How digital marketing operations can transform business
New digital tools and data are an increasingly strong opportunity for marketers to improve their marketing operations and achieve customer-centric strategies. These new insights allow organisations to be attuned to their customers’ needs and create effective and measurable marketing campaigns.
Last month, McKinsey released a publication on digital marketing operations titled ‘How digital marketing operations can transform business’, explaining the importance for companies of adopting digital tools for their marketing campaigns. This corroborates perfectly with Solocal Group UK’s vision on digital marketing technologies (read our previous “Why brands need to embrace sophisticated technologies” post) and this is why we found it valuable to extract and summarise insights in this blog post.
- Truly understanding customers
For any company the key point is to establish a meaningful relationship with their customers. Marketing operations give the opportunity to monitor this. By analysing customers’ behaviour it is possible to create a real experience for the company to share with its customers. This analysis should be based on an important and mapped marketing operations database which the right tools are able to provide. Some basic technologies and tracking tools could be used by companies to better know customers’ cross-channel journey. Unfortunately, many companies do not consider this strategic point very important and the customer understanding is thus weakened. Without a proper understanding of customers’ behaviour, marketing cannot be truly efficient. Digital brings reachable and effective tools for marketing operations.
- Delivering superior experience
Within the customer journey, the experience is a corner stone. Experience is at the forefront of a customer’s interaction with the company. A bad experience for a customer means a customer defecting to the competitor and a possible snowball effect if the company is not reactive enough to correct it. Here again, understanding customers is the best way to reach their expectations. If this point is often well-considered by marketers who deployed a lot of sales, support and services initiatives for customers or fulfilment and order management by their side, there are some back-end operations and systems which are neglected in this journey. Actually the magical recipe is not a secret. In this interaction and exchange with customers it is important to listen and adjust the experience according to customers’ uses and feedbacks. Comforting this idea, McKinsey article indeed reveals that best-in-class companies are reallocating up to 80% of digital-campaign budgets during a campaign. A company should propose a boulevard to consumers. To do so, it should observe wisely which particular paths or shortcuts customers are using and adapt this boulevard accordingly, closing some useless pavements, enlarging others, better indicate popular shortcuts, clearing some ways.
- Selecting the right marketing technology
As said previously, technology can bring numerous and relevant tools for marketers to optimise their operations and to automatise processes. Technology is a strategic expense, to be more efficient in the customer relationship, offer customers the expected experience, retain them, attract new ones and consequently keep an advantage over competitors. It should bring flexibility to a responsive platform, and not race for the last innovation which might be useless for the experience customers are looking for. Too many newish technologies can be a brake by making the experience too complex, when marketing technologies should aim to make a simple and responsive customer experience. The choice of technology should also be flexible to permit incrementing emerging tools.
- Implementing processes and governance
In order to manage the customer journey and implement technologies to improve the experience through this journey, the company needs to set clear and efficient governance. Technology can do amazing things to simplify processes, but cannot do it all on its own. Human decision is still above any organisation. To benefit from the added value brought by technology, all the marketing processes should be organised and this governance must be simple and the same for every link of the process chain. Employees, partners, suppliers and agencies should be part of it, and aware of their precise role in this chain to be able to adapt themselves when the strategy and campaigns evolve according to the customer’s expectations. Finally, as it is implied all along, the customer is the pivot and the governance aims to satisfy its expectation by driving appropriately – with adjustments and reorientation when needed – the campaign. Marketing, more than any other business activity, must be guided by a customer-centric approach.
- Using the best metric to drive success
Technology brings more and more powerful measurement tools. Metrics are the fuel of any marketing logic and have to be oriented and exploited wisely. Marketing effectiveness can be measured, customer journey can be detailed and understood, customer satisfaction can be monitored and its insights should be analysed to adapt processes, experience and governance. Metrics, as a quantitative indicator of the company interaction with its customers, should be used to understand customers’ behaviour and draw meaningful conclusions on past marketing actions. The effective metric is, thus, the one which delivers important insights to be interpreted and used to improve ongoing marketing campaigns and adapt past ones according to the user experience and expectations.
Marketing operations might not be the most thrilling part of marketing and many marketers are therefore not really interested in them. But consumers are the centre of any business, they have many expectations and many of them rely on marketing operations. This is why the lack of marketing operations is a main reason for marketing failure. Seamlessly integrating marketing operations into the digital era goes through five steps: truly understanding customers, delivering superior experience, selecting the right marketing technology, implementing processes and governance, and using the best metric to drive success.
Please contact Solocal Group UK team if you would like to discuss how your brand can take advantage of implementing valuable marketing operations technologies throughout the customer journey.