see it, one way that companies looking for marketing operations talent can better find suitable people to fill operations roles is to broaden their perspective of potential candidates – especially during the tight labor market caused by the “Great Resignation.” Many people have what I consider a narrow view of who to recruit, and that’s to their detriment.
Marketing automation’s prominence
It is not surprising that many equate marketing operations with marketing automation; marketing automation platforms offer a lot of what marketing departments need in the digital space. Such platforms are valuable in many situations throughout B2B, B2C, and D2C contexts, and all sorts of teams throughout marketing, sales, and other departments certainly have a need for marketing automation.
Further, since marketing automation platforms are core tech stack components that integrate with many other systems, it seems logical that marketing automation teams would serve as a core and foundational component of any marketing department’s operations. In fact, as robust and powerful platforms, they could certainly serve as a backbone system for smaller organizations for most – if not all – marketing initiatives.
Beyond marketing automation
However, there are plenty of practitioners throughout marketing who develop both the requisite technical skills and business acumen to serve as competent operational practitioners. I agree with Knak Co-Founder and CEO Pierce Ujjainwalla, who was quoted in the report as saying: “We all have found our way into MOps some random way.”
So, why is the field so focused on people who have marketing automation experience?
Fixating on marketing automation causes blind spots for the marketing operations field. I’ve argued that marketing operations teams should pay more attention to websites. The web channel offers many opportunities for marketing departments, and the acumen needed for operating marketing automation platforms, analytic tools, and related systems actually translates well over to content management systems (CMSs).
Further, by looking beyond email, texts, and messaging to the web channel, operations folks could have a better view of other channels. With a more consistent focus on a broader perspective, operations folks can more holistically see possibilities to orchestrate multi-channel campaigns. Wouldn’t that impress marketing leadership and the C-suite?
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Desirable skills come from several backgrounds
Ashley Blanchard, manager, marketing automation and product management at Adobe, is an example of a marketing operations and technology practitioner who came from a web background instead of a marketing automation one. When I asked Blanchard if I could mention her, she replied: “I think we need more web developers to convert to marketing technology and operations!”
I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I am also one of those people who doesn’t have a significant background mainly performing in a marketing automation role.
Blanchard spent a lot of her time developing and maintaining integrations and data flows as a web developer. I was more of a website administrator who also worked closely with software developers to build custom software ranging from CMS extensions to building systems from scratch. We – like automation specialists – have learned and operated with project management, fought many figurative fires, negotiated with legal and security, had to comply with a regulatory
morass tapestry, managed systems users, configured user permission sets, modified functionality, worked with account teams, and collaborated plenty with IT, creative, and other marketing and sales stakeholders.
CMSs integrate with many other systems just like automation platforms. Websites are similarly dependent upon analytics as emails, messaging, paid search, and social media with comparable opportunities for testing and fine tuning. CMSs and web tactics certainly evolve as much as marketing automation does. Thus, there are plenty of ways to develop marketing operations and technology acumen.
Further, Blanchard told me that she feels that system ownership (of any type of platform) requires one to develop and use creative problem solving skills. She adds that this “is the critical skill set anyone in marketing tech needs: how to make a software platform work in an ecosystem to solve complex problems. And there are lots of software platforms being used creatively out there by good candidates.”
As more and more of marketing and sales initiatives grow more digital and technical, specialists from beyond marketing automation develop and use skills that are not only applicable but essential to operations. Thus, marketing leadership, hiring managers, and recruiters should look beyond automation folks for operations roles. I argue that people with websites, paid search, social media, and analytics backgrounds offer just as much potential and, perhaps most importantly, a different perspective than automation specialists.
Cast a wide net
Don’t get me wrong. Marketing automation specialists are a wonderful group of people. They have certainly earned their growing reputation of serving essential marketing functions, but they’re not the only ones capable of fulfilling the demands placed upon marketing operations teams.
One way to address the implications of the current tight marketing operations jobs market like top-heavy teams leaving senior practitioners in the weeds, burned out professionals, long hiring processes, and too much turnover is to cast a broader net when recruiting – just keep the compensation packages growing and improving.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.
8 Effective Ways to Ensure Ecommerce Business Success
It is a known fact that the global consumers are favoring ecommerce, and the reasons for ecommerce business success are many.
According to a Statista forecast, the retail ecommerce revenue in the US is expected to cross 1.3 trillion dollars by the end of 2025.
Image via Statista
While brick-and-mortar stores are gradually losing their dominance, the digital marketplace is blazing. More and more ecommerce brands, big and small, are coming up and gaining a foothold in this ever-expanding landscape.
If you are one such ecommerce business striving to taste success, you know how demanding and competitive things can be. And you only beat the fierce competition with aggressive ecommerce marketing strategies like digital advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, etc.
In this post, I will be sharing 8 key factors you need to focus on to ensure your ecommerce business success and sustainable business growth.
Let’s get started.
8 Key Factors for Ecommerce Business Success in 2022
The future of ecommerce is bright and the small businesses that jump on the bandwagon early will reap great benefits. But what does it take to taste this success?
Here are the 8 key success factors for ecommerce businesses.
