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Is it time to add a Journey Manager to your customer experience team?

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Product managers have long been part of product marketing teams, but Kerry Bodine, customer experience expert and coach, says it’s time for businesses to consider a new role: Journey Manager.

“I would argue that every single thing your organization does influences the customer journey,” said Bodine.

Bodine shared her ideas on the journey manager role and responsibilities, as well as a framework for building and managing the customer journey process at DX Summit in Chicago on Tuesday.

The biggest obstacle in the customer journey

Bodine, writes about and provides customer experience consulting to organizations like Adobe, FedEx and IBM, believes silos are the greatest impediment in the customer journey process.

“Silos enable us to do things at scale that would essentially be impossible otherwise, but it’s terrible for our customers who are trying to accomplish things,” said Bodine.

Her take — that customer goals naturally cross different departments, or silos — highlights the fact that the business itself is secondary to whatever it is a customer is trying to accomplish. The key is to focus on your customer’s goals.

5-step process for building the customer journey

“No customer wants to go through your lifecycle,” said Bodine. This is why it’s crucial for companies to understand the customer journey and how each team is supporting the customer’s goal.

Bodine’s framework for building and managing the customer journey is a five-step process:

  1. Empathize with your customer.
  2. Define the problem their trying to solve.
  3. Brainstorm solutions to help your customers meet their goals.
  4. Prototype solutions.
  5. Test your prototypes.
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Bodine believes that many organizations are so siloed, they forget about empathy and connecting with their customers. “We have to be thoughtful, we have to plan,” said Bodine about the journey mapping process.

The journey manager role

Once a business is able to see what their customer journey is, it has to make sure each silo within the organization is aligned with the journey and focused on seamlessly moving the customer through it. This is where the journey manager role comes in.

Bodine describes the role as, essentially, a product manager, but focused on journeys instead of products. A journey manager understands the customer’s needs and can identify gaps, says Bodine, and can create a long-term vision for the customer journey process. They are also able to pull together all the cross-function stakeholders involved with executing the customer journey process — proactively breaking down the barriers between the silos within an organization.

Journey managers should also be tracking — and measuring — the ongoing impact of the customer experience. The role, she says, is a necessity for businesses that are serious about mending gaps in the customer journey.

Instilling a customer journey mindset

Lastly, Bodine laid out three key initiatives for building a customer journey mindset: listen to customers, measure pivotal points along the journey and move away from aggregated data to more connected data sets.

“You’ve got to listen to your customers tell their stories,” said Bodine. These stories will give you insights into how you’re helping them achieve their goals. Businesses also have to look at all the different data points along the journey to get a clear understanding of how they’re helping their customers — this is where businesses can transition from aggregated to connected data.

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“You need to think about creating value all along this customer journey,” said Bodine. If not, businesses are destined to keep making empty promises they cannot deliver on.


About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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MARKETING

What should you focus on in 2022?

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What should you focus on in 2022?


Happy New Year! Somebody asked me what my predictions for 2022 would be, and I answered, “I don’t know what you can predict because there’s something crazy happening all the time.”

Take 2021, the year we thought everything would start getting back to normal. I even suggested dusting off your 2020 marketing plan and updating it. Then the Delta variant threw everything into flux again, followed by Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection, inventory shortages, the Great Resignation, and Omicron. Who knows what’s next?

Many companies had to file away the grand innovation plans they developed in 2020 and concentrate on getting through 2021. After diving deep into their data storehouse, others took what they learned, moving to agile marketing and finding new ways to use marketing technology more effectively to stay ahead of covid-driven uncertainty.

One thing that has stayed the same — it’s January, and marketers are looking at 2022 and evaluating what they can do given the continued business uncertainties. 

Friends, we have plenty of opportunities to use what we have learned over the last two years to create an effective marketing plan for 2022. But first, let me caution you with an anecdote from my own work life.

A few years ago, I was on the verge of starting a new job, and I was full of ideas about the things I would accomplish in my first 100 days. A friend listened to me as I went through my list, and he laughed.

