My recent blog article ‘Content & Commerce converge to drive retail growth’ reflected on how the consumer no longer cares about channels, instead moving seamlessly between devices, media, platforms and environments to complete their shopping mission.
So it’s no surprise that in a recent eConsultancy survey, 73% of company respondents identified they’re working towards delivering cohesive customer experiences, rather than a traditional campaigns based approach.
At the same time, marketers are under more pressure to engage consumers effectively, measure marketing effectiveness and demonstrate clear ROI. With surging investment in content and an explosion in digital customer touch-points, surveys regularly indicat3 measurement challenges to deliver cohesive customer experiencese that up to 60% of brands express an inability to measure ROI effectively. “The CMO Survey” found that only one-third of CMOs said they could quantitatively prove the impact of their marketing outlays.
In this new reality, how can brands create a joined up view of the consumers digital experience. Here are 3 measurement challenges that have to be addressed successfully:
1. MAKE ‘TEST, LEARN & GROW’ YOUR DEFAULT APPROACH
It’s amazing how many brands still operate with a top down, traditional model for marketing along the lines of strategy > plan > execute > measure. Whether the constraints are to do with mindset, processes or enabling tools, rigid planning and execution is high risk in an environment where consumer behaviour is rapidly evolving.
“Content needs are exploding as we move to a world of precision marketing and 24/7 engagement,” says Johnson & Johnson CMO Alison Lewis. “You can have too much of a good thing if you don’t optimize your content across touchpoints. You need to understand what’s working and not working, promote the strategies that are working and move away from the ones that aren’t.”
The starting assumption should be that there is no such thing as the perfect plan. Once that mindset is in place, the key to implementing an agile ‘test, learn & grow’ approach is having the tools and processes to measure effectively across touchpoints, identify actionable insights and then be able to optimize quickly enough (before your consumer has moved on to one of your competitors).
2. THE CURSE OF SILOS
‘Forbes Insights & PwC Content Survey’ highlighted that ‘an effective operating model must address the fragmented way in which so many organizations manage content—within disparate functions and lines of business. This, in turn, leads to a disjointed customer experience, as well as an impersonal one.’
These silos don’t only relate to content but also to insights. Customer experiences are disjointed because brands do not have a unified view of the customer experience. We describe this as the ‘inside out’ syndrome (prioritising how the brand operates and delivers, rather than what the customer expects). In the past this may have been suboptimal, but on balance acceptable. In today’s environment, where the customer has so much power and choice, its represents a serious threat to competitiveness. Removing both content & insight silos should be a high priority for brands.
3. FROM ANALYTICS TO INSIGHTS
Whilst there are a many brands failing the measurement challenge, there are also a significant group who are measuring but failing to use that data to generate meaningful and actionable insights. Broadly speaking these brands fall into two categories. The first include brands that spend so much time and resource on capturing data from disparate sources that this effort squeezes out the time required to generate meaningful insights. The second category are the ‘big data victims’ who have an embarrassment of data but insufficient focus on how to wade through the analytics to create meaningful insights that can be quickly translated into actions that improve performance.
Victor Milligan, CMO at Forrester Research speaking about his predictions for 2016 said that, “Analytics is becoming a key competitive weapon. It’s not about making big data bigger but making it more useful and able to anticipate and deliver superior experiences to customers.”