Friday, 29 January 2010

Test, Learn, Change, Repeat

“Company marketers will never get the data from digital marketing without testing, so I would encourage those who have not historically leveraged search, social media, mobile and other interactive advertising channels to do their homework to establish a digital marketing roadmap and start testing and capturing data.”

One thing that strikes me here is this idea of the Digital Roadmap. As mentioned yesterday by Alasdair Wightman, Chairman of awadigital, many organisations want to change their Digital Strategy overnight. I agree with Alasdair that this can't happen in a 'Big Bang' moment. Organisations needs to still adhere to the basics of Test, Learn, Change, Repeat. It's only by sticking with this philosophy that we can begin to understand what works best in practice with our audiences. This applies whether we are talking about email campaigns, site usability and even social media campaigns. It forces us to do the most important things which are to listen to what our customers are saying, and to watch what they are doing.

Alasdair was speaking at a Making Digital Work Harder for Your Business event co-hosted with

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

CRM....Keeping the Lights On

CRM is not just implementing expensive software, although a quick Google search of CRM will bring up a whole host of expensive CRM platforms ranging from to Oracle to Alterian etc. I have worked previously with an organisation who spent close to £1m on a software solution, but then realised they didn't have the marketers needed to get the best from the platform.

This is a typical example of CRM project coming out of an IT Strategy rather than a Customer Strategy. Many companies fall into this trap and implement CRM 'technologies' to aid in their quest for a 'single customer view', but Gartner suggests that over 55% of these projects fail

So what is CRM?

Ultimately it is about getting close to the customer and gaining engagement at all the possible touchpoints where a consumer comes across the brand. These touchpoints happen during the various phases of the Purchase Lifecycle from Awareness, through to Consideration, Purchase, Ownership and Repurchase.

Engagement is really about having the right conversation...and the right conversation is all about the right Content at the Right Time, delivered by the most appropriate vehicle. Now of course good software allows you hold all this content and can be used to deliver it via the right channel at a time when the consumer is the most receptive, but it needs the Customer Strategy behind it to be most effective.

Strategy is a combination of Logic and Interpretation. Computers can follow rules, but only people can interpret value, based on sound judgement and experience. The data might tell me that refining the segmentation and using the most responsive creative has reduced my ROI, but gut instinct will tell me that something else has played a part in this spurious outcome, whether that be timing or something else happening in the market.

CRM isn't run by the MI department but by the Marketing Department. The MI will tell you that you shouldn't contact lapsed customers, because well...they're lapsed. Marketing judgment presents the notion that there might be a reason as to why they are lapsed..maybe that particular segment don't buy your product as regularly as others so it might be worth pursuing them in a different way.

CRM software gives the impression that Lights Out Marketing ( everything is automated and doesn't need anyone about) is the Nirvana we all seek. Personally, I think its better to get into CRM with the lights on and my eyes wide open

Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Golden Rule of Social Media

In my opinion, Social Media is 'all about the conversation'. There can be no excuse , therefore, to ignore the real bedrock of any conversation...and that is 'Listening' .

The ability to listen to conversations already happening before you join in is key. Any brand worth its salt realises that it needs to be able to play a part in the real world of its customers. And the only way to play that part, is to understand what is going on that world. Understanding can only come though listening.

Of course listening comes in many guises. Yes, the conversations that are taking place on and off line are important, but listening also includes taking note of what is happening...customer actions often speak louder than words. So key to listening is an understanding of the insight that can be gained by looking at the data we have readily available to help us make sense of customer behaviour

''Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk.'' Doug Larson