I’m going to talk first about the external environment, then what that means for the marketing funnel, and lastly, what that means for our marketing mindsets. There are several external drivers for change that impact what effective Marketing looks like today. These include the emergence of Web 2.0 and social media, changes in how prospects/clients source information, make decisions and are influenced. We now live in a hyper-networked, real time world of mass participation in product design, development, marketing, information distribution, and sales, in which trust and therefore value creation is often mediated through social relationships - and the scarce commodity is attention.
Typical marketing funnels, like the one shown at the top are largely based on a groundbreaking article from 1961 by American academics Lavidge and Steiner. 1961 was before my time – but I’m told that in 1961 there were 3 television networks in the US. Clearly a lot has changed in the marketing landscape since then. The ‘new funnel’ represented below shows the impact of peer reviews, competitive alternatives, recommendations from peers and user-generated content. Does anyone feel overwhelmed by this new ‘funnel’ (if you can even call it that)? Well you’re not alone - IBM’s latest CMO study reported an overwhelming consensus from conversations with CMOs worldwide (More than 1,700 CMOs from 64 countries). The vast majority of CMOs are concerned about the growing complexity of the landscape and believe there are three key areas for improvement. They must understand and deliver value to empowered customers; create lasting relationships with those customers; and measure marketing’s contribution to the business in relevant, quantifiable terms. Before I talk about what the integrated planning system, I want to address a some pervasive, limiting marketing concepts that can keep us stuck in old world thinking, limit our ability to think systematically and create highly effective and engaging marketing experiences
Elephant – chained as a baby by a small rope learns it cannot break free. Metaphor for marketers today: our imaginations and practices are to some degree bound by what WAS possible, rather than what is possible today. So what should we be focusing on? AMEX quote. AMEX quote: “Total communication effect” requires an integrated team…
I won’t go through each of the disciplines in the blue circles (IBM has a lot of disciplines & acronyms) – but you will see all areas of marketing, sales, consultants, design teams, corporate social and subject matter experts coming together to create an integrated client experience. The key is that all these parts of the organisation are involved upfront in planning, and if agencies are used – that those agencies are all included at the initial briefing stage. This integrated team is a pre-requisite for the Integrated Planning System I am about to talk you through. I designed this system while in the digital and social strategy team for IBM’s marketing and communications practice. It is used in the internal digital strategy workshops run around the world – as well as in our guidance materials.
The Integrated Planning System comprises a cycle of steps that will enable you to choose the most relevant mix of content types, engagement tactics, media types, and platforms, in order to build a plan that is highly relevant to your constituency segment - and produce improved results over time . Essentially, this system is a series of steps that enables us to navigate the complexity of today’s marketing environment: Inputs to planning Defining the Objectives and the Constituents – and listening to them Building the engagement plan Executing and measuring the plan Analysing the results and iterating. Lets go back a step – why are all these steps necessary? Why can’t we jump straight into implementing tactics? Where there used to be a small number of main media choices (TV, radio, print etc), we are now faced with literally thousands of potential ways to engage with a target segment of people – including a growing number of digital touchpoints, which I believe should almost always be the central ongoing baseline in a modern plan. Inputs: Country Digital Landscape: Each country has unique digital usage and behaviors which provide context to any digital planning activity. Digital Landscapes were developed prior to each Digital Strategy Workshop I ran for IBM and they were found to be highly educational to the local teams Generally approximately 40 slides, covering significant areas of digital Landscape provide a way to identify gaps and opportunities as well as maintain up to date knowledge and understanding of the ever changing market environment. Business priorities: What are the overall business goals and your Marketing Leader’s priorities? What is the one most important priority to start with? If resources are sufficient, more than one Business Priority (Input) could be addressed at one time. Digital Readiness Assessment (shown on next slide) Supporting insights from Media Neutral Planning group: Objectives: “Lack of a governing idea for the communications spectrum diminishes performance, again surprisingly common“ Analytics: “There is an increasing pressure to demonstrate ROI”, “Planning and evaluation tools based on individualised communication disciplines do not reflect present planning and evaluation needs and bar inter-discipline planning and learning“ Iteration: “Success requires maximum efficiency and effectiveness” On that page you will also find a link to a short series of questions designed to help you get value from each step in the cycle. You can use these questions to assess a current quarterly plan or improve a plan you are about to build.
At IBM, each major country completes a digital readines assessment every six months. It contains 65 multiple choice questions, with answers from A-D, A representing low maturity, D representing the future digital state (educational). The answers are placed into an online tool and results are then pulled for each country.
