CRM Special Report: Just One Question with E.piphany’s Jon Miller
Target Marketing: What steps can direct marketers take to increase the value of their CRM initiatives while containing costs?
Jon Miller, senior director of marketing and analytic applications, E.piphany: As marketers have relied more and more on traditional outbound channels, they are becoming less and less successful. The problem: Direct mail, e-mail, telemarketing and similar channels are only effective if they interrupt whatever the customer is doing at the time to gain his attention.
The result is a growing consumer backlash. A recent study by Yankelovich Partners indicates that 65 percent of consumers feel constantly bombarded with too many marketing messages, and 61 percent feel the volume is out of control.
Marketers need to adjust their marketing mix to take better advantage of less traditional—but ultimately more effective—consumer interaction channels. Leading marketers are transforming their approach, recognizing that using new channels and techniques can result in opportunities to improve customer revenue and profitability.
This transformation will occur in four phases:
1. Increased inbound marketing. Marketers will shift their focus to inbound marketing—delivering offers when the customer initiates an interaction through channels such as the contact center or Web site. Inbound interactions occur by the permission of the customer. The three key items missing from outbound marketing—the customer’s time, permission and attention—are given during an inbound interaction. The result is an uncluttered encounter, which results in response rates 10 times higher than traditional outbound channels.
2. Smarter outbound marketing. Traditional outbound channels will never disappear completely—not when they still drive revenue for companies. However, batch, unconnected campaigns will give way to more frequent event-driven campaigns that respond to key customer activities and life events with timely, relevant and personalized messages.
If done properly, event-driven campaigns can have dramatic impact on marketing performance, producing response rates five times higher than batch outbound campaigns.
3. Seamless customer conversations. Once marketers have mastered inbound and outbound contacts as separate functions, they coordinate their activities across channels to create seamless customer conversations. This will allow them to plan customer strategies and marketing efforts that maximize the value of the relationship at every stage of the customer lifecycle, without regard for the channel through which the customer will eventually receive the offer.
4. Marketing everywhere. True marketing transformation will occur when marketers can take the analytical understanding of customer value that they use when extending offers and apply it to the broader enterprise. When this happens, marketing will do more than create brand awareness and generate leads or sales; marketing will be the conductor that unifies customer-oriented strategies and processes across every channel.