#CustomerCentricity – is your customer view 360 degrees, or 208, or 151?

November 7, 2012

Quick thought… how frequently do you hear people talk about a 360 degree view of the customer? How frequently are the same people referring to a core marketing database that is exclusively offline OR online in its capabilities? This is a clear indicator of the actual range of their customer centricity.

Historically, the marketing database held insight about customers and prospects and aggregated information from many offline channels… telemarketing, POS, customer service, direct mail, and others. 15 years ago, that was pretty close to a 360 degree view. However, since the advent of digital communications channels, more and more insight has been outside the view of these assets… rendering them less valuable and perceptually obsolete. Today, with about 42% of media impressions being in digital channels, this historical vision has now shrunk to about a 208 degree view, and, promises to continue shrinking.

Contrasting this, all too often I see industry luminaries extole the benefits of a 360 degree view of the customer and refer to a solely digital solution… Yeah, that’s actually only a 151 degree view. Even a less accurate view of the customer, and typically with far more remdial concepts of marketing data and predictive analytics.

What does this all mean? Customer centricity will be illusive until online and offline marketers start sharing data and tools… communicating towards the same objectives. The traditional direct marketing folks have assets that digital marketers would be floored if they understood; Predictive analytics, record matching, cross channel campaign tools and more. However, the people who manage them frequently do not see the path to actioning these assets in the new world. Meanwhile, digital marketers are trying to build things that already exist and their vision is limited in scope, never actually seeing the 360 degree view of the customer.


Survey – Is Facebook the next Apple or the next MySpace?

August 13, 2012

In a blog entry last March, Is Social Media a Consumer Haven or Marketing Channel?, I discussed the disconnect in value exchange between social properties and their consumers. I went so far as to identify the pressure Facebook will feel when they become subject to quarterly earnings expectations after their IPO, and hypothesized the situation where they will increase the exposure of personal information to encourage marketers to spend with them. Well… the game is getting started…

Today, Digiday featured the article “Brand View: Facebook’s New Targeting Options” and identified new elements of consumer data that will be available for marketers to leverage. I’m a firm believer in data driven marketing, this blog entry is not a comment about that. Rather, I point back to my initial conjecture that Facebook will do this and emphasize that this action will end up making no sense to consumers. Opposed to content rich sites like Yahoo or Microsoft properties, Facebook has no content, consumers create all of it but don’t yet recognize that it is their content and their profile are being monetized.

Mark my words… within three years, we’ll either see a Facebook with a dramatically new approach to monetizing their platform or a dramatically smaller company. Maybe both.


Do you have a #digitalmarketing #strategy” or a marketing strategy for the digital world?

July 20, 2012

I’ll admit it… I’m in my 15th year of digital marketing, wrapped inside a 28 year career of marketing. While this can make me sound like an old fart, I realized quite a while ago that I no longer think in digital terms… I apply digital concepts, tactics and measurement to marketing strategy.

More than parsing words too closely, this goes to the core of all multichannel marketing and consumer centric strategies. Thinking in terms of channel based strategies, a.k.a. digital marketing strategies, is antithetical to success. Your target audience IS your target audience, regardless of where they come upon you.

Consider the rage of discussion around data management platforms, real time bidding and web recommendation tools. Across the board, all value the input of digital signals to try to deliver better or more efficient digital media. Is this the right answer? Last time I researched the area of media consumption, I found that consumers amass about 42% of their media impressions through digital channels.

If you still believe in the “digital marketing strategy”, today’s best practice, consider that you’re looking at less than half of your cutsomer engagement to deliver less than half of their impression of your brand. How does that align to the other 58% of media impressions? How do you control consistency between those impressions?

Hope you get the point. Start thinking about your marketing strategy, and how digital signals and media can help achieve your objectives. The world is turning increasingly digital, but until you make this shift, or until 100% of your audiences impressions are digital we’ll never see an alignment between the digital marketing strategy and overall marketing stratetgy… we’ll never see true consumer centric marketing or true customer engagement.


