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Every time something new comes up and people jump on it, they learn something new but it seems that they often start forgetting the best features of the previous while learning. Then came the content marketing era and inbound marketing surge. Now there is a swing back to ABM (Account based marketing and proactive sales). Danny Wong from Blank label just published an article about this with 9 B2B sales predictions for 2016 in Huffington Post (source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-future-of-sales-9-b2b-sales-predictions-for-2016_us_56beb9b0e4b06fb6526b67c9)
It was great article and I totally agree with Mr. Wong.: Outbound and account management are musts, buyer journey and customer centricity are imperative. Marketing automation is fantastic in existing customer management and content marketing. Still, in case of new prospect recognition most visitors don’t leave their contacts or signs of interest which leaves most potential customers unrecognised. This is something that has bothered me.
Then I learned about Leadforensics… (because they reached out to me and outbound works 🙂 ) They gave me a short introduction to their software (phone+video), we did a pilot with two weeks of data capturing after which they presented me the results and pitched me an offer. I got hooked and bought the license.. and I am even more hooked now. (By the way, their process is very much worth experiencing too, its brilliant. You can book your trial contact here)
This is something I just have to share, because I find Leadforensics to be so elegant, easy and effective. The foundation of the service is IP address recognition. The service lets you know from which companies people are visiting your website, how many of them, which content, time spent and so on. In B2B this intelligence is often enough. You know which companies are looking right now in your sector and they are already considering your company. In case you are considering marketing automation or need leads for sales to follow, Leadforensics is a great tool to take as a first step in operational and cultural change or as part of the lead generation development in marketing automation project. This is what you get (this data is from this site):
#1 Visiting organisations
#2 Sorting visitors
Example of multivisitors
#3 Company details and visitors
In this case 3 visits by one person
#4 Potential people to contact
#6 Sorting and actions
Now that I have the tool in use, I can upload my customer register and create a current customer group with assigned contacts. I can also create prospect list with assigned persons who will be notified about new visits. You can also define goals, not every content is a sign of buying intent, but some are exactly that. Assigning goals and actions for them is quite easy and effective.
My company FutureCMO – Catalyst for Growth is a super temp one man show with a network of other entrepreneurs and I am mostly helping large companies with their digital and customer experience transformation. My challenge is, that projects are large and take my time while running them leaving me little time for selling next cases. When they end I can easily drop between projects. This kind of transformation work is quite time sensitive and frequency of doing it is rare. Also, The lead-time from interest to project could take a lot of time too. Another challenge has been, that I have a globally competitive knowledge, methods and approach, but my work has been local sofar. Now I am going to make my first attempt to get my first very own international clients onboard. While working for WPP and Omnicom this was natural, but as an entrepreneur now it would be a big leap. This is why I think Leadforensics will help me target right companies at the right time and make certain that I can get my projects in without long stand-by periods. I am also working on a start-up for which we are raising money to get started and knowing which companies are interested in our pitch is very important. I am only in the beginning of using Leadforensics, but I am quite impressed with it.
In case you find Leadforensics interesting, you can book your own demo and trial period here (Link URL )
In case you are using some other tools for lead recognition, I’d be very happy to hear about your experiences!
In the Q1 2014 issue of WARC’s Market Leader, my article on the sharing economy praised the work of Airbnb and Uber for creating a world where everyone had the chance to experience entrepreneurship as a result of sharing pre owned assets. In the following issue, Paul Kemp-Robertson attributed the success of this trend towards a trust deficit brought about by the consistently broken promises of larger brands.
The idea of sharing has of course inspired a new generation of Airbnb’s such as
and a fleet of Uber replicators such as:
- (private security)
- (dog walking)
To learn more about the changing attitudes towards consumption globally, the rise of the sharing economy and the opportunities this presents for brands, click here for the the latest in Havas’s Prosumer series.
ARTICLE BY DR. KOEN POWELS
Marketing measurement, accountability, analytics and dashboards are priorities in the toolkit of the successful Chief Marketing Officer. The pressure from the top is strong: prove your marketing is working, give us higher profits with lower budgets, show us the opportunities for profitable growth. Many companies have developed marketing analytic dashboards to help attain these goals, and are getting on average 8% more Return on Assets as a result (21% in highly competitive industries). A marketing analytic dashboard is a concise set of interconnected performance drivers to be viewed in common throughout the organization; for examples and case studies please see www.notsizedata.com.
