Five steps to bring marketing operations into the digital era, by McKinsey

Recently, we came across McKinsey’s latest report on how companies all over the world build their digital expertise. Accompanying a number of leading brands on their digital transformation journey, McKinsey consultants are discussing the challenges most businesses are dealing with, providing valuable insights on how marketers approach their change efforts. The research emphasises the five key capabilities that marketers should utilize to accelerate their responsiveness to the marketplace and deliver superior customer experiences.

The findings suggest that addressing these five attributes of effective marketing operations, companies can see sustained benefits such as “15 to 25 percent improvement in marketing effectiveness as measured by return on investment and customer-engagement metrics.”

Here are some bits we picked out as being particularly interesting...

1. Truly understanding customers

Across industries, companies are getting better at targeting specific customer segments and shaping relevant experiences. However, with the majority of businesses being at the start of creating comprehensive customer insights programs, actionable understanding of customer expectations remains a challenge. This involves an ability to track, analysis and interpret customer behaviour on an ongoing basis. Turning insights into actions requires processes and teams that continuously “focus on collecting and making sense of the data and quickly delivering the analysis to the right decision makers.”

2. Delivering a superior customer experience

One negative customer experience can taint the business reputation for years to come.That is why mapping out every step of the customer journey is critical for the brand’s ability to deliver on customer expectations. To enable this process, not only marketing but other functions within the organisation such as sales, support and service should be effectively coordinated. The suggested solution for enterprises is a system “to capture how that shopper responds and to feed that information back into   the organization, which then adjust its offer or message accordingly”.

3. Selecting the right marketing technology

Choosing the right marketing technology to deliver the most effective customer experiences is a critical factor in organisational marketing strategy. This requires the ability to automate processes, personalize interactions, and coordinate actions. It’s necessary to develop a clear vision of customer needs and implement the system that’s easy to manage day to day by the large group of people.

4. Implementing processes and governance

While technology enables the customer experience, effective governance is necessary to ensure technology does what it’s supposed to do. The failure to coordinate how information is shared across the organisation and which capabilities are managed in-house or by external partners can result in a  patchwork of efforts across the organisation. Aligning the roles and formalising responsibilities to establish a clarity within the team can help to reduce the astonishing 84 percent of marketers who do not have a formal content strategy or distribution process.

5. Using the best metrics to drive success

As organisations are becoming more customer-centric so the metrics should be. Focusing on the right measures to manage the effectiveness of marketing investments can actually lead to a higher profitability for the business.  The best metrics need to deliver insights quickly and often in real time so business can actually act. Moreover, they should facilitate the quicker integration of the new new behaviors and processes into the next marketing offer.

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