How digital marketing operations can transform business - McKinsey’s new report

July 24th 2015
Struggling to keep up with rapidly evolving consumer behavior? Digital marketing operations can bridge the divide between what customers expect and what they get

That is according to McKinsey’s new report – How digital marketing operations can transform business

If you don’t have time to read the full report here are our notes.


Due to evolving consumer behaviour and the marketing landscape, marketing operations is becoming the most important to enable brands to connect with customers and to shape their interactions. When done well, it can provide a 15 to 25 percent improvement in return on investment.

Five steps to bring marketing operations into the digital era
Modern marketing operations calls for the development of new processes, coordination, and governance, as opposed to the conventional way of implementing new technology platforms, adding head count, or increasing digital marketing budget. Five attributes of effective marketing operations are identified.

1. Customer Insights – truly understanding customers

This calls for an ongoing, often moment-to-moment process of tracking, analyzing, and interpreting customer behaviour and attitudes. The aim is to target and shape content and experiences, and to optimize how they’re delivered. This requires data and sophisticated tools. Companies should map detailed customer decision journeys for their most valuable segments, using technologies such as ClickFox.
In this process, focus shall be placed on 1) collecting and making sense of the data, 2) quickly and continuously delivering the analysis, and 3) automating processes so as to scale this capability. Most companies are now at the beginning of creating customer-insights programs, e.g. monitoring and reacting to social-media conversations; what’s needed are to integrate and make sense of all sources of customer insights.

2. Customer Experience – delivering a superior experience

Getting the consumer journey right requires getting everything right. Apart from technologies and processes, various functions across the organization must coordinate to deliver it. Back-end systems such as order management and fulfilment are as critical as marketing, sales, support, service, and operations.
This process is a two-way flow of information. While an experience is delivered to the customer, there needs to be a system to capture shopper’s feedback to help the company adjust its offer or message. Experience shows this feedback loop not only optimises customer experience, but also often leads to reallocation of digital-campaign budgets.

3. Capabilities to Support Digital Marketing Operations – selecting the right marketing technology

Marketing technology enables the company to automate processes, personalize interactions, and coordinate actions. The system shall have the flexibility to work with large platforms such as Adobe or Oracle, as well as point solutions that are constantly innovating. A thoughtful application-programming-interface strategy shall be developed, to make sure the system has enough flexibility to hook into both current and emerging technologies.
Yet there is more than the “best” marketing technology. It shall consider how well a particular solution may integrate with legacy systems or how well it meets specific requirements.

4. Governance and Process – implementing processes and governance

With the right technology at hand, then it requires people, processes, and governance to ensure technology does what it’s supposed to do. Guidelines are key to success here; examples include how business units might pilot new technologies, how data will be shared across the organization, and which capabilities will be managed in-house or externally. An example showed the marketing brief and new product launch time is significantly shortened when the company adopted new approach to bring team together to establish clarity up front.

5. Key Performance Indicators and Measurement – using the best metrics to drive success

  • As companies become more customer-centric, measures of marketing effectiveness need to move beyond a narrow set of metrics:
  • Metrics should focus on customer activity rather than simply product or regional activity;
  • Metrics should reinforce new behaviours and processes, such as how fast a product is launched or how quickly lessons from the field be integrated into the next marketing offer;
  • Metrics should deliver insights quickly—often in real time —to allow business to act;
  • Metrics should be easy for decision makers to understand;
  • Metrics should be forward looking to identify future opportunities rather than focus on reporting what has already happened.

The Original Article -

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