07 February 2016

Marketers - the new innovative disruptors in business

Tags:Innovation

As a marketer today, your job is broad, and the expectations are big! You’re a strategist, a specialist, a technologist, a business leader, and you need to have a seat at the proverbial table.

But let’s face it…It has never been a more exciting time to be in marketing. You have the opportunity to redefine your business and potentially your industry. We’re in an age where marketing is finally able to show that we are the love child of Art, Science and Mathematics. But this isn’t an overnight revolution, it’s an impatient evolution, and here at Squiz, we thought it would be useful to start looking at the new journey towards marketing maturity.

This maturity is no longer about how you change your marketing efforts but how you transform your business from efficient, functional and reasonably profitable; to becoming an innovative disruptor (read “game changer”) in your industry.

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It sounds a bit like the latest buzz-word, but at its core, this maturity and business transformation is about fundamental changes in marketing, - business, people, process, technology and ultimately, your customer’s experience.

If we look at your marketing maturity across a scale of business optimisation, we start to understand why this is not just the latest “thing.” It’s not just about reaching the end goal. Each stage along the way is critical in achieving your success story; building trust, relationships, and proof points that allow your team and business to redefine itself now and into the future.

The Maturity Model

Business efficiency

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Marketing: Brand broadcasting and Business aligned - Your activities are reflective of brand speak – “here we are”, “this is who we are”, “these are our products and services”.

Business: You may also be aligning marketing efforts with business and sales objectives.

People: You’ve got great people, but they’re undertaking tasks outside of their areas of expertise.

Technology: You’re using technology_- a website, maybe a database tool, and basic online store – but they don’t talk to each other and you’re struggling to gain actionable insights from the backend. Across the business, there is poor visibility into your customers and prospects and their behaviours.

Process: At this stage you’re going to be at either end of scale – you’ll either have very few processes in place, or your business is carrying a ball and chain of cumbersome, manual tasks defined by a myriad of fail points.

Objectives / Outcomes: Acquisition, Retention, Service and Infinite Engagement…you can check the boxes, sort of. Most likely these are measured on company centric figures. If you’re achieving them don’t dig deeper right? Wrong! What about the missed opportunity value, or get traditional and talk about customer lifetime value, 80/20 rule around acquisition costs, etc – These are text book issues, but we think it’s worth highlighting them.

These activities are achieving desired outcomes efficiently, but you’re probably not being as effective as you could be.

Business effectiveness

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Marketing: Business aligned and Customer focused - Your activities are linked to business outcomes and you’re starting the journey to shifting the organization to be more customer-centric. You’ve begun to gather the right data to help define this strategy.

Business: Your business is becoming more aligned, your sales efforts are less random, i.e. you’re starting to look at best bets delivered by marketing. Change is afoot, it’s time to realign the business to the customer.

People: As the business is shifting, revenue should be too. It’s time to bring in more of the right people and skills but don’t forget to focus on change management. To paraphrase Richard Branson, “look after your employees and they’ll look after your customers (business).”

Technology: It’s the age of digital disruption - technology is going to help transform your business efficiency, effectiveness and your customers’ experience. This is a tough time from a technology perspective - you’ll be making large investments in both budget and resource (but it will be worth it). A word to the wise, find a good partner. The technology is important, but so is the strategy around implementation and ongoing utilisation.

Process: Our heart goes out to you…the new and the old order are colliding. Your new technology is probably highlighting missing processes or inefficient ones. Stay the course and leverage your strategic technology partner, this is where they are worth their weight in gold.

Objectives/Outcomes: Acquisition, Retention, Service and Infinite Engagement…At this point, it’s both easier and more difficult to prove results. Your technology is making it easier to pull the reports you need, but the business is going through change, and inevitably this impacts your bottom line. Remember this is a journey, there’s a point in the curve where things will shift exponentially.

Business transformation

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You know that shifting point we just mentioned…here it comes.

Marketing: Customer focused and one-to-one at scale - You’re not here without your marketing automation tool, CRM, web / mobile platforms and their integration. You’re impacting the bottom line and you can prove it. You’re talking to your customers when, where and how they want. You’re building out your customer journey and touchpoint map and preparing for full lifecycle management.

Business: It’s a time of continued change. Refining new and old processes, supporting business growth and ensuring change management is effective.

People: It’s an exciting time to be at your organization, attracting great talent should be getting easier. Your marketing team will most likely be getting more specialised. Leveraging these new skills creates more effective activities.

Technology: Your technology stack should form your customer experience platform. Providing a 360- degree view (omniview) of your customers across all channels.

Process: You’ll be moving into a period of review and refinement at this point, with automation creating business efficiencies.

Objectives/Outcomes: Acquisition, Retention, Service and Infinite Engagement…The results speak for themselves. Data analysis will form a big part of your decision making and objective setting for the coming 6, 12, 18 months.

Innovative disruption

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You’ve reached a point where you’re achieving more by leveraging the skills, technology, partnerships, people, and streamlined processes you’ve been developing and refining over the last two or more years, so sit back and enjoy the status quo….Or take the next step and become an innovative disruptor.

We say take the next step, become an Apple to the personal PC, Air BnB to hotel tourism, Uber to taxi transport…disrupt your industry.

Marketing: Lifetime experience - Using your data you’re now building out your lifecycle management programs that focus on infinite engagement with your customers. Next best offers will be mapped out, and triggered off moment-of-truth behaviours, and your lead scoring models will be continually refined. You, and/or your product teams will be working on customer-centric product innovation supported by comprehensive data analysis.

Business: You’re leveraging the technology and people you have in place to create disruption in your industry, through “simplicity, convenience, accessibility and affordability” (read more on this below).

People: Cherry-pick the right people at the right time to leverage the technology platforms, and continue to foster an environment of innovation.

Technology: The beauty and burden of technology is that it is constantly changing and evolving, but with change comes new opportunities. We’re in the age of digital disruption, so leverage technology in your space.

Process: Continued refinement and improvement is key to efficiency and effectiveness.

Objectives/Outcomes: Acquisition, Retention, Service and Infinite Engagement…Like all other aspects of business optimisation, the results should be improving, but don’t forget, continued refinement allows for ongoing success. Ensure for each of your objectives, that you are looking to see how you can innovate to differentiate.

Innovative disruption…What is it?

This isn’t a new concept, “The theory of disruptive innovation was first coined by Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen. The theory explains the phenomenon by which an…

Innovation transforms an existing market or sector by introducing simplicity, convenience, accessibility, and affordability where complication and high cost are the status quo.

Initially, a disruptive innovation is formed in a niche market that may appear unattractive or inconsequential to industry incumbents, but eventually the new product or idea completely redefines the industry.” (Source: http://www.christenseninstitute.org/key-concepts/disruptive-innovation-2/).

Our maturity model suggests that this journey - these new tactics, new channels, new technologies - you’re implementing should all be pointing you towards a relationship with your customers that is about infinite engagement.  Engagement that more and more, is driven by customer preferences and expectations of personalised experiences with your brand.

What Next?

We understand that most of you will be executing elements from various stages in the model (we’ve provided a few examples in the above diagram), and it’s important to recognise that this is not a linear journey but one that reflects the resource, budget, skills and particular market you’re in.

In the spirit of personalisation, we believe this maturity model should be customised to your business. It’s not meant to be prescriptive, just a framework that allows you to place yourself at a point on the journey, and allow you to start to make a plan on how you’ll be moving towards that point; being an innovative disruptor in your business and, therefore, redefining your business’ place within it’s industry.

Need help on your journey?

Contact the MAD (Marketing Automation and Data) team at Squiz

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