“Why are you over-promising when you know you’ll under-deliver?” he asked. 

Whether you just stepped into a new position or you’re solidifying your budget and marketing plan for 2022, the best place to start is to identify the biggest gap in your program. This will help you set concrete goals to address it.  

1. Examine how your email programs are performing now and find ways to fix them quickly

Follow these three steps to discover what to focus on first.

Audit your email program

  • Look at your program as if you had never seen it before. Look at the foundational items first. These include your acquisition strategy, welcome/onboarding, promotional emails, marketing automation for transactional and triggered messaging, and your opt-out process. They’re the keys to any email program. 
  • Review how these programs performed according to your KPIs. Does each part have its own set of stats? Are they trending up or down? Did they deliver as expected, such as a steady influx of valuable email addresses or meaningful and relevant messaging that attracts and retains customers and moves them to act?  
  • Look at what makes money in your email program. Is your creative content up to date? Does every email align with your brand? Do they reflect current conditions because of COVID or supply problems?
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Create a hit list

As you go through your audit, put together a hit list of things you need to do to fix gaps, errors or inconsistencies in these programs. Sort them into three groups: 

  • Quick wins: Housekeeping items you can do quickly, like fix typos, broken or incorrect links, or outdated store hours or contact information and company policies.
  • Short-term goals: These will take a little more time, maybe a month or so. They can include tech or database requests, design updates, anything that requires approval. 
  • Long-term goals: These are year-long plans that will take major lifts to accomplish, like new integrations, changes in data, lots of approvals and sign-offs, meetings, turf battles, RFPs and the like. Pick one you can knock out of the park.

Put everything in a slide deck

Why a deck instead of a spreadsheet or document? Because it will help you organize your thinking. In a slide deck, every slide is a new thought. You can progress through them in an orderly and systematic process. This objective method also helps you anticipate what’s coming next.

2. Send that deck to an agency

When you do that, whether you have an agency partner now or you’re vetting new agencies, you can get their feedback. What could they do to help you? You’ll also save a lot of discovery time by doing the legwork upfront. Your agency can see your issues, your priorities and what you envision for both short-term and long-term goals. 

You’ll benefit from accelerated innovation through partner enablement. You don’t have to commit at this initial phase; you’re just kicking tires to see how much it would cost and what they could do for you. 

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If you see a net gain in revenue over your investment, you can present your plan to your boss. Your agency can help you here, too. Give them an opportunity to help you sell your plan inside your company.

3. Review and update your KPIs

When working with clients or prospects, I ask to see their dashboards. Often, they’re fairly simple. Every once in a while, I’m impressed to see a spreadsheet like the one I would create, with 12 to 16 tabs Excel sheets with every stat you could dream of. 

I often find a lot of aggregate reporting in client dashboards, where every statistic is thrown into a single report. Don’t do this. 

Each foundational program should have its own KPIs, tracking and review process so you can see results over time. This division of results can reveal a decrease in one program offset by increases elsewhere.  Aggregate reports might not reveal that weak area.

Develop a new approach

I was working with a client that was dealing with a blocklist problem. We changed a step in the process, and the next day, the client was asking to see results. That was too soon.

You can’t rush through changes and expect to see an immediate impact. That’s why you review your KPIs over time. Upload new stats every week or even every day. Watch for performance fluctuations. You might fail one day and succeed the next.

  • Adopt a new metric.  Look for a metric you’ve always wanted to measure and haven’t yet. Maybe you’re trying to find out whether Apple’s MPP is affecting your performance to the degree where you can measure it. Is this change being reflected at a program level? 
  • Review your KPIs. Take time beginning this month to review your KPIs, update your tracking and analysis, and start measuring more things that matter.
See also  5 TED Talks Every Social Media Pro Should Watch

Read next: How email marketing is changing and what marketers should do about it

Wrapping up

January is supposed to mark a fresh start for those of us whose marketing year follows the calendar. But I’m just as exhausted in this first month as you. We’re all just trying to get through the day and find a win when we can. 

