Modern Marketing Health Check: Creating Business Alignment

Posted on by Lisa Loftis

Business People Using Computer Working ConceptEditor’s Note: This article is part 3 in a five part series. Click here for part 1 and click here for part 2.

Creating customer experiences that work across multiple channels and devices in a personalized manner means touching a lot of boxes on the organization chart – including many that marketing might not own.

Why? The proliferation and sophistication of digital devices, big data technology platforms, and increasingly savvy customers accustomed to getting their way have combined to create the perfect storm–customers demanding excellence confronting fragmented companies struggling to provide it. Business alignment is paramount.

To see how you are doing and identify your aspirational next-steps, compare your company to the best practices of industry leaders in the four critical business alignment areas below.

Channel Synchronization and Metrics. Is activity coordinated across customer touchpoints and are objectives customer-focused and shared across touchpoints and channels?

The Evolving Company: While channels are still run mainly independently, basic measures tracking customer experience and satisfaction within channels are in place and we have a limited view of customer cross-channel usage. A fairly detailed range of service-level focused metrics is used to manage our channels and the resources within them across a range of efficiency and effectiveness measures. Some share-of-wallet metrics are jointly held by multiple business units.

The Progressive Company: Monitoring across most channels occurs with detailed in-channel tracking of individual customer behavior used to improve customer experience and facilitate a continuous channel improvement program. We understand pain points and inconsistencies across channels and work to eliminate these. Customer focused metrics such as share-of-wallet, customer experience, and sentiment are shared by multiple channels and business units.

Customer Journey. Do you have customer journey maps that reach across interaction channels and are they used to guide crosschannel initiatives such as experience management?

The Evolving Company: Marketing has developed a customer lifecycle diagram and uses it to guide segmentation and campaign activity. We lack the ability to identify the customers behind anonymous (non-login) digital channel actions currently and while journey maps may exist, they are typically channel focused and used to guide customer experience and marketing activity within the channel.

The Progressive Company: We have identified the full range of customer personas and created journey maps that detail their actions and expectation across both digital and traditional channels for each stage of the customer lifecycle. We use a mix of market research, channel activity, predictive analytics, digital intelligence, and customer conversations to actively maintain and modify our customer journey maps. The journey maps are used to drive our content strategy and improve the customer experience.

Contact and Campaign Strategy. Are you regulating and optimizing the number of marketing and sales offers made to a customer across business units and contact channels and does the optimization extend to all communication types?

The Evolving Company: Offer allocation decisions are made through a combination of campaign priority and some optimization across campaigns. Outbound campaign priorities are agreed upon in regular stakeholder meetings. We use a rules-based approach to ensure that wherever possible, the highest value offer or offers (defined using response propensities and expected values) are selected for each customer. For participating campaigns, we do attempt to regulate the number and frequency of contacts, but not all campaigns, channels, and contact types are included at this point.

The Progressive Company: Our marketing focus is to deliver many event-driven highly personalized campaigns. Optimization selects the best offer for each customer to maximize the desired objective (e.g., profit, ROI, cost reduction) subject to business constraints (e.g., budgetary, channel capacity). The efforts extend across all channels and include real-time capabilities to change the offer based on circumstances. We know and regulate the number of marketing contacts for each customer and are extending the contact strategy beyond sales and marketing to include all types of customer contact types (e.g., service, complaints, sales offer, informational campaigns etc.).  

Content Strategy. Do you have a comprehensive content management and creation strategy?

The Evolving Company: We see content management strategy as a way to match content to customer and channel and are developing a content inventory. We have a broad variety of content types available (e.g., video, white papers, podcasts, webinars, etc.) however, we do not have a clear vision for the best placement of content across channels. Some usage and conversion-related metrics are used to determine content direction, retention, and placement.

The Progressive Company: We have a comprehensive journey-based content management strategy that matches customer persona, lifecycle stage, and customer intention to provide the contextually relevant content to the customer at each step in their journey. We have a detailed content inventory and assessment process that identifies existing content and gaps, maps the content to the appropriate journey step or lifecycle phase, and actively measures use/conversion/ engagement.

Didn’t make the chart? Then your marketing group is probably nascent and should focus on establishing coordinated channel and marketing campaign activities and measures, identifying key customer journeys and mapping these, and developing a content management strategy that goes beyond age-related measures. Evolving? The next step for you might be to focus on real-time integration of digital activity to facilitate dynamic personalized offer generation while adding more channels to the mix. Progressive? Congratulations! Progressive companies are already leaders in cross-channel customer experience and can stay on top by continuing to innovate with digital channels as well as incorporating additional contact types (e.g., service) into the optimization program.

Lisa Loftis is a thought leader on the best practices team at SAS.

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