Segmentation is a tool to grow customer numbers

netfix house of cardsdata pulse #37

Delivering the most relevant, inspirational messaging and experiences through advanced segmentation and targeting is a key advanced use of data. Segmentation itself is relatively straight forward, we all do it all the time. The skill for CMO lies in bridging the technical teams and the business imperatives to develop segmentation that delivers on commercial objectives

Netflix is an organisation that uses data in three of the advanced states. Netflix micro-tagging of vast content archives allowed creation of nearly 77,000 film segments, rich data, views, searches , times, pauses and more is used to build behavioural profiles and predictive algorithms give uniquely targeted recommendations.

The segmentation techniques are not dissimilar to the segmentations that Tesco, Sainsbury’s , Coop  and Asda built for segmenting customers. Both cluster users based on attributing product features to films / products and then clustering film watched/ products bought using analytics.

The difference is the Volume, Velocity and Veracity of data used.

Coop Food apply 7 segments to members annually,

Netflix create 77,000 segments on daily basis, continually refining which segment members are in so better able to predict your best next film.

More complex isn’t always better, as organisations need to WALK before they can RUN, and align people and processes before they build more complexity. Asda is now using customer segmentations and tools and processes for building ranges and promotional plans, and continually building and refining, as well as segmenting customer communication to improve the Customer Experience

Customer focus, data-driven to deliver commercial imperatives.

Building more sophisticated segmentations will develop but add value if they are aligned to deliver commercial objectives, so creating strategic and operational capabilities

 

 

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Agile Marketing Explained

scrum vs sprint

WHAT AGILE MARKETING IS AND WHAT IT ISN’T

If you’ve been halfway tapped into the marketing zeitgeist lately, you’ve seen this phrase: Agile marketing.

Everybody’s talking about it as the “next thing in marketing.” It even has its own manifesto. Despite all this hooplah, however, you shouldn’t feel too bad if you can’t quite put your finger on what Agile marketing is.

Take a look at the Agile marketing groups on sites like LinkedIn, and it becomes clear that more than a few people are a tad confused about it. Is it simply restructuring your marketing and in-house creative teams and their processes to be more nimble? Sort of. Does it just mean streamlining your process and jettisoning any baggage that slows your team down? Kind of.

To give you a nice, clean 20,000-foot explanation of it, Agile is a work management methodology that has been dominating IT work management for the last several years. It has been known to increase teams’ flexibility and ability to react to demand while improving productivity. Now that it’s proven itself effective, the marketing folks have taken notice.

Agile-driven creative teams have reported that their creativity has experienced a major boost once freed from the endless development cycles that can happen in traditional marketing work management. Creative teams have seen their productivity explode by 400 percent and with less fuss. Marketing teams can test and iterate on campaigns faster.

If you’re like most marketers looking for ways to get creative and campaigns on time and with less fuss, here is a quick crash course on Agile and how you can use it to make your marketing and creative teams as creative and effective as they deserve to be…

 

What Agile Marketing is not

Some less-informed marketers will talk about agile marketing (with a lower-case ‘a’) as simply a mindset or philosophy. Their comments focus on streamlining processes or looking for ways to make your team more nimble and faster to react to opportunities. And it’s easy to see where these ideas come from, since they are basically just going off the adjective ‘agile.’ Not coincidentally, these things are some of the biggest benefits of using Agile (with a capital ‘A’) in marketing.

Unfortunately, this confusion can lead to lots of talk on the subject without the power to actually make those benefits a reality. It’s only when you understand what Agile marketing really is that you start to make progress.

 

What Agile Marketing is

Simply put, Agile marketing is the application of a specific work methodology (Agile) to the way marketing projects and non-project work is executed.

Where most creative teams produce projects sequentially from step A to step Z, also known as a waterfall methodology, Agile marketing seeks to put your team’s resources into creating a minimum viable product as quickly as possible. It’s also built not to plod along on a single project for weeks, but to accommodate all of your most important tasks—from multiple projects and even ad hoc requests that can be completed in a short timeline.

