Decision points on the path to unified customer engagement


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Decision points on the path to unified customer engagement

  1. 1. Email: North America: 1-877-339-6264 India: +91-124-4951900-50 Decision Points on the Path to Unified Customer EngagementNEW YORK | TORONTO | LOS ANGELES | DUBAI | GURGAON
  2. 2. Table of contentA Tale of Two Marketing Leaders ------------------------------------------------------------- 3Confronting the Growth Challenge ------------------------------------------------------------ 3The Customer Journey ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5The Customer Context ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7The Customer Interaction ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 8Digital Marketing Roadmap: The Power of the Trifecta -------------------------------- 10Conclusions Over Coffee ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 10About eDynamic ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 12AbstractMarketing leaders are now challenged to effectively guide their customers through difficult and demandingdecisions. They are providing content and engaging in conversations in an effort to support thesedecisions. However, some marketing organizations can be expected to achieve greater success thanothers in this endeavor. Some marketers will focus on fully addressing "the customer context," while otherswill fall short of this challenge.In this story, we meet two marketing leaders who are challenged to address disappointing marketingresults and rethink their approaches. They will grapple with the implications of embracing content-led andcustomer-led strategies in their efforts to transform marketing. What theyll discover is that trulysynchronized and personalized interactions with customers -- the key to top marketing results -- are notpossible without Unified Customer Engagement.
  3. 3. A Tale of Two Marketing LeadersJohn and Mark both held top marketing roles in promising companies. But theyd experienced significantlydifferent outcomes in the prior year in their respective jobs.Both men had struggled initially in the year past. Both had seen marketing performance drop. Theyd seenlead production, conversion rates, and sales numbers decline as the economy tightened and competitionintensified. Marketing approaches that once generated plentiful leads and kept sales pipelines fully loadedwere no longer delivering the same results.Meeting over coffee, the two men discussed the steps they had taken over the past year and how theirdecisions had played out. Each had faced a series of decision points. Yet different decisions led todifferent outcomes. Only one would make the decisions and take the actions necessary to fully engagecustomers, produce valuable leads, and drive sales growth to new levels.Confronting the GrowthChallengeAs the two men talked, they reflected on what steps they had taken in the prior year and what they hadexperienced.Both John and Mark had been diligent in their outreach to fellow executives and team members. Whatboth heard was a great deal of concern and disappointment about leads, opportunities, and closed deals.Clearly, success would depend on producing more qualified leads to meet the needs and expectations oftheir sales organizations.At the same time, they knew competition was intensifying. This was putting extreme pressure on margins. Itwas also undermining their ability to cut through market noise and differentiate their messages andofferings in the marketplace.And as they dug deeper into these challenges, they both discovered problems in terms of how theycommunicated with their prospects and customers. Not only did they lack insight into buyer needs andbehaviors, they were unable to produce messages that would resonate with them in a personal way.Customers were simply not buying.“ Only 41% of respondents indicate their content marketing efforts are effective. Source: Junta42 and MarketingProfs “But this is where the two marketers began to respond differently.When confronted with the challenge of weak marketing performance, John formulated a customer-ledstrategy. As he saw it, the key to his organizations turnaround would lie in Unified Customer Engagement --engaging prospective customers across multiple channels including email, the web site, and the salesforce. 3
  4. 4. Unified Customer Engagement is a strategy that leverages digital technologies to acquire new customersand strengthen relationships with existing ones. It draws on the integrated capabilities of core marketingsystems -- such as customer relationship management, marketing automation, and content management-- to engage buyers across channels with relevant and valuable content that reflects the context of theirindividual decisions.John wanted to ensure that messages were both personalized and synchronized to reflect pastinteractions, current conversations, and even predictive insights. He would engage buyers in apersonalized fashion across channels and in relation to stages of a buying cycle. His strategy was tounderstand the customers decision making context, define the customers decision-making cycle, andcommunicate with customers in ways that would effectively guide them through these decisions. What are your top three challenges when it comes to online marketing? Obtaining an integrated view of customers across online marketing touch points 45% Understanding the influence of a marketing campaign beyond acquisition and conversion to include the influence of each interaction 45% Interpreting data to make business decisions 41% Data accuracy 35% Determining which metrics are important 31% Reconciling multiple online marketing applications 25% Meeting different reporting requirements for different stakeholders 20% Too much data 14% Source: Coremetrics and Bloomberg Business WeekMark began crafting a new marketing strategy as well. However, his approach could best be described ascontent-driven. His team would focus on creating a lot of new content -- white papers, case studies,eBooks, videos and more -- to support various channels. However, his website remained static, hiscustomer profiling capabilities minimal, and his ability to serve up content based on personal needs andinterests was severely limited. The decision to focus on content -- as opposed to customers -- wouldprove to have significant implications. 4
