Having the right perspective matters in marketing. In particular, having the big picture view in mind while focusing on issues at hand or dealing with specific parts of the marketing function allows us to quickly prioritize tasks or even whole projects. I am sure we would all agree that marketing has become a complex business but applying an integrated marketing framework around marketing can help simplify the process and coordinate all the pieces you'll see in the chart below. With that in mind, I propose that we take a big picture look at how an integrated marketing management approach is the best approach for getting the most out of Customer Intelligence solutions.
Consider the scenario when someone says to you – “Man, have you seen Company X’s new commercial? Their marketing has really taken a huge leap!” – what comes to your mind? Has a clever advertising agency come up with a slick message (something Mad Men-esque)? Can I picture myself drinking the latest coffee creation and using the latest technology gadget from Apple? No matter what the image is that comes to mind when someone speaks of "marketing," marketing messages are crafted to capture mind share with a desired outcome.
At first, we had some ideas of what integrated marketing management should look like but we didn’t quite know if we could visualize it appropriately. Well, after many revisions and many inputs from folks both inside and outside of SAS – we have created the following visual to uncomplicate a complicated subject, which will be explained piece by piece.
Vendors in our space all use slightly different terminology when describing what they “do” or “focus on” – and SAS does as well. As I have discussed in previous posts – the terms we use fit nicely (in my mind at least) into a hierarchy. Customer Intelligence, Customer Analytics, Integrated Marketing Management, and Marketing Analytics all have their respective places in an organization’s ecosystem.
The above is a depiction of how SAS views the Integrated Marketing Management (IMM) process and the capabilities that we provide with regard to IMM. Let’s quickly define the terms at the top of this visual before we get into the visual itself.
Customer Intelligence is any information or intelligence you have about your end customers. This information can be collected by and reside in varying business units/departments across the organization (sales, support, service, marketing, etc.).
Integrated Marketing Management, a subset of Customer Intelligence, is the application of Customer Intelligence methodologies by the marketing department of an organization. Application of the IMM framework helps organizations better execute the “closed loop marketing” process – which we will define.
This IMM framework contains four categories:
- Strategy and Planning
- Information and Analytics
- Orchestration and Interaction
- Customer Experience
We will discuss each one of these four categories in detail in subsequent posts, but today I want to first speak to the visual as a whole.
First, you will notice the visual is circular. This represents the “closed loop marketing” process. Simply stated, closed loop marketing uses customer actions and feedback to refine future marketing messages and customer interactions. SAS believes that organizations should continually refine dialogue with their customers in order to drive loyalty, retention, customer migration, and overall long term profitable growth.
You will see no product names. SAS believes that capabilities solve business issues and product names can only serve to complicate. As we move into the category capabilities and descriptions in more detail, we can certainly outline individual products if needed.
The shape of the gray sections that house the capabilities for strategy & planning, orchestration & interaction, and customer experience. These allude to the movement between categories. The process, although definitely not linear, typically starts with strategy and planning. Strategy and planning is exactly as named, and allows for enterprise marketing initiatives to be created prior to execution. From there, we move to the orchestration and interaction category – where marketing programs are executed. Customer experience comes next, where the results of marketing executions are measured and pushed back into not only strategy and planning to refine planning initiatives, but also into the information and analytics environments to detail customer contact history even more.
Next, you will see that the customer is at the center of the visual. Customer centricity is imperative when undertaking IMM initiatives. We would all agree that a marketing message must be three things to be exceptional – it must be anticipated, relevant, and personal. It has to be all three of these things – not just one or two of them. But how do you foster effective, healthy, and positive customer engagement through the delivery of an anticipated, relevant, and personal message? You do this by ensuring that your message is underpinned by three components:
- Synchronization – Can your organization synchronize the messages that it delivers across channels, over time – in order to ensure a lapse in dialogue doesn’t occur? SAS can help with that.
- Real-Time – Can your organization respond immediately, in real time, to an inquiry or concern that your end customer may have? SAS can help with that.
- Optimization – Can your organization optimize the messages that are delivered to your customers – so that common problems like over contact or customer saturation don’t occur? (Think credit card direct mail messages or retail email messages!)
Next, you see a blue bidirectional arrow connecting the customer to the orchestration and interaction section of the visual. While all components of the IMM process are critical to marketing technology success – this arrow depicts that customer engagement occurs through the orchestration and interaction category of IMM, which we will talk about in more detail in a following post. SAS can help organizations interact with their end customers via numerous marketing channels, which are displayed in the orchestration and interaction section of the visual.
Finally, the blue “ocean” of information and analytics. The three categories mentioned above seem to be floating on top of information and analytics. In essence, they are. SAS believes that having a sound information and analytics environment is essential to executing successful marketing programs. While this section could absolutely have its own subsequent post – we feel that a strong foundation of information and analytics is essential for any software solution – not just Customer Intelligence solutions. This layer is essential to all of the IMM categories in grey in this visual. The capabilities represented within information and analytics – segmentation, modelling, forecasting, data quality, social network analysis, and calculating customer lifetime value – are just a few of the capabilities that a solid information and analytics environment will incorporate. The other three categories in the visual rely on this stable, foundational environment in order for the solutions in these categories to operate effectively and efficiently. If this information and analytics environment is not managed, cleaned, and tested properly – than the results of the marketing programs that are executed on top of this environment will be substandard. There is a saying – “garbage in, garbage out” – that sums it up nicely. Any marketing operations, campaign management, or social media solution that is underpinned by information and analytics of poor quality – will not produce valuable insight that will drive profitable revenue growth – it’s as simple as that.
Shew! And that’s just the start! Please stay with us as following posts will dive into the three categories of strategy and planning, orchestration and interaction, and customer experience in more detail! As always, thank you for following!