Adjacent silos, or 360 degree view of a customer?

June 30, 2010

Marketing silos harm customer experience and marketing optimizationSilos… good for grain, bad for customer experience, bad for marketing optimization.

Technology spurs innovation and options but over the last decade and a half has also created silos – technologically, organizationally and experientially. In a non-trivial manner, the creation of new technologies has actually flipped core marketing principles on their head – While we should start with an audience and then wrap an offering with its’ promotion, pricing and delivery, today, we start with a media channel and determine how to acquire, retain and cross/up sell within it.

I’m not trying to cure world peace here, just trying to point out some easy ways to start leveraging what you know in one case to use in another.

Stephen Powers of Forrester had an interesting example in a recent blog entry, “planes, pains and multichannel engagement“… During a recent flight he struggled to meet the expectations of a flight attendant who asked him what he wanted for lunch. Struggling to look at the in flight magazine to see what was available, it dawned on him that the airline could have included the selection on the boarding ticket. For that matter, they could have also included the in flight movie and the current weather at each passengers’ final destination. Wouldn’t that be helpful?

Myself, I have struggled for years with my bank. Note, the only bank I’ve had for more than twenty years. Every time I use one of their ATM’s, the first thing the system does is ask me what language I want to use. Seriously? I’ve answered that question hundreds, maybe thousands of times.

This subject reminds me of the movie, “50 first dates”… an Adam Sandler movie where his love interest, Drew Barrymore, has a memory disorder and wakes up each morning without recognition of anything that’s happened since a car accident years earlier. Adam Sandler is then found spending a lifetime of effort convincing her that they love each other, starting each morning and working diligently throughout each day.

When we think about marketing in terms of silos we create this daily “win-back” mentality, similar to Adam Sandler. I guess I’m arguing that an investment in resources and focus to start collapsing some of our silos might actually make our life easier, our relationships more fulfilling and our ability to optimize the relationship capable under and new, mutually beneficial reality.

These are the type of simple cross silo thinking is where marketers can start to distill the situation and prioritize bit sized chunks of opportunity rather than trying to swallow the entire Atlantic Ocean… or in the case of 50 First Dates, the South Pacific. Design a relevant customer experience.

Love to hear your thoughts!

Mark


Reaching consumers has become more difficult…

June 1, 2010

The challenge has increased exponentially.  There are more channels, more screens and more data than ever and the rate of change is increasing. Adoption driven by accessibility and affordability, technology enables consumers to access a vast wealth of information, on their terms. Starting in the last few decades, the trajectory of change has ramped up fast and is not projected to slow down.

Selecting one of the top spend channels, TV, we can see dramatic intra-channel shifts: From a peak year in mass TV advertising, 1965, until 2002, the number of 60 second spots necessary to reach 80% of one’s target audience has increased from three to 117[i]. Translating this to trust and recent research surrounding brand message acceptance, 60% of respondents said they need to hear information about a company three to five times before they believe it[ii]. Correlating these two points, an advertiser would need to provide at least 351 60 second TV spots to provide sufficient TV exposure to satisfy 80% of one’s target audience need for message acceptance. This, all while nearly 40 million US households have DVR capabilities and 59% of them “currently use a DVR to skip through the commercials”.[iii]

Fast-forward to the current decade. Today’s teen has become a moving target. Nearly all are double or triple tasking while watching TV.   U.S. teenagers trust information from each other 5X more than adults and 10X more than ads[iv]. If you think about what this world looks like 5 to 10 years from now, this scenario will be even more complex as this demographic will be your future target.  It will pay to get on top of this challenge sooner than later.

Complicating this, pushing more “noise” at consumers who have become increasingly insensitive to the charms of marketers has proven to risk exacerbating the issue and drives negative long term brand impressions.

The above is an excerpt from an upcoming whitepaper I wrote. I’ll update this post when the final production is available.