#QuoteOfTheDay – “Don’t confuse confidence with competence or education with experience”

June 11, 2012

A departure today… this is actually a quote I came up with many years ago. I bring it up because I just read a quote from Steve Jobs and thought it similar…

“A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem.”  

He is speaking to the second half of what I point to in my quote, and does an excellent job of describing the impact of a lack of experience… too few dots to connect, end up with very linear solutions. Frankly, I don’t really see myself as an intellect but secretly hope that people reflect on my interactions with them as being smart. Connecting dots, innovating outside of the normal bounds.

I’ve always found competent people with a wealth of experience to be a breath of fresh air. Recently, I had the great fortune of meeting a person who epitomizes this, oddly enough he also has a PhD from MIT… proving a limited number of great people also have confidence and education:-)


Practice what you preach in your #advertising? Google puts money on offline ad investments:-)

March 27, 2012

I get it, it makes total sense. To expand their market they need to find people who aren’t currently / frequently using their services… to capture competitive share they need to go where their competitive set hunts. But you have to agree that this is optically weird. At least heavy up on some display ads off of your core site, or mobile ads. Here’s the article, WSJ… http://on.wsj.com/HbF3t5… Google’s spending on traditional advertising grows four-fold to $213M.


Enterprise – has the word lost its’ meaning?

March 12, 2012

Yester-year I worked to connect large direct response retailers to their first ecommerce experience – integrating commerce and content systems into “enterprise resource planning” systems (ERP). While we hear less about ERP systems these days, the point of those solutions was that it really did connect all aspects of the business… finance, inventory, customer service, billing, and more.

Today, we use the word enterprise to describe something that we either want a VC to perk up and hear, or something that involves merging a few disparate things. I read a MediaPost article today, “Enterprise DMP Will Require Companies to Merge Data Silos“, and was reminded of this point.

While I thoroughly agree with the authors premise that data silos  are on their way out, I disagree that having a larger silo is substantively better. Or, that it represents the “enterprise”. Combining more digital data for the purpose of sending more, or even better, digital messages is a great ideal but is not the right answer. Two points to consider…

  1. To rightfully use the term, enterprise, it should at least cover a majority of the average media spend, if not all of it. Combining all digital channels, the best we can see in this digital coverage is about a 25% of ad spend and 40% of the consumption of media.
  2. Consumers exhibit multichannel behavior, 70% research and purchase in different channels, online versus offline. Being better at just the online part of this equation match well with consumer expectations or marketer needs.

#Digital #Attribution is a misnomer

March 9, 2012

The concept of “last click” is as flawed as attributing the purchase of an adult beverage to the neon sign hanging outside the liquor store. The concept of “Digital attribution” simply tries to count the number of beer signs the person saw. What about TV, bill boards, demographics and socioeconomic factors?

While reading a Digiday article this morning, “The Last-Click Attribution Dilemma“, two arguments presented by the author struck me as worthy of comment…

  1. Authors point – Brand marketers are staying out of display ads because of the inherent inability to properly attribute spend to results. Really?!? Is TV a good example of being able to attribute spend to results? Of course not. Yet, this has been the haven for brand dollars for generations. I suggest that while attribution is AN argument to this issue, the main argument is that display ad technologies target consumers very poorly and that those targeting capabilities have little to do with the knowledge and needs of brand marketers. Comscore identified that 80% of targeted ads fail to reach their intended audience. Pause for a second… yes, 80% failure. Why? They all rely upon poor proxies of the real, underlying predictive insight required… bad and incomplete data. 3rd party cookies, context and behavior are not sufficient. Individually or collectively.
  2. Authors point – focus on expanding perspective of digital touch points to do attribution properly. Three research points come to me: 1) about 40% of ad impressions occur in digital channels; 2) Forrester estimates that 70% of consumers exhibit multichannel behavior – researching in one channel and purchasing in another; 3) multichannel customers contribute 4-5 times the revenue per customer than single channel customers. Doing a perfect job at assembling all digital touch points will never be enough. I suggest it’s a false objective. It misses the perspective of consumer behavior, information necessary to support executive media mix decisions and simply creates focus on the minority of ad spend.

All of this makes me thirsty… Sierra Nevada’s my favorite beer!


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