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!



1 to 1… holy grail or Monty Python?

February 20, 2008

One of the key values in building a powerful brand is that it conveys a message that lifts a marketers offering above the competition to provide sales inertia, acceptance and resulting revenue. Implied in this statement is the point that there are shared values, ones that people can pass along to others. A good example is the prestige that a beautiful luxury car connotes to others. The car is psychologically an extension of the buyers persona, and others who see this person in the car connote certain similar thoughts and feelings to the owner and reinforces their desire to be an owner of a similar car.

So, if one of the great powers associated with a great brand is the ability to communicate particular feelings and thoughts about consumers to future prospects, how can this be accomplished in a world where everyone receives a different message? If the brand attributes, communications, are tailored at an individual level, how can one effectively transfer the message to others?

The answer is that 1 to 1 is more suitable as a tactic within a broader consumer strategy and not a strategy in and of itself. That is, having the ability to communicate 100% customized messages to each and every customer and prospect doesn’t mean that doing so is actually better. Extending the example of the car, above, consider a prospective buyer who first expresses interest in the car by going to a dealership to test drive the car. This person has obviously bought into the brand message. In this situation, should the sales person construct a tailored follow up to the prospect, sending a personal letter or email that details their conversation and then follow up with a personal phone call? Of course!

A message that is attractive to the target audience allows others to be persuaded by the brand message; however, a 100% targeted message would be beneficial in certain instances where a marketer is trying to leverage the self expressions of a prospect who has already identified themselves as an adopter of the brand message.1 to 1 marketing, multi-channel marketing

Even if you disagree with my premise, you have to love this… the original script for the 1975 blockbuster, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.


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