Audience – often defined purely by demographics (e.g. age, postcode, job title) Mass communication. Impersonal. Constituency – definition includes psychographics (and sometimes behaviourgraphics) Niche communications. Co-created, highly targeted, highly relevant – likely to: Generate higher yield Create new opportunities (business development / growth)
‘ Listening’ is an important part of any engagement / conversation. You need to understand what your target audience / constituency is saying, in order to provide high quality value and relevant responses. Listening can of course happen via any medium – face to face at an event or in a one on one meeting between seller and client, via a telephone call, via a survey (where you ask people to provide their thoughts on a specific topic), via a web poll, an online jam, or via ‘tuning in’ to the conversations happening 24/7 on the public web. On the public web, listening can also be called social media research OR social intelligence. This includes: Gathering online conversation via Web scraping tools: scanning news sites, blogs, microblogs and message boards, social networks Gauge overall volume, flow, sourcing, and sentiment of conversations Synthesizing conversational excerpts into overarching insights to identify opportunities Listening can fulfill multiple objectives: Crisis monitoring (real-time listening tool and designated personnel required) Enable you to mine leads Identify most vocal/influential participants to the conversations (internal and external infuencers) Deepen understanding of target audience: allowing us to develop insight into their interests, beliefs, ambitions. This includes u nderstanding the words your target audience / constituency use (informing search keyword selection and copy, as well as creative messaging and content, to enhance SEO). Identify the channels and media where our target audience is conversing ( Websites or communities – who you can partner with and where to engage audience ) Measure the amount of conversation around a topic and related sentiment – develop a baseline, then gauging penetration of and reactions to a campaign, product launch, social media initiative etc. This can form part of ongoing analytics. Indicators to Measure: Preference: Attitudes and disposition (favorable and unfavorable) around IBM Action: Behaviors of IBM’ers and constituents Influence: Identify individuals impacting and driving social conversations around our brands Reach: Viral impact of engagement strategies Overall: Audience insights inform marketing and communications strategies – listening forms a key part of the insights generation phase of constituency planning and also the measurement of efforts on an ongoing basis. (Benchmark and continuously measure the effects of our engagement with our constituency )
Objectives: Mine social media for sales leads. Enable IBM sellers to find ready customers and stay connected to them Outcome: Generate leads Make it easy for customers to find our sellers in social media Enable customers to perceive IBM as “tech savvy” and “easy to do business with In 2009, in NA, a pilot was started by WW ibm.com to test: If social media could be used to discover opportunities? Yes! If we could identify potential leads in social media? Yes! If we could develop best practices for successful participation? Yes! If we could learn how to move from engagement to sale? Yes! If we could assess the ROI? Yes! If it could drive leads and sales? Yes! Intelligent Listening Program recognized internally as innovative Intelligent Listening was the 1 st coordinated activity to get sellers to mine for opportunities & respond to these posts in social media. A multi-locale, multi-brand program - coordinated centrally by WW, but managed locally. Recognized as innovative and funded by STG, SWG, ITS & GB. Build skills on the sales team: The program offers training & support -- proven methodologies, key words, best practices and metrics tracking. Sources: Twitter, LinkedIn, IT forums Recognized externally as innovative Case Study: How IBM Uncovers “Millions of Dollars” Worth of Sales Leads with Social Media, eMarketer , April 2010 Evidence that Social Media Really Does Drive Sales Evidence that Social Media Really Does Drive Sales, The Next Web , Sept 2010
The Management Plan is the flip side of the coin from the engagement plan – each side depends on the other.
People Roles : A senior, cross functional leader is required to bring together all the parties needed to create and implement the engagement and management plan for each key business objective. Support mechanisms for this role are likely to be helpful. Skills : New skills are likely to be required to create and implement this type of plan. This may involve definition of new skills for each discipline within Marketing, learning activities, cultural change and staff changes . Processes The Integrated Planning System could be viewed as a process – and there are many more detailed execution processes. The completion of a readiness assessment is in itself a process. For these processes to work, the other changes must be in place. Platforms Communities of Practice (CoP) can be useful coordination and integration mechanisms. Information management platforms are increasingly important when large cross functional teams work together and need to share information and assets. Marketing technologies are required to gather and sort data and automate CRM where possible. Policies KPIs (for example within the Readiness Assessment) are likely to be helpful. Social media policies are critical if social media is being used: who can use it and how? Teams must be aware of policies regarding use of lists, public information (for example from listening), opt-in and privacy laws . Guidance on these topics for marketing teams may need to be updated in the context of the rapidly changing external environment.
Learn more about IBM’s Enterprise Market Management tools and how clients globally are using them: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/marketing-solutions/cafe/
The Integrated Planning System - Presentation for FUNNEL B2B Marketing event, Sydney 2012
The Integrated Planning SystemRowan HetheringtonDigital Business Transformation ProfessionalIBM Corporate Marketing