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Planning 3.0 – combining Creative, Communications, Experience and Business planning = Customer Journey Management
Admap published a writing competition results – best articles about “Planning 3.0”– How will we be planning in 2020? The winner, Nick Hirst said “We need to transcend the often polar disciplines of ‘conceptual’ (creative agency) and ‘practical’ (media agency) planning to deliver, not communications, but great brand experiences.”
I couldn’t agree more! Although mr. Nick Hirst’s and other rewarded articles were great, what really made an impression to me was the pre-words the judges wrote. They analyzed the articles they received and came to conclusion that the future of planning looks like… ‘We don’t know’, or at least, ‘we don’t agree’.
According to judges the most striking theme about the entries was not about how the entries were presented but how they represented a clear new chapter of planning, not necessarily a consistent chapter, but a new one nonetheless. This new era could be dubbed the, ‘the post-specialist era of planning’.
Planning has grown around specialists in data and analytics, user experience, information architecture, trend analysts, digital strategy search optimizers, social media and crm gurus… Until now, the dominant conversation about strategy has been about the need for these specialists, and for them to be distinct and separate from what has gone before.
Entries to this Admap Prize competition no longer championed the specialists as skill sets that deserve their unique place. Instead, they argued that they should be the very future of planning in its entirety; the planning specialism becomes the planning mainstream. According to judges, authors wrote of the data and analytics skill as simply becoming planning – all tasks of planning would become measurable and, therefore, the measurement/analytic skill would become planning. Or, the specialist skills of social media strategy would become the fundamental of brand planning, given the very social future that brands face.
According to main judge, JWT’s Guy Murphy two things will happen
1. There will be a sense of planning returning to be a more singular and holistic way of working. Certain planning tools will become the norm for all planners – just as the notion of ‘paid, earned and owned’ seems to have become standard currency for media thinking today.
2. Planning will become more influential. The assimilation of its new-found specialists skills will make it a richer, more effective and more confident force. It will make a decent fist of managing the huge and growing complexity that faces brand building and communication. This will shift the role it has been playing.
In my opinion 2020 is far far away and everything mentioned above is already happening. Planning is rapidly facing new requirements for its effectiveness and moving towards more holistic view. Actually this holistic approach is gaining momentum in general.
Last week IBM organized “Smarter business day 2012” event in Helsinki. Data analytics was an issue there too. What IBM’s director for Analytics division Juha Teljo presented that the whole analytics business is moving from application centered approach to analytics centered approach by 2020:
So, along with planning, also the whole infrastructure is becoming analytics – that is planning – centered. Once I search about this matter, I also found IBM’s view on how to create Analytics Center of Excellence inside your own organisation. The 150-page material is attached here: 5Keys to BA Program Success
The winning article by Nick Hirst agreed with this idea of holistic planning. He recognized User Experience planners as the first breed of future planners: “User experience goes way beyond Information Architechture. While the latter is a specific discipline concerned with the organisation of information to ensure its swift, intuitive navigation, User Experience considers the experince of the user as a whole: their expectations, their level of interest, their attitudes even how they feel. Concepts like surprise of disruption, or even entertainment – all proven tools for affective and effective communications – are anathema to a classical Information Architect, but entirely within the imaginative realm of the User Experience Architect.
Even now they think about both the effect of an indivicual, small experience – a piece of copy, a picture, the way a button workds – and the overall journey. Even now, some agencies are recognizsing the ‘planneriness’ of what they do, and reconceiving them as Experience Planners. But just imagine what would happen if we unleashed that kind of thinking on everything else that comms agencies do now.”
I think the future of planning will be even more amazing than expected and I do think that Nick Hirst’s dream is becoming reality. Here’s what I think:
- Planning marketing will be about planning competitive advantage, that is corporate strategy and operations. see Forbes article here
- Corporate Image will be more and more about actual experiences and shared opinions – planning will be about designing and managing customer interfaces and experience. Article here https://futurecmo.org/2012/11/10/marketing-do-or-die-managing-customer-interfaces/
- Comms and marketing to customers will become service experiences – event based automatic communications that integrate with the customer’s situation and needs in any given location or interface. Marketing automation becomes service automation along the customer’s journey. The center of gravity will be the Customer Journey understanding and design.
- Planning will become more holistic than ever – we are moving towards business design. At this point planners will become the McKinsey’s consultants of tomorrow or McKinsey’s consultant will take care of the business design on behalf of marketing planners of today. McKinsey is already moving towards customer journey and experience planning, see this article http://cmsoforum.mckinsey.com/article/winning-the-consumer-decision-journey#.UIOLl_Mukic.email I would take it even further, here’s why https://futurecmo.org/2012/10/21/customer-decision-making-journey-flow/
Companies that are taking analytics and planning seriously are already doing much better than their peers. By 2020 you really have to be great in order to survive. And let’s not forget – analytics is useless without understanding and decisions (generate corporate autism) – planning and management. I thinks this means the dawn for customer journey planning and management as the new breed of holistic planning work!
