Playbook

How to Reach Marketing Goals in Half the Time With Fast Feedback Loops

Use this framework to hit goals faster by re-thinking your marketing feedback loops with routine pulse checks strategically placed throughout your processes and help your team stay nimble.

Read time: 9 minutes

Getting started

Amid slashed budgets, slim turnaround times, and the ever-changing consumer landscape, marketing leaders are in a near-constant state of "needing to pivot."

When it feels like the results from your marketing efforts just aren't adding up, one way to isolate the problem and better your outcomes is by turning to the audiences you're targeting to ensure you're giving the people what they want.

AKA, creating faster feedback loops.

Fast feedback loops instill confidence in your plan, credibility in your decisions, and reassurance that you're on the right path. Studies continue to show why fast feedback loops work, particularly in marketing when there's a need to optimize campaigns quicker to improve conversion rates as soon as possible.

In fact, research from Gartner found marketing teams using fast feedback loops in their campaigns have a 30% higher customer retention rate. This isn't a new strategy, but it can be consistently adjusted to solve various issues across marketing teams—whether you need to pinpoint the root of a larger problem or pivot and adjust campaigns faster.

We know it's tough to cut through the noise and get straight to the data that matters. But rapid feedback loops let you move more confidently so you can build touchpoints into your marketing processes to solidify you're headed on the right path and set the precedence that change is to be expected—not feared.

It's one of the most effective ways to build assurance across the marketing team, deliver better campaign outputs, and continue making big swings with your marketing activities to hit your goals faster.

Fast Feedback Loops TLDR Graphic

Step 1: Build change into your process with two-way checkpoints

If you're going all-in on campaigns you think your audience wants, but you're still not seeing results, implement faster feedback loops throughout your workflows and make "change" a constant in your processes.

Like a pulse check ahead of your next launch, routine feedback loop "checkpoints" provide the validation every marketing leader craves. All while empowering your team to make the small but necessary tweaks to reach your desired outcome (before it's too late).

This might look like only sending 1,000 emails before you hit send on 100,000 or posting a LinkedIn poll to gauge interest in attendance or location before committing to a $20,000 event.

Based on how "phase one" of your plan is received, do you need to make adjustments before you push forward?

Higher quality work

Additional time and budget are not luxuries most marketing leaders have these days. You can't risk losing your limited resources on major campaign swings without knowing there are guardrails in place to lead the marketing team toward their big-picture goals.

Fast feedback loops are those guardrails, providing much-needed clarity into your marketing assumptions, even when other factors remain up in the air. It's all about getting your marketing team in the habit of checking in with your audience and accepting feedback.

Frequent feedback loops bridge the gap between your target audience and your marketing team. Instead of touching base when the project is complete and hoping for the best, establish a steady stream of communication during the execution process.

This will loop in your target audience sooner and confirm the demand of your marketing hypothesis.

Step 2: Let one or two KPIs be your north star

Your overarching marketing strategy is carefully crafted and entirely informed by troves of customer research and data. But fast feedback loops aren't, and that can be a tough pill for marketing leaders to swallow.

For fast feedback loops to be effective, they need to spin fast.

Fast vs Slow Feedback Loops Diagram Example

Use one or two impactful KPIs to determine whether you're marketing hypothesis is on the right track or off the rails—then immediately lean into those learnings. You don't need a ton of data to confirm your reasoning which is key to acting quickly, even if that means making a hard pivot or abandoning a project entirely.

The challenge is finding the right KPIs that point directly to the specific outcomes you're trying to achieve with this specific campaign. From there, use a phased approach with feedback loops at every milestone.

This will inform you whether to continue as planned or take a pause. Here's what that might look like:

  • If you're creating a whitepaper, don't let the asset be your finish line. Your phased approach might include a LinkedIn poll as your first checkpoint, a social media post as your second, and a blog or email as the third.
  • If your social engagement and open rates look solid from your initial phases—pursue the whitepaper. No matter how big or small, having the insight to prove your investment in resource-heavy initiatives will always help give peace of mind to your big decisions.

You might be working with less data than you're used to and hesitant to commit, but let these informative KPIs serve as your gut feeling and validation to make big marketing bets. Even if that means ending one project in lieu of something completely different.

