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We Answer Your Burning Questions About 2023 Planning

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That’s a wrap on our webinar series, Mightier Marketing in 1-2-3! Over the last couple of months, we held three webinars to ensure your organization starts next year with a mightier force than ever before.

We received some great, thoughtful questions from our attendees during this series, and we wanted to share some top questions from each of the three webinars.

If you couldn’t make it to them, no worries! We still think the questions will help you as you plan your marketing strategies in the new year, and there are links to the webinar recordings below each section.

Here’s what we answer in this article:

Marketing Effectiveness

  1. How do you move out of the silo of internal “urgent needs” to be more strategic?

  2. How can we best communicate complex marketing metrics to our non-marketing leaders?

Digital Marketing

  1. What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

  2. If I have never used Google Analytics (GA), is there a way to switch to GA early if I wanted to get started?

  3. What do you mean when you say, “you won’t be able to track Apple users anymore?”

  4. Can you explain the difference between audience personas and user profiles one more time?

  5. Can you recommend some audience research platforms? There’s a whole lot out there, and sometimes the information is conflicting.

Annual Communications Planning

  1. How does Mighty Citizen capture users’ interests for content? Do you do an annual survey or anything unique that you can share?

  2. [From someone outside of marketing and communications] How do you recommend approaching marketing to ask them for more insight into some of their processes?

Let’s get to it:

Webinar 1: Measure Your Marketing Effectiveness

In this webinar, Mighty Citizen’s CMO, Rachel Clemens, walks folks through six key categories to improve marketing effectiveness. She’s joined by Christina Lewellen and Kelsea Watson of the Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS)—who have seen marketing success after completing The Mighty GPS themselves.

How do you move out of the silo of internal “urgent needs” to be more strategic?

Ah, the delicate dance of things that have to get done right now and the need to zoom out to a bird’s eye view for strategic planning. Every organization is different, of course, but there are some tactical tips we can share to ensure you’re remaining strategic, even as the day-to-day tasks take up much of your time.

Perhaps the most important part of strategic planning is scheduling it. If it’s not scheduled, it likely won’t get done. Put those blocks on your calendar, and make the time for it. Brainstorming is separate from planning, so dedicate the proper amount of time to each.

“For Mighty Citizen, we have an annual company-wide strategic planning,” says Rachel. “We get together as a team, and we talk about the next year’s goals, and each department plans its goals based on our company’s goals. From there, we schedule time to write the plan before the end of the year.”

“What changed for us,” says Christina at ATLIS, is that we embraced a project management system. We are decentralized, so we have a headquarters, but we don’t all work here. Once we all invested ourselves in the project management software—it sealed the deal for us to work both strategically and tactically.”

Implementing project management software is no small task. The decision in and of itself is a strategic one. Pause to understand what your organization could use better to centralize your communication and task management efforts.

Once your brainstorming and planning are scheduled, and there’s a system in place for accountability—then you get to the work. Once all stakeholders agree upon the plan, you try to live by that strategy (knowing there is some flexibility within reason). Return to it monthly and quarterly, and plan your tasks accordingly. Remember, if someone wants you to add a task/project after the plan is decided, you should feel empowered to say ”no“ or ask what else will come off the plan to accommodate said new project.

How can we best communicate complex marketing metrics to our non-marketing leaders?

No matter the size of your marketing department, you’re likely reporting metrics and successes to some folks who may not know how to analyze marketing results—and all the fun data that comes with it.

Knowing this as you go into the meeting is half the battle. Prepare to learn the language of your leaders. What are their goals? How do they define success? How are your marketing metrics helping achieve that success? Think like your non-marketing leaders, and use the data you have to speak their language.

“The way that I have seen success here is to find benchmarks and compare yourselves against them,” Rachel says, “If you can find benchmarks, then you can show that your numbers are there or above that (hopefully). That will help set their expectations around what kind of numbers they should be expecting.”

Watch this webinar on demand.

Webinar 2: Reimagine Your Digital Marketing

In this webinar, Cassandra Hansen and Jarrett Way walk through the strategies needed to transform your organization’s communications, streamline acquisition efforts, and reimagine your digital marketing in 2023.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google announced recently that they will be sunsetting Universal Analytics (or what we all know as Google Analytics now) on July 1st, 2023. That’s because they’re rolling out Google Analytics 4 (GA4). It’s an enhanced version of Google Analytics, and it has a lot more advanced tracking with the added capability for cross-domain tracking.

If a user on your site is visiting multiple domains or jumping between domains, apps, or other types of properties that you own, it will track data across all of those workstreams. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to give you better data, insights, and reports for your web performance and your web traffic and analytics.

We have multiple resources about GA4, including an introduction, how to set up custom events, and more. You don’t have to be an expert on Google Analytics to ensure it’s set up correctly. Just make sure you’re paying attention to it before the year ends and especially as we get into 2023.

If I have never used Google Analytics, is there a way to switch to GA early if I wanted to get started?

Google makes setting up a new GA4 account very easy.

If you’ve never had a Universal Analytics account, that’s okay. It’s a very similar process where you log into your master Google account and go into Google Analytics. There, it walks you through a step-by-step setup.

