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Adapt or Perish: The New Dynamics of Digital Marketing

by Joel Book  |  
June 7, 2011
  |  17,052 views

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Why campaign management has been replaced by interaction management
  • How centralizing and sharing customer data helps your business grow
  • How to use customer data in B2B sales and marketing

Attracting, engaging, and retaining customers in the digital age of marketing is challenging and competitive, to say the least. Customers today are more empowered, more demanding, and more influential than ever.

The antiquated one-to-many monologue of mass marketing has given way to the one-to-one digital dialogue of engagement marketing that is fueled by customer data and enabled by interactive marketing technology.

To accelerate marketing and sales performance, companies must "unsilo" their old single-channel marketing strategies and adopt a true integrated multichannel strategy for managing the conversation with customers. And they need to do it in real time.

Or, as Forrester Research noted in a November 2010 report, CMO Mandate: Adapt or Perish: "In the future, there will be two types of companies—those that are agile and adapt to consumers' changing media behavior and those that go out of business."

From Campaign Management to Interaction Management


The days of the "single-channel" customer are gone, and they're not coming back. Today's customer interacts with a brand through multiple channels, online and offline. Every conversation, every interaction a customer has with a brand—whether face-to-face or via email, phone, website, Twitter, Facebook, or SMS—shapes the customer's opinion and influences how she talks about the brand.

When those channels operate independently, rather than cohesively, messages often conflict, offers are not consistent, and customers perceive the brand as dysfunctional and totally unprepared to anticipate and respond to their needs. Not exactly a positive brand experience.

On the flipside, however, when a brand creates a single database of knowledge about that customer and uses it to deliver consistent messages and timely offers across multiple channels, the customer's brand experience is quite different.


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Joel Book is a principal in ExactTarget's marketing research and education group. Reach Joel via jbook@exacttarget.com.

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Comments

  • by Ford Kanzler Tue Jun 7, 2011 via web

    The recent Subscribers, Fans, & Followers research conducted by "ExactTarget found that 90% of consumers unsubscribe, unfan, or unfollow when the communication received from brands is too frequent or the content is irrelevant."
    'Suggest that MarketingProfs and others might consider taking the above into consideration. As is so often the case, less is more.

  • by Derek M. Wed Jun 8, 2011 via web

    Customer Data is the "New Black" huh? I have to say I am surprised that MarketingProfs would allow an author to use a phrase such as that in any serious article (let alone a paragraph heading!) they would be posting on the web to all of its members. Slightly offensive, no?

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Wed Jun 8, 2011 via web

    How is that at all offensive, Derek? To whom?

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Wed Jun 8, 2011 via web

    BTW, here's a good explanation of the term: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_new_black

  • by Darryl McDonald Fri Jun 24, 2011 via web

    Hi Joel – As you point out, companies must have a complete view of the customer to effectively market to them and stay competitive. Customers are leaving a huge trail of information behind them each time they post a status update to Facebook, access a mobile application or make an online purchase, and companies also have a lot of data about their customers from call center records, financials and point-of-sale systems that provide unique insights. The key to it all is integrating this information – both structured and unstructured – for a complete view of the customer. By understanding customers’ behavior both online and offline, companies can make smarter decisions and stay competitive in the marketplace.

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