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Next generation direct marketing with decision management

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Elana Anderson had a great post on direct marketing while I was on vacation –Next Generation Campaign  Management.

She starts off with three great principles:

  • Listen to all information provided by customers and prospects – both explicit and implied.
  • Understand past and present information to determine the best possible marketing action.
  • Communicate in a compelling, timely, and relevant manner.

All of these make perfect sense to me and show some of the weaknesses in less well thought out approaches I see out there. For instance:

  • I see too many people separating web behavior from offline or back-office behavior (failing therefore to consider all the information available).
  • I also see too many organizations either only allowing explicit preferences or deriving implicit ones – far too few effectively manage both.
  • I see a lot of understanding going on but not enough projection into the future to see what will be the best thing to do next
  • Too much focus on batch cycles and not enough on interactivity and real-time.

She goes on to articulate four key criteria for next generation campaign management systems:

  • Are customer-aware.
  • Provide centralized decision making.
  • Enable cross-channel execution.
  • Integrate marketing operations.

I would revise the second one a little as I am not convinced that it is enough for a campaign management system to provide centralized (campaign) decision making. I think your campaign management system needs to be integrated with centralized (business) decision making. For instance, customer support may share decisions with marketing; Pricing decisions are relevant to campaigns but not part of campaign management; Shipping and logistics decisions may constrain marketing options and so on. Customer-centric decision management makes campaign management way more effective for sure, I just think it should be a peer of campaign management not a part of it.

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  • Elana Anderson August 30, 2008, 12:51 pm

    Hi James – I hope life after Fair Isaac is going well for you, Thanks for linking in my post.
    I want to clarify what I meant by “centralized decisioning.” In your comments you are extending the thinking beyond marketing which make a lot of sense. My meaning for centralized decisioning is focused marketing communications specifically and driving the marketing messages that are extended to customers through inbound and outbound interaction points. Recently, I’ve been focusing on what is required for marketers to move to interactive dialogs with customers. Without centralized decisioning to drive the marketing message, truly interactive marketing simply isn’t possible. Centralized decisioning enables marketing to build and maintain a memory of what marketing messages have been extended to a customer and how the customer has responded (or not responded) to those messages. Only with the knowledge of what was said to a customer and how he/she responded, can marketers move beyond traditional push marketing to interactive marketing…