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How to create a roadmap for personalized marketing

Customer obsession holds the keys to the kingdom for marketing nirvana. Modern marketers, seeking to create rich digital experiences for their audiences, want one-to-one, continuous conversations with their followers. And customers crave personalized attention from the brands with which they interact.

“People who were really averse to sharing information before are now doing it because there’s a value exchange,” said Adrian Chang, senior principal consultant at Oracle Marketing Cloud, at the Interact 2014 conference July 16-18 in San Francisco. “People are now expecting really rich digital experiences.”

To reach this customer-obsessed, one-on-one level of marketing, marketers need to excel in all five areas of what the Oracle Marketing Cloud calls the Modern Marketing Maturity Assessment Model, or M5. The model serves as a guide for teams to evaluate their current state and then create a road map toward achieving continuous and individual conversations with customers.

A Breakdown of the M5
The model comprises targeting, engagement, conversion, analytics and technology. Each of these tenets has five levels of maturity, with five being the highest. Chang explained what it takes for marketers to excel in each area.

1. Targeting: At the most basic level, marketers give all of their customers the same impersonal experience. They usually use one channel, and it’s typically email. At the highest level, marketers are thinking about how to reach a particular customer at a certain point in time. “What if you knew that if I did something online, I responded to something in social, and I was pretty receptive to ads, then you should actually treat me differently?” Chang asked. “That’s the one-to-one.”

2. Engagement: While level-one marketers “spray and pray” potential or existing customers with the same email, top performers build highly optimized experiences. If a customer abandons a shopping cart or expresses frustration on Twitter, for instance, a brand at the highest maturity level responds in real-time through multiple channels.

3. Conversion: Marketers in the earliest stage of maturity treat all leads the same, no matter where customers are in their journey. At the highest level, they understand what it takes to convert customers in each stage of the funnel. The most mature know, “If we spend x dollars we will get x results,” Chang said.

4. Analytics: At level one, marketers are pushing messages out and they can report on a few basic components like open rates, but they don’t know what that figure means in terms of customer value. In contrast, top performers have revenue predictability built into their process. They know what will happen if they use the same strategy for the year versus if they make a change. And they rely on cross-functional teams to make these predictions.

5. Technology: Marketers at the lowest stage of maturity primarily rely on email to communicate with customers. Even if they have a CRM, there’s no integration with the email engine. At level five, multiple systems are integrated to touch the customer. “Ultimately all technologies are evaluated, purchased and discussed in terms of the impact to the buyer, the customer and the overall revenue,” Chang said. “The CMO understands what one dollar invested in technology will mean for customers.”

Marketers should aspire to be at the top of their game in all five tenets, Chang said. The M5 helps them identify the maturity characteristics they currently have and those they need to become customer obsessed. “Do not try to communicate with me without knowing a little bit about me, what I’ve done and what our interactions have been,” Chang said. “Try and woo me. Use my responses to campaigns. Use my information. Use geo-specific information and actually try and make the experience relevant for me.”

To learn more, check out the “Journey to Modern Marketing” video and eBook series. 

Image source: strategicsociety.org.uk

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