To accomplish this, Agile requires that all work be broken down into “stories,” which can be chunks of larger projects or small ad hoc requests. Each story tells your team, in a nutshell, what needs to be created. With that information, your team assigns to the story the number of hours they think it will take them to complete the story. Your team divides their time up into periods of time called sprints, which are a week or two weeks. Naturally, every sprint has a set number of hours which will be filled by stories and is intended to be a period of focused creativity that allows ample time for creative team members to explore a number of approaches to a story before moving forward. Again, the stories are chosen for a sprint based on their priority, and the creative team goes to work. Stories are placed on a public burndown chart, where team members and stakeholders alike can see them move from ‘incomplete’ to ‘approval’ to ‘complete’.

As you can see, Agile is quite different from the traditional workflow most creative teams are used to, but the benefits are undeniable. Agile eliminates the bottlenecks and wasted time in found in conventional methodologies and empowers creative teams to collaborate more, and make on-the-fly decisions about a project’s direction, task order, or priority. Hence the name Agile.

This increased productivity and quality, of course, have a direct impact on the companies that use Agile. In fact, studies show that Agile firms grow revenues up to 37% faster and increase profits as much as 30% more than their non-Agile counterparts.

The battle to grow customers is not BAU.

customers 14

Data & Digital is transforming customer expectations

The battle for customers is not business-as-usual, with data & digital transforming customer expectations for personalisation, technology adoption moving fast & traditional loyalty structures changing. Creating a Customer Obsessed Organisation that puts the customer at the heart of the business and designing the human and digital customer experience are top priorities to win in the age of the Digital Customer.

Organisations grow if they have more customers visiting more often, meeting more needs of existing customers and attracting new customers: Use of Data & Digital is an opportunity to get closer to customers and do what good organisations do now better & faster.

There are several opportunities for Data & Digital to allow organisations to get closer to their customers and grow faster, and lots of learnings from other organisations that can be applied in a fast follower position.

  1. Transformational understanding of the business to make it customer focused: better, simpler and cheaper for customers, colleagues and the organisation itself
  2. Delivering a Friction Free Customer Experience
  3. Delivering the most relevant, inspirational messaging and customer experiences through advanced segmentation and targeting

The road to travel on the journey to making your organisation more customer focused in a digital world is challenging and one that requires alignment and commitment from the CEO, CCO and across different departments.

  1. Identify the commercial & customer Goals in next 18m-36m
  2. Build a clear vision of a radically different data-driven customer digital future state, working across digital & bricks & mortar and align across the organisation.
  3. Remove Silos of data use creating a single version of the truth, with a data strategy linked to business goals e.g. Unified View of customer data, GDPR ready and tools developed to meet commercial goals.
  4. Breakdown the institutional fear of data & digital at all levels through training & doing: it’s a tool that anyone can use to do what you have been doing better
  5. Use Data Analytics to Map & Prioritise customer journeys & personalised experiences across human & digital touchpoints and align organisation capability to deliver for customer.
  6. Identify & Build the capabilities (Process, Tools People) that will be required to transform process design from efficiency focused (cheaper) to customer focused (better simpler cheaper) , specifically putting in place an analytics capability to enable data-driven, personalised journeys
  7. Foster stronger bonds between technical and different business people. This is a two-way process to ensure the technical teams understand the commercial imperatives, and customer solutions you would like to build, and the business teams learn to trust the expertise of technical IT teams. It will also allow you to improve data quality through showing the business impact.

Using Data and Digital to put the customer at the heart of an organisation is a transformation that future looking organisations need to start implementing now.

How to win in the age of the Digital Customer?

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How to Win in the age of the Digital Customer

data pulse # 19

The Chief Customer Officer has a new agenda . Creating a Customer Obsessed Organisation and designing the human and digital customer experience are top priorities to win in the age of the Digital Customer .

