The role of marketing is strategically changing and will become increasingly process-driven. Redefining and automating key processes will ensure that your organization maintains a competitive advantage during the next five years. Not all 10 processes will be important or have the same degree of importance for all organizations. Prioritize the processes you want to define and automate for competitive advantage, and create a road map for process automation .Technology and vendor selection should follow documentation of processes to ensure that solutions adequately support the processes you want to change or automate.
Here, we detail the top 10 marketing processes for companies to automate during the next five Years that will drive effectiveness through increased revenue and those that will manage costs by promoting operational efficiency.
1. Behavior-Based Segmentation: To develop effective CRM strategies, companies will need to redefine how they formally segment customers into groups based on customers' wants and needs. Ad hoc segmentation based on campaign and product often fails to appropriately identify customers' or prospects' needs, increasing campaign costs and diluting revenue generation. Segmentation based on customer value also fails to target offers that are relevant to the customer. Developing a formal strategy of segmenting customers based on needs (life stage) or wants (lifestyle) enables companies to identify products and services that are relevant for customers and prospects in those segments. Then, companies can develop campaigns and offers to select, acquire, retain and cross-sell customers based on those identified products and services. Companies will need to move from focusing on demographic information to collecting psychographic information.
Action Item: Formally segment your customers into eight to 12 groups that have a clearly identifiable and enduring set of wants and needs from your organization. Appoint segment managers who develop strategies for growing customer value in each of these segments and establish objectives. Set measurable goals for selection, acquisition, retention, cross-sell and customer value. Managers should then micro segment or model their segments to target specific offers and campaigns to meet segment objectives. Ensure that the rest of the organization (for example, sales, contact center, e-commerce, partners) is aligned around these customer segments.
2. Campaign Management (Planning to Customer Communication): Companies must identify the process steps for creating, executing and measuring different types of campaigns.
• Steps for outbound campaigns include planning (ensure alignment of customer segments and goals), tactical segmentation to target in the identified segments, prioritization of offers, identification of appropriate channels for communication, business rules for single step vs. multistep campaigns, creation of content of communication, suppression of offers based on customer preferences and/or contact rules, campaign tracking and closed-loop measurement.
• Steps for event-triggered campaigns include identification of appropriate triggers, definition of trigger, analysis of data streams to detect triggers, prioritization of triggers, creation of content, scripts, information for offers, execution of triggers including channels, suppression based on customer preferences or contact rules and measurement.
• Steps for inbound marketing campaigns include identification of relevant data for scoring, type of scoring (batch, real time, dynamic and spontaneous) based on data and channel, creation of content and identification of information for offers, suppression based on customer preferences and contact rules, execution based on channel and measurement.
The Web channel and Web analytics provide a vehicle for reaching millions of customers and analyzing their behavior and buying patterns. Campaign and offer optimization can help prioritize campaigns for individuals or customer segments across the mix of campaign types.
Action Item: Establish a multichannel, campaign management process. Use event-triggered and inbound marketing capabilities to increase customer relevancy and improve timing of offers.Avoid customer fatigue from over marketing by prioritizing across different types of campaigns, and suppressing offers based on customer preferences and contact rules.
3. Dialogue Management: Ongoing customer dialogue, managed appropriately, can improve a customer's satisfaction with a company, leading to increased loyalty and future buying. From a process perspective, it is important to create a dialogue with a customer from acquisition and on boarding throughout various phases of the relationship, establishing rules for frequency and channels used for contact. Customers can provide contact preferences for ongoing communications. Content included in these interactions should be timely and relevant, but interactions do not necessarily always need to contain an offer. There should also be mechanisms for soliciting and capturing customer feedback so that a dialogue can occur; does not just have an ongoing monologue directed at the customer. Based on feedback, the company may send customers additional or different types of communications to continue the dialogue.
Action Item: Define a process for maintaining customer contact from acquisition through the customer's life cycle with your company. Include the customer in the conversation by requesting feedback, and establish rules to respond. Solicit customer input on frequency and channels for such contact. Ensure that the information created in the dialogue does not conflict with company campaigns.
4. Lead Management: Lead management is a process that aligns marketing and sales from lead generation to lead execution. By expanding marketing's role in the process, companies can
improve lead quality and ensure higher conversion rates by sales. Process steps for marketing
include lead generation, collection, qualification, prioritization, augmentation and distribution .
Action Item: Expand the role of marketing in the lead management process to reduce burdens on sales with lead qualification and prioritization. Leverage insights in marketing to better qualify leads. Use marketing data and content to augment leads prior to sending them to sales. Support lead distribution based on channel fit with lead type and size of opportunity and available
5. Loyalty Management: Many loyalty management programs are based on points and reward systems, and often are "siloed" from other marketing, sales and customer service systems, creating another silo with which the customer interacts. As a result, the efforts of reward systems are often lost on the next poor interaction or bad experience the customer has with the organization. The next generation of loyalty management will identify customer processes that build or destroy customer loyalty, integrating reward systems with other CRM systems to ensure consistent customer experience and building loyalty (rather than eroding it) among customers who bring value to the organization.