A key challenge is how to motivate employees to actually use these analytic insights to improve decision making. Resistance to measurement and data-driven insights is widespread – not just among creative content generators who fear it will hamper their freedom (see http://analyticdashboards.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/help-your-creative-cats-bring-home-the-bacon-whos-afraid-of-accountability/’). Having lived through analytics & dashboards projects across 3 continents, I’d like to share tips on how to get employees on board.
My top ten list:
- Communicate the purpose and usefulness of a dashboard for the organization;
- Explain the role of an employee in the project and his/her impact on overall performance;
- Emphasize benefits of the dashboard application for an employee, e.g. ability to track, adjust, manage and consequently improve personal performance;
- Encourage a dashboard trial;
- Invite employee feedback and demonstrate that it is valued by adjusting the dashboard if possible;
- Inject a culture of accountability and facilitate a conscious choice of an employee to use a dashboard and other performance measurement tools, e.g. develop performance related incentive scheme that will motivate an employee to keep track of his/her individual progress;
- Incorporate a dashboard into day-to-day operations, e.g. use it in employee meetings;
- Garnering management support and guidance: Communicate the benefits of accountability culture for a company, e.g. give specific examples (supported with numbers) on how the company can optimize its expenditures and escalate its profits;
- Demonstrate functionality and usefulness of a dashboard application (for this purpose you may need to build a simple dashboard or select a dashboard example available online : see e.g. www.dashboardinaction.com;
- Indicate industry/market trends towards the use of a dashboard (show the statistics on dashboard adoption rate in the market, use industry or cross-industry benchmarks).
As detailed step for step in www.notsizedata.com, building a marketing analytic dashboard requires vision, courage, transparency and effective internal communication – which are much more important than the specific software or ‘big data’ used. Just like any other innovation, a marketing analytic dashboard cannot be effective unless its users understand its functions, are convinced about its benefits, and want to use it. In sum, a marketing analytic dashboard should not be something imposed on a company; it should be ‘sold’ in the best tradition of marketing art.
How about you? Can you share tips on how to motivate employees and increase marketing accountability? Looking forward to hearing from you,
Prof Koen Pauwels
“It’s not the Size of the Data – It’s how You Use It: Smarker Marketing with Dashboards and Analytics”
This is the original non-edited version of the article I wrote for Admap January 2014 issue:
Best Practice in How to Map Customer Journey
Customer Purchase Journey by definition is the customer’s journey from existing life experiences to initiation, cross-channel consideration and purchase. Customer Journey then continues to using the product or experiencing the service, re-purchases and loyalty or attrition. This article concentrate on Customer decision-making journey to purchase.
Marketing research often looks into the future perspective and ask about awareness, top-of-mind, preference and shortlist of potential brands. The challenge about researching future is that people are quite bad at acting according to their own intentions. Habits, convenience and instincts drive behaviour to unexpected directions that are difficult to predict by research. These studies also often miss a major point. They ask customers which brand they prefer and make them choose one, and consequently fail to recognize the fact that people might have only brand options, not a specific preferred brand.
Example: In a Telco case we learned that 76% of the customers had a pool of options but they didn’t have a specific preferred brand. This result means that most of the market is floating. People only have options and consider brands as equally good. When the time comes the best/ first/nearest/most conveniently available deal will win regardless the brand as long as the brand is within the pool of options.
How to prepare for Customer Journey mapping:
Before you start designing the research or make any assumptions, establish the foundation. You can establish the foundation with two key factors:
a) Is the category or brand in high intensity position: high involvement, -investment or –interest product or service? Heinz ketchup would be in the low-end, buying a car would be in the high-end. The purchase intensity stands for the depth of consideration and willingness to make an effort to make a considered choice. If the product or service has low intensity, there will be no actual journey but rather spontaneous and habit driven behaviour. High intensity decision-making on the other hand could last a long time and have a lot of touch points in variety of surroundings.
b) What is the brand’s status in customer’s mind compared to competitors? In case the brand is well-known and preferred brand, the customer journey will have completely different dynamics compared to less known challenger. The key question is; “is the brand being sold or bought”? In case the brand is bought, you can approach the mapping in order to find ways of optimizing conversion rate. For such case tactical marketing will also generate much stronger impact than in case of a brand with less demand. In case the brand is sold, you should find ways how to break into customer’s consideration and prove your brand better than competitors. In case the brand is sold, the burden of proof is on the brand’s shoulders and you need to find ways how to guide customers away from the path leading to market leader purchase.
