Power Core Series – 2 of 6
“Customer” is the language of marketers, so there is an inherent understanding of the need to connect the experience and create a comprehensive brand.
Areas of Strength
Strong marketers create a solid platform to define the overall experience so the company has a sort of beacon to follow in executing its operating plans. If the marketing group is far along using campaigns and tactics, the data can be in good shape for examining and understanding what is meaningful to customers. Like the product power core, marketing groups have a clear set of metrics related to their discipline that they use for tracking, such as churn, campaign results, and direct marketing sales lift. This understanding will be of good use as the work progresses from the internal metrics about the company business to the metrics about the customers’ response about how they’re treated by the company.
Customer Vulnerability and Hot Spots
When marketing is the power core, it’s a bit of a wild card. Some marketing functions own the customer experience. In this case, they have taken on the comprehensive efforts companywide. They are working to connect the operating areas for delivery of the contact points, and they are connecting the messaging and data. That’s an enlightened environment.
More traditionally, when the power core is marketing, the focus on the customer relationship is about marketing campaigns and tactics. Brand at the advertising messaging level is emphasized, but direction to the operating areas for how to deliver the brand experience can fall short. The biggest part of the work here is not in convincing the marketing power core of the importance of the work but in gaining its acceptance of its scope and expansive responsibilities.
This work requires additional skill sets beyond marketing campaigns, data management, and communication plans. It requires process work, change management, and new leadership approaches. It requires the development of different motivation and reward programs and a whole new approach to accountability.
Kick Start for Integrating the Customer into the Marketing Power Core
The goal here is not in convincing the marketing folks to believe in the customer; they already have that religion.The goal is gaining consensus with marketing to expand the scope of the work to include the process work and the integration across the silos. Converting that conversation to realistic commitment and action is the challenge.
Where will the resources come from to expand from traditional marketing work to process change and operations-oriented change?
Next is the large-scale challenge of redefining the customer metrics. Customer loyalty performance is defined in many companies as loyalty programs driven by marketing campaigns. You’ve got to get past this limited definition and establish a set of metrics that is relevant to understanding the outcomes of how you are treating your customers. And marketing needs to move past its traditional boundaries and look to the rest of the company to understand and define customer issues and priorities.
Start with the definition of the customer experience. Marketing should emerge as the leader in bringing together all parts of the organization to do this work. This will immediately put marketing in the role of including all parts of the organization to work through the execution implications—and well beyond the traditional marketing role. Take a breather then (a couple of weeks usually works) so the real scale of the work to do the customer thing sinks in. During this time, discuss the guerrilla metrics to strategize how the shift to the customer should take place for metrics and accountability. This will lead to the need to review the current ways that customers are measured and managed.
1. Gain agreement for scope of work.
2. Create process and change management competencies.
3. Define the customer experience and identify priority contacts.
4. Track and improve priority contact performance.
5. Introduce guerrilla metrics.