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What Will Campaign Management Be Like In 2020? December 30, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Database Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Technology, Online Marketing, Product Marketing, Web Analytics.
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15 comments

I was recently asked what I thought Campaign Management software would be like in 2020. My quick (and somewhat flip) answer is to bemoan the seemingly slow pace at which marketing software has evolved to date. After all, as scary as it may be, 2020 is only 11 years away!

What were you doing 11 years ago? I was working on a project with Eddie Bauer to build a big marketing data warehouse and implement software to explore and mine customer data. Our business objectives? Better understand and drive cross-channel behavior, increase the effectiveness of EB’s catalog marketing efforts, and increase the synergy between the direct (catalog) and  and retail channels. Fast forward to today, I continue to see lots of projects that sound very much like that one.

But, to be fair, the marketing world has also changed dramatically in 11 years. Eleven years ago, eCommerce was new and order volumes were low. Eddie Bauer and most other leading multi-channel retailers, were still printing online orders and entering them by hand into the catalog order system. Marketing (and CRM) technology has also largely evolved in this same time period. We’ve seen the growth and demise of great companies like Exchange Applications, Prime Response, and Epiphany. We’ve seen the development of categories like eCommerce and Web Analytics (Omniture has evolved a lot from its early days as SuperStats.com and MyComputer.com).

So, back to the question at hand. What will Campaign Management be like in 2020? I preface my comments with the above to explain why I apply a measure of realism to my fantasies around how dramatically Campaign Management will change in the next 11 years. The technology will change at the rate at which marketing organizations can absorb it. And, the biggest barrier to technology absorption — at least in my experience — is the maturity of the marketing organization and its processes. IT can be another key barrier — a barrier which can be reduced to an extent by on demand solutions. The other bright side of on demand — as I wrote about more than two years ago on Forrester’s Marketing Blog – is that the development innovation cycle can be dramatically decreased.

With the above as preface, my thoughts (appropriately influenced by my current and former colleagues — some of the brightest minds in the marketing technology sector) on Campaign Management in 2020…

What is Campaign Management Anyway?

One key thing that the industry (vendors, analysts, et al) needs to consider is that what we think of as Campaign Management today is not campaign management at all from the marketer perspective. Specifically, the industry largely defines Campaign Management as technology to support outbound direct marketing campaigns. It’s time to take a broader view. To start, we must incorporate the management of marketing communications through inbound marketing channels into the definition. But beyond that, if you really think about how marketers define “campaigns” ( i.e., inclusive of a much broader set of campaign types ranging across direct, online, and traditional mass media), then the definition of Campaign Management needs to expand to enable marketing to manage, automate, and measure any type of marketing campaign. Interestingly, this makes what the industry defines today as Marketing Resource Management (MRM) or Marketing Operations Management (MOM) really Campaign Management (I have  never been that keen on terms anyway;-)… It also means that what we know of today as Campaign Management really becomes Centralized Customer Decisioning, Customer Decision Management, or Customer Message Management (none of those are great and I’d love to hear more suggestions, but you get the idea).

Immediate Evolution of Campaign Management

In the immediate term, we absolutely need to see campaign management solutions expanding to provide two key things:

  1. Integrated support for inbound and outbound marketing. Simply put, Campaign Management solutions can no longer just support outbound marketing. Response rates to outbound marketing activities are continuing to decline and inbound channels (online and offline) offer a tremendous opportunity to interact with an engaged customer. While some CM solutions today have inbound capabilities, the fact that these capabilities are not integrated with the outbound capabilities presents another significant challenge to marketers. The vast majority of companies identify “improving customer experience” as a key corporate priority. The idea of centralized decisioning — which integrates inbound and outbound messaging driven by rich interaction history — is core to helping firms carry interactions seamlessly beyond a single channel.
  2. Integrated support for online and offline. Most of us recognize that companies can no longer treat the Internet as “new media” or a standalone skunk works marketing function separate from the rest of the marketing organization. Interestingly, the kinds of things that onlinemarketing groups are trying to do today requires many of the core capabilities that most Campaign Management applications possess. But Campaign Management also needs to evolve to deal much more effectively with visitor anonymity, online behavioral data, and web channels. Beyond that, it must also better support marketing’s need to integrate across online channels themselves (yes, current technologies do a poor job of helping marketers integrate their online efforts much less online and offline!) as well as offline or traditional channels. 