One thing we’ve learned over the last couple of years is that no matter what life throws us, we can handle it if we work together systematically and lean on our team members.

In 2022, try to find something that improves your program and helps you take your mind off the never-ending crazy train.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

As the co-founder of RPEOrigin.com, Ryan Phelan’s two decades of global marketing leadership has resulted in innovative strategies for high-growth SaaS and Fortune 250 companies. His experience and history in digital marketing have shaped his perspective on creating innovative orchestrations of data, technology and customer activation for Adestra, Acxiom, Responsys, Sears & Kmart, BlueHornet and infoUSA. Working with peers to advance digital marketing and mentoring young marketers and entrepreneurs are two of Ryan’s passions. Ryan is the Chairman Emeritus of the Email Experience Council Advisory Board and a member of numerous business community groups. He is also an in-demand keynote speaker and thought leader on digital marketing.



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MARKETING

15 Content Marketing Metrics Your Platform Must Track

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11 B2B Content Ideas to Fuel your Marketing (with Examples)


You’ve probably read a million articles about content marketing by now, but with 88 percent of B2B marketers using the process every day and another 76 percent planning to in the future, you’d better start taking content marketing seriously. Your competitors are using it, and you don’t want to fall behind.

But it’s not enough to use content marketing. You have to use it properly.

Otherwise, what’s the point? But using it properly requires you to measure your content marketing’s success in a meaningful way.

Tracking the success of your content marketing not only measures how effective it is but tells you what you need to improve. But by what metrics do you measure the success of your marketing?

More than 60% of marketers surveyed ranked “leads” as the most important KPI for measuring the success of their content marketing program. However, while leads are important, they don’t always give you the specific data you need to make your campaigns better.

The key is to find metrics that will lead to actual results and improve your ROI. The more ROI you get from your marketing efforts, the more successful you will be as you get more out of doing less.

Let your marketing drive your traffic and sales!

This guide will look at metrics that will measure the success of your content marketing. We will specifically be looking for metrics that give you data-driven methods to improve and increase your ROI.

Social shares

Social media is a significant hub for content marketing, and how often your content is shared is an excellent way to keep track of how engaged your audience is with your content. Most social media platforms have analytics that give you much of this information, but you may want to dive deeper.

A tool like BuzzSumo can help you identify which topics and articles are being shared the most, giving context to what is being shared and why. Of course, what tools you use and what data you gather depends on the goals of your content marketing campaign but what content is being shared is a fast way to estimate your success on the platform.

Assisted conversions

Assisted conversions can be found in Google Analytics and give you an idea of which channels a prospective client used before taking whatever action you want them to take. The closer to zero the analytic is, the better.

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You are looking for someone consuming the least amount of your content while still performing the wanted action. This metric shows that the piece of content they consumed, specifically, drove them to your site to give you a better sense of how your marketing is working.

SERP ranking

SERP stands for social engines research page and measures how well Google thinks your content responds to a customer’s search question. This ranking is, of course, vitally important as most people are not going to be looking specifically for your content when they search Google for something.

Your SERP ranking can be broken down into several specific categories depending on your marketing goals and give you an idea of what content is driving the top of your funnel. In addition, because this metric tracks the connection between a potential client’s query and your content, it gives you a better idea of what your customers are searching for.

Pageviews

A pageview is a basic but valuable metric that tells you how often your page has been viewed. Although it does not tell you what action the customer took after viewing the page, it does give you some measure of how engaging the content is.

You can look at how often your page was viewed or the average time people spend viewing your content. Either way, it gives you a place to start when wondering about the effectiveness of your content marketing.

Unique pageviews

Like pageviews, this is a fundamental metric to understand how often your content is being engaged; however, unlike ordinary pageviews, this tells you only when you are attracting new visitors. So, although customer retention is more important, you still want to find out when you get unique views.

Presumably, an increase in unique pageviews means your new content marketing project is engaging. As new people visit your content, you have a hope of converting them into regular customers.

Customer retention

While you always want to be adding new customers, it is even more important to keep your old ones coming back. Retaining old customers is much cheaper than getting new ones, so to get a good ROI, you want as high of a customer retention rate as you can get.