Action Item: Rethink customer loyalty programs beyond point and reward systems. Make loyalty at least one goal of your CRM strategy. Ensure that processes are in place for recognizing and appropriately responding to your most loyal customers across the enterprise.
6. Brand Management (Creative Idea to Fulfillment): Brand is an important component of the customer's experience and for building loyalty. Processes for production management ensure that creative ideas are managed to brand guidelines with appropriate reviews and approvals captured in the system. A content or digital asset repository enables companies to store the created assets for reuse, and to store valuable information associated with the use and
effectiveness of the created materials/assets. Marketing fulfillment processes ensure central
control while providing guidelines and templates for localization of content, as well as supporting
access and procurement of the most up-to-date marketing materials by the field (for example,
field marketing, sales and distribution partners). The automation and integration of all three
competency areas support brand management in an end-to-end process from creative idea to
Action Item: Identify the brand you want to create for your company. Define processes for
production management, knowledge management and fulfillment, establishing a road map for
automation and integration.
7. Budgeting and Financial Management: Most marketing organizations lack visibility and oversight into marketing spending, frustrating the finance organization. Budgets are created from the top down and then managed in individual spreadsheets that are difficult to reconcile and aggregate costs. Analysis can take months to perform, with results typically providing insight into what was spent but no ability to manage and control the budget as it's being spent. Finance pressures are driving more marketing organizations to consider standardizing their budgeting and financial management processes in the marketing function for planning and tracking committed funds vs. actual spending. Companies can create real-time alerts for overspending and better manage costs on an ongoing basis. Companies can more easily reallocate funds on an ongoing basis.
Action Item: Create a standard set of planning, budgeting and financial management processes for the marketing organization. Include processes for monitoring and alerting that enable ongoing financial management and reallocation of funds. Engage with finance for selection and
8. Marketing Operations Management: There is substantial waste in most marketing
departments, with approximately 25% of the marketing budget spent on producing and managing marketing programs rather than on the actual promotions/campaigns. Being able to significantly reduce this waste can enable marketing not only to save money but also to reallocate that money to campaigns and promotions that drive revenue. More companies are appointing marketing operations directors who facilitate the process between marketing and IT to leverage technology in ways that improve marketing's operational processes. In the future, this role will create an operations office that measures, monitors and refines marketing processes on an ongoing basis to improve efficiencies and reduce marketing costs. In some organizations, particularly productcentric organizations, these processes may extend into sales and operations planning.
Action Item: Appoint a marketing operations director and create a marketing operations office. Leverage this role and office on an ongoing basis to look for operational process improvements.
9. Strategic Planning and Marketing Performance Management: Most marketing decisions are made from the top down, based more on an innate feeling rather than actual data, and are often based on misguided instincts. Data can provide better insight into past results and expected performance. However, data-driven decisions often miss some of the qualitative aspects of analysis that can significantly affect outcomes. The best strategic planning strategies will incorporate processes that support a top-down (management/corporate goals and objectives) approach and bottom-up (data/results/forecasts) approach.
Creating a framework for marketing performance management across marketing enables
marketing organizations to consistently measure and optimize the marketing mix. Using this
framework as input into the strategic planning process empowers the CMO and marketing
managers, coupled with their knowledge and experience, to formulate a better marketing
strategy. An important component of this framework will be the company's ability to measure and predict marketing ROI (revenue generated minus costs). This framework should also integrate with a company's broader corporate performance management (CPM) framework.
Action Item: Define a strategy for strategic planning that incorporates top-down and bottom-up views. Establish a platform across the entire marketing department for marketing performance management, including database, data model and analytical tools. Implement a solution that supports strategic planning, including alignment with corporate goals, dashboards with key performance indicators and forecasting, and calendaring. Measure and predict ROI. Link it to CPM.
10. Voice of Customer/Community Marketing: Traditionally, marketing's role has been to "push" communications (offers, campaigns and promotions) at customers. An important
component of marketing's strategy will be to represent the voice of the customer. At a basic level, marketing does this by requesting customers to identify their preferences for customer contact (for example, opt-out/opt-in, channels of communication, products of interest) or through online surveys. As this concept expands, marketing will establish customer forums (live or online) and use social networking and blogs to capture customers' points of view. Marketing will need to identify not just processes for soliciting, obtaining and managing customer feedback but also will need to establish processes to ensure that they are consistently and appropriately leveraged for customer communications (marketing, sales and customer service).
Action Item: Identify appropriate channels for obtaining customer feedback. Leverage the power of the Internet, including online communities and blogs. Define processes for using that feedback across the organization, including for marketing campaigns, customer service calls, Web site visits and sales interactions.