What Will Happen to Campaign Management Next

When we think beyond the more immediate future, there are some important mid-term priorities:

  • Campaign Management must improve and consolidate response attribution. Campaign Management solutions across the board do a mediocre job of capturing and attributing responses. And, this ability needs to extend beyond the attribution to direct marketing offers, but also merge that with touch points such as: an organic search click through, a TV commercial that is running in the area of the customer with a reach of x% of that area’s population, even a banner or video insert ad view on the Internet at the extreme. The other major piece is the ability to evaluate a series of responses to marketing messages to understand the role that each message or the combination of messages has in getting to the final outcome.
  • Campaign Management must evolve to support new channels. We are finally starting to see interest in mobile channels really heat up (in the US, not just EMEA and APAC). So far execution (i.e., real action) is still primarily focused on SMS/MMS but the exciting shift will be as more consumers adopt advanced mobile devices and further leverage mobile browsers, GPS, etc. Socialchannels are another good example, Campaign Management needs to figure out how to integrate with and support messaging through social networks and communities. Some of this is possible today but the capabilities need to be fleshed out in much more detail.
  • Open EMM will emerge. Feeding off of the need to support new channels, Campaign Management vendors must recognize and accept that  innovation is happening the fastest within the channels and media itself. We’ll see technology like HTML, Flash, SVG, TV, eInk/flexible displays, etc. changing so significantly that our notions of landing pages and website offers, web calls to action, and product placement must change along with it. Marketing software has to be brilliant at decisioning, optimization, and integration as well as pulling all marketing activities together to support cohesive planning, management, and measurement, but the software should never hold back the media and channel innovators from pushing the envelope. So, Campaign Management (call it Enterprise Marketing Management if you like) must provide a system of record and flexible application framework into which channel applications can effectively “plug in.” There will never be a single application that does everything for marketing soup to nuts (and marketing groups will never accept one), the key is for the core software platform to provide the organizing framework, the message decisioning infrastructure, and the measurement capability.
  • SaaS CM will rise and then move into the cloud. Over the next five years the lion’s share of marketing technology innovation will be in software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. As the definition of Campaign Management expands (as noted above) and extends from core direct marketing groups into online groups and into new vertical markets, appetite for easy-to-implement, easy-to-use, lower TCO solutions will escalate. As I also noted previously, a nice by-product of SaaS will be more rapid innovation in the marketing technology sector. But, few highly successful software companies manage their own hosting operations — applications are designed for mega hosting infrastructures (e.g., Microsoft, IBM, Google, Amazon) that have a-million-plus-nodes hosting infrastructure. Smart software companies will design and optimize their apps to leverage virtual servers and storage offered by emerging cloud computing infrastructures.

Beyond these ideas we can dream of technology that supports fully automated marketing processes and black box decisioning, tools that simplify marketing complexity and support collaborative, viral, and community marketing (I don’t know about you, but the ads on Facebook are already starting to get to me!)… We can further imagine that marketing and buyers have a mutual love:love relationship and that marketing has ceased its shouting and focuses purely in a service-oriented role. We’ll continue to work towards that and I’ll continue to preach to it, but if you want me to put my money on the table, I’m telling you that this kind of nirvana is more than 11 years away.

Happy New Year everyone!  I’d love to hear what you are thinking along these lines.

See my interview on InsideCRM December 9, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Database Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Technology.
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2 comments

I’ve gotten some comments and emails from blog readers recently asking me where I’ve been and why I haven’t posted lately. SORRY! The new job at Unica has been very, very busy – somewhat all consuming really. I have been traveling a ton recently and spending a lot of time with customers and prospects. I will pull myself together and share some more detailed thoughts soon.  

In the mean time, here are a couple of links to recent publications and events:

I’ll be back again soon.