Author: Toni Keskinen, Marketing Architect & Customer Journey Designer
Join FutureCMO Movement LinkedIn Group here
Branding is a quite debated management prioritization area right now. In a challenging financial environment companies are often looking for rapid payoff instead of long-term profitability. These two approaches used to be considered as opposites and in some cases they still are. In my opinion it is just ignorance. The communications scene has changed so dramatically over the past decade that former rules no longer apply.
One thing has not changed: Brand is the No1 contributor to the customer journey dynamics.
Brand = demand (or the lack of it)
The importance of the brand has not diminished, it has been amplified in the border-less global economy. What has been changed is the way how you create great brands. Mass-media advertising used to be the only way, that is no longer true.
If we consider the brand from the customer’s perspective, it is a road sign. Well known and respected brand equals the highway to destination and un-known brand is a detour without a map. Brand is a very strong heuristic tool and has a lot of things attached to it. Take a look at this road sign:
Cities are very good example of how brands work. You can imagine these cities, what kind of contexts you connect them with, who you would travel there with etc. The one below is a little village I am coming from. To the world this city is just a label without anything attached to it. Only thing interesting about it is the reason it has been listed with the others above it. To me it represents home.
Your current Brand health and status as a road sign determine how you should allocate your marketing investments and budget. The stronger your brand is, the more you should invest in your own channels and experiences. On the other hand, if you are representing a weak brand, you need to deliver such experience that your brand becomes home to those who choose it against all odds. They can then tell others how great your brand is to the others living oblivious of your amazing brand. That is how you can deliver optimal return on marketing investments (ROMI)
The most meaningful Brand KPI’s https://futurecmo.org/2013/02/01/managing-brand-the-most-profound-kpis-and-measures/
Author: Toni Keskinen, Marketing Architect & Customer Journey Designer
Join FutureCMO Movement LinkedIn Group here
The marketing environment has changed drastically over the past few years. The change has occurred due to the influence and behaviour change social mediums have enabled and empowered. Here’s a great presentation about how to approach the new planning environment.
Customers are on a journey with your brand. In today’s business environment, the greatest purpose of organizational functions is to give the roadmap to that journey. Well then, what is a customer journey? It is the art and science of customer-centric methods, skills and tools to synchronize customer’s needs and company’s offering optimally by handling and managing offline and online touch points profitably. The Customer journey covers all stages along customer’s transition from never-a-customer to always –a- customer. Customer journey is the customer life-cycle from brand as a platform to initiation, choosing and buying, using the product or service to re-consideration and re-purchase or attrition. Handling and managing customer journey is the first priority for CMO’s in the future. But, are CMO’s ready for this? Are they specialist of customer insight and knowledge management? Can they turn data into information, information into deep and rich knowledge and knowledge into feasible results? And not only the CMO, can organizations as a whole meet the challenge.
It is almost impossible to differentiate with the quality of products and services. Target marketing with intense positioning are very similar among competitive products and services. It is difficult to get your message through in infinite number of push marketing media. To achieve success, organizations need to focus on customers and differentiate brand by developing exclusive customer experience and build unbeaten trust. Organizations need to get closer to customer, to understand the real drivers of customers behaviour and attitudes. It is all about driving insight. In the future CMO’s will be a specialist of driving customer insight.
Strategic marketing is the sweet spot of operational and tactical activities, corporate strategy and customer insight. In practice this means need to synchronize organization, resources, supplies and customer touch points to customer behaviour. Leading with knowledge is the core of strategic marketing. Leading marketing is leading the organization. Future CMO’s is facing new, inspiring and challenging job description in the centre of corporate management.
Strategic marketing will be in the corner room, on the table of top executives. But why it is not there? Because marketing is as expense item and too far from concrete added value, which called the money. The most important thing is to bring central facts alive coherently that marketing and especially strategic marketing would be the interest for CEO and CFO. Future CMO has to simplify strategic marketing to executive group, packet and crystallize business benefits and glue them to corporate strategy.
Bring the outside world into your organization. Lead with knowledge and explode the corporate silos. Lead the customer journey and optimize the touch points in multidimensional world. It is time for a real strategic marketing, customer driven organizations and constant development and innovations on customer interface. The fastest companies are on their way. Like one of the most famous hockey player has said: “I don’t go where the puck is, I go where the puck will be”. The best organizations know where the next pass is going to. Do you?