1. Target a Niche Audience
The secret to ecommerce business success lies in understanding your target audience and focusing all your efforts on engaging them. Instead of trying to attract a broad audience on the search engines, select a niche audience specific to your small business, understand their pain points and interests, and position your brand to meet their needs. An SEO tool like Semrush or Ahrefs can help you with your research to build a strong marketing strategy based on real insights.
The goal is to make your product unique and market it to a relevant audience that is more likely to make a purchase. This strategy can increase customer loyalty and win repeat customers for your small business. Therein lies the secret to your ecommerce business success.
2. Go Mobile-First
The pandemic has accelerated our shift to ecommerce and given rise to m-commerce. Insider Intelligence estimates that by 2025, m-commerce sales will account for 44.2% of total ecommerce sales in the US.
So it’s clear that the success of your ecommerce business relies on the mobile-friendliness of your site. Having a mobile-friendly online store can help you deliver a seamless online shopping experience to customers on the go.
You can begin by running Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and building a progressive web application (PWA) for your online store. A responsive design for your website will help boost sales and pave the way for your ecommerce business success.
3. Choose the Right Distribution Channels
Your audiences are active on different channels and if want your products to be visible to them, you need to choose the right distribution channels.
If your business model focuses solely on your ecommerce website, you should broaden your perspective and consider other sales channels. There are several other options to sell your products like Amazon, eBay, social media, affiliate marketing, and so on. You can manage your sales process effectively with the help of sales CRM tools. These tools integrate your different sales channels and makes your sales process more efficient.
Conduct extensive research to figure out which of these channels are preferred by your target customers. Showcase your products in an attractive way to boost your ecommerce sales. This digital marketing strategy can contribute to your ecommerce business success.
4. Create Unique Content
You heard that right. To ensure that your ecommerce brand stands out in the crowd, you should invest in high-quality and diverse content.
Today internet users are flooded with content and to grab their attention you need to think out of the box and create content marketing strategies that truly grab their attention. Remember, video content is ruling the landscape delivering great results. You can use Premiere Pro Presets to create unique and impressive videos and stay ahead of the competition.
Gather insights from customer data analysis, see what your competitors are doing, and learn from your previous digital marketing campaigns to create a more targeted content marketing strategy for your small business.
5. Continually Update Your Email Marketing List
Marketers rely on email marketing to achieve diverse marketing goals. Emails can be used to generate leads, nurture them, build relationships with customers, ensure customer satisfaction and boost ecommerce sales.
But to leverage the power of email marketing, you need to be smart about your email lists and use the right email tools to manage them. There’s no point in sending a thousand emails when only a couple of hundreds of recipients are your target audience.
That’s why segmenting your email lists and keeping them updated is crucial to your ecommerce business success. An effective way to manage your email lists is to ask for the recipients’ feedback on your emails and the information they prefer to receive.
By analyzing the responses, you can make more strategic decisions and ensure the success of your ecommerce business.
6. Deliver a Great Shopping Experience
The expectation of customers in terms of customer experience has skyrocketed and that’s why you need to work towards improving customer satisfaction.
Personalized communication could be one of the biggest game-changers, be it in recommending products, reminding them of abandoned carts, or introducing them to your latest offerings. Creating user story maps can go a long way in making your personalization efforts more effective.
Right from the moment customers land on your page to when they make a purchase, you should strive to create a smooth customer experience. You can also consider incorporating an AI-powered chatbot into your website to take your customer service to the next level.
To make your customers happy, offer them special deals and discounts. Such moves will surely boost your ecommerce business success.
7. Invest in Social Media Marketing
Social media, can be immensely effective in creating brand awareness, extending customer service, and generating leads for your ecommerce business. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are all marketers’ favorites to reach out to niche audiences and drive traffic for their sites.
Having said that, it is a crowded market, and winning big on social media isn’t easy. As an ecommerce brand, you need to use social media analytics to create digital marketing campaigns that not only generate engagement but also fill your sales funnel with quality leads.
Ecommerce brands should also leverage social selling as it is growing into a prominent trend. This shoppable post by Macy’s allows its Facebook followers to buy what they like instantly.
Image via Facebook
If invested strategically, selling on social media can act as a profitable sales channel for your business.
8. Leverage Ecommerce Tools
Your team need not struggle to ensure the success of your ecommerce business. A variety of advanced ecommerce tools are at your disposal to optimize your efforts.
Some of the must-use tools for you are:
- Website tools – to design, set up, and manage your ecommerce site
- Ecommerce marketing tools – to help strategize and execute your campaigns with ease
- Competitor analysis tools – to understand the gaps in your planning and improve it
- Analytics tools – to help you gauge the performance of your digital marketing campaigns
- Business tools – to help you manage daily operations, finances, logistics, inventory, and customer service
Choose the ones that can boost the success of your ecommerce business.
There you have it, a list of 8 key factors you need to work on to ensure the success of your ecommerce business. Gaining this success is hard work but it is worth it.
If you want to fuel your business growth, I strongly recommend building your ecommerce marketing strategy to enhance customer experience and build your brand identity. Go ahead and give them a try to beat the competition and establish a successful ecommerce business.
8 Effective Ways to Ensure Ecommerce Business Success
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