Notes From The Gartner CRM Summit September 14, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Customer Experience, Marketing.
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Last week, I attended my first-ever Gartner event – the Gartner CRM Summit. After five years as a Forrester analyst, it was nice to get exposure to how the other half lives. According to Gartner over 600 attendees representing 25 countries attended the event held at the National Harbor Resort (a surreal manufactured enclave just outside of DC). I don’t know how other attendees felt but, I have to say, the venue was a bit reminiscent of that Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show

My favorite Gartner speaker was Ed Thompson who presented the opening keynote entitled “Improving the Customer Experience.” Ed warned the audience that he would speak quickly and accelerate as he went on and, that, he did.

Ed’s opening one-liner: “Why should you care about customer experience? The boss says you have to…” That certainly jives with my experience that “customer experience” is a top initiative in most companies these days. But, as Ed aptly pointed out, few companies have a clear and consistent definition for what they mean by “customer experience” (CXP). Often, depending upon which group you talk to within an organization, you get several different definitions. Different groups also measure customer experience in different ways. For instance, customer service groups might measure customer satisfaction, while marketing measures retention, and engineering measures quality. All that’s ok – in fact it’s a good thing. The key point? Before embarking on a CXP initiative bring all of the diverse people together clearly define your objectives, the tactics for achieving those objectives, and how you will measure success.

In fact, Ed says “lots of companies give up before they see the improvement.” Many companies have applied the model developed by Professor Noriaki Kano to CXP projects.

Ed’s pointers:

  • Get the basics right.
  • Focus on moving above average before, during, and after the experience. Plan to move some investment to setting customer expectations, getting more customer feedback, and reacting to the feedback.
  • Stay on top and avoid the middle ground by excelling in one of three dimensions: 
    1. Product leadership (e.g., Apple)
    2. Customer intimacy (e.g., USAA)
    3. Operational efficiency (e.g., Southwest Airlines)

To the investment point above, I was disappointed, although not terribly surprised, to hear the results of a Gartner study revealing that while 95% of firms survey customers to get feedback, a paltry 10% do anything with that feedback.

Ed also talked about the large numbers of companies creating executive level positions focused on customer experience (e.g., VP of Customer Experience). Unlike some industry pundits who espouse Customer Experience Officer C-level positions, I was happy (because it aligns with my own view) to hear Ed indicate that, in his experience, he typically sees this position reporting to the CMO. Is the CXP executive a fad role? “No,” says Ed, “if European companies are adopting it, it couldn’t just be a fad started in California” (this elicited another chuckle from me).

Finally, I was happy to hear Ed fire a few bullets at NetPromoter (NPS) saying (as I have also said) that the metric isn’t a silver bullet, that more than one question is necessary, and NPS doesn’t help companies with causal analysis. He further indicated that NPS is useful in some industries some of the time, but not in all channels, and isn’t a great metric across all company types (e.g., B2B firms). The best use of NPV? Give to your board of directors, but don’t stop analyzing and measuring lots of other things.

Meet At The Gartner CRM Summit? September 6, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Marketing, Marketing Technology.
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I’m off tomorrow (Sunday, 9/7) to DC and the Gartner CRM Summit. I’m excited to attend my first Gartner event — understandably, I’ve been a Forrester bigot until now… — and to see how the other half lives. If you are planning to attend and want to connect, drop me a note and we can arrange to meet up. Also, please plan to drop by the Unica booth. I’ll probably be hanging close by during booth hours. Hope to see you there!

Goin’ corporate again… June 4, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Marketing, Marketing Technology.
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Well folks, wanted to let everyone know that I’m going back to work for “the man” and his name is Yuchun Lee. As of Monday, I am officially on staff at Unica where I will lead product marketing and strategy (link to press release). I’m really excited about this move. When I left Forrester, I told my friends and colleagues that I was tired of just talking about technology enabled marketing. I said that I wanted to put my ideas into action and go and build something. Who better to do it with than the leading company in the sector? 

I will continue blogging and, although I will no longer be a true independent, I will continue to keep my blog going in the same vein and not use it as place for shameless promotion of my company. It’s also my hope to tap some of the smart minds at Unica and get them into the blogosphere as well.

In fact, check out my colleague Akin Arikan publishes an excellent blog: Multichannel Metrics. Akin also just published a book, Multichannel Marketing (which I reviewed before I knew I was going to Unica). The book includes a lot of great examples and tactical advice. It also does a great job introducing marketers from different disciplines (e.g., direct marketing and web analytics) to one another and making the case for why deeper collaboration can yield multiplicative results. For another reviewer’s opinion on the book, see Jim Novo’s comments on his blog.

