#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.

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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.


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


Life, liberty and our belief in advertising

June 26, 2010

Headline – advertisements regarding restaurants, soft drinks, apparel or electronics are about 5 times more believable to consumers than political advertisements. Hmmm, watch out for the November mid-term elections!

There certainly appears to be a breach in consumer trust. Honestly, shouldn’t our political leaders be held to a higher standard than a can of soda? Really. Not that the can of soda is reputable, but we deserve the right to believe in our government. While shelf space is important to Coca Cola and Pepsi, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness “should” rank higher on the scale of believability in the minds of US consumers.

Love to hear your thoughts!

Mark


C to B Marketing

June 24, 2010

Consumer to Business - the new marketing communications modelPondering the thought this morning, I thought it a clever way to describe concepts marketers are struggling with today: consumer empowerment / consumers are in control, the need to listen to the voice of the customer, positioning in a world where consumers do much of the work for you, etc. It delivers the sense that the marketer is not the pinnacle of power they might think themselves to be. Or, maybe once were.

Yeah, yeah, the market has changed. Those changes have impacted the activity of marketers, at least successful ones, and have forever changed the relationship of businesses and their customers. Some call it social media marketing, I think it’s more aptly described as the new reality for brands and their marketers.

Is this the new marketing communications paradigm? The visual of “B2C” being flipped to a mirror vision, as the image to the left, creates a great visual for me… a guiding principle or light to the next generation of marketing.

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


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