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Customer Engagement: How Engaged Customers are Evolving DAMs and the Channels they Serve
 

Customer Engagement: How Engaged Customers are Evolving DAMs and the Channels they Serve

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Companies today are facing the stark reality that despite all the insight through many of their other listening avenues, they are missing out on the holy grail of information – information obtained ...

Companies today are facing the stark reality that despite all the insight through many of their other listening avenues, they are missing out on the holy grail of information – information obtained through real-time streaming of assets from their digital asset repositories to the engaged customer and back. Without a clear understanding of how or why to leverage existing digital asset management systems to create this strategic advantage, companies preparing to embark and engage in today’s highly Evolved MediaSpace will have no chance of succeeding as truly engaging brands and also fail in their primary and sole objective as a company, to attract and retain their own customers.


This article was featured in the Journal of Digital Asset Management in February 2010. That publication can be viewed at the following link:

http://www.palgrave-journals.com/dam/journal/v6/n1/full/dam200937a.html

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    Customer Engagement: How Engaged Customers are Evolving DAMs and the Channels they Serve Customer Engagement: How Engaged Customers are Evolving DAMs and the Channels they Serve Document Transcript

    • Customer EngagementHow Engaged Customers are EvolvingDAMs and the Channels They ServePrepared by:John E. MerrittMarketing Operations Consultant[ merritt ] TM Building Vision that Connects to You
    • How Engaged Customers are Evolving DAMs and the Channels they ServeAbout the AuthorJohn E. Merritt is a Marketing Operations Consultant andBusiness Advisor at Tata Consultancy Services, Asia’slargest consulting firm. He has 8 years of marketingexperience in traditional and digital roles in addition toconsulting and advisor roles for brands such as Walmart,Target, Nokia, Sprint, Motorola, USAA, EnterpriseHoldings and more. He is a member of the AmericanMarketing Association and Toastmasters International.His core focus is on marketing operations with strong tieto customer engagement and digital strategy. He can bereached at j-merritt@att.net.For more information about him or any of his focuses visithttp://johnmerritt.net/.© 2010 John E. Merritt. 2
    • How Engaged Customers are Evolving DAMs and the Channels they ServeCompanies today are facing the stark reality that very essence of a brands success or failure in today’sdespite all the insight through many of their other listening marketplace. Having a framework for becoming aavenues, they are missing out on the holy grail of customer-focused brand is the pinnacle for operating ininformation – information obtained through real-time today’s fully engaged marketplace. Customers from allstreaming of assets from their digital asset repositories to walks of life want content at virtually every instance theythe engaged customer and back. Without a clear desire and for this very reason, revolutionizing theunderstanding of how or why to leverage existing digital operational frame of mind in engaging customers has toasset management systems to create this strategic evolve from the previous strategies, to an engagingadvantage, companies preparing to embark and engage strategy that starts with a company’s digital assetin today’s highly Evolved MediaSpace will have no chance management (DAM) solution.of succeeding as truly engaging brands and also fail intheir primary and sole objective as a company, to attract The MediaSpace Landscapeand retain their own customers. As the marketing arena has made some advancementsIntroduction and leveraged technology, the MediaSpace went from a single traditional set of channels (print, TV, radio andSome of the characteristics of how companies so on) to digital channels that literally rocketed thecommunicate to customers don’t seem to change – the messages to each persons inbox, site with a popup ortypes of channels used, the non-collaborative product even as they were browsing and saw some of thosedevelopment and even the lack of customer engagement. banner ads. Now as media continues to evolve,Its no wonder why companies are having a difficult time emerging media seems to have enhanced thetransitioning to an engaging brand that has a two-way marketer’s capabilities with new, innovative and verystream of communication outside its own corporate walls. inexpensive channels. See Figure 1 to view what I refer toAs these characteristics stand, they are no match for as the Traditional MediaSpace perspective.today’s engaged customer: a customer who controls the Figure 1.0 Traditional MediaSpace Perspective (of Marketing Channels) This article was featured in the Journal of Digital Asset Management, Volume 6 | Number 1 | February 2010© 2010 John E. Merritt. 3