  5. 5. The Challenge with Content 3% Producing Engaging Content-------------------36% 9% Producing Enough Content----------------------21% 11% 36% Budget to Produce Content----------------------20% Lack of C Level Buy In----------------------------11% 20% Producing a Variety of Content-------------------9% 21% No Answer---------------------------------------------3% Source: Marketing Profs / Junta 42“ Content marketing counts for more than 26% of total marketing budgets annually. Source: Junta42 and Marketing Profs “Both John and Mark also decided that new marketing technology investments would be critical to theirendeavors. Having developed a Digital Marketing Roadmap, John purchased a next-generation contentmanagement system to accompany his firms marketing automation and customer relationshipmanagement systems. Meanwhile, Marks new technology investments were limited to email marketingautomation and social media technologies that seemed to be the "next wave."The Customer JourneyThe facts about the customers world were beyond dispute. Both John and Mark realized that todayscustomer is barraged by marketing messages -- most of which are irrelevant and annoying. One 1978Yankelovich study found the average American was confronted with more than 2,000 advertising messagesper day. When the study was revisited in 2008, Yankelovich found the number had soared to more than5,000 messages per day.Neither executive wanted to further contribute to the problem. But how would they generate the leads thatwould clearly be necessary to produce new business?“ Enhancing lead generation is the top sales effectiveness initiative in 2011 – chosen by 46% of respondents. Source: CSO Insights “Mark brought his marketing staff together to begin brainstorming new content. To entice buyers and grabtheir interest, his team would take a shock and awe approach and unleash a volley of white papers,webinars, videos, Twitter posts, and other forms of content on his target prospects. Having heard a greatdeal about the power of "content marketing," he decided the more content he could produce, the moreprospects he could attract.John, however, took a more measured approach and decided that the first issue to address wassomething he called "the customers journey." He wanted his organization to have a thorough grasp of thesteps that a buyer went through on the way to doing business with his company. He wanted to understandwhat decisions must be made and how they would be made. He wanted to know what guidance potentialbuyers were seeking and how to address their concerns. 5
  6. 6. To better understand this journey, John conducted a series of structured interviews with current customersand ideal prospects. He consulted with industry analysts and experts. He then brought together his stafffrom marketing as well as customer-facing staff members from the sales and service teams. He held aseries of meetings, facilitated by a digital marketing agency, to clarify and visualize the customersexperience. Need Information Evaluate Purchase Engagement Recognition Search Options Decision Prospect Prospect Registers Engages Prospect Converted Unknown Known Lead CustomerJohn wanted to illuminate -- from his customers perspective -- what issues would arise throughout thebuying cycle. Whether the customers challenge was needs recognition, solution consideration, or optionsevaluation, he wanted to know what would be the appropriate guidance to support the customers decisionprocess.As a result of this exercise, Johns marketing team had a powerful and insightful perspective on thecompanys buyers. The marketing group was now able to identify audience segments, industry verticals,buying stages, pain points, motivations and conversion triggers.Working with his digital agency, John was also able to: Set a baseline and measurements of success Identify and set goals for traffic, conversion, engagement Identify gaps/challenges associated with the current state Identify areas of opportunities for customer acquisition and engagementJohns team was not just committed to creating content to support marketing campaigns. It was committedto creating relevant content to support customer buying decisions. With the assistance of his digitalagency, John and his team began developing "content maps" -- tools that would link the content theyproduced to the appropriate stage in the buyers journey. 6
  7. 7. The Customer ContextIts one thing to produce compelling and actionable content. But its only truly relevant if it is presented tothe right person at the right time.Here, differences in perspective between John and Mark emerged once again.Marks marketing team was thrilled to have the opportunity to produce lots of creative content.This team, however, had put very little effort into understanding customers any better. Of course, theypurchased new lists and built up their marketing database. But the emphasis seemed to be on the mereacquisition and compilation of data.John had a very different perspective. He considered the customer profiles he was developing to beessential to his teams performance. He believed that patterns in these profiles would provide keyindicators and signals to trigger the delivery of personally relevant content at the right moment.His team became committed to the concept of addressing the "customer context." This is the idea thateach prospective buyer has his or her own preferences and priorities. Their context reflects who they are,what they are seeking to accomplish, what actions theyve taken in the past, and where they are in adecision process. By understanding as much about this context as possible, you are able to address thecustomer in the most appropriate way -- even anticipating what might be valued next. Understand your Segment your Map the Implement the Buying Cycle Audience Messages Platforms Need Information Evaluate Purchase Engagement Recognition Search Options Decision Criteria Criteria Criteria Criteria Segment A Criteria Objection Objection Objection Criteria Criteria Criteria Criteria Segment B Criteria Objection Objection ObjectionJohn’s digital consulting firm built integrated and intelligent customer profiles that would recognize anindividuals role, preferences, priorities, prior behavior, and buying stage. These insights could then beused to serve up messages or resources that would support the buyers decision appropriately. Rather 7
