Every marketer talks about strategy and tactics, but elite marketers understand the value of processes.
Businesses that struggle with inconsistent sales, leads, or traffic can result from a lack of established marketing processes.
Think of a person who cooks without a recipe. They might forget key ingredients, add extra steps or even burn their food!
Marketing processes make your employee’s and customers’ lives easier.
In this guide, we’ll share the different marketing processes you’ll need in your digital business and how to create your own from scratch!
What are marketing processes
A marketing process is a set of steps that enable organizations to identify customer problems, analyze market opportunities, build products or services, and create marketing materials to reach the desired audience.
There are both internal and public-facing marketing processes. The internal process is focused on helping the marketing team be more productive and quicker. In contrast, public-facing marketing processes aim to deliver a seamless customer journey and a better customer experience.
Essential marketing processes to have in your digital business
Every digital business will have core marketing processes to help them build awareness, generate leads, nurture them and ultimately help facilitate the process of closing leads into customers. Here are the essential marketing processes to consider:
1. Lead generation
A lead generation process helps systematize the lead generation stage of the funnel by breaking it down into a series of repeatable steps.
Whether you’re in the B2C or B2B space, using inbound or outbound strategies, the process of generality quality leads for your business and turning them into opportunities follow a set of standard steps:
- Defining a customer persona: Define the psychographics, demographics, and other traits of your intended audience.
- Attracting leads that fit that persona: Inbound strategies attract leads to your business with valuable content assets you’ve created. Within these assets, you offer gated resources that require contact information to access the information. Outbound lead generation requires manual research and cold outreach to get people interested in your solutions.
- Engaging with your target audience: Many digital brands access the likelihood of leads purchasing by asking them to take some action, such as scheduling a free demo.
- Qualifying them for fit: First, ensure they look similar to the buyer persona created in step one. Check if their online behavior (such as content read, emails clicked and responded to, and webpages visited) is consistent with that of your best customers. You can use a lead scoring and segmentation system to access fit.
There are many lead generation strategies; the key is picking the ones that work best in your market. For some, it might be using underutilized methods, while others could be using tested and proven techniques. The goal is to choose a process that gets the result you’re hoping to achieve.
2. Search engine marketing or PPC
Pay per click or PPC means that when a person clicks on your ad, you (as the advertiser) are charged whatever the price you agreed to pay when you set up the campaign.
It’s a marketing method that lets companies place their ads on the search engine results page instead of reaching people organically through SEO.
How does the PPC process work? While it can vary depending on the search engine you use, this is more or less the process:
- You choose various keyword phrases and keywords that you’d like to target.
- The more popular a keyword phrase is, the more you’ll have to bid for it. The bidder who pays the highest price per click wins.
- You create a landing page that users will land on when they click your ad, along with the text for your PPC ad. The elements of the text include an optimized headline and description, which is used to entice searchers to click on your link.
There are many PPC factors to consider, but here are the most important ones:
- Keyword relevance: Half the battle is finding the most relevant keywords that relate to your target audience.
- Landing page quality: Getting people to click on your ad is one thing. However, your landing page must prove that you are an expert in the topic they’re searching for. In the case of lead magnets, you need to prove yourself to be trustworthy and a thought leader in your space.
- Quality score: This score contributes to how high your PPC ads will rank and how much they’ll cost. The more relevant and effective your ads and landing pages are, the better your quality score.
3. Lead nurturing
At its core, lead nurturing is a process that cultivates leads that aren’t yet ready to buy. Successful lead nurturing anticipates the wants and needs of the buyer based on who they are and where they are in the marketing funnel.
Nurturing can be done by sending relevant content such as eBooks, webinars, courses, or training to engage prospects. When done properly, lead nurturing builds strong brand loyalty long before the prospect is ready to buy.
Many marketers mistake lead nurturing as nothing more than email communication. Instead, think of lead nurturing as a workflow or a series of targeted messages where each step has a clear objective to move someone to the next stage of the buyer’s journey by performing a desired action.
Here are the key elements of a successful nurturing process:
- Segmentation allows marketers to use industry, title, role, or sales stage to account for the nuances in messaging. This helps to ensure that your content resonates with the prospects and reduces unsubscribes.
