Key Takeaways from the Email Creation Maturity Model
It’s less about changing what marketing does and more about transforming how the work is done.
The launch of our groundbreaking Email Creation Maturity Model, the whitepaper and follow-up blog series have been well received by enterprise marketers and teams. We learned a lot in the process of developing the whitepaper, including confirming our hypothesis that perhaps the biggest overriding trend that is driving organizational change is the shift towards agile operations. As McKinsey recently reported, global enterprises are looking to marketing to drive growth; However, marketing will require significant operational changes to make it happen. “Marketing organizations need to be rewired for speed, collaboration, and customer focus."
"It’s less about changing what marketing does and more about transforming how the work is done."
When we focus on the area of email creation, it is clear that increasing organizational and team agility is the objective. In the Maturity Model whitepaper, as creation teams move up the maturity curve, there are several key ways in which greater agility is achieved.
As teams move from either Phase 1 or Phase 2 to Phase 3 with an end-to-end creation platform, the immediate impact is that all members of the team are able to collaborate seamlessly and in real-time and eliminate the siloed and linear process. The impact is significant.
The requester still submits a brief, and the producer or designer then lays out the modules or selects a template. With guardrails in place, the designer can easily update the images and the copywriter can drop in text. This way, teams avoid requiring the designer and copywriter to wait to see their assets in the full email, dramatically reducing the amount of back-and-forth communication. This is where we see the biggest timeline reduction.
Because the email is in a centralized platform, reviews and approvals are simple. They can be done directly in the platform or can be exported with a single click to another approval platform.
In addition, the platform allows content to be pulled in with a single click so the central team can avoid downloading and re-uploading content. Less time is spent on final checks because technology guardrails are in place to ensure everything is on brand, mobile optimized, and ADA compliant.
Reviews and approvals take 3 or fewer touchpoints, and 2-3 days to complete an email. Creation time is 1-2 hours.
Plenty has been written by marketing research firms and Martech experts about the global trend towards more distributed marketing organizations. Gartner in 2019 conducted a survey that showed only 1 in 5 marketing organizations had some form of decentralized or distributed operational marketing teams. However, 51% said they will have some form of decentralized operations by 2022. This shows how important the need for speed, collaboration and customer focus is to larger enterprises to remain competitive.
As we saw in our coverage of Phase 4 of the Maturity Model, marketing operations looking for even greater levels of agility focus on the optimal use of resources. The right people are consistently building the right message at the right time. What that means is a recognition that not all emails need to be handled by a central team. With guardrails in place that control brand governance and business rules, field marketing, demand generation, product marketing, and more, teams can create and deploy a significant portion of the total email demand themselves. This is especially important for global regional teams who have to deal with language translation and localization rules and regulations.
The impact is significant. Emails are now developed and deployed the same day, with minimal touchpoints. With far fewer emails going through the central team, a greater percentage of their time focuses on strategy, rapid iteration and experimentation, and an accelerated speed to market.
Agile in action
These are the tenants of agile marketing and, as McKinsey pointed out, the results for those embracing agile are striking. Even for digital savvy marketing organizations, enterprises see a 20-40% revenue increase while over 50% of their operations are streamlined, getting rid of anything that isn’t creating value.
Using our detailed assessment process, we have found that our clients retain $700,000 or more in value moving from Phase 1 or Phase 2 to Phase 4 and above. After implementation, organizations find at least three-to-five full time employees that can focus on higher value work and strategy. In addition, moving to mobile optimization and enabled testing can yield a 20%+ uptick in revenue, increased focus on strategy, improved engagement and conversion, and possibly decreased external spend. This return can easily reach millions of dollars for larger teams.
A client example
In the case of Box, a leading B2B enterprise content management platform, their project goals were to scale operations, simplify creation, and free up internal and agency time for higher value work. They achieved this with striking results by using multiple setups for the build depending on the mail streams and visibility of the communication. They were able to:
- Reduce their email creation timeline from 5-10 days to 4 hours while increasing output and ensuring consistency.
- Reallocate 60% of their agency spend for strategic initiatives and not have to hire additional resources on the production team as they scale.
- Realize 166% increase in emails created per month.
- Execute 100% of emails on-brand and responsive.