I recently discussed how Customer Response Management with the ISIS Papyrus Platform was different from Marketing Management. I will try to explain that in the following.
Rather than simply buying expensive hard-coded marketing management software that promises to reduce costs, boost productivity and grow revenue (like everyone!) businesses need to draw from their unique service strengths. Once all businesses have implemented the same (best-of-breed) marketing software by the same best practices they become tied down by the same unchangeable processes. All marketers in all businesses will identify and act on the same customer insights, run the same campaigns, use the same lead management, event triggers and campaign concepts, perform the same analytics, detect the same hard-coded behavior patterns and will thus have absolutely no competitive benefit from using standard software. That caused Nicholas G. Carr to propose in ‘Does IT matter?’ that Information Technology no longer represents a competitive advantage. But what now?
Business executives and managers need to ask themselves how an opaque business-to-prospects situation can be converted into a unique employee-to-customer service relationship with long-term customer loyalty. After all, existing customers are the most valuable prospects! The least an organization needs is marketing management software with disconnected processes from the rest of the business.
Rather than focusing solely on the needs of the marketing organization, innovative software needs to enable prospect and customer focused service across the business as a whole and not create another process island that will isolate the marketing team! A truly customer-centric business does not focus on one group of processes but enables customer processes to cooperate at any point and at any time in the business.
A consistent brand experience is important but it cannot replace a service relationship. The transition from prospect to customer must be as painless as customer to prospect. That is not a branding exercise but a service quality aspect and steps far beyond customer analytics, event-detection, campaign management, lead management, and marketing resource management.
In these days when information overload is already considered a clinical psychological condition, being a customer-centric business is today no longer about forcing more marketing information down a customer’s throat. Messaging is not about sending a certain message to a certain kind of person; it is about making the receiver aware without being seen as intrusive. A message is only a valuable message when it arrives in the mind of the receiver with a positive experience.
Complex data mining, exploration and analytics with dashboards and drag-drop-and-drill visualizations, create an illusion of statistical cross-channel customer behavior that is disconnected from customer reality. Each customer is an individual and deserves individual treatment, because only then he or she will respond with more awareness. The responsibility of innovative software is to enable that individuality at an acceptable cost in a mass marketing environment.