- Lead scoring is the process of scoring prospects based on how well they fit your customer profile and how engaged they are with your brand. The more buying signals they display, the higher the chance they’ll make a purchase.
- Personalize your content. Calling the customer’s name and mentioning their company and achievements shows you are attentive to their needs. Always provide assets that match the buyer’s needs. If the prospect doesn’t receive value, the content isn’t worth adding to your nurturing sequences.
- Progressive profiling is enriching your database and filling gaps in the contact records. This means incrementally asking your contacts for additional information that can help you build a rich and actionable dataset for each prospect. This can be done through surveys, questions asked after the initial welcome email, or even through sales conversations with the prospect.
The goal is to utilize these elements in your lead nurturing process to turn leads into paying customers effectively.
Encharge offers all the features you need to nurture leads. You can collect and segment leads based on behavioral data and attributes. Then you can create tailored sequences for each audience segment and even send automated follow-up emails to prospects that haven’t opened or clicked.
4. Social media marketing
4.48 billion people worldwide use social media, which is more than double the number of users in 2015. Social media marketing involves creating content for platforms to build brand awareness and community with your target audience, generate traffic to your website, and promote your products or services.
While there are many platforms out there that require more nuanced strategies to succeed, the overarching process for social media marketing stays the same. These are the critical steps in the process:
- Research your audience.
- Determine which social platforms to use.
- Establish your most valuable KPIs.
- Create unique, engaging, and helpful content.
- Build consistency and engage with your audience.
Most companies know how to find their audience, pick a platform, and post on social media. Many marketers fail to create exciting content that engages audiences.
At first, it’s important to experiment with the types of content that best resonate with your audience. Once you’ve seen what works, you can develop processes for each method. Here are examples of ways to create engaging content in your social media marketing:
Leverage user-generated content: When you’re struggling to come up with content or are out of time, let your customers generate it for you. Start a social media contest or challenge to cultivate user-generated content.
For example, Warby Parker offers a free home try-on service allowing customers to choose up to five pairs of eyeglasses or sunglasses. They’re encouraged to share their glasses on social media using the hashtag #warbyhometryon. Thus, Warby Parker can leverage these social media posts into their own feed, and these posts act as free publicity for their brand.
Host Live Video: One of the best ways to engage your audience is through video. Only a mere 12% of brands share Facebook live videos, yet people are four times more likely to view Facebook Live videos than pre-recorded videos.
As a business, the people who spend 5, 10, 15 minutes, or even an hour with you on your live stream are great candidates for customers. It’s also a powerful way to retain and keep existing customers engaged. You’re getting real-time user engagement, which is like having direct conversations with your audience.
For example, if you’re a software company, you can have an expert live stream on how to maximize or leverage certain features. Webinar training and live streams can be used interchangeably, or you can use live streams to show “behind the scenes” of your business, such as product creation.
5. Content marketing
A content marketing process is an internal process that takes your marketing team from ideation to execution. There are many maps and models you can use to chart the process. Here are the primary elements that should make up your internal content marketing process:
- Content Planning and Strategy: This includes everything in developing an overarching strategy for your content.
- Content Creation: This is everything that involves the creation processes and workflows. For example, writing content, editing content, developing graphics, videos, audio, and other forms of content creation.
- Content Publishing: These are the steps for establishing publishing schedules, tools for scheduling, and any final approval or checkpoints that the content needs to go through.
- Content Distribution and Promotion: Sometimes, publishing the content isn’t enough. You may want to promote the content in various ways. Perhaps, posting on Facebook or LinkedIn about your new blog will drive traffic.
- Content Measurement: Analyzing the performance and extrapolating insights from your content is critical for improvement. Determine the key metrics and ways to analyze how your content performs.
For example, a tool like Asana lets you create an editorial calendar, list out all projects and tasks that need to be done related to the content, assign tasks to individuals, and schedule posts.
6. User onboarding
User onboarding is a public-facing process that guides new users to find value in your software or service. Your onboarding process shouldn’t merely teach users how to use your software. Instead, it should show them how to be successful to meet their unique goals.
