Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The path to acceptance

I watched Shar VanBoskirk from Forrester present today at the Omniture Analytics Summit in London. Aside from giving a well-polished and highly involving presentation, she covered the subject of ‘the complex life of the online marketer’.

What was most interesting to me was the path that an online / interactive marketer needs to take in order to gain acceptance of the changing role and how it can create lasting business benefit.

Her path gave these 4 steps:

  1. Acceptance
  2. Integration
  3. Optimisation
  4. Strategic

Foremost in her presentation was the need to use a ‘central hub’ of data, for example provided by a product from a company such as Omniture (no surprise there), to provide consolidated analytics to understand what customers are doing.

Her steps were a simple but effective roadmap and covered the key tools & drivers an online marketer should use :


1. Acceptance
Companies should understand that the World is now different and customer conversation has changed from only a few years ago. Customers now talk to other customers about products without necessarily involving the companies concerned. Companies must at least engage in this dialogue. This is driven by a proper interactive programme, an understanding of the data a company already has and an understanding of Social Media


2. Integration
Having got buy-in, a marketer needs to realise the benefits from integrated programmes. Identification of the 'low hanging fruit' is key (note: at 6"6' tall, a lot of fruit for me is 'low hanging') and they need to start linking data together.
E.g. finding out who your most valuable customers are, or conducting behavioural/demographic targetting


3. Optimisation
Create customer-centric cross-channel programmes that generate financial results. You should make your work smarter and more relevant, in an effort to collaborate & streamline your efforts.


4. Strategic
This is where interactive marketing drives business success and in-turn informs the business about future direction. This is where planning & modelling comes to the fore.
Most importantly this is the Exec-level buy-in where you are affecting the company value.

She makes it all seem so easy......
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