Marketing is no longer a linear process.
Posted Jun 1, 2006
Today's customers are moving targets, more demanding and mobile--expecting quality, innovation, low prices, 24/7 access, and a great experience. They are moving their spending from brand to brand at the drop of a hat, and having the audacity to tell the marketer whether they can be marketed to or not. And, of course, businesses still want increasing revenues, stringent cost controls, and profitability in excess of the marketing investment.
Meanwhile, traditional corporate measures aren't coping very well with all this pressure. Mass marketing isn't working anymore--brand loyalty is very difficult to sustain and generics are taking over. Product innovation doesn't work anymore, either: Competitors can replicate it within three months.
And what about CRM? It's either been hijacked by a number of IT providers or the marketers are drowning in so much information that their segmentation strategies, based on an average position, are no better than mass marketing.
Marketing is no longer a nice, controlled process: Research the market, develop the product, create the offer, communicate it, and analyze the results. Marketing is no longer limited to the marketing department, a controlled, one-way enterprise-initiated contact. Marketing may not be involved. Marketing is no longer a linear process.
If we stood back, asked how the marketing function serves the market, serves the enterprise, and satisfies customer needs and wants--would we start again? What would the marketing function look like? Would the data offer real-time feedback and measurement? Would the technology be customer oriented, offering workflow, customer knowledge, and integrated communication? Would the knowledge management processes be organizationwide and support continuous improvement? Would the culture be one of collaboration and partnership? Would the people be empowered and creative? How would our customers behave and would they believe us?
Would technology be part of the mix? Of course it would, but as part of a holistic marketing transformation program covering the strategic, human capital, knowledge management processes and technology. Here, enterprise marketing management (EMM) has a vital role. It is the mission-critical enterprise software that enables more effective and efficient marketing. It is the engine behind effective marketing and offers the potential of true customer-focused, knowledge-based marketing and operations.
Typical EMM will encompass the following aspects:
1. Strategic and Marketing Planning
2. Financial Management
3. Marketing Resource Management
4. Data Integration--locating, identifying, selecting, collecting, and cleaning the right data to support your marketing intelligence needs
5. Information Storage--disseminating information across the sales, marketing, and service environments
6. Campaign Management--planning, designing, executing, and measuring marketing programs
7. Customer Analytics--understanding current and predicting future customer belief and behavior
8. Web Analytics--understanding how the corporate Web site is being used and how individual customers interact with your business online
9. Personalization--all marketing communications tailored according to behaviors, interests, and individual customer profiles
10. Interaction Management--allowing communications to be personal, relevant, and timely; providing integration and consistency across all channels
11. Channel Management--including the electronic channels, voice channels, and traditional channels
12. Marketing Reporting and Scorecards--measureing the performance of the marketing function and return on the marketing investment
EMM works when data is integrated at every touch point. The entire marketing chain, including suppliers and vendors, must collaborate. Marketing resources such as data and documents should be widely available, while all marketing activity should be tracked and managed. And key performance indicators, reflecting a balanced framework open to everyone, let marketers understand cause and effect, and allow managers to stay on top of performance.
The business benefits which can be derived are well known and may include:
The integration of strategic and knowledge-based processes.
Human capital effectively resourced, trained, and integrated with the processes.
A 360-degree view of the customer, providing knowledge and insight.
Effective communication and cross-channel media integration.
Compliance with regulatory and trade bodies.
Support for one-to-one marketing.
Measuring and reporting the performance of marketing functions and return on the marketing investment.
For the marketing transformation program to be successful, delivered on time, on budget, and per specification, you need an effectively resourced plan, a budget, board sponsorship and appropriate external support, et cetera. You also need an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, approach. Framing the plan into stages such as 90-day increments assures that delivery is made at regular intervals and risks are closely managed while focus is up to date and changing market needs are addressed.
The marketing transformation programs that generate the greatest business results are the ones in which enterprises are not just using technology to manage their customer interactions in a more efficient manner, but are really focused on building strong brands that reflect customer knowledge while managing cross-channel communications. With that focus, EMM can indeed unlock CRM's potential and create a competitive advantage.
About the Author
Bill Marjot is CMO at smartFOCUS. He is responsible for driving the strategy and execution of brand, product, acquisition, and retention marketing. A respected CRM and marketing authority, Marjot brings 20 years of consulting, software sales, and marketing experience to smartFOCUS, having built marketing and customer management transformation projects for organizations worldwide. Contact him at BMarjot@smartfocus.com. Please visit www.smartfocus.com
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