Article originally published on Search Engine Land.
In my 20 years of experience, I’ve seen the inner workings of countless marketing teams. I’ve observed what works and what doesn’t. Most importantly, I’ve witnessed how an organization’s structure and culture can immediately impact campaign performance.
And I’ll admit, it’s frustrating sometimes to watch companies trip over themselves based on the team structure they’ve put in place. As an agency leader, we see the impact on campaign performance. Campaigns flounder because of competing goals, miscommunications, siloed budgets and fragmented resources.
If your campaign performance is lackluster or your growth has stagnated, it’s time to look inward.
Here are three of the most common ways your organizational structure is killing campaign performance.
1. Brand advertising is separated from demand generation
It’s common in many organizations to separate teams based on a traditional marketing funnel. In these cases, brand advertising is often separated from demand generation resulting in some key issues.
Measuring the revenue impact of awareness advertising
Measuring the impact of awareness advertising requires a plan which looks at lift metrics in channels typically handled by demand gen teams, including:
- Organic search.
- Brand search.
- Social engagement.
- Direct traffic.
Careful planning must happen before, during and after the campaigns.
Yet, the siloes between these teams make this coordination extremely difficult.
Alignment of media plans
There’s a multiplier effect when awareness and demand generation teams are combined.
Sponsorship campaigns often contain demand generation placements which, if left to a brand advertising team, may not be used to their full potential.
Demand generation teams can easily mold their campaigns to support in-person events, large campaign initiatives and seasonal activities that the awareness team may drive.
Reactivating audiences from awareness campaigns
About 95% of buyers are not in-market currently and only 5% are, according to the B2B Institute.
By coordinating efforts, 95% of buyers not in-market can be reactivated by demand generation teams through careful nurture and remarketing campaigns.
Again, this type of synergy happens best when teams are combined, allowing planning and execution to happen seamlessly.
With brand and demand generation teams combined, organizations can align measurement strategies, configure tracking across the entire lifecycle and motivate the entire team to “generate demand.”
Advertisers that have integrated the team quickly see that it’s much easier to prove the success of “awareness” advertising and much easier to optimize top-of-funnel spend.
Thankfully, we’re seeing this shift, and more companies are bringing these two functions together. As a result, they experience a compound effect as the impact of awareness advertising is felt throughout the sales funnel.
2. IT is responsible for integrating data with ad platforms
Data is the lifeblood of modern advertising. Campaigns thrive when machine learning algorithms get enough data to tap into the right audiences. And savvy advertisers know that feeding the right data into ad platforms is the most effective way to fuel performance.
But getting the right data back into the ad platforms is much easier said than done.
Solutions like Google’s offline conversion tracking and Facebook’s Conversions API make it relatively easy for advertisers to push CRM data into the ad platforms. That data is then used in bid algorithms to serve ads to the audiences that will ultimately convert in lower parts of the funnel or offline completely.
With the pending deprecation of third-party cookies, data integration is critical for all advertisers. However, companies struggle to determine who’s responsible for configuring these critical data integrations.
- Is it the marketing team?
- Does IT handle these tasks?
- Could it be web development?
What we typically see is that because no one “owns” this process, it gets deprioritized and often doesn’t happen at all. Companies need to prioritize data integration and define who is ultimately accountable.
In our experience, this is best led by the marketing team.
Yes, there may be a need to pull on IT or web development expertise. However, the group using the data must understand how it’s flowing and what is being passed back.
Here’s how to structure this.
- Responsible: Marketing or martech team
- Accountable: Marketing team
- Consulted: IT or martech
- Informed: Information security
Pro tip: If you don’t have a marketing team that can implement this directly, consider the use of Zapier or manual integration.
3. Multiple agencies managing paid media
Similar to the siloes that happen when brand and demand generation are separated, splitting up your paid media between agencies is a surefire way to hurt your overall campaign performance.
We often see this with advertisers trying to either have different agencies compete or when they’ve chosen an agency that does one channel well but not the others.
But there are many reasons why housing all your paid media within one agency is the smarter choice:
- A strong agency will work as an extension of your team. Giving them full transparency into your marketing portfolio will equip them with the insight they need to make strong recommendations that align with your end goals.
- Budget is much more easily passed between channels and campaigns when a single entity manages it. A strong agency will see the overall portfolio and help you to make the best decisions toward optimizing your budget.
- The learnings from one channel will impact the other channels. For example, messaging that resonates best, audiences that are strong performers and filling gaps in channels that may be too expensive.
- Cross-channel targeting and nurture streams can easily be set up to target audiences across channels and through the funnel.
Separating paid media across multiple entities makes it extremely difficult to optimize budget, share learnings between channels, set up nurture streams and provide holistic advice.