We recommend starting there, and they will give you the option to implement your codes manually or through Google Tag Manager (GTM). GTM implements your codes or your scripts when you’re installing GA4, which makes things much easier. We also have an article that we just released on setting up the GA4 account too, that will help you through the process.

What do you mean when you say, “you won’t be able to track Apple users? Does that mean those with an Apple email address or those who use Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.)?

Apple has made open rates on our email tracking much less reliable than before. But when we say Apple users, we mean any users who use the Apple Mail app on their devices. That’s important because Apple devices account for approximately 52% of all email opens.

This means anyone that opens their email through the Apple Mail app, which is the default app when you have an Apple device.

To give you more clarity, essentially, Apple released a new mail privacy protection plan. When you download iOS 15, you’re given the option to allow other organizations to track your activity via mail, where most users opt-out. This means you’re losing a lot of data because when we aren’t tracking the activity via the mail app, we lose the ability to see if, when, and where people clicked or how they interacted with the email.

This is why open rates are becoming more of a vanity metric in marketing. We recommend paying more closely attention to real engagement like clicks or downloads to gauge performance.

Can you explain the difference between audience personas and user profiles one more time?

Audience personas and user profiles have a lot of similarities, but there are some major differences between the two.

Audience personas are the ones that require a deeper level of research. They’re both going to have the demographics. However, the audience personas are going to have a psychographic component, too,” says Jarrett.

Psychographics differ from demographics. They highlight your audience’s pain points and their challenges—usually found through user research, surveys, and focus groups. It’s a very in-depth look at who your audience is.

For a user profile, you may just be using demographics and some anecdotal information that you already know about your audience.

In short, user profiles are quick, easy demographic information that can help marketing efforts, but audience profiles can help build targeted content based on your audience’s feelings, needs, wants, and pain points.

Can you recommend some audience research platforms? There’s a whole lot out there, and sometimes the information is conflicting.

Putting resources into software is a big ask. And there’s a lot of information out there that can feel both overwhelming and downright conflicting with one another. Distilling it down to what works for you takes a little bit of research.

“From a digital perspective, Mighty Citizen works with Meltwater; it uses a combination of social listening and audience research,” says Cassandra. “It is a little bit complicated to set up, and it is a bit pricier. However, many agencies like us work with tools like this to conduct audience research for more insight into your (our client’s) potential user.”

Meltwater uses a combination of social media content, engagement, and audience research. It’ll use forums, blogs, web posts, and other media to look at your audience. It looks all over the internet for what your audience is doing, how you’ve defined your audience, what their demographics and psychographics are, and different consumer behaviors. And then they will give you very advanced reports for that.

Meltwater is not the only tool, though. There are many other free versions of digital tools you can get that will give you some insight into your audiences online.

Watch the full webinar.

Webinar 3: Annual Communications Plan Webinar

In this webinar, Brianna Martin and Nicole Araujo offer real, concrete solutions to the big question: What will you do next year? And how you can best plan your 2023 communications. Note: This was the third and final webinar in our series, and the Q&A for this session included all speakers from the Mightier Marketing in 1-2-3 series.

How does Mighty Citizen capture users’ interests for content? Do you do an annual survey or anything unique that you can share?

In November, Mighty Citizen sent out a content survey to our audiences to help them understand how we can plan our 2023 content strategy and create content that directly serves them.

“In terms of internal marketing at Mighty Citizen, we have the unique advantage of being a marketing agency,” says Brianna. “So we have access to many talented people, including a user research department (not something many organizations have). They help us craft unbiased and thoughtful questions to get the results we’re looking for to take action on what our audiences are looking for. We have also interviewed different segments of our target industries in the past to help guide our content.”

“And we back that up with our own data, “ Rachel adds. “For example, looking at Google Analytics, what are our most popular articles or tools? What content are people going to and sharing? This can help inform the content plan.”

And, of course, having access to someone who knows their way around SEO can be advantageous. “This allows you to look into what topics your audiences are regularly searching to get to your site or your competitor sites,” says Cassandra. “And that can also help with gauging content interests for creation.”

I feel like sometimes it can be difficult to make suggestions to marketing when you’re not on the marketing team. How do you recommend approaching marketing to ask them for more insight into some of their processes and also about new technology options to consider?

Conversely to talking to leadership about marketing, others talking to marketing about marketing can well—be a bit intimidating. Marketing departments are known for their brand standards, their timelines, and of course, their software and processes.

“Making sure that the departments are talking a lot and maintaining good relationships is key,” says Rachel, “I think that helps to start that conversation. Then the approach is: we make our processes very open and transparent, we make sure everyone gets input on certain things, and they feel empowered to be able to ask those questions. Is this thing you’re asking for going to ladder up to our strategic goals, or will we have more potential success with it than something else that we have in the plan?”

If you’re having issues with insights into some of marketing’s processes, talk to them and ask for more insight into their processes and develop a plan with leadership to keep transparency flowing and open.

Watch the full webinar.

A huge thank you to our attendees—you are the most important part of our webinars!

Got a Question?

If there are any further questions we might not have answered from our series or are interested in working with us, please reach out!

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