If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the following questions about your marketing capability, then you do not need to read this blog:
- Do you know your return on marketing assets to the end of last month?
- Is your marketing IT cost management under control?
- Are your customers in control of the offers you’ve made to them?
- Do your customers consider themselves your brand advocates?
- Are your propensity models giving you the results you are looking for?
- Do you have a full set of Standard Operating Procedures for all your marketing campaigns?
- Is your creative process controlled via systematic workflow?
- Are all your digital assets stored in a single repository and subject to a rigorous management process, yet easy for marketers to use?
- Do you have a robust digital strategy that is the envy of your competitors?
- Do you have a 360 degree view of your customers?
OK, you’re still here. According to Gartner, CMO’s will begin spending more on IT than CIOs by 2017. Furthermore, much of that technology investment will be made by dipping into marketing’s budget, independently of the CIO and IT department. Let’s take a moment and consider the consequences of that prediction.
The explosion of digital channels is revolutionizing marketing, enabling companies to interact one-on-one with their customers in real-time, 24×7, anywhere the customer may be. Customers are dictating how they want to be marketed to and so an ability to know where your customers are, what they are doing, and how they are interacting with your brand is essential to marketing success.
In response, marketing software providers are bringing enhanced and new solutions to the market in an area of software development that has yet to reach a significant level of maturity. If only the correlation between IT spend and marketing success was linear. As with any other area of business, IT investment should be tied to a solid understanding of your marketing needs, which in turn are based on your customer’s needs.
Fully understanding your customer requires collecting masses of data, structured and unstructured, and being able to analyze that data in a way that delivers real customer insights and ability to build state of the art response models. Direct marketing is now completely controlled at the customer level – the right offer at the right time is not enough anymore. When you add to that the right channel, the right location, and the right fulfillment – marketing becomes very complex.
That’s not to say that all traditional marketing channels are no longer required. Just look at Sears. Despite all their ability to interact with their customers in real time, via any device, leveraging knowledge of local store inventories to drive offers, it is often the tried and trusted non-digital approaches that give the best return. While they continue to push into new channels, the local circular still remains Sears’ marketing workhorse to this day.
Even traditional broadcast advertising is evolving to the point where it’s driven as much by data and technology as online marketing. Local, addressable television advertising via the pay TV providers is becoming more targeted and interactive with each passing month. Soon it will require the same investment in marketing technology used to execute direct or digital marketing campaigns.
So how well do you know your customer? How well do you understand the marketing results you are achieving? At West Monroe Partners we help our clients understand how their marketing capabilities drive the results they strive to achieve. We help prioritize marketing change and growth strategies to enable our clients to invest not only in technology, but to identify areas across the marketing value chain where improvements can be made, from analytics, to managing marketing assets, to cost take out, to building more effective campaigns.