Mark


[i] Tim Stengel, former CMO at P&G

[ii] Edelman Trust Barometer, 2009

[iii] eMarketer – Mintel, “Attitudes toward Traditional Media Advertising and Promotional marketing – US”, 2009

[iv] eMarketer – Deloitte, “State of the Media Democracy Fourth Edition: Select US Highlights”, 2009


Media spend is not following media consumption

November 7, 2009

Today, digital media accounts for nearly 35% of the average US consumers’ media consumption yet less than 15% of ad spend is directed toward these new channels.

I think the issue is non-trivial. Not only are the digital channels more addressable, more trackable and accountable by their nature, they also represent the direction consumers are taking. Also of interest, looking at the largest spend and media consuming traditional channel, TV, younger audiences are consuming an appreciable and increasing portion of their media through the Internet… while double and triple tasking with games, IM, text, etc. Oh, and don’t forget that nearly 20% of households have DVRs and habitually timeshift their favorite shows.

The world is changing, consumers are multichannel… are you?

Love to hear your thoughts.

Mark


Data is the new “Black”

August 8, 2009

I had the distinct priveledge of participating in the hosting of a truly engaging event in New York this week. The objective was to provide professional value to attendees through the delivery of provocative presentations by recognized thought leaders in the marketing space, quality networking and let’s not forget the cocktails!

Dave Frankland from Forrester Research and Tim Suther were the featured speakers. The topic – the value of customer insight in the search for improvements to the performance of marketing investment.

Dave started out the evening by featuring compelling research on the struggle of the relationship between marketers and consumers:

  • In a competitive world many marketers have decided to turn up the “volume” of marketing messages because they sense a reduction in performance – causing a sever problem, driving approximately 50% of consumers to “strongly agree” that they get too many messages.

consumers are overwhelmed

  • Why is it that consumers feel so strongly about the “volume”? It’s because they also believe that they’re recieving irrelevant garbage – 50% to 75% of consumers believe the messages they receive are irrelevant. As a result, a vast majority of consumers have signed up to the do not call registry and have installed spam and popup blocking software. A large portion are even viewing TV timeshifted so they can fast forward through commercials – I do this myself, saves as much as 20 minutes in a 60 minute show and I can watch a NFL football game in about 45 minutes without missing a thing!

consumer marketing is largely irrelevant

Tim followed up by making the following points:

Acxiom High Performance Data is the New Black

diffvaluecustomer

databuildingblockinsight

  • Identify customer value
  • Invest proportionally
  • Find/recognize & engage accordingly
  • Measure acquired value
  • Institutional memory
  • Take the Easy Money
  • Learn more about the Acxiom Global Marketing Performance Series.

    To read what attendees had to say about the event, I’d encourage you to view some of these articles:

    logo_1to1media logo_dmnews


    DMDays ’09 – new digital marketing committee announced – iDirect

    June 24, 2009

    The Direct Marketing AssociationDuring the opening keynote at DMDays John Greco, president of The DMA, announced a new committee designed to help mentor his organization into a transformative era, bridging their legacy as a primary thought leader in direct mail into the new digital and multichannel world – iDirect.

    Fundamentally, this is an incredibly interesting issue and worthy of commentary. What role does the industry establishment play in the current and future evolution of marketing?

    The first dimension that comes to mind for me is the communication between online and offline constituents within a company. In this case The DMA has a superior chain of relationships with large brands, and their ability to influence direction is substantial. Time will tell how this will shake out.

    My greatest impression is that the marketing world is neither digital nor direct… it’s both. The beauty of digital media channels is that they typically possess a deep level of addressability… a quicker, more accurate form of the same measurement that underlies traditional direct marketing principles.

    Noted by industry icon, Stan Rapp, “iDirect Marketing is the new Direct Marketing empowered by interactive insights and multi-channel involvement brought to life with new digital technologies.  It is a fresh approach to marketing directly, driven by a remarkable degree of innovation and information shared via the infinite internet and other digital media.  It’s what’s missing today when you simply say “Direct Marketing” or “Interactive Marketing.”


