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Predictive Marketing (Lessons from the CMO Summit #3)

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Stephan Chase of Marriott generated the third set of thoughts. He is working to make Marriott more customer-centric, in particular by employing predictive modeling to determine what customers are likely to do in the future while using results in marketing to create a learning organization. This is of course the heart and soul of decision management – improving customer decisions by integrating predictions and then continuously improving. He made a number of great points on which I have comments:

  • Many organizations, he notes, start with web analytics as this is where the data are.
    But the value of adding non-web data to this, to analyze a more complete customer profile, is huge.
  • Data is a new form of creative
    Great phrase – data, or at least the information and predictions derived from it, influence your customers just like your creative does. The use of data to deliver extreme personalization is critical.
  • Discovering and applying truth about a customer to achieve mutual benefit
    If you are using all your data only to improve your profitability, not to improve the experience of your customers, they will be unwilling to share information with you. If you can make it a two-way street – mutual benefit – they are more likely to answer your questions and help you help them.
  • To make it happen, find and activate Analyst, Systematizer, Executor and Integrator
    Decision management, of course, requires the analyst to work with someone who knows how to put analytics into systems (a systematizer) as well as business owners who know how to integrate this into their business. The system itself becomes the executor.
  • They have a focus on “Customer propensity” e.g. to visit NY, to travel internationally, etc.
    Getting to the point where people say “I want propensities” before making a decision is critical.
  • Predictive marketing is the objective – I want to be able to have some idea of what customers do in the future
    Marketing to the needs a customer has not yet met is likely to be more successful than to the needs that used to have but have already met.

Marriott sounds like it is on its way to decision management and I look forward to hearing more about their journey.

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