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If you attended the recent VB Marketing Analytics roundtable with Foursquare CRO Steven Rosenblatt, VentureBeat Analyst Jon Cifuentes, and myself, chances are you’re feeling a bit intimidated by the data-driven future of marketing we presented. You aren’t alone.
It isn’t that journey mapping, situational-segmentation, or micro-marketing are techniques you can’t wrap your head around; it’s that they seem impossible to actually implement within your own company.
Have faith. Here are the four steps we discussed at the end of the roundtable in greater detail. Follow them to implement future marketing within your company:
1. Segment your digital relationships
The distinction between friends and followers doesn’t actually mean anything outside of marketing. Break your digital relationships into five more meaningful groups: prospects, customers, influencers, partners, and competitors. Doing this isn’t as complicated as it seems. Customers, for example, leave a digital record in your company’s ERP system; prospects do not. Phone numbers or email addresses (what I call bridging data) connect them to your online followers and help you define these two groups. This segmentation is an often-overlooked step and defines how you will interact with each consumer going forward—this segmentation is combined with other data (for more information on the 5 types of marketing information see here).
2. Define how you interact with each segment
Converting digital relationships into revenue isn’t an action you can directly take; it is the result of a well-orchestrated series of events. And it starts by understanding each individual interaction your company is having with consumers. This is what big data actually is — but the infatuation with “big data” demographic details force most companies to overlook the more valuable insight. Big data can tell you: when we do this, they do that. It provides the blueprint for what actions you can take to get the results you want, for each segment, and for increasingly smaller segments. However, all results are not equal.
3. Identify ideal behaviors
Marketers care about increasing friends, collecting more data, and inducing more downloads. The business cares about revenue and profit, getting more customers, and increasing CLV. Future Marketing necessitates focusing on these outcomes because it will get business leaders listening. This holds true for both the physical and the digital worlds; social, mobile and big data initiatives must produce tangible results if it is to influence more than just the marketing department.
Defining the outcomes that most benefit your organization — actions that convert consumers to customers and convert them more quickly or at a higher value — allows you to focus in on those actions, understand which interactions you are trying to force consumers to take. Today’s best companies understan that interacting with consumers is still about influencing them to do what you want. This basic rule of sale and marketing has not changed.
4. Uncover profitable patterns and segments
Marketers have grown passive; they’ve become scared of the new power that social consumers wield via social networks. But let’s separate that fear from the task at hand: getting consumer to do what you want — buy more stuff, buy more often, and buy more add-on products and services.
To reveal the patterns that produce these outcomes, don’t start with broad analysis but rather start with one ideal customer — who became a customer quickest, who spent the most money, who generated the most profit? Take that one customer and understand the pattern they followed. That is the pattern you want to mold all consumers to. Measure your ability to get consumers to follow these patterns and you begin to see what needs to change.
It should be fairly obvious that marketing will not be able to do this alone. You — the marketing expert — will need to set the guiding light, explain it in terms each department understands, and coordinate their activity, building what I call an integrated enterprise that can seamlessly leverage all things digital. But here’s the thing to remember about future-marketing: it isn’t so different than traditional marketing. Just remember to explain these techniques in traditional terms — this is what your peers understand and that helps win their support.
These four steps provide the framework. If you need real life examples, or want more detail on each step (including a series of questions that help translate them into your own company) then checkout the new book Big Social Mobile, How Digital Initiatives can Reshape the Enterprise and Create Business Value. It will serve as a playbook to implement these new techniques and technology within your own organization.
David F. Giannetto (@dgiannetto) is a speaker, frequent guest writer and the author of three books including the new release Big Social Mobile (Palgrave Macmillan). He has been named a thought-leader by the AMA, Business Finance Magazine, and Consumer Goods Technology Magazine and is SVP at Astea International. He can be reached via Giannetto.com.