Customer Service Is A Crucial Marketing Channel May 20, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Customer Experience, Database Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Marketing.
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I realize that the title of this post already has some customer service gurus cringing. No, my point is not to turn service interactions into one-way communication streams in which the customer’s needs are minimized while CSRs focus on pushy “retention,” cross-sell, or upsell efforts… And, if you are familiar with any of my prior writings then you know that I hold marketing responsible for customer experience. With that quick frame of reference, inbound service interactions are ideal for marketing because the customer:

  • Is engaged, by choice.
  • Actively provides information that points to problems or needs.
  • May have a need now that, if missed, becomes a lost opportunity.

But, strategies to leverage customer service as a marketing channel will fail if we approach customer interactions with the traditional marketing mindset – let’s tell customers what we want him to hear. Many of us have been talking about this for years, but the time has come. Firms must shift communications strategies away from one-size fits all push marketing – to one that is responsive to individual customer behaviors. To make the shift successfully, marketing organizations must get beyond the old style campaign construct. The very term “campaign” conjures up the image of a bullhorn – marketers shouting out what they want their audience to hear. With the control and choice that consumers have today, marketing must be more flexible — more agile. Marketing and service organizations must align their strategies and:

  • Recognize that every service interaction has potential brand impact. Many customer service centers are measured purely by cost metrics and that result in processes that are internally focused, not customer-focused. Most consumers can recount nightmarish customer service experiences and, today, many are well publicized by jaded customers through vehicles like YouTube. I’m not purporting that cost metrics aren’t important. But, the cost of losing a customer due to a terrible service interaction or the word of mouth associated with broad exposure by disgruntled customers through today’s social channels must also be taken into consideration. And, yes, it is hard to account for all of these costs in an financial spreadsheet. At a minimum, firms can start by mapping and understanding processes from the outside in – that is the customer point of view – as well as the inside out.
  • Consider each interaction as an opportunity to establish an emotional connection. Years ago we talked about “delighting” the customer… The term always struck me as corny and I’ve noticed that I, as a consumer, am so jaded by my past customer service experiences that I am pleasantly surprised when I get a friendly voice on the other end of the phone that sounds genuinely eager to help me out or empathizes with me if I am upset. Again, it starts with the little things — like being human.
  • Only possibly, seek extend the financial relationship. As I’ve already indicated, customer service interactions present an opportunity in which customers will willingly provide information in exchange for value. This exchange may yield an opportunity but, it requires active listening and capturing information in real time relative to customer’s issues and needs. Using the interaction to push the product du jour — while it may work occasionally — is more likely to be rejected, potentially annoy your customer, and increase your call time.

As I write this, I admit that I have concerns that what I write will be misconstrued or misused. I’ve been talking in public forums about the intersection between marketing and service since 2002. Unfortunately, while companies in many industries have taken steps to turn their customer service centers into revenue generators, I believe that most have done so to the detriment of the customer experience. That is, they view inbound service interactions only from the perspective of the potential financial benefit that could result from selling something new, extending a contract, etc. These companies are still operating in one-way mode and failing to recognize that they have an opportunity to establish a dialog with their customer.

Technology’s Role In Differentiating Customer Experiences April 29, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Customer Experience, Database Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Technology, Online Marketing.
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Marketing organizations are contributing to customer experience initiatives by working to deliver more relevant content in both outbound and inbound channels. While technology is certainly no silver bullet, marketing organizations are turning to technology to help them:

