The movie Moneyball isn’t really about baseball. It’s not even about statistics. It’s about the way data can be used to challenge conventional wisdom, and its something those of us in the field of marketing metrics have known for a long time. And yet, too many businesses are missing out—for example they know that there’s a lot of buzz around big data, but instead of seizing the opportunity they ignore it.
That is to say almost all use data for creating nice dashboards by now, i.e. small data.
But many aren’t yet using the underlying big data and analytics to make the transition from one-size-fits-all marketing to behavior-based, personalized marketing programs. That is despite the fact that both marketers and customers stand to gain when interactions are more relevant, helpful, and real-time.
Why is it that many marketers aren’t yet taking advantage of big data analytics, especially in digital channels that are a natural fit, such as the web, mobile and social media? An answer to this question (and many more) is to be found in the results of the 2013 Big Data for Marketing survey from Trip Kucera, at the Aberdeen Group. Here’s what they found:
So what’s keeping your organization from leveraging big data in your marketing? I’ll be taking part in a webcast featuring more results from the survey, along with Trip Kucera and Graeme Noseworthy, Big Data for Marketing, Media & Entertainment. Register for the webcast to join us and find out how the best in class in the survey incorporate data analytics into marketing programs—and how you can, too.
15 authors, 15 articles. Free, yet with priceless insights.
Learn from marketing thought leaders how to engage with customers and create value for stakeholders in a complex digital world. Covers digital channels, marketing techniques, accountability and technology. Truly a must-read resource for every CMO!
And, of course, all my gratitude to our 15 authors, bloggers, consultants whose insights into digital marketing strategy make up this ebook.
Together, we set out to puzzle together the silo’d niches of digital marketing into one coherent strategic roadmap. The resulting strategy advice could maybe be summarized as follows (and I hope I am doing justice to all my co-authors):
The following is cross-posted from the original at the IBM Unica blog.
Exciting news for our IBM Unica NetInsight OnDemand customers and really all marketers: IBM today announced the new IBM Digital Marketing Optimization Suite which accomplishes three great “coming-togethers”. Namely, the following:
1. Combines the Best of IBM Coremetrics and IBM Unica NetInsight OnDemand
Since IBM’s acquisition of Coremetrics and Unica our web analytics teams have been merged together like a deck of cards to make the best use of the combined development and best practices expertise. Our combined team now takes care of both IBM’s on demand and on-premises offerings and customers for web analytics.
And as previous competitors, it was much to my surprise that we had been very like minded in the decade leading up to this merger. Both Unica and Coremetrics had been working in parallel to make sure web analytics delivered not just reports for optimization but also provided individual customer insights for refining relevancy of marketing messages.
2. Fuses together: Customer Profiles, Analytics, and Digital Marketing Execution
The next great coming together I see for our customers in the IBM Coremetrics Digital Marketing Optimization Suite is the tight integration between LIVE Profiles, Web Analytics, and the IBM Coremetrics Digital Marketing Applications such as IBM Coremetrics LIVEmail and IBM Coremetrics Intelligent Offer. This tight integration is the secret sauce that enables our users to execute more relevant digital marketing campaigns driven by analytics. The IBM Coremetrics suite inherits this product design from the Coremetrics side where this combo had been available for years while other vendors were merely talking about it in Powerpoint presentations.
3. Adds a More Flexible and Open Data Architecture for Multichannel Analytics
Now, like D’Artagnan teaming up with the three musketeers, the new IBM Coremetrics Suite adds increased flexibility and openness to the trio of LIVE Profiles, analytics, and digital marketing applications. This is being achieved thanks to experience and technology assets coming from Unica NetInsight OnDemand. And it is a true 1+1 = 3 situation. Not only can marketers extend their analytical lens by combining online and offline insights (using the new IBM Coremetrics Multichannel Analytics add-on), but now they can also target digital marketing execution programs, e.g. through IBM Coremetrics LIVEmail, using the cross-channel picture of an individual’s interests.
The Result: Two Great Growth Paths for our Customers
All marketers have web metrics available to them. Competing on analytics requires us to be cleverer with our use of analytics than the next marketer.
Technology needs to be our “power arm” that helps get things done quickly that would be very tedious, expensive, and time consuming otherwise. The new IBM Coremetrics Digital Marketing Optimization Suite provides IBM customers with a “power arm” that helps them go beyond commodity web metrics and move towards digital analytics where discovering new opportunities with segments or individual prospects and customers means more strategic opportunities.
Our customers also have another growth path to go from analytics to digital marketing execution, and from there to integrations with their enterprise (e.g. to their Netezza data warehouse or their IBM Unica Enterprise Marketing Management system), and with the rest of their digital marketing eco-system, e.g. through the eco-systems of IBM Coremetrics LIVEmail (i.e. Email service providers), and IBM Coremetrics AdTarget (i.e. display ad networks).
Now the ball is in your court. How are you going to put all these multichannel analytics and digital marketing opportunities into the race for beating out your competition?
