Exciting times! The consolidation in the marketing technology industry is producing a big league of solutions providers.
Dreaming ahead into the future, what can companies hope to achieve with this new breed of marketing software and services providers?
The end-to-end conversion optimization vision that still seemed far reaching to me back in February, looks much more limited now given the new outlook today.
Disclaimer: The following perspective reflects only my personal dreams and shouldn’t be taken to represent the positions, strategies or opinions of my employer.
Digital Enterprise Marketing++
It isn’t possible to do the coming future justice by calling it next generation analytics, campaign management, or marketing automation. The step up in caliber requires also a step up in language.
Might the following become every day terms in enterprise marketing technology in 2011 and beyond?
Marketing Mix Management (MMM)
Today’s discussion is at the level of point solutions such as search bid management tools (for PPC) and demand side platforms (for display advertising). In coming years, will we see all these combined into a single solution for MMM?
MMM would not only allocate advertising budgets towards marketing mix optimization. It would also automate the execution of these ad strategies, their testing, and the data collection into marketing performance management.
Marketing Performance Management (MPM)
Today’s discussion is at the level of web analytics, benchmarking, landing page and site optimization, social media monitoring, predictive analytics, BI, analytical CRM, social CRM, etc.
In coming years, will we see all these combined into a single MPM environment?
MPM would have to combine the aforementioned point solutions for analytics into one interoperable data environment. Users would want drag & drop flexibility to analyze across silos. Think Minority Report.
The data that flows into MPM would include in-house data marts with sensitive information. That means that we may see the pendulum swinging back to in-house software for things such as web analytics.
Interactive Marketing (IM)
IM is the successor to behavioral targeting and direct marketing. It is based on the accepted notion that marketing is more successful when it is timely and relevant. Therefore, interactions via websites, IVR, email, and any other addressable channel should take into account each user’s past and current behavior to personalize content and marketing offers.
Marketing – Fulfillment Synchronization (MFS)
The dream of automating marketing mix execution requires good synchronization with fulfillment. After all, you wouldn’t want to advertise on product XYZ if it is out of stock. And your ability to set a max PPC bid price for product ABC depends on its true margin, i.e. includes product costs and not just ROAS (ROAS=revenue/ad costs).
Companies such as Amazon have been working on creating ads programmatically for years based on inventory. MFS would take this capability to the enterprise software market.
Marketing Operations Management (MOM)
Already used by the largest marketing operations today, MOM is the successor to spreadsheets, notes on napkins, and the like. It is used e.g. at one famous furniture retailer to orchestrate the development of their catalogues. If any of the other ideas above are to become true, hordes of marketers in the organizations need to work together like a machine. Digital assets need to be created in support of personalized messaging. MOM provides project and workflow management on steroids to facilitate all that.
One level down we may see practical applications that include software and services in support of specific steps in the customer lifecycle. These more confined solutions may help companies start small, prove value, and grow from there.
Successful on-boarding is key for turning newly acquired customers into clients with a high lifetime value expectation (e.g. in banking). The automated concierge would connect to marketing performance management and interactive marketing in order to monitor and orchestrate what needs to be done.
Re-marketing may be the oldest trick in the book. But it is still tricky to predict who needs just a reminder vs. who needs an incentive to come back. The re-marketing optimizer would provide that intelligence based on marketing performance management insights and connect to interactive marketing to get the message out.
Multichannel, Multi-touch Marketing Attribution
Point solutions for marketing attribution online vs. response attribution in direct marketing need to merge into one multichannel platform. Marketers should ask software vendors for more than just attribution reports. They should also ask for advice on which touch points deserve how much of the credit. Ideally, the marketing mix modeling function would also be covered by providing advertisers with a prediction as to what they can expect from placing their next ad dollar in each channel.
And the list could go on and on.
None of the above can replace good old fashioned, customer service with a smile.
But for companies that are already doing a good job at taking care of their customers and building products that delight, the next step can be to compete on Marketing.
Exciting times should be ahead for that.
For those about to rock & roll with marketing, I salute you.