  8. 8. than merely creating a lot of content, his team could concentrate on creating the right content to be servedup at the right time.The consulting firm also took over the technical challenge of mapping the data to the appropriate content.By introducing business rules reflecting which content should be served up under which circumstances,the foundations were put in place for personalized, customer engagement.The Customer InteractionTo provide a truly compelling customer experience, its necessary to be relevant and consistent acrosschannels of interaction. Unfortunately, companies today often struggle to unify their messages acrosschannels and communicate with customers in an effective way.As it turns out, this was clearly the case with Marks company. While his team had spent a great deal oftime creating new content, little effort had been invested to ensure that these capabilities were aligned withthe buyers needs, challenges, and expectations.In the absence of a centralized customer profiling capability for their marketing automation systems, Marksorganization was producing messages that were inconsistent, irrelevant, and ill-timed. There was no way toconsistently engage the customer. Email outreach never reflected past interactions and sales people neverhad appropriate insight to engage prospective buyers with the right message at the right stage of thebuying process. This situation, as it turned out, was a consequence of a content-driven strategy. Therewas no true awareness of customer context.“ Of the 91 percent of consumers who opt out or unsubscribe to emails, 46 percent are driven to brand defection because the messages are simply not relevant – CMO Council. “By contrast, Johns strategy of Unified Customer Engagement was paying off handsomely. His marketingorganization was able to successfully synchronize and personalize messages across channels. Havinginvested in a centralized customer profiling capability, their systems worked in unison and messages weremanaged in relation to the customers context.The customers preferences, past behavior, and buying stage were all taken into account in the productionof messages and support of interactions. Prospective buyers received messages and offers -- whether aninvitation to a webinar or an offer to download a white paper -- that reflected findings from pastinteractions. And when sales people called on accounts, they were fully apprised of these interactions andwhat they indicated. They had the insights they needed to engage in effective conversations.“ Todays consumer wants timely and contextual messages, and clearly values opt-in, personal communications – CMO Council. “Mark believed he was doing everything right. "Weve got all channels covered," he told his team. So hewas extremely surprised when he couldn’t move his leads beyond the first stage in the buying cycle. Infact, as the volume and velocity of content increased, he noticed that his opt-out rate was increasing. Saleshad no qualified leads and even fewer opportunities. The results were just not there.John had recognized the core issue: to engage the customer across channels. And by recognizing thecustomers context, his team was able to provide an experience that was truly personalized. 8
  9. 9. Johns team, as a result, was having enormous success guiding customers through a decision process.They were moving from awareness to consideration to purchase at a rate far outpacing prior experience.With consistently relevant messages presented everywhere from email to the mobile channel to the website to the sales force, buyers commented favorably on the reliable guidance they received as they soughtways to address their current problems -- in many cases problems that they had long tolerated for want ofa better option.With the seamless integration of its marketing automation, CRM, and content management systems, thecompany now had a Unified Engagement Platform. Technically, the challenge here revolved aroundimplementation and integration -- enabling the unification of customer profile data and synchronizedinteraction capabilities across channels. With a unified approach in place, the company could nowdynamically serve up content. Web CMS Common Customer Context CRM Marketing AutomationJohns marketing team could now engage prospective buyers in a personalized way, nurture them overtime, guide them through a buying decision, and only hand leads over to sales when they had been scoredas "sales qualified." Having worked together to mutually define a lead, the sales and marketing teams wereclearly aligned. With a steady flow of qualified leads from marketing, the sales team was crushing itsquota.“ More than 56% of marketers believe personalized communications out-perform traditional mass market approaches, according to research from the CMO Council. “Having built its Unified Engagement Platform on "the trifecta" of marketing automation, CRM, and contentmanagement, the marketing organization would next explore ways to incorporate new analyticalcapabilities, social media, and community management into its efforts.Moreover, John’s team could now move further down the customer lifecycle -- committing still more timeand attention to the challenge of cultivating customer loyalty and advocacy. New messaging and contentdevelopment would increasingly focus on strengthening existing relationships and increasing customerlifetime value. As John saw it, the introduction of new community and social media technologies wouldhelp enhance these connections by enabling his customers to support each other. 9