This battle is not business-as-usual, for the following reasons:

  • Traditional loyalty structures are eroding, causing companies to have to work harder to retain customers or risk driving up churn.
  • Customers expect high levels of personalisation, forcing companies to design experiences as close to the individual level as possible.
  • Agile digital companies are seeking to disintermediate the relationship between both traditional digital and brick-and-mortar companies and their customers.
  • Companies must now differentiate on the experiences they deliver to customers.

Each of these forces creates challenges; more importantly, the additive impact of these forces mandates deep-rooted changes in a company’s strategy and operations.

To state the obvious, customers neither understand nor care about how hard it is to deliver consistent, quality and personalized experiences.

Taking stock, the CCO’s agenda now looks more and more like the CEO’s or COO’s agenda.

The agenda

The CCO’s agenda can be separated by a line of visibility: some pieces customers can see, and some they cannot.

Key initiatives such as strategic positioning, brand and loyalty programs are traditional CMO agenda items.

The new and most important item is designing consistent, high-quality, and personalised experiences across both human and digital touch points.

The need to differentiate on the basis of experience is really what drives the deep-rooted operational changes below the visibility line. In most cases, delivering differentiated experiences is not business-as-usual; it will require more severe structural and operational changes such that a company looks and operates differently than it does today. The CMO agenda now consists of:

  1. Making organisational changes to better align capabilities and ensure a seamless delivery of experiences across human and digital touch points.
  2. Transitioning process design from being efficiency-focused to customer-focused.
  3. Making hard changes in people and culture, including leadership, new roles, competencies and a customer-focused culture that fuels the business.
  4. Putting in place an analytics capability to enable data-driven, personalised journeys.
  5. Initiating or accelerating the business technology agenda to improve technologies that deliver customer value and drive growth.

Combined, these efforts tell us that companies, and CCOs specifically, need to think hard about making a fundamental shift in their operating model. To add to the complexity, changes to the operations across the company need to be sufficiently cohesive to ensure they don’t damage or create uneven customer experiences.

For better or worse, this is what is in front of many CCOs/ CMOs today — to lead the charge to understand the consumer mind set in the digital age and truly become a customer-obsessed organization.

This isn’t veneer or some clever tagline. It is the hard work to differentiate and win in the Age of the Digital Customer

Use Storytelling to explain your company’s purpose

 

The idea of “purpose” has swept the corporate world. Encouraged by evangelists like Simon Sinek, myriad firms like Coop, are devoting real time and attention to explaining why they do. But activating purpose is impossible without storytelling, at both the corporate and individual levels. Purpose is essential to a strong corporate culture, it is often activated and reinforced through narrative. Individuals must learn to connect their drives to the organization’s purpose and to articulate their story to others.

This is hard for most business leaders. Great leaders are often humble and reticent to speak about themselves. This impulse is admirable, but it falls short of what’s needed to inspire people to join in the purpose of an organization. And many businesspeople feel more comfortable with waterfall charts and P&Ls than with telling their own stories.

Only narrative can do that. Storytelling is a skill that leaders can — and should — hone.

Self, Us, Now

Ganz argues that for people to inspire others with the mission of their organization or cause, they must first link that mission to their own motivations, and then connect it through story to those of the people they are hoping to persuade. Ganz has developed a simple framework for those hoping to develop a narrative approach to their purpose-driven organizations: ” Self, Us Now”

Self

To create a public narrative for your own organization, start with “self.” This is perhaps the most difficult part for many businesspeople because it involves focusing on real events in one’s own life and explaining how these incidents established the values that will later link to the values of the organization.

steve jobs stanford

An excellent example of this is Steve Jobs’s address to the Stanford graduating class in 2005. The address was largely a deeply personal reflection on Jobs’s personal history — his working-class upbringing, his dropping out of college. Perhaps more importantly, however, he spoke about how his love of calligraphy instilled with him a love of design that would later guide his work at Apple, and how his cancer diagnosis reinforced in him a deep desire to live passionately and authentically — as if each day were his last. It’s beautiful storytelling, and it gives you a glimpse into who Jobs was, what he valued, and how that would later guide his work at Apple and elsewhere. What’s compelling about Jobs’s address is that it seems authentic and raw. A great story of self has to be a real story of self. Finding that story may require a leader to reflect deeply on her past and motivations, and communicate them honestly — even those parts that are embarrassing or imperfect.