Those few KPIs are your direct line to the target audiences you're trying to convert. By following their feedback, you'll reach high-impact outcomes faster.

The lifecycle platform Firstbase saw this benefit firsthand. By centering its strategies, discussions, and decisions around customer feedback entirely, the SaaS company accelerated its go-to-market time by 20%, improved async collaboration, and maximized the impact of its product messaging.

Step 3: Remove expendable approval steps (don't be the roadblock)

For all of you marketing leaders always in the weeds, this might be the hardest step to conquer.

It's easier to take big bets in marketing when there's a ton of data on your side. But over-emphasizing data could also be holding your team back from acting fast on feedback loops.

Almost three-quarters of surveyed employees in the Slingshot Digital Work Trends Report say their leaders determine productivity by metrics and data, not their ability to work autonomously. While your execs might demand those hard numbers, it's a surefire way to slow down your teams' workflow.

At the same time, you have to avoid analysis paralysis. A Netsuite report found that 95% of employees feel overwhelmed by an overload of data, leading to delays in decision-making and bringing feedback loops to a halt.

Instead of being bogged down with wanting more proof, time, or edits, give your teams the executive authority to take charge of their projects. One way to fix this is to nix your formal feedback process and establish a streamlined chain of validation with critical links only.

Too-strict approval processes have a domino effect of challenges including increased costs, less innovation, and an over 20% decrease in process efficiency, according to a Harvard Business Review report. These roadblocks are completely avoidable by stripping away every "nice-to-have" approval and keeping only the top priority "needs-to-know" links in your validation chain. Then you can automate the process.

CEMEX, a global cement manufacturer and supplier, adopted this practice, which resulted in a 15% reduction in time-to-market to hit their goals within months across their 50-person marketing team. By building relationships between project leads, copywriters, and designers into their workflows, CEMEX automated and streamlined their manual workflows.

Oscar Aguilar of CEMEX quote image

By over-indexing on feedback, you turn into your own roadblock, keeping teams from trusting your process. Streamline and automate your approval processes to expedite turnaround times and keep your feedback loops spinning toward their desired outcomes to deliver at double the speed.

Step 4: Share findings up, down, and across the marketing team

All feedback is helpful feedback.

Instead of discounting what you don't think you need, make it available for teams across the greater marketing org who might benefit or learn from it. This is the secret to keeping everyone connected while making the most of your most powerful resource—your internal data.

Finding validation through feedback loops is certainly one of the biggest wins. But every nugget of wisdom can pave the way for something crucial for the right team. That's why it's so important to share your learnings broadly.

The data you collect from your audience and customers is your most powerful tool. Don't throw it away because it doesn't seem outwardly helpful or groundbreaking. Instead, share it with another team who will see it that way.

It doesn't have to be entirely positive to be helpful, either. You'll learn just as much (if not more) from the initiatives that aren't going well. A simple social learning could help the email team adjust their message, which then informs sales and impacts their pitch.

ClickUp Feedback Form Template

All of these efforts are connected, so your teams must be too.

For more support connecting teams and aggregating your feedback loops in one accessible place, use this feedback form template to build this playbook framework within a prebuilt system to design customer surveys and collect data.

Redefine how you collect and accept feedback

Fast feedback loops enable you to test your marketing assumptions before hitting the point of no return. The strategic move to back the initiatives you know your audiences want will lead to better campaign outputs—and ultimately the confidence needed from your execs to greenlight even more big bets.

As your feedback loops continue spinning, these benefits continue to compound.

Adopting a culture of change among your marketing teams, establishing checkpoints, seeking validation, and finding quick signals in the noise will take you miles further in your marketing efforts than leaving feedback to your final step.

Let our team of experts handle the heavy lifting by registering for the ClickUp Showcase and see how a centralized productivity tool can help your teams harness feedback loops faster.

ClickUp Showcase Webinar Banner CTA V2

See how ClickUp can help you create faster feedback loops with your team and cut unnecessary time-wasting activities in the process.

Implementing fast feedback loops can take time, trial, and error, that you don't have to take on alone. We're here to help!

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