By looking at this metric, you’ll get an idea of how often a customer visits your content and how much time passes before they return. This information will help you decide when to add new content to keep your old customer coming back.

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Sales cycle velocity

It stands to reason that if your content marketing is working the way it is supposed to, you should see a reduction in your “time to sale.” But, again, you can use analytics to track this or have your sales team catalog when first contact happens to when a sale occurs and compare that to your average “time to sale.”

Pages per session

Pages per session track how many pages a viewer looks at in a given session. By looking at this number over time, you can understand how enraging your content is.

If your pages per session stay high, your content is being successful at engaging customers. If low, it might be time to switch up your content marketing campaign.

CTR (click-through-rate)

CTR lets you know how your keywords and meta descriptions get people to click on your content. After all, your content marketing can’t succeed if no one can find it.

Creating meta titles and engaging descriptions is a skillet all on its own. If your CTR is low, you need to find someone who is better at getting people invested in your product.

Customer sentiment

The most accurate test of how people feel about you is what they’re saying about your product on social media. Many apps can find any mention of your brand’s name and alert you to what is said.

A true test of how well your content marketing is working is if it’s actually changing your audience’s perspective. If you can see your audience’s esteem grow in real-time, you’ll know your project has your desired effect.

Traffic sources

Traffic sources let you know where the traffic to your website is coming from, whether it’s referrals, direct, or from searches. Traffic sources ignore any traffic you are getting from paid ads so that you better understand how your content marketing is driving traffic.

The analytic also give you an idea of what channel people are taking to your website. Whether they’re fending you by word of mouth or keywords are good enough that people are finding you through a Google search.

Bounce rate

Looking at the negatives gives you as much information as the positives. For example, bounce rate lets you know how many people left your site without interacting.

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Your engagement may be high, but if your bounce rate is also high, people are coming to your site but not following through. When this happens, you need to retool your marketing measure to take what action you’d like people to take more straightforward.

Post engagements

How and if a person reacts to your content reveals how successful your marketing campaign is. Comments let you know that your customer cared enough about what you created to say something.

What your customers say helps you redefine what your marketing campaign will look like. Similarly, a lack of comment may mean that your content isn’t creating enough of an impression to be commented on.

Pipeline contributions

It’s great to have people at the top of your funnel, but at some point, you want them to come down the pipeline and become customers. Looking at pipeline contributions metrics helps you know how your webinars and EBooks drive traffic to your site.

The whole purpose of content marketing is to drive traffic to your site, but if you aren’t converting them, you need to rethink your strategy. Knowing how well your pipeline contribution works lets you know if you need to rework your marketing efforts.

Page depth

Page depth lets you know how many pages people visited on a trip to your site. It also gives you an exciting way of analyzing the engagement produced by your content marketing.

Although, ultimately, you want your customer to buy your product or service, a high page depth can give you an indication that your content is creating curiosity about your product. Then you need to figure out how to convert that curiosity into sales.

How Welcome can help

Now that you’ve analyzed the metrics of your content marketing project, how do you take the next step? If you want to leverage‌ ‌real-time‌ ‌search‌ ‌data‌ ‌and‌ ‌recommendations‌ ‌that‌ ‌help‌ ‌inform‌ ‌your‌ ‌content‌ ‌strategy,‌ ‌optimize‌ ‌content‌ ‌so‌ ‌that‌ ‌it‌ ‌ranks‌ ‌well‌ ‌for‌ ‌search,‌ ‌and‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌it‌ ‌resonates‌ ‌with‌ ‌your‌ ‌audience, Welcome can help.‌‌‌ 

Ready to take your content marketing to the next level? Get started with a free Welcome account today!

 



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MARKETING

Everything You Need To Know About Performance Appraisals

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Everything You Need To Know About Performance Appraisals


As a manager, your ability to inform your teams about the successful high-impact behaviors they exhibit or skills that need further development is a critical practice in determining your business’ overall ability to reach its goals and find success.

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