In the course of the past two years, I have visited and spoken with marketers in more than 200 companies mainly in the Nordic countries. The occasion was the choice of customer marketing platform. These meetings have given me substantial insight into both the common denominators and the individual needs marketers have when they are looking for software that will help them create and execute personalised omnichannel marketing communication. It has also given me an understanding of why some companies have more success than others with their choice, which I would like to share with you. Ask yourself:
- What do you want from your platform?
- Which value do you want to achieve?
- On which KPIs do you want growth?
- What does your business case look like?
There is a pattern, that the marketers who have focused on value creation, have had an easier time making the right choice and, ultimately, they are also the ones who have gained the biggest return on their investment. In order to make it easier for you to specify your requirements, you need to ask the right questions and to know what and where to focus.
But what is it, besides robust basic functionality, that creates value? Here are a few insights.
Two things form the foundation for the decision
The choice of a customer marketing platform with high complexity is often based on a selection process where you ensure that the platform lives up to a number of requirements, such as functionality, integration, data model and user-friendliness. Some organisations look at two or three platforms, while others check ten platforms. The extensive research is done with good intention, but when you look at so many complex platforms, there is a great risk of losing the overview.
You can quickly end up in a situation where you focus on what is directly easy to compare. But, unfortunately, these can also be the wrong – or at any rate, inadequate – criteria. It may be that you choose based on cost, UI, tech, that it is part of a suite and will, at first sight, be easy to integrate or perhaps you are just “seduced” by a fantastic demo.
When all is said and done, according to my experience there are two things that should ultimately form the foundation for the decision and which marketers can advantageously focus on even before specifying the requirements.
The first is the ability to execute. This may sound trivial, but it is often the difference between success or failure. In a modern marketing department, it is quite simply essential that marketers can make things happen themselves without involving the IT department or expensive consultants and without being dependent on developers who need to code and customise. Of course, sometimes there is a need for assistance, so the ability to execute also includes solid, competent and accessible support that can help here and now and not until two weeks’ time.
The second is “time to value”. Analyse how long it will take to start up with the platform, what will be needed to execute on MVP (Minimal Viable Product), and what is needed to execute “the great vision”. For example, assess how fast it is to set up new segments/target groups, test and execute. Because if it does not work as intended, you will have to discard it and begin again without it having cost too many resources – and if it works, then you must be able to automate it and go on to the next task.
Make the complex simple
It is my experience, that it is not the UI, data integration or the small differences in functionality between the platforms that primarily create value for marketers. What creates value is whether or not it is possible to execute easily and quickly. In other words; can the platform help marketers to make the complex simple and to drive value fast?
Data is the raw material when you want to create value in the form of high conversion, increased loyalty and, for example, increased (CLV) Customer Lifetime Value – but it doesn’t hurt to have the right tool to drive that value effectively. And with the power of execution established marketers can focus on their core business and the work with data and content to create compelling and personalised communication that is relevant to the customers.
Would you like to know more?
Reach out to Rasmus Houlind for an informal discussion on how to drive value from your customer marketing platform.
Mobile: +45 53 886 555