Over the last several weeks, I have been blogging about the importance of the “client journey” as being foundational to the marketer’s toolkit. I am going to interrupt this program for an urgent message.
In late August, I received the following email in my inbox which set my blood boiling:
Why? If we are to raise Marketing’s contribution to the enterprise and earn a well-deserved seat at the table, we must avoid the sins of the past. Mapping the client journey successfully depends on bringing rigor in support of the strategy. Please indulge me by allowing some commentary on the “mistakes” mentioned in the article.
- “Beginning with Bad Data.” Insufficient or poor data is inexcusable given the tools we have at hand. In the last several weeks, I’ve been asking clients what kind of data do you have? How are you using it? Or, put another way, are you commercializing the data? The responses typically suggest that while we are awash in data, it’s not being fully utilized for a variety of reasons. The survey suggests, “32% of companies believe their data is inaccurate.” How can we populate the “journey” with accurate personas to deliver results? Marketing must own this problem and ensure that they are not only working with the right information but monetizing it. See:
- “Failing to Coordinate with Sales.” The historic rift between Sales and Marketing continues unabated.There is no acceptable reason that “50% of salespeople are not satisfied with their firm’s marketing efforts.” Someone needs to cross the DMZ and declare truce for the benefit of all. Why not Marketing? Executed properly, co-authoring the client journey creates a common language, assigns specific deliverables and establishes clear metrics for all teams. This ensures mutual accountability.
- “Underinvesting in Proven Workhorses.” The marketing tool kit has a variety of instruments at its disposal. Over the years, I have witnessed teams chase the latest shining object, diverting precious resources from proven tools to untested mediums. The fact that “91% of marketers say email is essential to content success” while “54%” intend to maintain or lower their 2017 spend is not surprising. My suggestion is to let the client journey dictate the allocation of resources. Don’t shy away from what works if the data continues to support it.
- “Underestimating the Speed of Change.” I hold Marketing accountable for constantly looking around the corner. This should not be in conflict with #3 as new tools and methods for communicating get adopted. Marketing should always be experimenting with innovative methods. If the team is out there connecting with clients and vendors, trends are easier to spot. The complete reversal between print and digital spend over the last decade (digital now accounting for “38% of total US ad spend”) is a no-brainer if you are following the eyeballs. What’s next? The article’s 2020 revenue projections for virtual and augmented reality are probably close to accurate given what we see firms are working on now.
- “Evaluating Too Little. Too Infrequently.” The creation of client journey maps with clear metrics would greatly reduce the stat that “74% of marketers believe their analytics tools could be better utilized and integrated.” Marketing needs to take the lead on establishing metrics (both KPIs and ROIs) to be taken seriously. My advice? Act like a CMO, Speak like a CFO.
Next post? We will return to our regularly scheduled program on the client journey!