I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell – I am an admirer of all of his books and have seen a few presentations; he provides unique insights and perspectives. One of his quotes I always appreciate is the following:
“Our first impressions are generated by our experiences and our environment, which means that we can change our first impressions... by changing the experiences that comprise those impressions.”
This quote got me thinking about marketers: Are we capable of transformation, or are we like everyone else because change is hard?
Look, I am a marketer, and have been for a while. I know we marketers always acclimate to market conditions and what the customer desires. For instance, the rise of digital marketing was adopted by marketers with great zeal. We feel we have a better understanding of the customer and since many technologies can be in the Cloud we can bypass IT (sorry my IT brethren). So, we feel we are nimbler and more adaptable!
However, we then tend to operate in the same way with more established approaches since we moved forward – email is a great example of this tendency. We still treat it like we did 10 years ago and admittedly it has not evolved but if you bring it into your customer conversation across channels it takes on a different approach and even a different measurement in terms of value or effectiveness.
I believe we marketers need a “Five Step Program” – “Hi, my name is Ed and I’m a marketer!” (Now all of you respond in unison – “Hi, Ed!”). Please note I am simply stating we need to admit we have to change, and the first step is to agree we do not have the consolidated approach to marketing in today’s world.
So, I think there are five steps to get a new outlook and approach:
1. Always Contextual
Multiple tools, events and analytics must work together to ensure you are communicating the right information, in the right channels, at the right time for the expected outcome.
2. Move Beyond Segmentation
We need to move past segmentation toward that personalized segment of “1”.
3. Optimize Customer Journey
We need to be ready for the customer regardless of where they are in their voyage. It may be acquisition, upsell, cross sell, retention, risk or even nurturing.
4. Leverage Analytics
Data is a must and measuring is paramount to success. We need not only insights, but predictive and dynamic real-time approaches.
5. Enhance Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
We need to look at the customer in terms of decisions we make today that affect CLV. Will you make a decision not to sell something if it brings down expected CLV or is a dollar today all that matters?
Each of these is a stepping stone and with the increase in technology and the access to data (big and small), marketers can make some outstanding choices to drive revenue and customer engagement.
Over the next month I am going to delve into each of these steps to blog about how I think we need to change and establish and new approach. I hope you check in and I look forward to your opinions – in my mind we’re all outliers!