“So, Matt,” an unnamed CMO said to me recently, “the only thing I’m not short of is choices. I need to transform lead acquisition and handoff to sales. At the same time, I need to look at customer retention and up-sell/cross sell opportunities. Oh, and our responsiveness & visibility in social channels could do with some serious work.” Hands up. How many of us have had a similar range of challenges? The good news is this can all be addressed, not solely with applications or tech, but with a way of operating and organisation. Let’s take a look at campaign management and how times have changed.
…You want to get your message to the right person, at the right time?
…You want to use the data you already own to make sure that the recipient gets personalised content?
…You want to be able to learn as a customer/prospect interacts with you and other channels to refine your campaigns over time?
…You want to be able to deliver your campaigns to the most appropriate device?
Yes to all of the above! You might have heard about Googles ‘zero moment of truth’. That is: you need to be able to deliver at the moment the customer has a need. This is campaign management taken to its ultimate expression. Campaigns that are responsive on an individual basis, not in days or weeks but immediately and at point of requirement.
Depending on where you are on your organisation’s digital maturity journey this likely sounds like a whole-world-of-complex and, to badly paraphrase Erwin Schrödinger, you’d be simultaneously right and wrong. Campaigns used to be primarily adverts, sending out direct mails & flyers with response cards. The good old days for some, but we rarely do this anymore. Why? Well, we need to look at the environment we find ourselves marketing into and the changing expectations of customers and partners. Let’s start by looking at the touch points on the receiving end of what we do: Email, Web sites, Portals, Social, Mobile web, Apps and more. Joe and Jane Bloggs are swamped with content and the channels to consume it through. They also have a growing range of devices to use: PC’s, Laptops, Tablets, Phones, Watches. New tech is being released every-single-day, and it’s not slowing down.
Yours truly is a youthful forty something, and given my chosen career, I’m very tech aware. However, I’ll willingly concede that I have different digital expectations than the Millennial generation. They expect the ‘augmented’ service – and a whole heap of things that range from sophisticated social interaction to design and experience. Following the Millennials are the Digital Natives. These guys only want to consume digitally. Currently, they are on Mum or Dads old iPad/Kindle but they will be taking their place in society soon. I observe the way my children interact with devices, and they don’t use them the same way I do. Virtual ‘stuff’ has the same value as real-world tangible ‘stuff’. IAP’s, pets, moshi-pokie-birdy flappy toys and Minecraft texture packs are the collecting cards and football stickers of their generation. I can tell you now, there’s one thing these guys are going to expect when they work with you: They are going to expect more, much more and because of that engaging with them is going to have to be different.
So, how do we deliver campaigns and organise around a permanently evolving market where customer expectation is almost unlimited and attention spans are practically zero? In the past, when structuring organisations and campaigns for demand generation (or marketing in general), we likely used a waterfall methodology. While this worked acceptably for a while, the evolution of digital channels has made it irrelevant, to the point where you’d need to be, er ‘barking’ to build any kind of new marketing process around it. A much more interesting and digital friendly option is Agile. This builds on the step-by-step waterfall but, critically, it gives the ability to revisit the choices made with things subsequently learnt. It allows for flexibility and makes everything more collaborative. Agile gives responsiveness, and that’s the really important thing to take away. Responsiveness is needed particularly in ongoing campaigns that stretch over web/social/email and apps. From a digital point of view responsiveness is good. It all boils down to this: Building good stuff, digitally speaking, is iterative and must be done at speed.
When you consider campaign management within your organisation, you need to look not only at the output but also at how your organisation goes about delivering it. Campaigns can take place at multiple stages throughout your customer’s journey with your brand, and you have multiple chances to influence them on that journey. It could be a tweet, it could be an app, it could be on a portal. When we break each step down, we can look at what it takes to make a particular stage of the journey, and thereby campaign element, successful. A customer that gets a good experience might move onto the next step. If not, you’ve potentially lost them or diminished an opportunity. Correctly designing the structure of your marketing organisation to support demand and campaign is critical. What’s also critical to remember is that irrespective of how you are currently organisationally structured, it’s necessary to acknowledge it is not simply a marketing activity. This needs to seen as a cross-company activity, where multiple areas within the organisation might contribute to a given touchpoint. In the modern world (where marketing is increasingly about customer service) the importance of cross-functional collaboration cannot be underestimated.
If you’d like to discuss any of the above further, drop me a note.
Next time I’ll have a look at how content marketing and the marketing conversation house fit into the picture.