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Using decision management to move marketing to the next level

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I always enjoy reading David Raab’s work and his recent post on marketing software was no exception. In The Next Big Leap for Marketing Software he makes a number of great points and I particularly like the steps he lays out for getting people on board. I have blogged before about the value of using a decision management approach to improve the market process and to create a Decision Service (Wiki Entry) that suggests the best next customer treatment. Several things David mentioned struck me as particularly relevant.

What’s involved is building a unified view of all contacts with individual customers and making these easy to analyze

David is quite correct here. You need to be thinking in terms of bringing all your data together (over time) so that every interaction you have with them, and their response, is captured. David goes on to say:

The system will store this information at the lowest level possible (preferably, down to individual interactions) and with the greatest detail (specifics about customer demographics, promotion contents, service issues, etc.)

Again, quite correct. Those doing predictive analytics and segmentation often complain that the summarized data available in data warehouses is insufficient. Capture and store the raw material, even if you need to summarize it for reporting purposes. David goes on to point out that you must manage

results across the company and the entire customer life cycle

And this is where there is an E in EDM – not because you have to do it across the enterprise to make it work but because there is huge value to having the enterprise own decisions rather than systems, processes or departments. As I have said before I like the focus on shareholder value as a master metric proposed by the folks at Provisdom. Finally David says that you need to make sure that executives see a system that helps them execute strategy if you want to win support from those higher up – the end result of this must be to empower executives to feel in control of their marketing strategy at an operational level.
This post remind me of something John Hagel wrote on questions you should ask yourself to see if you are truly customer centric (read the post here).

  • Who in the organization holds real decision-making power? Is it the organization that manages relationships with the customer or is it some other group?
  • What are the primary measures of performance for the firm?

I also wrote a “thought-leadership” white paper for Montgomery Research  called “Smart-Enough Customer Decisions” (an obvious plug for the book, Smart (Enough) Systems) and reviewed Chocolates on the Pillow Aren’t Enough, a highly recommended book for those working on customer centricity.

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