  • Automate. As marketing organizations seek to deliver more relevant and individualized customer experiences they begin to change their marketing communications mix away from a pure outbound push model to incorporate messaging tactics driven by customer behaviors and actions. In addition to being very responsive to the customer, these tactics are ideal because they can be automated. Today’s campaign management solutions are maturing beyond support for the traditional push campaigns to facilitate campaign automation through functions like real-time data integration and event detection, multi-stage campaign process flows, and business-rule-driven automation.
  • Collaborate. Relevance is not just about the message. Relevance requires an equal focus on time and place. And, when considered from the customer’s perspective, relevance is inherently multichannel and integrated. As marketing organizations work to increase their relevance, become more customer-focused, and create differentiated customer experiences, they will need to collaborate more – a lot more – with other marketing teams and with other functional areas of the company (like customer service). Marketing resource management technology can help facilitate collaboration by providing a consolidated marketing calendar, establishing common work areas for virtual teams, and facilitating processes, as interdisciplinary teams work to design, build, and launch integrated programs.
  • Integrate. Integration is a fundamental requirement of relevant marketing. Whether it is integrating disparate data from various systems across the enterprise or integrating teams to streamline marketing processes, technology is required. Moreover, marketing application suites that are themselves integrated and support the entire marketing process – from planning through design, execution, and measurement – can dramatically simplify the complexity that marketers face as they work to become more relevant and customer-focused.

Marketing Organizations Must Increase Their Technology IQ

Just as technology is a critical enabler of relevant marketing, it can also be a major barrier. Why? Many marketing organizations don’t take enough ownership of technology. Marketers – and the technology groups that support them – must recognize that technology is a key component of marketing operations – that relevant marketing requires day-to-day access to data and iterative levels of analysis, needs not well-met by traditional project-focused IT organizations. Marketing organizations that want to differentiate customer experiences through customer-focused and relevant marketing communications and content delivery must bring technology expertise under the umbrella of the marketing organization – either internally or through a trusted services partner that behaves as an extension of the marketing team.

My Latest Research: Marketing Beyond The Status Quo April 23, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Database Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Technology, Online Marketing.
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I am very excited to announce the launch of my latest research, “Marketing Beyond The Status Quo.” The research, sponsored by my friends at Responsys, seeks to help marketing organizations assess and address the barriers that prevent them from being more customer-focused, relevant, and integrated. The report unveils the Marketing Status Quo (MSQ) Model – backed by a diagnostic self-test and step-by-step program guide – to help marketers determine their relevance maturity and develop a realistic action plan to become more customer-focused.

The MSQ Model assesses the fundamental competencies required for marketing relevance:

  • Strategic: How customer-focused are your marketing efforts?
  • Analytical:How strategic and actionable is your customer insight?
  • Technical: How well-suited is your infrastructure to support customer-focused marketing?
  • Process: How collaborative, efficient and error-free are your marketing operations?

MSQ Model

Each competency is equally weighted and combined to yield an overall Relevance Maturity Score, which defines a MSQ Level ranging from 1 (broadcast) to 5 (integrated). Marketers can leverage the model in conjunction with the MSQ Self-Test to assess their status quo, as well as identify the steps they must take in order to successfully move to the next level. 

For a free copy of the full report, visit www.responsys.com/beyond. I hope that you will find the research interesting and the tools useful. If you have any feedback, please don’t hesitate to comment here or contact me directly.

Integrated Lead Management Best Practices April 11, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Integrated Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Technology.
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Last week I participated in a Webinar — moderated by Bob Thompson of CustomerThink and sponsored by the good folks at Citrix Online. My portion of the event focused on helping marketers think about how to leverage Webinars as part of an integrated lead nurturing program. Here’s the overview: 

How to Retain and Nurture Valuable Webinar Leads

Don’t let your webinar prospects fritter away. View this on-demand Webinar to hear Elana Anderson, founder of NxtERA Marketing, and Beth Gilbert of Citrix Online discuss the tactics B2B marketers can use to leverage Webinars in an integrated lead-nurturing program.

View this on-demand Webinar to help you:
• Understand the role that Webinars play in lead
generation.

• Know how to leverage Webinars in an
integrated lead-nurturing program.

• Identify marketing tactics and technologies that
help integrate lead-development and nurturing
programs.

Not that I am biased, but the Webinar shares a lot of great content packed into 45 minutes. If your company leverages Webinars to generate leads or if you struggle with lead quality and lead management, I think you will find it time well spent. Here’s the link. Please feel free to contact me with feedback. Cheers.

My New Integrated Marketing Column On ClickZ April 11, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Integrated Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy.
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Wanted to let everyone know that I am now a guest expert on ClickZ. Check out the new integrated marketing column and my inaugural article: Five Fundamentals of Integrated Marketing. I’ll be posting new articles bi-weekly.

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