For Our Customers …
Existing NetInsight OnDemand and Coremetrics customers, please keep your eyes peeled for further information by email. Please register for the upcoming customer-only launch webinars. There is no requirement to move to the combined solution immediately. IBM plans on continuing support of the existing Unica NetInsight OnDemand and Coremetrics versions into the future, accompanied by the same industry leading service and support you have come to expect. IBM believes there are compelling components in the combined release that are meaningful and important to your business. In the launch webinars, you will learn about all the great business benefits that our Unica NetInsight OnDemand customers that upgrade will have available. For example, all customers can use their current and new release in parallel during their upgrade process.
For More Information …
Please keep an eye on Unica.com and Coremetrics.com as we will progressively publish more details in the next 10 days of about the new capabilities that our customers can expect. For now, see:
And now to the last article with which our Digital Marketing Strategy series for the CMO will come to closure.
David Raab’s article on technology strategy to align with your digital marketing strategy is a gem and highly quotable throughout.
“There are warning signs that your company’s core marketing technology may itself need replacement. These include fragmented data, uncoordinated responses to customer needs, and difficulty in making changes to keep up with new business requirements.”
Now, if David’s recommendation was for companies to fix such a situation by dashing off to buy more marketing software, I’d be happy (as a vendor guy) but the article would have been crappy.
Far from such short sighted silliness, David however writes:
“[But ...: ] The appropriate response to these symptoms will depend on your company’s technology strategy.”
Huh, technology strategy?
If you are in the situation of buying technology, I don’t envy you. You face tough choices for technology selection.
Similarly are you going for the cloud or in-house systems?
The article doesn’t provide an exhaustive answer as to what will be the best fit for you. But it is a good place to start mapping your options and putting them into context.
The business case
As vendors we all work hard to document the successes that our customers are achieving with the technology we serve them with, as far as clients are willing to share publicly.
But David sets the bar higher vs. typical vendor case study quotes and asks you to think through the business case further for your company.
“For example, a $500,000 marketing mix optimization project might result in a 20% improvement in advertising efficiency – but whether that’s worthwhile depends on the advertising budget: on a $1million budget, that $500,000 returns just $200,000, for a $300,000 loss; but on a $10 million budget, it returns $2 million, for a $1.5 million profit.”
No wonder the article got as many reads as it did.
|David Raab is, by the way, a consultant specializing in marketing technology and analysis. Check out for example his B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool and many archived articles (from DM Reviews, etc.) on his site: www.archive.raabassociatesinc.com.|
Earlier on this blog I referenced an article by Steve Woods from Eloqua on RPM, Revenue Performance Management. RPM is a relatively new term in the area of demand marketing optimization. Will it stick? As I was writing earlier, there seem to be so many terms already that describe B2B marketing automation. Why another one?
So will it stick?
I like of course the idea of scientific, analytics driven, revenue optimization.
But I fear that the term is at risk because it is so broad.
Not marketing optimization
not customer optimization
but total revenue optimization.
So everybody is responsible for RPM, and if everybody is responsible the danger is that nobody takes responsibility.
To quote from Bob’s writing:
With the classic “funnel” thinking, only a small fraction of those entering the top of the funnel are likely to become customers. But ALL prospects will form an impression! Why not take the opportunity to turn everyone into an advocate for your business, even if they are not the right fit at this point in time?
Strictly speaking, this isn’t counter to traditional ROI measurement and optimization. After all,ROI does in theory include all future long term effects that an initiative should be credited with.
But in practice, probably few ROI analysis projects ever get as far as to correctly assess the value of non-buyers who however influence future buyers.
So, therefore I find Bob’s recommendation thought provoking to take the perspective of the prospect for a change and score and optimize their experience.
|By the way, Bob Thompson, is CEO of CustomerThink, a research and publishing firm focused on customer-centric business management. He is also Founder/Editor-in-Chief of CustomerThink.com, the community dedicated to customer-centric business. Recently CustomerThink.com has had many offshoots such as DigitalMarketingOne.com and SocialBusinessOne.com|
Very noteworthy is the following take on measuring returns with new media:
“progressive marketers rely on ROI directed funding for traditional channels and media, and they rely on return on objectives (ROO) for non-traditional, “new territory” funding (ex. parity in search ad exposure)”, from Tom Manning’s article
I think what we have here is another reminder that returns in the short term aren’t always financial but can be strategic. Eventually, though the financial returns have to start shaping up (assuming a for-profit business) so that the initiative can be called successful.
|Tom is a partner with Ninah Consulting, who specialize in quantifying and helping increase marketing effectiveness and profitable business growth. They do this with analytical rigor and by producing models that lead to actionable recommendations.|
This concludes our mini series on accountability and performance measurement from following authors:
Namely, an ROI calculator for ROI measurement. Click the image and see the “Measurement ROI” tab on this calculator by the Lenskold Group.
I have been loving how the authors in our Digital Marketing One series have packed pearls of wisdom from long years of front lines experience into tight paragraphs. Almost taking for granted the hard work that has to happen in order to follow the best practice recommendation.
Nothing comes easy.