    • How Engaged Customers are Evolving DAMs and the Channels they ServeFrom this MediaSpace and the drive from today’s With such diverse and blurred marketing channel types,engaged customer, the landscape has evolved from a companies are dealing with a new mode of marketingdisjointed, siloed and structured set of marketing operation and campaign strategies. They must evolvechannels to a highly collaborative, fluid and robust their overall process, procedures and metrics to tie intostream of communication, content and inter-twined their prime and key assets stored in their DAM system tochannels. This is what I refer to as the Evolved meet existing and future-engaged customer interactions.MediaSpace. Traditional, digital and emerging channels The DAM is the key for gaining that engaged customers’all converging in a framework of complete agile and attention. More about the evolved MediaSpace can befluid content streaming back and forth make up this found under the TEAMS’ transformational frameworkMediaSpace. Channels such as wikis, forums, section.microblogs and social networks directly impact and workhand and hand with TV, radio, newspaper, direct mail, DAM Leveraged a New WayPublic Relations (PR) and much more. Its not surprising that the DAM is the prime component ofThe evolved MediaSpace adopts the three primary any marketing operation. What is surprising is that it is thechannel classifi cations from the traditional MediaSpace. technical framework that can also help the organization toTraditional, digital and emerging media channels evolve by using it in a more robust way. By leveraging agiletypically come to mind when you hear about the typical processes and XML, a company can easily stream itsmarketing channels. There are roughly six segments to assets out via web and drive traffic to its engagementtoday’s MediaSpace. Three of these segments are the structures. However, this is not the only piece to trulytypical channel areas (traditional, digital and emerging) evolve. If a company creates a two-way stream via fluidand three are combinations of two types of channel areas and agile production processes coupled with XML that(traditional-digital, digital-emerging and emerging- allows the content to freely stream out while capturingtraditional). Figure 2.0 Digital Asset Management Leveraged a New Way© 2010 John E. Merritt. 4
    • How Engaged Customers are Evolving DAMs and the Channels they Serveusage information, a company can leverage key first A framework, much like Edison’s, can be leveraged forhand findings without even lifting a primary research such a challenge in DAM. For this challenge, I havefinger. These findings can then be leveraged in ways developed the TEAMS’ transformational framework shownsuch as asset usage, or channel asset was acquired or in Figure 3. This framework consists of five interdependenteven sociographics and psychographics that can categories that support the evolved MediaSpace ourpotentially enhance marketing campaigns in ways never engaged customers thrive in. These five interdependentthought possible. Even more ideas may include categories are (1) The Engaged Customer; (2) an Evolvingenhancing searching features or even how people MediaSpace; (3) Alignment to Operations; (4) Maturingunderstand things. Maybe a simple understanding of the Technology Infrastructure; and (5) Strategic Relationalmost popular crossreferenced channels that a company Value. A framework such as this takes into account themay not have metrics for might be a valuable strategic entire TEAMS’ life-cycle where the process from start toadvantage. The possibilities for leveraging this approach finish can also be viewed in Figure 3.are endless.Taking these very ideas and putting it in practice, a TEAMS Five Interdependent Categoriescompany can effectively leverage those not so The TEAMS ’ transitional framework runs far deeper thanmeasurable channels which its engaged customer uses what is outlined in Figure 3 . Let’s take a dive deeper intoin ways never thought possible. Draw your attention to each area and understand more about each area.Figure 2 to see what this typical flow may look like. T – The Engaged CustomerIf an overall messaging strategy revolved around a The engaged customer refers to a new and constantlystructure like in Figure 2, key information, asset usage evolving breed of consumer who is not only informed, butand even uncanny insights about an engaged customer actively engages the brands and corporations that thiscan be easily obtained. Here the key is a framework that consumer tends to purchase and /or use. The consumercan be implemented in variable circumstances. engages at multiple levels and these level of engagement spans from communicating publicly as well as directly withTEAMS Transformational Framework the brands about products, services, experiences and /or ideas to offer something better. Engaged customers tendLets take a page from Thomas Edison’s successes. to leverage all lines of communication and materials fromEdison is widely known for developing the light bulb. He these entities, to be more specifi c the digital assets thatgave the world light from a simple bulb with a very robust are distributed out into the digital realm. The engagedunderstanding of the vision as a whole. Not only did he customer also actively evaluates, as a second naturedevelop the bulb, but he also envisioned the framework sense, the feelings and brand sentiment that they havethat would use such an innovative and ingenious device. with particularchannel, messaging and other contributorsEdison developed the framework to enable the success to posted and / or streaming media. These all couldof the light-giving invention from start to finish and potentially be captured in the TEAMS’ Transformationalultimately gained great support from some of the largest framework in Figure 3.names to skyrocket his invention into mankind’s greatestachievements. While many of his counterparts focused In terms of where the engaged customer resides in theon developing the smaller pieces of the problem and TEAMS’ life-cycle and alignment to DAM, the engagedsuccumbed to defeat, Edison triumphed with the whole customer would typically be at the beginning and the end.perspective on how the customer would use it and what Depending on the varying level of interaction a companyframework would be needed to support that use. has with engaged consumers can affect what other categories that they can impact. In some cases, theSo what does Edison’s insight and vision mean for engaged customer can impact virtually every part of theevolving DAM to meet engaged customers? It means TEAMS’ life cycle and could potentially have a directjust slamming or tweaking the DAM software without a impact on the kinds of file naming, taxonomy, metadata,strategic framework can spell disaster for the vision of Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) your engagement structure. Approaching DAM in a new and other related areas that DAM systems have toway requires a new framework that can be leveraged account for and /or consider.across the board with the vision and insight Edison hadwhen developing the light bulb. This article was featured in the Journal of Digital Asset Management, Volume 6 | Number 1 | February 2010© 2010 John E. Merritt. 5