  10. 10. Digital Marketing Roadmap:The Power of the TrifectaWorking with a digital agency, John was able to create a Digital Marketing Roadmap that would drive hismarketing technology investments in an intelligent and impactful way.The roadmap defined which technologies would be required to enable fully personalized marketing. Itoutlined how they would be implemented and integrated -- and established a timetable for all actions andinvestments. The roadmap provided a vision and a path to Point of Arrival. The path to the destinationwould take time, but the sequence was important. The roadmap incorporated:1. Content Management (CMS): Implementing a content management system (SiteCore) to support personalized interactions on the companys Web site.2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) : Upgrading the existing CRM system ( to support personalized interactions involving members of the sales team.3. Marketing Automation (MA) : Upgrading the marketing automation system (Eloqua) to support personalized interactions via email and other digital channels.4. Integration and Mapping : Integrating the three systems -- customer relationship management, marketing automation, and content management -- to create centralized buyer profiles that could then be mapped to a defined buying process.5. Measurement and Reporting : Implementing the dashboards and measurement tools necessary to support ongoing performance measurement and management.Unified Customer Engagement, as John came to understand, revolves around "the Power of the Trifecta."This is the ability to integrate the three main digital marketing technologies -- CRM, MA, and CMS -- topersonalize and synchronize customer interactions across channels.Conclusions Over CoffeeThe biggest challenge that marketers face is demonstrating a clear impact on sales performance. Oneyear down the line, John had clearly succeeded in this objective while Mark had clearly fallen short.Under Johns leadership, qualified, sales-ready leads had increased by 120%. But, more importantly, salesattributed to marketing had increased by 80%. And marketing expenses relative to sales had dropped60%. It was quite a year -- enabling John to bring home a sizeable bonus.Whats more, the venture capital community had taken notice. John was now getting calls from venturecapitalists who were considering him for roles as CEO of promising startups. His stock had obviously risento new heights in the market for talent. 10
  11. 11. Mark, who had seen Johns success profiled in the citys business journal, had invited him to meet forcoffee. What decisions, wondered Mark, had produced such impressive outcomes? He thought his ownaggressive efforts would have surely delivered results on par with Johns.Over a two-hour conversation, John generously shared his insights on what had contributed to hissuccess. Having failed to deliver expected results many times in the past, these were hard-won insights.He had the battle scars to prove it. He shared his key recommendations:1. Determine your strategy: Map out your customer’s journey Define the buyer’s context Develop a Digital Marketing Roadmap2. Define a unified customer profile and wrap the channels around the customer3. Focus on content strategy – tie it to the buying lifecycle4. Embrace technology and the Power of the Trifecta: Leverage a CMS that allows you to target the buying lifecycle and personalize customer interactions Implement a CRM that provides deep customer insight Implement a marketing automation platform that generates, manages and nurtures leads5. Connect the systems to enable data flow, measurement and customer insightThe two men talked at length about marketings increasing power in the enterprise -- power that revolvesaround its growing ability to deliver predictable results. Johns most important bit of wisdom, however,concerned the value of data. Having spent years focused on the creative side of marketing, he was nowcommitted to the value of data and analytics.It was his insight into the customers challenges and behavior that truly elevated his career. By committinghimself to "flying by instruments," he was able to see through the fog of hype surrounding new technologyand the fog of war that often put marketing at odds with sales. Fully focused on observing his customers,he had the insights he needed to produce relevant content and a compelling experience. Fully committedto supporting them in their buying processes, he was able to build a platform that would producepredictably impressive results. 11
  12. 12. About eDynamicStrategy Workshops to Deliver ResultsIn our strategic review, unique in the industry, we work with you to understand and document yourcustomers’ buying cycles, how best to segment your web visitors and then how to target personalizedinformation to them, while providing you with lead scoring capabilities and a strategy to convert prospectsto customersSeamless Integration:As Certified partners of both class-leading platforms - Sitecore and Eloqua, eDynamic has enabled aseamless solution that connects Sitecores Online Marketing Suite (OMS) with Eloquas MarketingAutomation Platform. We provide integration services to marketers looking for greater flexibility andsophistication in executing marketing campaigns that deliver superior value and results.This solution provides marketers with unified engagement platform where both the website and emailmessages are synchronized. Taking the strategy defined during the strategic review, or your customrequirements, we can configure both OMS and Eloqua to work together to respond to web visitors anddrive lead conversionsTerms and Definitions:Marketing Automation: Software platforms designed for marketing departments to simplify processesby automating repetitive tasks. Marketing personnel benefit from these systems by specifying criteria andoutcomes for tasks and processes which are then interpreted, stored and executed by software,enhancing efficiencies and reducing error.Content Management System (CMS): Software platforms designed to enhance the production,storage, presentation and distribution of enterprise content including white papers, marketing collateral,presentations, web site copy, and other material . Serving as a central repository, the CMS allows forversion control of existing content.Customer Relationship Management (CRM): CRM is a strategy for managing a company’sinteractions with customers, clients and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize,automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing,customer service, and technical support.Unified Engagement Platform (UEP): UEP is an overarching framework for integrating multiplesoftware platforms in order to enhance interaction and engagement with buyers across channels. Theapproach, which enables enterprises to synchronize and personalize their customer communications,typically involves a customer relationship management system, content management system, and amarketing automation system. 12