Sometimes the simple basics can refresh our perspectives and effectiveness. In the recent Marketing Operations & Technology Summit, I presented a wrap-up conversation after we delved into deep, future-oriented best-practices discussions on marketing metrics, technology and customer experience.
Don’t forget the simple fact that marketing performance is best tracked via combination of leading and lagging indicators:
- Lagging indicator = outcomes of your processes. A big picture metric showing the outcome of a marketer’s work process and which stakeholders see at the same time you can see it and it is what they care the most about.
- Leading indicator = see it inside your processes before stakeholder sees outcomes. An in-process early warning signal of re-work / scrap / disappointment that may be the outcome produced by the marketer’s work process.
Predictive analytics and other sophisticated metrics take center stage in our interests, yet these basics about marketing performance measurement can make a big difference in resource efficiency and effectiveness.
By tracking both leading and lagging indicators in your marketing processes, you’ll empower team members to become more efficient. It can also help executives see what goes into achieving the goals that stakeholders care about. This can increase executive sponsorship: resource availability, removing roadblocks, celebrating successes.
Customer experience is broader than user experience, and broader than engagement and loyalty. Think of customer experience as customers’ realities versus their expectations in selecting, getting, and using a product/service.
- When customers’ realities match or exceed their expectations, it’s a good customer experience.
- When customers’ realities fall short of their expectations, it’s a bad customer experience.
Retention campaigns, loyalty programs, customer success management, references, social media engagement, Net Promoters, and experiential marketing events take center stage in our interests, yet these basics about customer experience can re-ground your efforts to achieve customer experience excellence.
Differentiate by breaking free of your industry’s customer experience standards to think the “blue ocean” way about your customer’s alternatives and what capability they’re seeking (= customer’s job-to-be-done). In the book Blue Ocean Strategy, competitors are defined as anything a customer could substitute for what you’re selling, in order to achieve the capability they’re seeking.
You can get more mileage from customer experience intelligence and personas by showing the rest of the company how to adapt their processes and decision-making accordingly. This is important to marketers, who are conveying the brand promise, and dependent upon the rest of the company to deliver to customers’ expectations.
Technology is part of the infrastructure that ties together marketing strategy, guidance, processes, and metrics. That’s why technology is a subset of marketing operations’ much greater scope, which also includes ecosystem alignment and infrastructure management.
- Strategy: Holistic vision, fact-based decision-making.
- Guidance: Competency development, marketing governance.
- Process: Lean enterprise, six sigma, supply chain.
- Metrics: Profitability, predictive analytics, enterprise metrics alignment.
- Technology: Enterprise marketing management, portfolio management.
- Ecosystem: Successful collaboration with key stakeholders.
- Infrastructure: Back-end integration of processes, metrics, technology.
Marketing automation takes center stage in our interests, yet the processes and people surrounding the technology are the bottlenecks or success factors for your investments in automation.
Seeing technology in context of the full marketing operations model can help you plan your investments and deployments more wisely, and make better use of resources.
Balancing the sophisticated and the simple aspects of metrics, customer experience and technology can accelerate progress in marketing operations professionals’ goals to enable the marketing organization to deliver more strategic value to the corporation.
By Lynn Hunsaker, President and CEO of Marketing Operations Partners