Us

The next step, “us,” aims to connect these values with broader shared values of the audience — clients or employees, for example. In this step, you weave your own personal narrative into the narratives of others through shared values, experiences, hopes, and aspirations. In doing so you create a common narrative for the group or organization. In literature, a well-known example of this (one that Ganz often highlights in class) is the St. Crispin’s Day speech from William Shakespeare’s Henry V. In it, King Henry, attempting to motivate an English army demoralized by their lack of strength, calls on his troops to be a “band of brothers” fighting valiantly together for each other, their country, and the values they share.

anita roddick.jpg

While it’s miles away from the battlefield of Agincourt, The Body Shop is a Good example of how a business applied this technique. They focused telling the story of their mission : ‘To dedicate our business to the pursuit of social and environmental change.’ using our stores and our products to help communicate human rights and environmental issues. They feature the story of their founder Anita Roddick on the website. The story of Anita and her husband founding the Body Shop in Brighton in 1976. Anita wanted to found a health and beauty products skin care, hair care and make-up that are produced ethically and sustainably. It was the first beauty company to ban testing on animals use Fairtrade products and still sources Fairtrade products from around the world.  Anita was company spokesperson for years beyond her operational involvement. Just before Anita’s death in 2007 Body Shop was sold to L’Oreal , acting as a “Trojan Horse for environmental change within multinational organisations”.  A great “story of us” establishing a community, its values and how they came to be.

http://www.anitaroddick.com/aboutanita.php

Now

Finally, the close is what Ganz calls the “now” — an urgent call to action for those who wish to share the purpose of a group or an organization. Consider Great Ormond Street Hospital. one of the most trusted charities in UK.  The organization’s purpose is “Finding Cures. Saving Children,” and their site is filled with the stories of the kids they serve. Their call to action – often, simply to give financially — is simple, direct, and compelling in their videos and materials. meet patients like Dominic….. ( and Joe,Lara.Matthew,Sophia,Stanley, Zihora….)

http://www.gosh.org/meet-our-patients/dominic

Kickstarter

Kickstarter, similarly, has an impactful way of asking people to join its team. That narrative starts by having its founder tell the story of the company (the “self”). Their website includes pictures and short descriptions of each and every company employee (“the us”). Finally, the narrative culminates its “now” call to action with a careers page asking: “Love Kickstarter? You’ll fit right in.” These stories are most powerful when they are individually authentic, build to a collective narrative and values, and then seal the deal by asking the person reading, watching, or listening to join in.

Storytelling can be awkward and unfamiliar to many professionals, particularly if you’re sharing personal experiences. Yet the motivation for this storytelling is not self-aggrandizement, but to create a purpose and culture that others can share.

Purpose is what builds real passion, motivation, and buy-in for the stakeholders of any organization. And it can be articulated by leaders who’ve learned to tell their stories and the stories of the organizations, people, and causes they serve.

 

5 ways hard-headed leaders promote innovation

innovation

I have known many CEOs and CMOs over my career. The best ones created innovative transformational cultures. Many tried. Some failed to comprehend the definition of the word itself; others lacked the vital leadership traits to inspire creativity and implement great ideas. Those who were adept at driving innovation and sustaining it over the long haul had one thing in common: they were hard-headed.

Their tough-mindedness came from an unshakable belief that innovation is critical to corporate survival, and that without powerful and constant change, innovation would be elusive. These trailblazers were innovative leaders, but surprisingly some of them weren’t creative, themselves. That didn’t matter because they were good a recognizing great ideas and welcoming change. No change, no innovation.

So, how do unshakable leaders create change and how to they sustain the innovation outcome?

