One of the most productive means to a fast start with a new client or partner is through a Marketing Assessment. In a new relationship, everyone has a lot of questions and this is a great way to drill through a mutual discovery process in a quick, and (usually!) fun way.
We try to coordinate an intensive 1 to 2 day series of question-and-answer sessions – usually fueled by a good stack of chocolate chip cookies.
Assessments are often confused with evaluations. I think of the outcome of an evaluation as being a grade that might range from great to awful. Assessments focus more on trying to understand where or how far a client wants to progress towards best-in-class customer engagement and a terrific customer experience – and then creating a step-by-step roadmap to visualize how to get there.
A structured Assessment Process is a great way to get to know the team at your new client or partner and it also provides a way for them to get to know how you might approach their business. The outcome is an action plan where everyone can see quick wins from the new relationship quickly.
By conducting an Assessment to understand the level of activity and sophistication of a client’s database marketing operation, we of course also try to identify areas where SIGMA’s services could add value or bring best practices into the organization. But usually, we also identify many areas where a client can improve their processes with completely internal resources.
- Data Management
- Targeting and Analytics
- Campaign Management
- Marketing Technology
- Interactive Marketing
- Social Marketing
Customer Engagement requires forward movement in all seven, and trying to move ahead in all areas at once can be incredibly daunting. (We’ve heard the “trying to boil the ocean” metaphor more than once.) All these areas are highly interconnected, of course, which makes planning a way forward even harder. We start with a detailed set of questions in each practice area that helps us place our clients into one of five stages of upward maturity for each.
Of course we are looking for ways that SIGMA can help our partners grow, but there are always many, many strategies that can be executed with internal teams or other partners. Beginning with a clear-eyed Assessment and working together to build a sensible 12 to 24 month plan is the best means for a fast start.
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