    What is behavioral targeting?

    October 5, 2008

    When you’re in a conversation and somebody uses this term, your first question should be… is this on-site or display ad behavioral targeting?

    Typically, when referring to banner ads, behavioral targeting relates to the use of data regarding consumer behavior that’s learned across numerous domains. I’ve tracked a new industry group that’s tasked with defining standards and definitions for behavioral targeting, Behavioral Targeting Standards Consortium (BTSC). After reviewing the site once again before this post, it’s interesting that they don’t have any content yet regarding the accomplishment of this objective. Seems like it would be somewhat simple to define a market in broad terms, guess not.

    On-site behavioral targeting is often times referred to simply as on-site targeting. Typically, it relates to individual consumer information that’s used to segment and them either serve a different experience on a website or measure the difference in reaction to particular aspects of a site by each segment.

    This distinction is critical because it demonstrates how young the discourse is in the online industry. The idea that two words can mean very different things to two people who share a similar role should be rather concerning. And, is likely why we have confusion around many subjects.


    Online consumers are driving changes in off-line purchase behavior

    March 24, 2008

    “…The sluggish economy is punctuating a cultural shift enabled by wired consumers accustomed to comparing prices and bargaining online, said Nancy F. Koehn, a retail historian at the Harvard Business School… Call it the eBay phenomenon…

    This quote is from an excellent article in the 3/23/08 New York Times. The author, Matt Richtell, sites quotes from spokes people and shoppers of stores including Home Depot, Ralph Lauren, Best Buy, and Circuit City. As well as analysts from Wachovia and Pacific Crest Securities.

    Highlighted is the point that this is revolutionary as consumers shifted away from haggling as a method of conducting purchases back in the 1850’s. 

    This is a great example of the consumer empowerment theme of this blog. In the “About” section I described it further… driven by the adoption of technology and acquisition of the “perfect knowledge” typically held by the brand marketer, consumers have turned the hand of marketing teams for leading retailers. The NYT author described it as “…Savvy consumers, empowered by the Internet and encouraged by a slowing economy…”

    It’s interesting to read examples of how consumers executed two key strategies:

    1. Online research -> developing a target product selection and then research prices. These prices were then used as ammo to drive sales people on the retail floor to lower their prices.
    2. Play “good cop / bad cop” with sales people.

    In the end, consumers and their changing habits have changed the course for their relationship with selected brands. In this case, lowering prices.

    Love to hear your thoughts –

    Mark


    Personalization versus Targeting

    March 10, 2008

    website personalization, dynamic targeting

    I’ve read articles and blog replies where others try to distinguish between the terms personalization and targeting, referring to personalization as one-to-one and targeting as one-to-many. As a person who has actually created terms and pioneered strategy in this marketplace, I see the two as more or less synonymous with far fewer distinguishing dimensions than others see.

    While trying to create a communications strategy for Kefta’s multi-channel personalization solutions, we determined early on that we wanted to distance ourselves from the failed software based personalization solutions of the late ’90s. They were an expensive, IT driven failure. The key failure was that they were too “heavy” a solution to ever get off of the ground. From a marketing strategy perspective, they were a failure because they relied upon users to self express differences before they could start targeting content, and they simply served a different message, as if that was supposed to be better than the original message.

    Targeting became a term that was descriptive yet avoided a reference to the prior perceived failures of what was called personalization in the late ’90s. Using this learning as a guidepost, we landed on “dynamic targeting”. Prior to our use of this term, little was used with reference to targeting and no one in the online marketing space had ever used the combined term “dynamic targeting”.

    Today, few people use the term personalization as a description of a type of technology. It’s more frequently used as describing a type of experience, leveraging the term personal. Beyond that, personalization has been a dead term and trying to describe it beyond it’s prior history is futile.

    Love to hear your thoughts –

     Mark


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