  1. They unsettle the organization. There’s a host of companies that get things done, control performance, spot problems and deliver their budgets. But the structures, the processes and the people that keep things ticking along can snuff good ideas and block movement through the system. Innovative leaders appreciate that there is a difference between what’s needed to run a business and what’s needed to foster creativity. This ethic prevents excessive layering from killing ideas before they reach the top.
  2. They’re hardheaded about strategy.  Leaders who embrace innovation have a pretty clear idea of the kind of competitive edge they’re seeking. They’ve thought hard about what’s practical and what’s not. So the approach is not wishy-washy, but focused and driven. When this methodology brings results, employees become disciples of the strategy and the culture that facilitates execution.
  3. They make innovation a priority in the “walk” as well as the “talk.” When executive teams demonstrate innovative thinking and practices, the rest of the organization is clear on direction. This facilitates coherent cross-functional teamwork and an innovative modus operandi that encourages diverse viewpoints.
  4. They take note of what’s already going on with a view to balancing creative thinking with the discipline of assessing solutions and their implementation. The best backdrop for spurring innovation is knowledge – knowing the business cold. Good ideas often flow from the process of looking at customers, competitors, and the business as a whole.
  5. They appreciate that not many ideas work the first time, so they’re prepared to praise failure, move on, or try again until the company gets it right. From there, innovative leaders marshal resources behind a few winners and then execute like the SKY Cycle team

Innovative leaders are a special breed. They aren’t as interested in “minding the store” as they are about “opening new stores.” Nor are they shy to admit to controlling strategic direction, influencing the culture, and monitoring the process and practice that unleashes business’s most elusive success factor.

great leaders business

Defining your Brand Tone of Voice

digital

The language of a brand is really decided by two things: where you are looking to position your brand in the marketplace; and the personality that you choose to adopt.

  • Brand leaders speak with authority and surety. Their language focuses on stability, history and confidence.
  • Brand challengers speak with defiance. They seek to challenge the way things are so their language focuses on change, hope and (sometimes) revolution.
  • Cult brands focus on exclusivity – so their language is peppered with tribal terms.
  • Artisan brands focus on craft and attention to detail so their language tends to be quieter, more insular and focused on the work.
  • Budget brands often use language based on frugality (how much you save) or generosity (what you get).
  • Quality brands seek to be steady and trustworthy.

 

In all cases, the language you use as a brand is directly aligned with your value proposition because, of course, language is a very powerful way of capturing and expressing how you see yourselves as a brand and how you want others to think and talk about you.

Personality picks up on these points of view and defines them more specifically. This helps brands in busy and highly competitive markets to distinguish their brand where there may be several brands competing in or for a market position. Here are three of the most important ways to evoke personality through language:

 

  1. Formality – the type of language that a brand uses is a strong indicator of the type of relationship it is looking to form with customers, and of how the brand sees the exchange between them and their consumer.
  2. Dialect – every brand should seek to own language of its own; a way of talking about what it does and what it stands for that complements the visual identity and adds color and texture in terms of how the brand speaks. Don’t just speak the industry language.
  3. Rhythm – every brand needs a speech pattern. It needs to speak at a certain speed, in particular ways, so that consumers consciously or sub-consciously ‘hear’ the brand’s voice in every interaction.

Once you know where you want to position your brand and you have established a personality that speaks to the strategy and distinguishes the brand from competitors, a really sensible next port of call is the frontline.

Speaking with colleagues is a highly effective way of gauging what customers are looking for in exchanges with the brand, what they like about how they interact now, and where they would like to see clear changes in the tone of communications.  Start inside out . These insights should then be applied to content and structuring of information as well as to tone.

Too often brands fail to make all these changes. They develop a new tone of voice to sit alongside their visual identity but they only apply it to a slither of the interactions they have with consumers.

When a brand fails to carry its new voice through to all its touchpoints, it quickly muddies expectations and experiences. Customers expecting the brand to behave in a particular way find themselves being spoken with in a different, often conflicting, way elsewhere within the same brand.

Here’s my rule. A brand may speak in multiple languages – but it should look as much as possible to speak in one distinctive tone of voice everywhere.