You can find data for creation of foundation from the company’s brand tracking research, market share report, online analytics and Google Adwords tool or Google Trends tool. When looking for foundation intelligence, consider how the category behaviour reflect the two foundation factors, how the brand in question and it’s competitors position against each others. Draw a map with all competing brands on it (X-axis: Activity share seller vs. buyer, Y-axis: Intensity level. Eg. Heinz = bottom right corner = no or very little advertising, strong sales & market share, low intensity) Do the preparation phase well and you will have a rather good idea about what is happening in the customer behaviour dynamics. Analytics can give very good answers to “what” –questions. However, you need to make in-depth-interviews in order to find answers to “why” –questions.
Once you have a high level view on the market place and a lot of “what” ideas to guide you, prepare to make in-depth-interviews with customers and get “why”-answers from them. Choose customers who have made their choice recently. In case of high intensity purchases, people can remember their experiences for a couple of months, in case of low intensity purchases – interview them instantly at the point of purchase or walk them thru the store with the customer again using the customer as a guid for a tour and let the customer tell you what he experienced, noticed or thought along the way (the same approach can be used in online buying by recording customer’s actual journey thru website). This is different from mystery shopping, because the emphasis is on the customer, not on the store personnel.
The point of in-depth-interview is to analyse the customer’s lived experiences with out others’ interference. This information is only available from customers, because you need the full view across all brands, information and shopping touch points in the category – not just the brand you are doing the mapping for. Ask your customer to tell the whole story from what ever got him interested in buying to purchase. Here’s the process:
- Who is the customer? Get to know his lifestyle and connection to category/brands
- What made the customer interested (initiation)?
- What and where did something happened that gave the impulse to initiate consideration: commercial act by the brand or it’s competitors or an event that made customer interest (eg. Moved to new apartment, new need etc.)?
- Did the customer have a preferred brand in the beginning or not? Were there other options the customer considered?
- How long was customer’s consideration and learning time before purchase?
- Go thru all phases: initiation, browsing, configuration, decision, purchase
- In which channels the customer interacted with your and competing brands in each phase?
- Did the customer do all phases and what was the main driver and meaning of each of them? Did the customer skip stages? (In case you want to quantify results later, always define stage and ask if the customer did it before asking about it’s content and channels. Skipping stages is quite common)
- What was the customer’s experience in each engagement like? Which brands performed well? Why?
- Something led to decision, what was it and in which touch point did it occur?
- What did the customer eventually buy?
- What was the reason for choosing the specific brand over others?
- What was the second best option or was there one? Why did it lose?
- In case the customer chose competing brand, why did he not buy the one in focus?
- Would customers buy again if they had a choice? What is different brands’ Net Promoter Score Index? What were they satisfied for? Was there dissatisfaction?
I would recommend making at least ten in-depth-interviews/category in order to learn about customers’ behaviour and motives. You should interview both won and lost customers and totally concentrate on their experience and point of view. In case you can study customers who left the brand you are making the customer journey mapping for, you will also find out where the brand failed and how the competitors caught the brand’s customers’ attention. In some markets for example outbound sales is an important influencer which has major impact on behavioral dynamics. While interviewing, keep your mind open. Don’t narrow your consideration, but consider all experiences and thoughts the customers have had. From customer’s point of view marketing, pricing, product design, convenience etc. are all relevant issues. As an outcome you will come across things you can influence and those you can’t. However, you need to understand customer’s behaviour and consideration holistically.
This approach to interviews, discovery and analysis goes by the name “interpretative phenomenological analysis” (IPA) in psychology. Once you have the interviews, you can create an analysis about their journey and visualize it. The best way to do this is by visualizing each journey separately. Concentrate especially on chain of events, customer’s journey from one touch point to next, motives and contents steering the customer. Conscious cross-channel purchase journey is most likely in case of high intensity purchase. The behaviour dynamics differ between products, service ranges and between same brands in same category. In your analysis you can divide customer behavior in three major types:
Journey Driven people: These people take pleasure in getting to know their options, their qualities and comparing. They are also more likely to share their experiences in social media as they consider themselves as experts. People who are prepared to make detours and a longer journey require a different approach than destination driven ones and they don’t react on offers as easily, unless they have already got to know their options well in advance.
Journey Driven People are often early adopters. They are especially important in case you are launching new product. They are interested in the products and their qualities. You need to support their needs and change or influence their attitude in order to break in to their awareness. As they search and compare, you need to be able to justify to them why your solution would suit them and guide them to decide and purchase your product/service. These people really consider their user experience and share recommendations in case your performance is beyond expectations. Supporting their needs helps you perform better with other people representing different behaviour type.
Destination driven people: These people don’t really care to learn about products by themselves. They make rapid decisions based on their priorities (e.g. always the best, always the cheapest) or rely on 3rd party recommendations such as test results. An offer for test winner product is an effective proposition for them and generate rapid sales.
