The digital age has produced countless new ways for marketers to reach and engage customers. While digital media provides a significant opportunity for marketers to personalize and customize their promotion campaigns, it can put significant stress on the company itself. In fact, many companies are currently not able to fully leverage the opportunities that digital media provide due to organizational constraints. In essence, the new marketing capabilities are outstripping most companies’ ability to fully leverage those capabilities.
Why is this occurring? Because most companies are organized in functional silos; IT, marketing sciences and marketing are in separate areas of the building and rarely engage with each other. Yet to succeed at fully leveraging these new digital channels, all three groups must work together seamlessly. Specifically, IT must capture all customer data in real-time; marketing sciences must have customer models (not tactic models) already developed and ready to provide updated customer insight as soon as new data is available; and marketing must have the optimal mix of messages, offers and services to deliver as soon as the customer insight is known.
Today, many companies are following a “parallel path” approach. That is to say, they are using the new digital channels as they become available, and are simultaneously adjusting their organizational structure and processes to better leverage these new channels. Specifically, these companies are:
- Bringing IT to the table when new, digital tactics are first developed. This enables marketing to develop the digital tactic to optimize the customer experience while also enabling IT to structure the back end to capture data and improve customer knowledge.
- Having marketing sciences work directly with IT to quickly access customer information and support model deployment. Instead of marketing sciences producing PowerPoint slides with analytic results, they now produce data files with new customer propensity scores that IT incorporates into the database for marketing to leverage.
- Developing a flexible creative process to ensure that messages can be tailored to each customer across digital (and offline) marketing channels.
- Increasing the speed of marketing, which enables the company to engage at the customer’s pace, not the other way around.
How is your company managing this change?