A Systems Engineering Approach to Marketing Challenges
As marketing professionals, we all share a common goal: to drive marketing performance while minimizing costs. Whether you’re a Marketing Manager, CMO, Coordinator, or Sales Director, this objective drives every decision we make. These decisions determine the success or failure of our organizations’ marketing efforts, not to mention our success as professionals.
So how do we do it in a changing marketing landscape?
As a marketing agency with over 20 years’ experience, we’ve heard clients ask this question many different ways. “How can I get more leads?” “Can you boost our website’s conversion rate?” “What role does SEO play in our business?” They’re the same type of question every marketing professional faces throughout their career, and our ability to come up with answers keeps us relevant in a crowded marketing landscape.
Many agencies respond to these questions by focusing on solutions that differentiate their clients in a hurry. Stunning visual designs, over-the-top campaigns, short-cut tricks – whatever it takes to get results quickly.
While these solutions often perform as-advertised, they can leave a bitter taste in the mouths of marketing professionals. Years, months, or even weeks after our blaze-of-glory campaigns, we find ourselves back where we started performance-wise. Sure, the boost made a difference, but the momentum didn’t last. As an agency, this is when your clients often move on to supposedly greener pastures.
The problem? None of these short-term solutions offer consistency.
Marketers who deliver results consistently are most rewarded.
Consistency is King
This presents a new challenge for marketing professionals to turn their focus towards growing consistency within their marketing efforts. This is an approach to marketing that we refer to as Marketing Systems Engineering.
At its core, Marketing Systems Engineering is about engineering consistency. Rather than focus on one-time wins and continue a cycle of unsustainable growth, MSE aims to engineer systems, build platforms, and optimize routines to gain consistent results and allow organizations to experience sustained growth over long periods.
Without consistent marketing programs, businesses cannot reliably invest in their future, defend against their competition, or expand to new markets. Marketing Systems Engineering is a new approach that provides the consistency missing from marketing strategies today. It is our responsibility as marketers to recognize the role this plays and to formulate plans to adopt this principal to benefit the businesses we represent.
A scientific field and job that involves taking our scientific understanding of the natural world and using it to invent, design, and build things to solve problems and achieve practical goals. ¹
An Engineer’s Outlook
Marketing Systems Engineering uses an engineering mindset to achieve the practical goal of consistent results. It relies on an ability to take “inputs” (people, audiences) and turn them into desired “outputs” (leads, sales, and growth). This impacts the platforms we choose, and strategies we construct, all while using real-world data to refine our results.
Digital marketing offers many “points of interaction” (platforms and programs, such as a website’s landing page or piece of content) that facilitate this transition from input to output. Through careful analysis of real-world data on consumer behaviour, marketers can optimize these points of interaction to drive conversion. MSE applies an engineer’s outlook to marketing, systematically plans and optimizes these points of interaction, allowing marketers to achieve dependable performance.
An interdisciplinary approach that encompasses the entire technical effort, and evolves into and verifies an integrated and life cycle balanced set of system people, products, and process solutions that satisfy customer needs. 2
Digital marketing excels using scalable technology to support or expand traditional marketing and sales efforts. Websites, eCommmerce sites, landing pages and content act to inform, aid in the decision process, connect to contacts, or complete a sale.
Guided by a deep understanding of use-cases, Marketing System Engineering seeks to build platforms optimized for a business’ objectives and audience. Combining these platforms with reliable routines can create a powerful engine for marketing.
As a marketing professional, there should be a plan to outline and recognize what your platforms are for your business, and how they play a role in your marketing system.
Without feeding a marketing system new inputs, it cannot continue to deliver consistent results. Through continually optimizing routines, marketers can continually gather new inputs and drive consistent performance.
Marketing Systems Engineering optimizes digital marketing channels (search, social, inbound, ads) through data-driven processes and models. MSE’s combination of marketing programs aimed at continual improvement provides consistency and reliability while remaining agile in gathering new inputs. This approach allows businesses to form marketing best-practices that are based on target customer behaviours, building the necessary foundation for your business to grow and invest.
As a marketing professional each activity you manage for your marketing programs should be viewed as part of a larger system that needs to be adjusted and adapted over time to maximize consistency.
Gaining Consistent Results
Marketing systems built around consistency drive innovation and empower marketing professionals to invest in the future and adapt to change.
Through applying a Marketing Systems Engineering mindset, you can provide consistent business results through an engineered approach to marketing platforms & routines. Modern marketing professionals & business leaders should strive for consistency in their marketing systems to grow their businesses confidently. A growing breed of marketing engineers are turning the tables on these age-old problems of reliable marketing growth.
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