    • © 2010 John E. Merritt. 6
    • This article was featured in the Journal of Digital Asset Management, Volume 6 | Number 1 | February 2010© 2010 John E. Merritt. 7
    • How Engaged Customers are Evolving DAMs and the Channels they ServeWhen the XML and agile / fluid processes are thrown WOM Agents transcend this general notion with theirinto the mix, the two-way streaming information can perspective on personal experience, actively engagingdirectly impact information needed for campaigns, types people in their sphere of influences and much more. Seeof channels to leverage, amount of budget to spend and Figure 4 to understand what I mean about WOM Agents.even the kind of files streamed out into those channels.Having the steady stream that evolved DAM solutions E – Evolving MediaSpacecan provide and potentially create a strategic advantage Much like the MediaSpace mentioned in the beginning ofthat is unrivaled in the market today. Also, it can meet this article, the Evolving MediaSpace identifies thethose high demands of the emerging media channels – overlapping between the three typical channels that havecitizens media in specific. The value that this kind of DAM made new hybrid classifi cations of marketing channels.allow the engaged customer can bring in these areas is Consisting of six different channel segments, thejust the beginning. As it is companies responsibility to Evolved MediaSpace focuses on the holistic nature ofattract and retain customers, the engaged customer / marketing messaging and the variable channels acrossconsumer is an even greater sought after assetthat can multiple channel segments. The six divisions can be seendirectly help companies to meet these critical in Figure 5.responsibilities. The engaged customer has the With the number of channels that can be leveragedpropensity to provide insights from angles and across multiple types of channel segments, its prettyperspectives not previously known to the brand. With clear that marketing executives at virtually everythis said, this engaged customer can also be evolved company might be thinking about considering a betterinto something known as Word of Mouth (WOM) Agent. way of leveraging their existing tools to meet the levelThese terms are not to be confused with loyalty or of engagement that customers display today.loyalists as the loyalty-related consumers are typicallyattached to a brand by some marketing mechanism If we consider the TEAMS’ life-cycle the strategic flow ofrelated to offers, pricing, programs and / or more. an asset’s usefulness, the Evolving MediaSpace would Figure 4.0 The Customer Engagement Lifecycle© 2010 John E. Merritt. 8
    • How Engaged Customers are Evolving DAMs and the Channels they Servebe one of the last points before reaching the engaged superior crafted customer 360 models from all that real-customer. It is the conduit by which marketers push time information. Simply put, less marketing dollars yield amessaging out to the world. The MediaSpace is critical to greater return and less of an impact from the law ofbe one of the last points before reaching the engaged diminishing returns. Aligning marketing operations to thatcustomer. It is the conduit by which marketers push infrastructure the newer DAM capabilities creates amessaging out to the world. The MediaSpace is critical to win-win situation for everyone including the engagedeffectively position and communicate a message via a customer.digital asset to the target customers and even theengaged customer. Every single aspect from cross- M – Maturing Technology Infrastructurereferencing to cross-channel marketing relies on the The maturing technology infrastructure is the backboneeffective assessment, use and proper leveraging of every that drives today ’ s corporation. As advances are made inaspect of your industry ’ s respective MediaSpace. this area, these advances are considered for operational implementation across selected areas in the multi-unitThe value associated to leveraging your industry’s enterprise.respective MediaSpace is the primary key to developingand growing profits in today’s society. Taking customers As companies consider this area, it can become one of thefrom the oblivious to regular collaboration with your brand two things to that company: an unstoppable force to beis the direct catalyst for any profits received by a company reckoned with or the silver bullet that makes them perish.because of the varying degree that each customer has for Remember a time when IBM announced the 386 machinestheir trusted influencers. The Evolved MediaSpace of as the latest and greatest but cost an arm and a leg waytoday is the primary ingredient impacting relational back then, while the latest and greatest was constantlymarketing across disparate channels. being introduced into the market shortly thereafter? Well,A – Alignment to Operations think of the infrastructure of a company much like that. If aTaking the capabilities realized in the maturing technology company thinks the last technology implementation,infrastructure and building a core competency that has a