One of the exciting aspects of digital marketing is the fluidity in which you can hypothesize, analyze and adapt. Good digital marketing programs are created by small teams, perhaps entirely within the responsibility of marketing. Great digital marketing programs including personalization and marketing automation, must include a broader group. The bigger the organization, the more voluminous the products and services available, the larger that group probably is.
Who should be part of that group?
Well that certainly depends on the organization. But first think of key stakeholders that influence the revenue from the product development lifecycle through to the sales lifecycle. Which products are most successful? What information helps people decide to buy? Perhaps your team will include representatives from product management, marketing, sales and aftercare. Who touches the customer and has access to data about customer behaviors? Effective use of the digital markeitn g suites, such as personalization, is created by understanding behaviors and what helps and influences people throughout the customer lifecycle. This is the foundation for surfacing the right content at the right time.
A few reasons for taking a team approach
- More than one customer point of view
- Different responsibilities in identifying clients, identifying the content that actually helps and influences people in their decisions
- Opportunity to identify missing content
- Different analytics requirements
- Testing and sharing results will move people from their known ‘hypothetical’ truth to understanding what actually works
- Learning about differences in terms/keywords used in marketing and what words people search
- This is a ‘living process’ – people adapt and change – understanding the cycle will help people adapt
- Some people may be more advanced in their knowledge of channels and product areas
- Field marketing or regional sales people may have deeper insight into persona preferences in different locations … or events that can be optimized for (holidays)
- Digital channel behavior is always evolving
But consensus will be difficult!
Sure, that may be true. But if you are investing in a digital marketing suite the ultimate goal is to have a positive impact on revenue. Treat the development of your personalization and marketing automation plan as a project in understanding people’s behavior which requires input from experts throughout the organization. To make the process manageable you might want to first start by identifying the most profitable products and perhaps the products which require the most information to make a purchase. From there, identifying the buyer personas, what information buyers need, and what influences their decisions will form a blueprint . Once the plan is created and initially deployed, the marketing team will be the product owner and manage day to day tasks.
Instead of launching and forgetting about other key stakeholders, the marketing team should plan to regularly share information gathered through different analytics. Key stakeholders will not only be able to offer invaluable input to optimize, they’ll regularly have a new opportunity to learn more about the behaviors of customers. As they see the performance of campaign, personalization and marketing automation configurations they will be able to make recommendations for optimization.
Digital Marketing and the company ethos
By creating personalization that has feedback loops in the company, you’re creating more clarity on consumer behaviors in digital channels that everyone can learn from. You’re not just deploying campaigns and creating amazing digital user experiences, you’re potentially transforming the culture of how your organization manages the customer lifecycle.
The cross-company perspective will more clearly identify factors that influence buying, and likewise factors which create friction leading to a lost conversion. This cross-company perspective moves the culture from a digital marketing maturity toward business transformation. When the board of executive level can see this broader value, future investments are easier to plan, typically securing more effective budgets to continually develop digital channels. Like any program, once it has been established and ironed out a bit, it will be much easier to expand to include more offerings, and integrations with other business systems, as new processes become part of a culture shift.
Certainly digital marketing suites can built, deployed and managed by the marketing department alone. But as digital continues to transform our lives and how we buy and engage, more companies will see the digital marketing suite as the foundation to customer insights through the organization.
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