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Answers to Your Questions on Integrated Marketing Strategy and the Big Picture

August 17, 2012 By Thorin McGee
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After giving the keynote presentation at Integrated Marketing Virtual Conference & Expo 2012, Forrester Senior Analyst Robert Brosnan spent some time in the networking lounge answering attendee questions. The discussion touched on everything from, "How useful is it to have a single view of the customer?" to integration for small businesses and franchise marketing, and advice on findng the right vendors. Here is the full text of that Q&A, cleaned up so it's easier to follow.

Question: Doesn't condensing customer data into a "single view of the customer" defeat understanding at a deeper level? Xbox has 11 categories w/in 15 year-old male segment.

Robert Brosnan: Good question. I think that the reason Microsoft has such a good understanding of their gamers is because of their ability to integrate data across the gaming environment, Xbox live and other touchpoints. I think the deeper understanding only comes with integrating data across touchpoints. I think they certainly want to understand Xbox gamers not just, say, on their responses to emails, but on how they play games, download media and engage with other touch points.

Question: Any tips specifically geared toward small businesses with limited resources?

Robert Brosnan: Yes, it's even harder for SMBs. You have fewer resources, but you still have the same problems as the big guys. Look for a platform that can enable multiple groups inside the organization. Engage your peers in mapping the whole customer journey, then build consensus around technology and media decisions based on that journey.

Question: What do you suggest as a starting point for determining the best centralized data solution for an organization just starting to build a CRM system? Does this conference have a list of solution providers to suit various budget ranges?

Robert Brosnan: You might start with a survey of all the data sources you have and pair that against all the insights you'd like to generate. Having both an assessment of your abilities today and a map of where you'd like to go will help you in selecting appropriate vendors and technologies.

Question: Robert besides existing data points, what do you feel is the best way to gather additional customer insights? Surveys? Market research? I know it's a loaded question depending on the segment, but have you seen anything work very well that we may not be aware of? What's the best way to get specific and large volume customer insight?

 

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