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10 Marketing Hacks – Stack Ranked by Marketers Like You

By Kirsten Newbold-Knipp | May 08, 2015 | 4 Comments


Life hacks have been popularized due to the quick and impactful way they can simplify our day to day and save us time, money or hassle. During this week’s Gartner for Marketing Leaders Conference, the entire analyst team aggregated our top ten marketing hacks and illuminated them for an audience of marketers who were pretty eager to walk away with some quick, actionable wins to take home.

We polled the audience to find out which of our 10 marketing hacks they plan to use on Monday.

10 Marketing Hacks, Ranked

Here’s how they stacked up – so even if you couldn’t attend, you can get a snapshot of what they learned:

  1. Being Your Customer – This tried and true tenet of marketing was top on everyone’s list, possibly because mystery shopping yourself at least once per month was part of the advice.
  2. Interview Projects (Tied for #1) – R&D teams have been having developers write code as part of their interview for years, we recommend having marketers of all stripes show their work so you can get a better gauge of skills and they know if they’ll really like the type of work the job entails.
  3. Fail Fests – Celebrating failures in the form of the lessons learned so you can eradicate fear from teams and empower innovation was quite popular. Key to this idea is ensuring that leaders also share their own failures and lessons learned – with an eye to how to recover from the failed experiment and use that learning to further the business.
  4. Steal Ideas (Tied for #2) – Following the innovation theme, the idea of grabbing lunch with people from other industries or disciplines to run challenges by them and come up with new ways to approach your business goals is easy to do and can deliver eureka moments.
  5. Email Hygiene & Transactional Send Marketing – Coming in fifth, it’s both good and bad that marketers were willing to admit that they might not be cultivating their email lists as well as they should. This was a reminder to cleanse lists and a call to test out messaging that could be promotional or helpful within other transactional sends, billing for example, to ensure you are getting bang for buck and potentially reducing total email volume.
  6. Capturing Bouncers – Testing out exit intent surveys or offers to try one more conversion attempt for all your hard won traffic could provide lift and reduce cost per acquisition.
  7. Evergreen Content Planning – No piece of content should be planned as a big bang that is one and done. Rather, every campaign and content piece should be built with the idea that it could be repurposed and given multiple lives to give you more for your creative investment.
  8. Consistency – Though not a leader, several marketers admitted that they may have old offers or campaign assets that don’t have a consistent message with ad units and promotions to get folks to convert – resulting in suboptimal conversion. This is a simple one to audit and improve.
  9. Tag Management – Given its place at number nine, most marketers are probably already using or implementing a tag management solution to get campaigns out the door fast and measure them effectively. If you aren’t, read up on Tag Management now.
  10. SEM Anti-Bloat Audit – I was surprised to see this in last place, but perhaps our attendees all have great confidence in their campaigns. The idea here is to ensure that this outsize part of your budget is truly being spent efficiently. If your SEM is managed to an ‘average CPA’ you could very well have a large number of high cost long tail or edge case keywords whose sub-par performance is being masked by highly efficient targeted groups. If you haven’t asked your team to cut the fat lately, you could be spending as much as 30% too much on your SEM.

We loved getting to meet so many of our amazing clients at this week’s event in San Diego and eagerly await an even bigger event next year. Meantime, hack away …

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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  • You said “I was surprised to see this in last place” — referring to the SEM Anti-Bloat Audit.

    In contrast, I’m not at all surprised by your survey findings. Here’s why. I’d guess that most of the people who manage these marketing budgets have a legacy media-buyer mentality — meaning, they consider it to difficult to create meaningful and substantive content that would be useful and actionable in the buyer’s journey, so instead they just spend most of their budget buying Google Ads, etc.

    That said, once the legacy marketers retire and move out of the workforce, then you’ll likely see a shift in emphasis. Until then, most marketing activity in large organizations will be focused on paying to acquire influence, rather than earning it with remarkable narrative that moves the compass of market sentiment in their direction.

    • Kirsten Newbold-Knipp says:

      Hi David,
      Definitely possible that your thought on mindset is at the root cause. It’s a shame, but our goal is to help move people out of that old mindset and to put their dollars to work in the best way possible. Thanks for joining in the conversation!

  • Nicholas says:

    Great insight and tips for anyone working in digital marketing. Thanks Kirsten 🙂

  • Trudie says:

    Excellent tips that I hadn’t considered – Thank you.