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.