Revenue Funnel Science

revenueVery interesting: a new term is introduced to marketing ecosystem “Revenue Funnel Science.”  The term defines company’s effort to optimize its revenue funnel across different functions.

The approach recognizes that a view of the entire funnel is more than an access to the software with the view; it includes organizational alignment and goal setting.

 

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BMA – Big Data Analytics

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Big Data is one of marketing topics that keeps our industry interesting.  Jennifer Blatnik, VP Cloud and Enterprise Portfolio Marketing, Juniper Networks, Inc. gave an interesting perspective from the view of her company and industry.

  • Cheap storage and compute allows keeping more marketing-related data.  What data do you need?  You need only data that can be useful.
    • Customer Care database can have a lot of data, but not much of it is valuable.
    • If company is interested in a specific vendor, there is a probability the company is looking to buy.  Gartner sells the data on who is researching your company.
  • Which data is important?  It depends on what you are trying to do.
  • Proliferation of data contributes to the industry evolution and creates a new marketer – a marketer who understands marketing strategy and is able to align it to the “marketing stack.”
  • While waiting on infrastructure projects (can take years), it might make sense to employ data scientists to find data needed for insights in different sources company has.  However, data scientists need to receive a clear explanation of the project objective, as their area of expertise is data rather than your business.
  • Targeting personas: if your persona is CIO, it does not mean that people with CIO title need to be targeted, it means that persona of this type can be targeted, even without CIO title.

Book – Beyond Measure

beyond-measure.pngExcellent book!

Measures to change organizational culture fail 70% of time.

Energizing existing interests can be useful: Google created “liberate” group – people passionate about data privacy.

During her years in business school, the author collected questions. The case studies would change with time, but the questions can be applied to any future situation.

  • What would we see if we were wrong?
  • Who else will benefit from this decision?  How?
  • What else we would need to know to be confident in this decision?
  • Who are the people affected by this decision?
  • Who has the least power to influence it?
  • how much of this decision must we make today?
  • Why is this important?  And what is important about that?
  • If we had infinite resources – time, money, people – what would we do?
  • What are all the reasons it is the right decision?
  • What are the reasons it is the wrong decision?

One company had a “black book of mistakes,” including $200,000 mistake from financial officer.  Each new recruit read the book.  It helped not to repeat mistakes, but also made a point that everybody makes mistakes.

People are afraid to talk about mistakes – 88% of people acknowledged that they would address mistakes only in private.

Creative conflict is valuable – it polishes initial ideas.

Productive groups do not include a few super-stars of above average intelligence. High performing groups shared 3 qualities:

  • they gave one another rather equal time to talk
  • Group members are tuned to one another – high social sensitivity.  Group members scored higher on empathy test.
  • Best groups included more women (might be because of empathy aspect, or general diversity).

Can you teach empathy or do you need to hire for it?

One company used an interesting approach during budgeting cycle:  every department head expleined the budget to a colleague, who presented it at the budgeting meeting for all.  CTO could argue the case for Marketing, head of Sales could present Operational needs, Customer Care might explain Technology budget.

The impact: everybody had to see the company from others’ perspective.  They were compelled to do the best job possible, ensuring that their counterpart would do the same.  Each executive learned more empathy.

In the large organizations, this approach can be done on the level of two departments trying to understand each other.

Company’s social capital assures that people are comfortable bringing ideas forward.

How to enhance social capital:

partyOne scientist (department head) – spent first half hour of his weekly two hour meeting for non-work conversations: birthdays, news, arts, etc.  At first, it might look like this approach reduces time for science, but long term, it is more than made up with gains in productivity.

thinkingMore mistakes happens in flight if flight crew is working together first time.  Stable teams perform better.  Shuffling roles to argue an approach within the team seem to give the best result. Even in R&D an introduction of one new person into the team over 2-3 years is considered sufficient.

Mono tasking is better not only for productivity, but also for our ability to use the information: “Distracted people can not think.”

A resort asked its employees to think about “one more thing” they can do after everything required has been done.  People who did it, enjoyed doing this “one more thing” the most – it was their own task.  The author is asking at the end of the book, what a small change can readers do to improve their organizational culture?  Hmmm…  😉

 

BMA – Customers Experience Marketing

logo.pngInsightful event with an excellent speaker from SiriusDecisions addressed many questions local marketers have in the area of Customer Experience Marketing.

My biggest surprise: advocacy gamification works for b-to-b.  I thought gamification does not make sense in b-to-b, even if I did sign up for some of advocacy sites (out of my marketing curiosity and sense of “duty” to investigate what kind of approaches exist).   The data suggests it does.

Customer Experience Marketing includes all phases of customer experience.  In the traditional approach, the customer receives significant attention from a company up to the point of sale and on-boarding (stages 1, 2, and 3).  Then, the interaction exists only if customer needs support or has an issue (stage 4).  At the time of renewal, the company approaches the customer again (stage 5), even if the customer might have forgotten the vendor.

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Better approach is to integrate the customer experience across customer life cycle.  Ideally, somebody on C-level should have responsibility for “customer strategy.”

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Interesting: there are different functional approaches of organization post-sale activities.  Each of the organizational models have challenges, including the model where Customer Success and Customer Marketing functions exists.  In this case, alignment can become a challenge.

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Customer experience can be used as a competitive advantage.

Another interesting point: Customer Experience is often confused with User Experience.  SiriusDecisions start conversations about customer experience with a list of definitions.

SiriusPerspective: Having a clear and common set of definitions is a foundational
element for any function, especially one undergoing rapid growth and evolution.

Customer Experience:
The direct experience a prospect or customer has with your company and your brand. Ideally this is supported by multiple functions and coordinated by a central function.

Customer Marketing:
The contribution of the marketing function to developing engagement, loyalty, advocacy and retention in the customer base. Some companies include cross/upsell in this area.

Customer Success:
Team dedicated to post-sale customer engagement and retention.

Customer Loyalty:
The behavior of customers who are actively engaged with a company, product or service. Loyal customers are less vulnerable to competition.

Renewal:
A defined transaction to continue to buy.

Retention:
The ongoing process of delivering value and engagement in the post-sale lifecycle.

Customer Advocacy:
Combination of activities that help customers share experience with your brand, formally and informally. Tactics such as case studies, sales references, videos, social media, community posts, events, user groups, analyst relations, investor relations, media/PR support, etc.

Customer Advocate:
Customer who is willing to speak on your behalf, inside or outside their company, and via formal, informal and/or anonymous channels.

Customer Reference:
Customer who is willing to speak with a prospective buyer to support a sales cycle.

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A few practical points, which seem obvious, but not always used by marketers:

  • “When you do journey mapping, please invite your customers…”
  • Customer Advocacy employees should not carry a quota
  • Understand your audience/persona: if you are working with Millenials, you have better luck with charitable donations as an incentive
  • Some of B-to-B gamification challenges:
    • blog about…
    • post on LinkedIn about…
  • “Take you finance person to lunch; they will know how to find data you need…”

B-to-B gamification (Bombar is using Influitive)influitive.png

The data suggest that the activity not only influences engagement metrics, but has direct impact on lead generation.

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ADP – referral is now #1 source of demand generation.  Wow.

Another company example: challenge completion correlates with bookings (no lag), and estimated to be responsible for 2% of bookings over 12 months period with $800,000 revenue.