Marketing Technology & the Art of StoryTelling to Drive Influence

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StoryTellingIn one of my recent posts, I had written about the need to “Finding the Human within the Marketing Technology Landscape”, the intend was to bring the focus back on the primary objective for any technology investment:

“Deliver the most desired and immersive consumer experience that will inspire the intended consumer behavior OR change the one that is preventing the brand from making money, which inadvertently will solve business challenges and drive business growth”.

However, most technology planning, discussions and decisions DO NOT start with the CONSUMER NEED or the BUSINESS CHALLENGE, it typically starts with the technology itself. Right after the last post, I got instant feedback and questions on tangible examples of what I meant and how I was being irrational in calling 99% of technology decisions being driven by a channel or technology focus instead of a consumer or business focus. I thought the feedback was fair and I should have supported the argument with more tangible examples. So I will try to share an example here, a foundational technology/capability that am sure most of you have either already brought on within your respective worlds or it’s part your current roadmap:

EXAMPLE – Implement A Marketing Automation & CRM Platform

Technology Language & Perspective – Implement a CRM Platform to ensure we are capturing all sorts of consumer data; demographic, behavioral, transactional, from throughout her journey, giving us a complete (you would think so) 360 view of the consumer. Also need a marketing automation platform that will not only allow us to create consumer segments, it will provide consumer insight, automate communication based on behavior, target consumers with personalized messages and re-target them when they drop off. It’s FANTASTIC and we must do it. Incrementally, we can start to leverage this consumer data and insight to personalize the experience across all channels and touch points making it a more relevant experience for her.

Key Benefits – Consumer 360 View, Consumer Insights, Automated Communication, Re-Targeting, Personalization Across Channels

The Missing Perspective – BUSINESS & CONSUMER

  • What is business problem you are trying to solve? It is not the need for a marketing automation platform, which is a means to solve a root cause and not the cause itself
  • What consumer behavior are you changing fundamentally that is preventing you from making money? – It is not the need to deliver personalized content across channels because that is again a strategy needed to change something more fundamental.

So, let’s flip this discussion and create a BUSINESS & CONSUMER perspective for the same capability

Consumer Behavior Challenge & Business Impact # 1The brand is losing market share as the consumer is moving to the competition in the midst of her consumer journey. While the brand is able to win the consumer at the point of market entry, it is unable to retain her through her lifetime.

Potential Hypothesis – Perhaps, there is not enough reward or incentive for her to stay on with the brand. OR perhaps the brand is unable to detect certain inflection points where a stronger, more relevant experience and offer can potentially sustain the relationship, assuming the brand can engage with her at the right time, through the right channel and touchpoint with the right content and experience.

Technology Opportunity – Establish a CRM capability along with a rewards program that gives you insight into the consumer journey, purchasing behavior, giving her reward points for subsequent purchases. Once she is a rewards club member, we have a system of engagement and an always-on platform to inspire consumer behavior through personalized messaging that will maximize lifetime value keeping her longer in the category. To handle some of the inflection points where she may drop off and move to a competition, use the power of data, analytics and insight along with content personalization and targeting to solve attrition and maximize lifetime value.

 

Summary — In essence, it is still the same technology and the capability, however the way you position it through a story that is deeply connected to a BUSINESS CHALLENGE and a CONSUMER BEHAVIOR that needs to be fundamentally changed is what drives INFLUENCE. It is a mindset that is not technology lead but technology enabled, something very basic yet rarely executed.

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