Friday, 10 April 2015

Taming the ever moving marketing target

There was an interesting question rather a challenge that I came across recently, well I guess it has been a challenge for a long time, however, this was the first time I heard the challenge articulated so well. The challenge was “How will you programmatically improve marketing while continuously capturing and learning from the iterations”. Well in a way how to focus and again refocus as a team on an ever moving target.
Well the task of customer engagement is an interesting conundrum, because everything is dynamic about it. The customers are growing in their lives from being a student to a bread winner, from living in a downtown apartment to moving out to the suburbs, driving a motorbike to a sedan. They are moving to different cities, states or perhaps even countries. Their consumption of media is changing faster than we realize. My dad read the same newspaper his entire adult life; I switched from watching news on the television to the internet and now the mobile device; And how my kinds perceive and consume media is completely different.
Then again our brands are constantly evolving as well, IBM went from being calculators & mainframe computers to software & consulting services, Apple from a computer to a mobile device, while some are not so drastically as the Xerox, IBM and the Apples' of the world, but nevertheless evolving to a greater or lesser degree because of market conditions, social pressure, acquisitions, mergers, or perhaps even plain boredom.
I don’t think I need to talk separately about technology which is evolving atleast on a daily basis if not quicker. Well I guess I have driven home the message that our target of customer engagement is ever changing.
Now, if you focus internally, everyone realizes that the resources who work on the brand and marketing teams are also changing constantly. I will not even go into the topic of the multiple restructures/ realignment each organization/ team goes through. Then how do we keep the marketing campaigns and brand positioning relevant in the minds of the customer.
The topic of continuous iteration and customer engagement improvement could be handled in two important ways. Firstly enable technology to record the finer interactions and iterations that they do with the customer communication captured at a detailed iteration level as well as at a high level learning from a bunch of tactical campaigns/ marketing initiatives. There are knowledge management tools and ticketing tools when leveraged by the marketing teams with right training and governance could facilitate efficient record keeping. Secondly develop process and the discipline of recording these  abstract findings and quips that the teams learn through the multitude interactions with the customer engagement improvement exercise which could be by the way of campaigns, AB/ MVT tests, customer experience management tools, data analytics report findings, qualitative research findings.
Enterprises could derive immense value by just following the above two in keeping the continuity in our learning about our customers and brands. The next level would be to mine this knowledge base using indexing/ scoring mechanisms to develop algorithms based on text mining to pull right tip/ campaign learning before launching a new one or even have predictive capabilities that alerts when a campaign needs to launched or applications that use the database to spit out possible media mix models or campaign ideas. Well all this may sound futuristic and daunting, but everything starts small before it gains momentum. The time is right to plant this seed.