Sunday, January 08, 2006

Marketers! Put on Your Thinking Caps!

The majority of marketers are still more right brainers than left. It has been the ticket to success in the past, but the past has passed. Creativity will always be important, but it is not the throne any longer. Marketing has become a very complex business and this complexity can be simplified only with a data-driven marketing construct.

Our CEOs are measured by revenue generation, not awareness. We have to think like the CEO and deliver greater accountability. Information is now on the throne and we have to learn how to use it in creating the business models that will create CEO success into the future. It is all about data and how we analyze the data to produce competitive advantage by adding value in every step of our processes.

This is about changing the rules and definitions to lead to a new unique positioning. Progress becomes the value stream.

For many marketing managers, this means adding a resouce not now on the team: information specialists to get, analyze and use customer data to produce results not possible before.

Some information is easy to get at; it is observable. The tough one is to get at the less visible facts that can unleash desired outcomes. For example, it is relatively easy to get customers to tell you what they want but not at all easy to get them to tell us what will cause them to buy. We need to watch the customer more carefully and look for insights into their interests, passions, desires.

When we do this we can then back up one step at at time into our value stream and make sure everything we do is aimed at delivering value that customers perceive as important to them. To do this reliably and predictably, we need many data points over an extended period of time.

We cannot get this kind of data with an over-reliance on qualitative focus groups. To transform marketing in this complex world, we need the numbers and the knowhow to get insights out of the numbers.

Do you have these kinds of resources on your team? Is your customer and prospect database accessible on the desktop of marketing managers? Do you have the right analytics packages to ream the data? Do you have the people who are deeply experienced in quantitative marketing ... scientific marketing. Do you have the processes in place to maintain an ongoing, learning relationship with the people in your database? Take inventory now or you stand a good chance of being marginalized in the future.

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