Most organizations have adopted a campaign management solution to help them plan, execute, automate and measure their outbound marketing campaigns. A common goal in the usage of a campaign management solution is to support a profitable data-driven marketing campaign strategy across outbound channels to grow revenue, reduce marketing costs with less reliance on IT. However, a growing need is how marketing can leverage the investment in campaign management to optimally manage the customer experience. Meaning, marketing connecting with the customer at the “right time” to ensure an engaging and optimal experience, which increases loyalty, as well as revenue generating opportunities.
For the marketer, this can mean leveraging campaign management, as well as technology, to encourage customer loyalty, grow profitable relationships, but also providing a meaningful and impactful customer experiences across all channels.
The challenge for the marketer is how to best implement a marketing technology strategy that leverages current investments (i.e. campaign management), as well as how to evolve to keep up with customer demands. Depending on the organization, a short-term strategy could be to focus on analytics and data management to compliment campaign management strategies, or it might be time to develop a strategy that incorporates omni-channel marketing, marketing optimization and digital intelligence.
Data and analytics
Before considering how to incorporate interactive channels, digital intelligence or marketing optimization into a marketing strategy, it would be wise to start with a commitment to data management, as well as an assessment of how analytics supports marketing goals.
Meaningful marketing and analytics are not possible without good data. The foundation to any marketing analytics strategy is to consolidate, clean, store and provide access to clean data, which can yield benefits, such as a panoramic view of the customer. Data to consider should include, but not be limited to:
- Transactional data, as one might expect, is information captured during transactions. It includes financial information, as well as when and where the interaction occurred.
- Behavioral data encompasses actions that occur once, such as abandoning a cart, as well as activities observed over time that help you establish patterns of behavior. This includes email response data, social and mobile data, online behavioral data and campaign response history.
- Computed data is created by performing calculations on one or more variables. The resulting factor can be as simple as distance from a retail store or as complex as expected lifetime profit value.
- Integrated online/offline, is the ability to incorporate online, or digital data with offline to provide a panoramic view of a customer. The benefit is to be able to get a full understanding of who a customer is, where they engage, their potential value, etc.
Additionally, beyond being able to access clean data, is the need to commit to agreed-upon data definitions, data dictionary and key metrics, so decisions can be made consistently across an organization. Once data is clean, organized and governed, an organization can then effectively incorporate analytics into a campaign management strategy
Incorporating analytics into a campaign management strategy can help the marketer not only understand customer behavior, but anticipate behavior, which can enhance the customer experience. The benefit of doing so can result in increased response rates, higher marketing ROI and reduced churn, as well as marketing efficiency gains and cost reductions.
Marketing analytic strategies should include segmentation that allows you to identify how customer segments are most likely to respond to marketing tactics and how much to invest in these segments. Effective customer segmentation will allow marketers to better understand target populations and deliver the right message at the right time. Also, predictive modeling should be leveraged to identify which customers are most likely to respond to a particular message or offer, which can increase ROI, marketing effectiveness customer engagement.
The key is to be able to seamlessly incorporate analytics into marketing campaigns, which can be cumbersome and time consuming. Marketing solutions that include “dynamic scoring” or “inline scoring” capabilities will greatly reduce the time and resources required to take action upon insight gained in analytics. Incorporating analytics into marketing tactics will enhance the decisions you make as you execute on your strategies and plans so you can be more effective and achieve better results.
After ensuring a commitment to data management and marketing analytics, the next logical consideration is to incorporate marketing optimization techniques into your marketing strategy. Marketing optimization includes capabilities that help you maximize economic outcomes by making the most of each individual customer communication while considering your company’s resource and budget constraints, contact policies, the likelihood that customers will respond.
With a marketing optimization strategy, marketers can target customers to maximize profitability, click-throughs and response rates, while taking into account customer disposition, stated preferences and analytically-driven propensities, and other business goals and objectives relevant to campaigns and communications. The benefits of incorporating marketing optimization into a marketing strategy include increased marketing ROI, higher response rates, reduced opt-outs, enforced customer contact policies, eliminating competing offers and increased customer engagement.
Key considerations for marketing optimization include incorporating offer-level propensity scores, integration with campaign management to streamline marketing operations, the ability to create “what if” scenarios to determine the optimal optimization scenario and post-optimization analytics. Marketing optimization should not be limited to just outbound campaigns, but with inbound marketing tactics as well.
A campaign management solution should not be marginalized and used as a “list puller”. The key is to create an omni-channel marketing strategy to align outbound and inbound marketing tactics across all channels, inclusive of direct mail, email, mobile, social, web, call center, kiosk, etc., where customers typically engage.
To enable this type of strategy, the marketer must be able to quickly define target segments, assign offers, schedule campaigns and analyze results. Additionally, the marketer must be able to incorporate analytics “inline” with marketing flows to score customers for the next best action when it matters most – when and where they engage. When considering how to expand beyond list pulling and incorporating an omni-channel marketing strategy, your technology should support:
- Event-triggered campaign tactics to ensure timely, relevant marketing strategies
- Integrated email, social and mobile on one platform
- One user-interface for the creation of business rules for inbound and outbound
- Integrated analytics to allow for the next best action to take for each customer
- Effectively measure campaign performance and response attribution across all channels
The benefits of including additional channels into a campaign management strategy include the ability to design and deploy more profitable campaigns across all channels, but also the ability to lower marketing costs by consolidating marketing technologies and eliminating technology and data silos.
A November 2013 Forrester report titled “Digital Intelligence Replaces Web Analytics” helps paint a vision of how technology could be leveraged to best manage the proliferation of channels, devices and big data to enhance the customer experience, beyond the use of traditional web analytics or campaign management tools.
The “empowered” customer expects consistent, timely and relative content across all channels, which presents challenges for the marketer. It is not just the web – this includes social, mobile and meaningful email content. To address these challenges, the marketer needs to consider the following resources and capabilities:
- Eliminate data silos to get a single view of the customer across all channels, which is enabled by the integration of online and offline data.
- The ability to collect, transform and access online data for analytics, targeting and integration with offline customer profiles.
- Integrated marketing analytics in both outbound and inbound tactics.
- Multi-channel decisioning capabilities that must be easy to manage and deploy.
- Marketing optimization to ensure the right content is being targeted to the right customer at the right time.
In addition to moving beyond campaign management, it will important for any marketing department to assess organizational readiness. Questions to ask would be are marketing functions departmentalized? Do you have visibility into marketing performance across all channels and tactics? Do you have the right skillset(s) to support marketing analytics, omni-channel marketing and/or digital intelligence? Do you need a partner to augment your current staff?
Lastly, technology is only a piece of the equation. Put the customer first. Steve Jobs once said “you have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology”. The key is to align your marketing technology and strategy, with that desired customer experience
In summary, building upon your campaign management capabilities will enable you to expedite the purchase path, enhance the customer experience along the way, but also provide insight into what is working best to drive revenue.