Destination driven people also need to be influenced at “need and attitude” -level in order to create better awareness of your offering and it’s qualities. However, this is more about leveraging past reviews and feedback from journey driven people. Destination driven people are more likely to be influenced by e.g. Magazine or social media reviews on your product or other independent sources of information. With such support you can just concentrate on tactical advertising in order to encourage decision and purchase making. Destination driven people are interested in the user experience and reviewing their own experience to others.
Slow movers, public opinion driven people: (also habitual or insignificant purchases). These people don’t take risks. Only after most of the others have already accepted and favoured a certain product or service will they follow. Same behaviour also describes the purchase process of less significant products, like toilet paper or other habitually purchased products. People don’t really pay attention to what they buy; they just buy it like they’ve done before.
Public opinion driven people accept your offering when it’s widely used and they are completely certain that choosing your offering has no risk what so ever. It’s all about tactical advertising, retail promotions and encouraging purchase. They are not likely to share their opinion to others or recommend your products or services actively.
In different product and service categories differences are dramatic. It’s easy to think in terms of travelling. A motorcyclist takes longer and slower routes because the journey is the major part of the travelling experience in itself. On a family holiday the same person takes a direct flight to an all-inclusive hotel. Although this is the same person, different context and different motives lead into completely different behaviour. The point of this analysis is to really understand how people behave in your category towards different brands and find out what is required from you in order to perform better.
Along with behaviour type, analyse:
- What kind of commonalities and shared phenomena, motives, contexts, choice criteria and channels can be found from customer’s behaviour and what was there that you need to quantify or find more information about. Pay attention to the chain of events.
- Which of the touch points the brand can control, which you just need to influence
- What was the customer experience like in competitors different touch points along own ones. Can you learn something from them?
- Pull all your findings together and have a workshop to discuss about these findings and find out how the internal organization experience these findings and what knowledge do they have about them. Get people who work in direct customer interfaces involved.
- Also discuss, which ERP, CRM, online analytics or other systems are currently capturing data about the customers? This information can help you further and let you make a decision whether you continue by doing data analysis and workshop or do you need to quantify the results with larger research. I would recommend research every one or every two years in order to map out how the market place works from customer’s point of view and what you can learn from competitors’ practices or whether you can find opportunities for growing market share
Why this approach to mapping and analysing customer journey is imperative
In many cases your own campaign could actually sell competitors’ products. Also, in many cases the customer journey is full of conflicting interests. In case you only analyse the one brand’s journey you will completely lose sight on category dynamics. Here’s an example about my Garmin buying:
There was a home electronics store advertisement promoting TomTom navigator for 75€ with European maps. I went to buy it, but the store salesman told me there was an error in the ad and that price only included Western European maps. He showed me the product with Full European maps with 105€ price. Next to it was Garmin Nüvi, which had exactly same price. I asked if there was any differences between the two and the salesman told Garmin had better battery life. I bought Garmin. Let’s look at the interests of different players:
Me, the customer:
I was very happy, although I paid 40% more than intended but 105€ wasn’t a problem eventually. I was highly price-oriented customer who was looking for ”good enough” solution and was not interested in more advanced solution or bigger screen. Because of the basic functionality needs I had I was also not interested enough to look in to product specifications online, product reviews or discussion forums. This product will get the job done anyway. I was a perfect example of destination driven buyer. At home, the product exceeded expectations. It had much more functionalities than I was expecting. They had minor meaning compared to the basic functionality, none of them was more important than the battery life, but it was a positive surprise.
Closed 40% more sales than I had intended to spend. The experience about the store was positive and the sales person’s advice was good, which means that the store will get more money from me later on. Was their error in the ad intentional? Probably not but they should still analyse how the error influenced their GPS navigator sales in general. What did customers come to buy and what did they actually walk out with?
Complete failure. The brand might have made a special deal for the campaign resulting change in price image. After reading that leaflet customers think, that you can get TomTom with European maps at the price of 75€. It easily becomes the market standard because of nationwide advertising campaign. You are making a bad deal if you pay more for it. Price/value ratio sounds perfect but actually it wasn’t real because of the error in the ad. That’s ok if you go to Gigantti and they tell you about the error. If you don’t you just expect that TomTom’s are now cheap. It’s most likely that TomTom does some kind of post campaign analysis and comes to completely wrong conclusions unless they understand how the purchase dynamics in the low price category GPS really works and how their campaign influenced customer behaviour in general.