The key is to make the software easy to use and walk the customer’s through each step, so they immediately understand the value of your product.
For example, in a ride-sharing app, the user must complete a ride to find out how convenient the product is. By making it easy to complete their first ride, they learn the app can be used anywhere and help them get to their destination without the hassle of public transportation.
Here are ways you can improve the onboarding process for your new users:
- A short product-tutorial video: Using a cartoon visual is a fun and engaging way to get people started.
- First log-in experience: What happens when they open your app? Sometimes apps require signup forms, while others allow users to try the tool before any signup occurs.
- Educational onboarding emails: These are a great place to share a cool daily tip on how to use your product. Or you can share success stories of how others have used your software.
- In-app messaging: Having messages on the screen that guide your new users in the interface is crucial. This prevents users from leaving the tool due to confusion.
- Documentation: Use FAQ pages and help docs to troubleshoot common errors and teach others the specifics of your features. Any minor issue can lead new users to give up. So users must be able to quickly find a solution if any problem arises.
7 steps to building an effective marketing process
Documenting your marketing processes gives your marketing team the steps they need to complete every project and achieve their desired goals. It’s a crucial aspect of executing any strategy. Or, if you already have processes in place, you may be looking to revamp an outdated workflow or make your teamwork more efficient and collaboration better.
1. Identify mission and vision
Every marketing team utilizes different processes and strategies such as digital content, PPC ads, social media, lead nurturing sequences, and more. While most of these are universal needs, the processes can’t be created unless your team clearly defines the mission and vision for marketing.
Some prep work needs to be done before developing your processes, such as:
- Define your team’s mission: What is your team trying to achieve in the long run?
- Identify your company’s core competencies and market opportunities: Where and how can you make the biggest impact on the business?
- Evaluate the current end-to-end customer journey: What do your customers care about during each stage? And how can you better engage your customers throughout?
The answers you come up with will guide you to develop marketing processes and leverage the right strategies to achieve your goals.
2. Know how your company fits into the marketplace
The next step in developing the marketing process is performing analysis for your marketing team. The best option is to conduct a SWOT analysis.
These analyses are designed to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats your company faces.
Performing a SWOT analysis is a straightforward process, but it should be done in collaboration with the key decision-makers in your organization.
Find your strengths by asking questions like:
- What does your company do well?
- What processes help drive the best results and keep our team efficient?
- What are the unique strengths our organization possesses that our competitors do not have?
Next, consider the weaknesses of your organization. Some questions to consider are:
- What are areas that could be improved in our organization?
- What are some roadblocks that are prohibiting or slowing down progress?
- How can we update or develop marketing processes to overcome or eliminate these roadblocks?
The opportunities and threats of the SWOT analysis focus on the marketing outside of your organization. You can evaluate the opportunities outside of your company by answering the following questions:
- What are the current opportunities available to us?
- What are the market and industry trends that we could take advantage of?
- What can be leveraged to help us save time and money or achieve our goals faster?
Once you’ve discovered the opportunities to expand your marketing, identify the potential threats that could impede your success. Here are some questions to help:
- Are there changes in the industry that may threaten your efforts?
- What are your competitors doing better than you?
- What external threats could hinder your marketing efforts?
3. Develop a marketing strategy
Based on the SWOT analysis you’ve come up with, you can begin drafting your strategies. Ensure that the analysis is a collaborative effort with your team by holding informal discussions and encouraging feedback. Things you should include when developing your marketing strategy are:
- Audience: Who are you trying to target with your marketing strategy? When you know who they are it’s much easier to target your ideal group of people. You can develop relevant content and ensure more precise targeting.
- Goals: Besides the overarching vision you’ve defined in step one, what tangible metrics are you looking to achieve? Define what success looks like for each stage of the funnel. Some common goals include driving more web traffic, driving revenue, and acquiring more leads or more users.
- Channels: What are the most effective ways to reach your audience? You need to know where they are spending their time, how they enjoy consuming content and how they prefer to be marketed so that they are more likely to purchase.
