Most marketing organizations in North America have achieved a Level 3 maturity in the marketing process maturity model. They have limited management support for fact-based decisions, a basic customer data repository, and a foundational customer segmentation scheme in place. There are still some organizational barriers in place. The analytical insights are localized to departments and there is little organizational coherence in what is a valuable customer or even who is the customer. Depending on the stage in evolution, the Level 3 company may also have problems implementing analytical processes into front-end operations. For example, you may have a customer segmentation in place but organizational or technical barriers may make it inaccessible to front-end operations. i.e. analytics exists but is not embedded in marketing and is used as an afterthought.
The following five steps will help you take your organizational maturity to the next level. While the focus is on developing the Level 3 organization, the same ideas are applicable to companies who are further back in the evolution.
- Build senior management support: You will need executive support. In order to secure funding for carrying out changes in processes or technology, you need senior management support and a budget. To secure this budget, you will need to demonstrate a benefits case. The benefits case is fairly easy depending on where you are in your current maturity level. Mostly, not having standard processes or technologies leads to revenue leakage – due to time wasted in decision support, or high turnaround time on marketing campaigns, or lost sales opportunities. Get benchmark data on key performance indicators relative to your peers to build your benefits case.
- Manage customer relationships proactively: Most organizations monitor key performance indicators (KPI’s). The difference between the leaders and laggards is the type of KPI’s they monitor. The laggards typically use lagging indicator KPI’s such as revenues per contact, cost per acquisition etc. This is very good but reflects reactive business practices. Leaders are proactive. They manage by leading indicator KPI’s by forecasting demand and consumption. They build products that address the needs of untapped market segments.
- Standardize multinational or multi-division processes: Large companies are often not restricted to specific geographies or brands. Leaders manage operations at the corporate level rather than at the regional level. This ensures not only process standardization but also a comparative assessment of performance indicators on parallel operations. Use the ensuing insights to cross-pollinate across regional operations and drive continuous improvements.
- Integrate analytics with your front-end operations: Even if you have the organizational mandate and have the technology in place, all this comes to nothing if you cannot get information to your managers in time to take action. A big barrier in decision making is that data and analytics sit in a silo away from the operational team that is responsible for management. Fortunately, new advances in technology make it possible for the analytical insights to be delivered in near real-time to a distributed team. You can consider deploying a hosted service model to deliver analytical insights as process enablers for the operations team. This is the benefits proposition of embedded analytics and solution such as Polytab are a cost-effective way of integrating analytics into business processes without breaking the bank.
- Integrate new data into your analytical processes: Append customer data from third parties or from non-traditional sources (such as telematics or social media) to build new insights into the target market.
Do you know the maturity level of your marketing process?
Taking the maturity to the next level translates to a 10% improvement in key performance metrics, be it revenues per contact or average order value or general marketing return on investment. Our marketing intelligence automation platform has been designed precisely for small to medium-sized businesses who lack the capabilities or the budget of the big players and are stuck at a Level 2 or Level 3 maturity. Polytab helps them get to the next maturity stage, a necessity if they aspire to become billion dollar entities.