process enhancement, supply chain enhancement and sodirect impact on your bottom line is what alignment to on is the last which they ever have to do, then they willoperations is all about. Think of this like an enhancement succumb to the harsh realities of losing ground in theirto processes, lines of communication, positioning of respective industries. Why do you think that is? Itsbrands and even the distribution of digital assets from your because the cost of doing business becomes more andrepository. more costly for them owing to not taking these enhancements into account.Typically, when aligning to operations, this is a point in theoverall life cycle where the operation truly starts evolving, As companies evolve, their entire operational infrastructurebut not before understanding the long-term impact on the has to evolve – not just one area. Let’s think of theconsumer. Much like an impact assessment for marketing maturing technology infrastructure as the beginning of thechannels to customers / personas, aligning operations to DAM. Assume its either a system being put in, or in thethe evolved competitive advantage is as equally important. process of being revamped to meet existing operationalThink of it this way, if you send out a message or digital needs. The system has to be crafted to meet not onlyasset down the wrong channel in a much shorter timeline today’s needs, but the future advancements needed towhen no one is receptive, you have essentially wasted meet basic operational capabilities. Now take it a stepyour marketing dollars. So regardless of the maturing further.technology infrastructure, your dollar value is not fully Suppose your current tag cloud or taxonomy is not beingrealized. It becomes far more valuable to a company easily leveraged in today ’ s growing market space ofwhen the backbone of the marketing ops and the twitter, facebook, youtube and so on. What do you thinkmarketing ops come together to discuss how to best will happen if you do not constantly refi ne or evolve yourleverage the information for future campaigns. When nomenclature, taxonomies, metatags and metadata?operations and strategic technological enhancements You may experience the same fate what many of Edison’sare aligned, it tends to result in reductions that can very competitors did – extinction and ultimate loss. This by far iswell be positive to the organization as a whole. In the the most important of all the pieces in the TEAMS’case of marketing channels, it means faster time to framework – its the bread and butter of truly engaging andmarket, possibly better real-time information and possibly This article was featured in the Journal of Digital Asset Management, Volume 6 | Number 1 | February 2010© 2010 John E. Merritt. 9
    • © 2010 John E. Merritt. 10
    • This article was featured in the Journal of Digital Asset Management, Volume 6 | Number 1 | February 2010© 2010 John E. Merritt. 11
    • How Engaged Customers are Evolving DAMs and the Channels they Servebutter of truly engaging and gaining real insights into how to leverage those insights to build better relationships.what your customers are doing, looking for and wanting Having a solid vision of your framework to support theto interface with you at. smaller vision, just as Edison did, quickly leaves all competitors in the dust. The ones who can successfullyWhile there are up-front costs, its the sole structure that leverage existing capabilities in their DAM systems toprovides a window from the corporation to open to the meet heavily engaged customers, will be the ones whoengaged customer on outside. The cost piece should will be capable of navigating in today’s constantlynever be an issue– the value and vision of the investment Evolving MediaSpace.should be focused more on the prolonged capabilities itprovides to your company and how it has impacted thebottom line. Having a constantly evolving and maturingtechnology infrastructure in terms of DAM is a healthyevolution of operations in marketing as a whole. You’vegot to keep current if you intend to impress or grab theattention of a customer in a highly saturated andEvolving MediaSpace.S – Strategic Relational ValueThink of this as your business plan aligned to your brandpillars, strategic goals and overall operational targetgoals. It is the single point where insights are leveragedto create a vision for the long haul. In engaged customerterms; is the soapbox with an audience of leadershiphanging on their every word. In operational terms, it is thedevelopment and recommended advancements in yourmarketing campaigns that creates a highly viable andcompetitive weapon that operates in stealth mode.In terms of the TEAMS’ framework, If a DAM is in place,then it is a vision of leveraging from a system ’ s point ofview. If not in place, then it may consider the DAM as astrategic investment.Well, every organization needs a plan. While eachorganization may have some kind of approach, thatorganization may lack the conduit of real-time and past /active points of engagement from the customer. Thestrategic relational value is the culmination of past,existing and constant insight from the whole perspectiveof the marketing operation (inside and out). Feeding thisvision is the insight from the agile and fluid processesworking at variable times throughout a campaign lifecycle. The unrestricted information streams back andforth between customer and company is a critical inputfor the constant evolution of leveraging the DAM in anew way.SummaryChanging the characteristics of how a companycommunicates to its customers relies heavily on itsunderstanding of how its customers interface with it and This article was featured in the Journal of Digital Asset Management, Volume 6 | Number 1 | February 2010© 2010 John E. Merritt. 12
    • [ merritt ] TM Building Vision that Connects to You