How agencies can pave the way for digital leaders
The digital transformation has reached corporate communications. Now companies need employees who can go the same way. The Munich-based communications consultancy Evernine Group from Munich shows how companies are preparing their marketing colleagues for digital leadership, especially in the complex B2B area.
In the digital world, speed, overview and creativity are in demand above all. However, marketers of medium-sized companies often feel – at least from the management’s point of view – that they are treading on the spot, which is exactly what these characteristics suffer from. So how can speed and experimentation be achieved in corporate communications to stay ahead of the competition?
Do not give away any potential
As a managing director, you may sometimes find yourself thinking about dusty processes, long distances and the associated stagnation in your own company and the options for changing that? Frequently, it is precisely those areas of the company that require the greatest pioneering spirit that are affected. For example, corporate communications – it is not uncommon for marketers to rest on their laurels and, to be biting, to drink more coffee than they work – at least sometimes that seems to be the case.
On the other hand, there are new disciplines to which more and more companies are devoting themselves. Digital new customer acquisition, new ways of self-marketing via social media & blogs, lead generation, smart HR marketing, networking of sales and campaigns are some of the topics that are driving the communications industry and for which “testing” is in demand because there is simply no standard recipe. The HubSpot study, for example, shows just how strong digital printing already is.
Agility and proactivity play a very important role here. The greatest art in the digital world is to reach new and existing customers from a digital point of view, where customers have already recognized a problem, but a solution is still a long way off, and to offer oneself exactly there. Modern digital marketing starts at the earliest possible point on the web and relies on a portfolio of measures consisting of modern techniques, channels and algorithms.
But how can such an innovative, digital marketing strategy be achieved in corporate marketing? It can be said that a digital marketing approach is needed which requires a mixture of courage, entrepreneurial spirit and entrepreneurial thinking. At this point, it is important, even if it is difficult, to put aside the German perfection. Digital also means creativity: Trial & Error. The Munich communication consultation Evernine Group gives the following Tipps to managing directors:
- Create free space! What this means is that on the one hand, responsible marketing employees are given a certain amount of room to manoeuvre in order to decide on their own budget and on the other hand are given the time to make use of this freedom. Delegate budget responsibility. The digital leader must be able to control the budget himself, especially for testing, but also for change management, such as coaching or knowledge transfer.
- Specify KPI! Develop them with professional consultants. KPI, on the other hand, provide a direction and a way for your communications department to orient itself.
- Let go. Separate yourself from the idea of having to see everything down to the smallest detail. This is the only way to give your marketing communications team the flexibility and creativity it needs for digital transformation. Give them the opportunity to visit trade fairs, attend training courses, and also work more flexibly for exactly these employees. Shorten approval processes.
In short: Give yourself and your employees time to try things out and create space for lasting agility. Today it doesn’t take a year to create a website – go online with a version that may not be the ideal. If a good way is found, tasks can be redirected. The expectation that a first campaign will achieve perfect results is too high. There is no one digital way, try it out. That sounds like “burning money” now? On the contrary – the potentials that are not raised by a “non-attempt” are much greater than a test budget can ever be.
Link free spaces to KPIs
Give your employees the freedom to experiment. Do not measure employee and company success on the basis of immediate results, but instead, for example, contractually regulate one year of “experiment” with corresponding KPIs, after which KPI evaluations are recorded in the following year on the basis of the first results. Experts in the field of communications are very helpful both in the implementation of experiments and in the selection of meaningful KPIs.
The experience gained by agencies with other clients, for example, is incorporated into the consulting process and thus creates high added value. Agencies and specialists in this field have their finger on the pulse of the times and are constantly developing through customer experience, visits to trade fairs and events, and the great exchange among themselves. From complete outsourcing, to cooperation based on partnership, to training of existing employees and workshops, every kind of support is important and target-oriented.
Of course, this approach also requires that you, as managing director, CEO and company officer, familiarize yourself with the benchmarks in order to be able to evaluate set KPIs at all.
Here you will find a checklist of possible KPIs which will help you to evaluate the “experiments” within your Company
- Measured Awareness
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) / Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)
- Sales Accepted Leads (SAL)
- Website visitors / length of stay & bounce rates
- Click-through rates (CTR)
- conversion rates
- Sales dialogues about campaigns (incl. digitized telephone tracking)
- Social Likes – Social interactions for example with LinkedIn or Xing
“Companies should always discard ‘German perfection’ – otherwise it often happens that innovations either take far too long or are never implemented. And this is where managing directors in particular should feel addressed. They should be allowed to contribute to the introduction, for example of new campaign formats, but they should also simply let their marketing managers do the work. It’s better for a campaign not to run quite so successfully – but you pull out learnings – instead of no campaign going live at all. Evernine is happy to provide professional advice on how meaningful KPIs can look in corporate communications and how teams can be set up digitally,” says Alexander Roth, CEO of the Evernine Group.
Source cover picture: iStock / g-stockstudio