Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Marketers Unite: the Web 2.0 Challenge

The onslaught of web 2.0 and the community web environment undoubtedly presents a new challenge to marketers. In an age when a video of two kids playing grunge can generate over a million hits on youtube in less than a week marketers of the world should pay some attention. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TviTCFAGr6w) The challenge has not only become how to reach these growing communities environments but how to track and manage the effectiveness of the brand penetration.

Before drilling into what marketers can do about this situation, let’s look at the historical view of marketing metrics and what KPI’s organizations have been concerned about. Marketing challenges typically start with a few key challenges:

1. Lack of insight into customers
- Experiencing high customer turnover rates and customer
- Lack of insight into who their customers are, how much they spend, and which products they purchase
2. Badly targeted campaigns
- Campaigns may give a low return on investment and fail to hit targets
3. Inability to track the success of campaigns
- Unaware of which are their most and least effective campaigns
- They may continue to run badly targeted campaigns with low success rates

Given these challenges, what are marketers looking to gain visibility into when it comes to campaigns?

Customer acquisition: the success of campaigns by focusing on the number of new customers acquired measured against objectives:
How many customers did I acquire from a particular campaign?
Which channels are driving customer acquisition?

Campaign financials: analyze the performance of campaigns in terms of audience count, response rates, cost, and revenue generation:
What is the cost associated with each campaign?
Which campaign generates the highest amount of revenue/margin per response?

Success or failure rate: The success or failure of campaigns in ROI and response rates, to use for future campaigns
In future which channel/creative/incentive should I use on a target audience?
Did a particular segment respond well to this campaign?
Which channel/creative/incentive offers the best ROI?

Cross-sell: assess the effectiveness of cross-sell campaigns, and extend the breadth of the customer relationship by introducing other products or services available in the company's portfolio:
Did a particular segment respond well to this campaign?
What effect has the campaign had on cross-selling?
What is average number of products purchased pre-, during and post-campaign?

Frequency: increase the rate and frequency with which customers buy products:
What effect has the campaign had on purchase frequency?
How does the rate of purchase differ pre-, during and postcampaign?

Profile planning: create a demographic fingerprint of those who responded:
Do those who responded have a demographic profile that is different to the enterprise?
Is there a particular demographic segment that responded well to this campaign?

The web 2.0 phenomenon presents a new challenge for marketers, with this there is a new set of metrics to understand, it will be increasingly important to understand views, page impressions, and how those relate to conversion rates or lead generation efforts.

There has been a significant growth trend of viral marketing, another activity that is innately difficult to track the response. This new marketing push is all about creating awareness to this new style of ‘community’ and finding a way to impact an invisible audience. The growth of these types of marketing efforts will foster the growth of new methods of tracking brand recognition and campaign effectiveness.

There is hope for these poor marketers, thanks goodness for this as I am one of them. With the growth of the web there becomes better ways to analyze the information generated from marketing programs in simpler ways. Take a look at this marketing campaign visual model that allows you to do some simple comparative analysis of various campaigns and gain insight into their impact over time. There is a growing need for technology such as data visualization to help with topics such as understanding marketing campaigns and brand impact in the new technology age.

Have fun with it,

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dashboards for Everyone Else

What are organizations looking for in an enterprise dashboard solution?

I thought I’d address this question with a quick list of topics that we’ve seen clients ask for time and time again. It begins with what’s called the fatal flaws of Business Intelligence. This includes the search for that holy grail, aka the single version of the truth and prevailing over multiple iterations of data, departmental driven BI, and a lack of strategic alignment to organizational strategy. Organizations are also usually using multiple BI tools and have issues around skill dependency, cost implications, and again an inconsistent view of the world.

But what about the users, oh the users… how do they get their information they need to their jobs? Typically users don’t understand the data, can’t find information, or find that it is too complex. But what about the people who aren’t users? What about the people in an organization who just have a job to do? How can Business Intelligence impact what is referred to as the other 85%?

Let’s take a look at what organizations are asking for to address their concerns and impact the performance of the “other 85%”:

  1. Is it personalized for them?
    Is the content focused and relevant to each user?
    Is it focused on their customers, their products, their activity?
  2. Is it ready to use?
    Is it accurate & timely, not requiring additional data manipulation?
  3. Is it easy to use?
    Is it intuitive so that no end user training is required?
    Requires minimal navigation to get the information they need
    Absent of all excessive BI functionality
  4. Is it delivered where they work?
    Is it delivered to the places in which they work? In their Office documents, on their desktops, not making them go somewhere else to get their information

These requirements that have spawned the push towards enhanced data visualization and extending the simplicity of Business Intelligence. We continue to see an adaptive transition of traditional BI to meet these challenges and continue to see new technologies intersect to provide solutions. Check out an example of a simplistic visual model that would benefit a particular business area (in this case Human Resources).