• May 12, 2022
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Adapt to Gain an Advantage

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Iam not a fan of Liberty Mutual Insurance’s “LiMu Emu & Doug” campaign. Launched in 2019, the campaign offers a unique twist on the classic buddy cop theme: a man and his giant bird are on a mission to stop unsuspecting people from overpaying for insurance. I find the characters unlikable, and most of my friends and family agree.

But I read recently that Liberty Mutual is touting the campaign as a huge success. It notes that LiMu Emu & Doug have a big fan following, with many people even dressing up as the pair for Halloween. The two have also become pop culture icons, with mentions on both Saturday Night Live and Jeopardy!

But has all that fandom paid off for the company in terms of revenue? Have consumers traded their policies with GEICO, State Farm, or Allstate for ones with Liberty Mutual because Doug told them they could customize their policies so they only pay for what they need? Has anyone gone to Liberty Mutual’s website after watching LiMu Emu peck at the screen? Has anyone who was ready to churn away from Liberty Mutual decided to stay as a result of a LiMu Emu & Doug spot?

I haven’t seen those numbers, but I would hope that Liberty Mutual’s marketing department and advertising partners have zeroed in on those stats. They form the basis for a new trend in marketing that we highlight in this month’s cover story. The article, “Marketing’s New Strategy: Paying for Performance,” points out that companies today want to be sure that their limited marketing dollars are producing the desired results. If ads aren’t bringing in leads, clicks, subscription sign-ups or renewals, conversions, or other actions, executives no longer feel that they should have to pay for them. It’s a new paradigm in marketing, and it’s one that’s gaining tremendous popularity.

Given our current economic uncertainty, companies naturally want to make sure that every dollar spent is producing concrete returns. Marketing budgets in particular are under the corporate microscope, even as marketing spend begins to rebound after a long COVID-19 lockdown—Forrester Research expects marketing spend to reach $4.7 trillion by 2025, up $1.1 trillion from current levels.

The biggest surprise to me in the story is the fact that external marketing agencies seem to be in favor of the shift toward performance marketing. I would think they would be loath to support a strategy that holds them to higher standards and could cut into their revenue streams when things don’t go as well as their clients would like. Instead, top marketing agencies seem confident in their abilities and don’t mind putting skin in the game. They understand the risk but know they can deliver results and exceed expectations, and they welcome the opportunity to prove it.

With performance marketing, the metrics matter, of course, but the metrics are just as important in other parts of the business. This is particularly true in the sales department, where the metrics are changing just as quickly as the weather these days.

Our second feature, “Sales Leaders Push for Measuring What Matters,” aptly points out that some of the sales metrics that have been in place for years have outlived their usefulness, while new ones have emerged in the past year or two. Pipeline size, deal size, revenue and cost per customer, lifetime value, retention, reviews, loyalty, customer satisfaction, and conversions are just some of those that matter, according to experts.

The article proves that the one constant in business is change itself. While the sales metric landscape has changed dramatically in the past few years, the cycle of change is far from complete, experts agree.

And because change is inevitable, companies need software that enables them to adapt quickly. Thankfully, the CRM industry is responding with low-code/no-code platforms that allow even those with no coding experience to customize their CRM systems for their unique needs. Read our third feature, “Low-Code/No-Code Offerings to Grow, but Some Still Want Complexity,” to learn more about how these platforms work and how companies can use them to their advantage.

In the end, advantage is the key to business, whether in marketing, sales, or any other area, and this issue gives you insight into three trends that promise an incredible advantage.

Leonard Klie is the editor of CRM magazine. He can be reached at lklie@infotoday.com.

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