If it ain’t broke, you’d better still fix it

There’s no question that consumers are choosing the marketing channel to engage with that works for them—and that they are using many ways to gather information or make a purchase.  Someone in the market for a new flat screen TV may research on the web, visit a store and make a purchase, or return home and buy on-line.   An Eileen Fisher brand loyalist might receive a mailing from Eileen Fisher, spot items in a Neiman Marcus catalog, order on-line in multiple sizes just to make sure of the right fit—or she might go the nearest location where Eileen  Fisher is sold, which might be Nordstrom where she has a proprietary card and is rewarded for shopping.

The customer’s world is truly cross-channel—but marketers, sadly, are often only “multi-channel” leaving significant marketing return on the table.

But what about marketing organizations? Most organizations today are still siloed by channel, and success is measured by how well a “channel” performs.  Budgets are often allocated by organizational bias or historical spend patterns.  A holistic view of how the customer behaves across an organization and a robust understanding of consumer attitudes and preferences is often missing.  The customer ‘s world in truly cross-channel—but marketers, sadly, are often only “multi-channel” leaving significant marketing return on the table.

So it’s time to break open the silos.  And it’s a CMO’s (or the CEO’s) job—it can’t be done by anyone else.
First: align measures of performance, bonuses etc.  for all channels  around customer measures—lifetime value, customer satisfaction, engagement measures
Second: make sure you have a customer intelligence platform that supports integrated planning and execution—and reporting.
Third: include product and service development, customer service –anyone who touches the customer – in strategy and planning.

Not easy, but definitely necessary. It’s far better to break down the silos now and start reaping the benefits of integrated data driven marketing, than to watch your marketing performance erode slowly over time.

Questions / Comments contact me
Email: nancy.shaver@experian.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/nancystrat
Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/nancy-shaver/0/177/7bb

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