- Metrics: How will you measure your marketing strategy’s effectiveness? What tracking tools and metrics can be measured to ensure your strategy is moving the needle.
- Budget: Account for the cost of executing your marketing strategy. Consider all the resources used, such as ad spend, payroll, time invested, and other hidden costs..
- Timing: Create a timeline on when certain milestones will be achieved. This allows you to plan out projects and tasks and see whether you’re on pace to hit your long-term goals.
4. Establish Marketing Mix
As a digital business owner or marketing manager, creating the right marketing strategy can be complicated.
Developing an effective marketing strategy and process requires you to understand your product thoroughly and create multi-faceted pricing and advertising plan that will interest your target audience.
A great way to ensure your product resonates with your audience is to break it down using a model called the 4P’s of marketing. Perfecting your marketing mix requires strategic analysis of your product in the following categories:
- Product: A successful marketing mix begins with a product offering that fills an important customer need. Evaluating how your product can help customers solve a big problem helps you to improve your marketing campaign.
- Price: The right pricing strategy is one where the price is in line with the perceived value of a product while still being high enough to achieve desired profit margins. Finding the right price may involve lowering the price to make your product more accessible or raising the price to make it more exclusive.
- Place: Determine where you plan to sell your product or service, along with the delivery method that will be used to get the product in front of your customers. Marketers have to evaluate potential customers in their market to see where they should be sold.
- Promotion: This covers all marketing campaign strategies like content marketing, branding, advertising, social media, PR, influencer marketing, and more.
5. Execute marketing activities
Once you’ve created your marketing mix and have decided on the marketing strategy, it’s important to build workflows. The goal of workflows is to break down the marketing strategy into actionable tasks that can be placed on specific team members’ calendars.
Essentially, you are creating a system for each marketing strategy in place. For example, a content marketing workflow might require the following:
- Map out all the content that needs to be produced. Make sure to include only essential steps and eliminate the ones that aren’t important.
- All steps must clearly define completion and assign which job titles will complete each task. Also, consider how long it takes to complete every task.
- Use tools or software to help facilitate or automate the process.
Ideally, you’ll want to map your workflows so that all team members have a visual representation of the entire process. Here’s an example of a visual content marketing workflow:
Workflows help to provide consistency and predictability in your marketing. All members will follow the same sets of steps, and everyone is on the same page about where each project is at.
On top of that, there are other benefits to having workflows:
- Fuel efficiency: Your team will focus on high-value projects and tasks that move the needle for your marketing strategy. Not to mention, the steps are clear, which helps improve the implementation speed.
- Embrace innovation: You’ll inevitably receive feedback through data and team communication, allowing you to innovate your workflows, systems, and processes continually.
- Scale and grow: As your team and company grow, you will have these processes to quickly onboard and train new members.
6. Measure and revise
Most marketers understand that you’ll need to measure your marketing campaign results. It’s important to measure the standard digital metrics when evaluating external marketing processes, such as the various touchpoints in your funnel.
This includes website traffic, bounce rate, lead subscribers, open and click-through rates, booked appointments, number of trial users, etc.
However, in the case of internal marketing processes, you’ll want to measure the efficiency of those processes.
Workflow efficiency is the process of measuring the resources relating to the time spent completing recurring processes. More efficient workflows mean a more productive marketing team and reduced operational costs.
Common workflow efficiencies are having unnecessary tasks and using manual data entry.
You can measure the annual costs of your workflows by following this formula:
Time spent on a single task or project x frequency of performing the task or project x cost per hour x 12 = yearly cost of workflow
As a leader of your team or organization, finding ways to improve your marketing processes is imperative.
You’ll want to evaluate and improve on metrics like:
- Time spent per task
- Process cost savings
- Time spent correcting errors
- Time spent on performing manual tasks that can be eliminated or automated
- Time spent on documentation and scheduling vs. resulting time saved
You also want to evaluate other areas that might affect your internal workflow efficiencies. For example, company morale, company culture, employee wellbeing, team collaboration, software, and communication all play a factor in how efficient your team is.
Investing in tools, software, training, and setting a company culture is vital for productivity and results.
