In today’s rapidly changing world of consumer fragmentation, product proliferation, and evolving marketing channels and technologies, marketers need to carefully assess and take stock of their marketing capabilities before committing to investments in technologies that could hold them back in the years to come. Now more than ever before, consumer-focused companies need to make sure they have a clear plan for capturing valuable customer insights and applying that information with integrated marketing technology. No longer is it acceptable to have “a year at a time” plan for how you will elevate your customer data management, marketing technology and multichannel messaging strategies. The investment decisions you make this year will drive your marketing innovation for years to come! It is imperative that you clearly understand what your marketing capabilities are today and where they need to be in the future in each of these five key areas:
- Customer and Prospect Data Management – What’s the status of your data? Is it clean, well-documented, and working efficiently for your marketing team?
- Marketing Analytics – Are you using best practices, do you have the insights you need to make smart decisions and drive successful campaigns?
- Campaign Management – Is every campaign a one-off, ad hoc affair or are you moving to triggered, automated engagement?
- Multichannel Messaging – Are you leveraging all channels or has this become a spider’s web of complexity?
- Marketing Technology – Is there a corporate vision that aligns technology with the skill sets you need to succeed?
The levels of your organization’s capability in each of the above disciplines can range from “Stage 1” (just getting started) to “Stage 5” (highly automated, efficient and targeted). Your abilities across the spectrum of these capabilities can be wildly diverse and out of alignment. We see many companies that have invested in the best Campaign Management software tools on the market, only to realize they have not connected these tools to the right customer and marketing data. This “best-of-breed” investment quickly becomes the most expensive customer or prospect list selection tool in history!
Another common mistake is to invest tens of thousands, even millions, of dollars building a customer or marketing database and putting all the most robust access tools (Campaign Management, Business Intelligence, etc.) together to only have it sit there because there is no robust marketing analytics capability and messaging strategy in place. In other words, you have the Maserati in the garage but no high-quality gas in the gas tank or roads to drive it on!
Only when you take a hard look at your company across these five key database marketing capabilities will you be able to fully optimize the value and potential you have to drive the best targeted marketing results for your organization.