Two gems in Jim’s article I’d like to quote. Here comes the first:
“measurements must be prioritized based on the expected improvement to effectiveness, the strategic benefit of gaining insights that can influence many marketing initiatives, and the cost.”
In other words a metrics based approach to metrics!
Here one more gem:
“Key measurements to improve digital marketing include: … Capturing incremental sales conversions and customer value to optimize the digital marketing spend. …”
Advice like this tends to be written out in long, long blog posts or entire books when us web analytics people try to write about it.
Notice the little word “incremental”. Don’t care whether you use first touch or last touch or hold out groups. But the key to useful measurement is to get to that incremental contribution. Otherwise we are just wasting time on numbers games.
Easier said than done, of course.
So Jim article’s hsa advice on five best practices.
|Jim is the author of Marketing ROI and an international speaker on the topic. At his firm, Lenskold Group, his team produces and publishes many articles and research on the topics of marketing ROI, marketing strategies and business growth strategies.|
See Lenksold.com for additional free ROI measurement resources.
For friends of analytics and interactive marketing, it is always a delight to find new technology vendors that take a fresh look at solving the problems in the market.
So, I was fascinated to learn about Whatsnexx’ and their paradigm for marketing automation: Customer State Marketing.
You will probably say that the idea of treating customers in different situations/states with different next best actions is common to all campaign management and marketing automation solutions.
But the degree to which Whatsnexx elevated “Customer State” to the central paradigm is unique, I believe. And, it is one of those mental images that immediately clicks!
So, I was curious to ask Jacques Spilka from Whatsnexx’ a few questions about Customer State Marketing and their approach to marketing automation.
Jacques: Customer State Marketing is a paradigm that we have coined, and our graphic interface and approach are patented. “State” is the key differentiator between what we do and what B2C MA solution providers offer.
Jacques: No. Whatsnexx grew out of a need to tie various applications together without the need to create a centralized database first. One of the problems that we faced at Komunik, an email marketing service provider, was the need to build a synchronization bridge with the various databases that contained the data the client required to send 1-to-1 communications. Another problem was that whenever we wanted to do various trigger-based campaigns, we always had delays imposed by the I.T. department’s existing backlog. We set out to resolve both of these problems by designing an application that allows the marketer to define their rule set (e.g. when this happens then take these actions) without regards as to where the data resides, and without having to involve I.T. to codify the rules in the local or target application.
Jacques: The marketer defines the granularity of the program they are designing. We have one customer who allows their members to download various white papers. Each white paper can have up to 50 “topic” tags associated with it. Currently the marketer has defined two different scenarios as they are only interested in doing an upsell for two different topics. Ultimately they could define 50 scenarios, one for each topic tag. The scenarios work as follows: each time a member downloads a white paper (a download “event”) the scenario tests to see if the tags contain the upsell topic. If so then an upsell email is sent (i.e. the action) to the member. There is then a 7 day waiting period where no more emails for that specific topic are sent (i.e. the member is in a Wait state). After the 7 days are up the member is returned to a Solicitable state.
If I may, here is a more complete explanation:
A subject ecosystem can consist of multiple scenarios. Each scenario can address a different aspect of the marketing program (e.g. acquisition, retention, cross-sell…). A scenario can contain multiple states. A subject (e.g. a client) is always in one state in each scenario, though not necessarily the same state in every scenario. This allows the marketer to create the granularity they need to enact their marketing programs. You could view the scenario states as sub-states. In the example above, a member could be in a solicitable state in one scenario (e.g. Topic 1) and be in a wait state in another scenario (e.g. Topic 2).
Jacques: Whatsnexx receives events from other systems in the form of simple XML tickets that contain the attributes (i.e. data) required to run the scenario. For example, a newsletter sign-up form would provide Whatsnexx an XML ticket that contains an email, first name, and last name field. If a customer purchases an item then the XML ticket could contain the item number, the quantity and the transaction value. The only constraint on events is the ability to detect them.
The key to this approach is to identify all of the detectable events that the marketer wishes to respond to. They then have the relevant systems create an XML ticket whenever one of these events occurs, regardless of the subject’s current state. Whatsnexx receives the event and then implements the marketers rule set according to the subject’s current state in the ecosystem.
Jacques: Whatsnexx executes actions through infogates (i.e. connectors) that conform to the target system’s API. The only constraint on actions is the targets systems API. In some cases, such as sending print messages where minimum run sizes are desired, it may be preferable to accumulate the action requests in a queue that the target system picks up on a periodic basis. The same applies if the target system is behind a firewall. In that case, the action requests can be placed on an FTP server that the target system can query on a scheduled basis.
Whatsnexx is entirely cloud-based. There are two components to Whatsnexx: Whatsnexx Studio, the design tool that you saw in the how-to videos; Whatsnexx Gateway, the execution tool that works in the cloud.
Studio is free to download and runs locally on a Windows platform. Studio can be used to brainstorm, model scenarios and define state workflows.
Gateway is available to subscribers who can publish the ecosystems they build with Studio for execution on the Microsoft Azure cloud.
For more videos from Whatsnexx, see their resources page.