Frequently asked questions about implementing marketing processes
When executing marketing processes, you might have some lingering questions. We’ll answer a few common questions below:
When to build a process for marketing?
A marketing process is used to build systems so that results are predictable and all actions contribute directly to the goal.
Whether you’re running a software company, building an agency, or scaling a content business, knowing when to build processes is critical.
Here are reasons to build a marketing process:
- When you’re spending too much time “in the business.”
- When you’re not hitting the desired results.
- When you want more predictability in your results.
- When you’re looking to scale and grow your company.
How to discuss building processes with the team?
Webinars are for more than just building brand awareness or converting sales. Many smart companies see webinar software as a valuable tool for internal, en masse communication, especially when it comes to training for marketing team members.
Training webinars can teach employees about brand guidelines, how-to tutorials and even market trends.
They also enrich professional and personal development. In this case, webinars are a great opportunity to explain the new marketing processes you’ll be implementing in your organization.
While webinars can be prerecorded, it’s best to host them live so that you can answer questions.
We recommend offering supplemental materials and documentation so your employees can refer back to the key takeaways after the presentation.
Supplemental materials might include copies of graphs, charts, and data points used in presentations or workbooks.
Webinars work great for remote teams in the modern world. Conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Hangout, and Skype are perfect for small team meetings. However, if you have the luxury of meeting in person, the same presentation style meeting can be done in your company office as well.
How to write SOP (standard operation procedures) for marketing processes?
A standard operating procedure is an instructions document that guides the team’s task execution. They are essential for complex tasks but can also be adopted for regular workflow management.
The end goal helps ensure that everyone in your team is on the same page about how projects will get done!
There are many ways an excellent SOP can improve your business operations. First, a detailed SOP will ensure your business’s consistency in operations. This will help you in quality assurance and in ensuring that your output will delight your clients.
Second, SOPs also foster organization and efficiency within your business. It is cost-effective to develop your SOP right from the start to prevent nuances such as mistakes that can incur unnecessary expenses. Remember that these procedures should be easily accessible and distributed to all team members so they can refer back at any time.
Here are the steps to writing an SOP for your marketing processes:
- Create a list of the vital tasks in your business.
- State the purpose of your SOP.
- Construct the step-by-step instructions for each process.
- Include do’s and don’ts or critical reminders.
How to track process execution?
Unlike monitoring the success of your campaigns, it’s important to track the implementation and results of your processes. This means evaluating the tools, steps, and methods used to conduct certain marketing activities in your business.
For example, once you build your content marketing workflow, you’ll monitor each step in the process.
Perhaps, you have a new goal of implementing video content into your marketing strategy. In this case, you can add a new step into the workflow, such as creating a video within the process.
Here’s an example of a content marketing flow:
Tools used: keyword research and idea generation tools, project management tools, writing tools, editing software, publishing software, etc.
Steps in the content marketing process:
- Competitor analysis and keyword research
- Content outline
- Create draft
You can track the effectiveness of your processes by tracking the time spent on each activity and whether or not it’s producing the desired result. Time tracking when planning a project by using tools like Clockify and measuring the result attributed to each activity gives you a good ROI.
For example, what’s the cost of writing 52 blog posts per year, and what’s the ROI achieved?
While organic SEO tends to have a long-term impact, it’s still worth measuring the ROI and effectiveness. Then, also track the time spent on each task.
Are members spending too long to draft outlines or create first drafts?
Find ways to cut down on time spent or eliminate subtasks when needed.
A project management tool like ClickUp allows you to track time on a project and individual level by using Gantt charts and other views, so you can set proper deadlines and improve execution.
Use Encharge to power your marketing processes
Marketing processes are a powerful way to establish consistency and predictability in your business.
It helps to cut out the unnecessary tasks, projects, and costs in your marketing and gets everyone on the same page.
Also, your customers will receive a better experience from your brand.
Once you’ve established your initial marketing processes, you’ll want to integrate the tools used so your team can work cross-functionally with sales.
Additionally, you can refine the processes by automating tasks and getting your team to only work on the most high-value activities in your business.
Sign up for a free 14-day trial and let it empower your marketing processes!