Great success. Garmin did nothing but made a deal anyway. Well, I had positive image about Garmin in advance and the sales person just gave me the last defining fact that led to decision to buy Garmin. Now that Garmin closed a deal with me and got me registered, I am quite likely to buy other stuff on top later on. Was Garmin’s success intentional? In reality the sales person’s advice could have been founded on her own perception or Garmin had analysed the differences between brands and intentionally launched training for retail sellers which states that their battery life is better than TomTom’s. How much longer? No idea. It never came up.
Conflicting interests are very important to understand. In another case a laptop brand sold 50% more than their preference rate would suggest. That also was because the sales people preferred that specific brand.
Here’s how Audi did in case of B2B car leasing deals:
- Preference 14%
- Alternative to 26 %. Altogether Audi was considered by 40% of all buyers
- Audi sold 11,2% that is 2,8% below preference which means 80% conversion
Audi was the most sold brand but was also most often the 2nd best and had lowest conversion rate in the market. Wolkswagen sold 119%, Volvo 117% and Ford 196% compared to preference. Even if you would be number one in sales, you could still be the one losing most.
There is one more thing to consider: Specialist & aggregator influence. In B2B especially customers are using professional consults and agents to compare and make recommendations. The customer journey behaviour and needs of an agent are very different from individual buyer’s needs. In B2C businesses comparison services and aggregators like Hotels.com and eBookers have similar significant influence. In case there are such actors in your category, analyse their journey separately.
Business Dynamics Score (BDS)
In case you quantify your results with larger sample you can calculate Business Dynamics Score.
Those who preferred you originally > How many did you keep?
Those who preferred your competitor > How many did you win?
Those who had no preference > How many did you win?
When you compare won-kept-lost results between brands you can really see how different brands are performing. I would recommend calculating BDS from all market players in order to learn about differences in channel efficiency. This figure will give you very good understanding on how behaviour from one brand to another differs and what you need to do in order to perform better. Such insight has great impact on media- and communications strategy.
Constructing Market Flow
In case you have the larger sample, you can construct entire market flow across stages, channels, motives and behaviour types from spontaneous purchases to considered ones on one page view. This single page view will help tremendously in understanding what kind of factors influence market success most and how for example strong retail strategy performs against strong online emphasis. In one case we found that spontaneous buying was quite strong and outbound calls represented 15% of total market sales. However, we were surprised to learn that more than half of customers buying in the category initiated because of outbound call, didn’t do one stop shopping, but instead started cross-channel consideration journey ending up in a purchase from some other channel.
Toni Keskinen ,Chief Editor for Future CMO Movement (http://futurecmo.org)
There has been a lot of fuzz about Google’s decision to not give Search Engine Search word conversion to your website. I recently wrote an article about what does Google look for on your website and there was already discussion about not getting the data anymore.
At first the data stream was cut from Google Analytics and other analytics tools, but Google Webmaster Tools still gave the listings. Today I found out that also Google Webmaster Tool access to SEO data has been cut off. I can still see, how many times my website has been listed for people searching and how many times my site has been clicked. However I can no longer see what context and content these clicks were related to. Although the data has been cut off, the customer help text still promotes content about Keywords and explain what they mean. There is no info about cutting off the keyword information.
What does this mean?
As a CMO you can’t know anymore, what content does actually drive traffic to your website. You can monitor content to which people are landing and make your insights. You can see search volumes from Google Adwords planner and recognize most used keywords to be used in your content creation. You can analyse your Google Adwords conversion success and use best working phrases in your own content production. However, the game just changed much more difficult than it used to be.
Here’s an approach to solve this challenge by KISSMetrics http://blog.kissmetrics.com/unlock-keyword-not-provided/ I think their advice has already become old – due to complete data shut down, but I’d love to hear about your solutions to SEO analysis in this situation. I’d also love to hear how this change has influenced your own media development!
Author: Toni Keskinen, Marketing Architect & Customer Journey Designer
Join FutureCMO Movement LinkedIn Group here
I found a great article from Slideshare about the role of analytics and data-driven decision making in all aspects of marketing to focus on the voice of the customer and drive revenue. The best performers simply work harder and more methodologically. The process and tools need to be in place and they are being actively used. This is all quite obvious, still too rarely executed in real life.
This is in short, what is supposed to be in place and in operational execution:
Let’s make a mental note, that this study and results are from 2011. Marketing analytics for social media and marketing automation have become much more influential since then. However, this study is a great reminder of the fact, that performance comes from hard work and dedication.
Author: Toni Keskinen, Marketing Architect & Customer Journey Designer
Join FutureCMO Movement LinkedIn Group here
Source: Aberdeen CMO Study