5 Oct 2016Blog

Some friendly advice for marketing directors

What kind of an information package does a marketer need? What kind of tools will marketing directors need in their work this and the following year? How should the impacts of digitalization and the new marketing tools be discussed to make the absorption of information easy for an economist who is familiar with the marketing sector?

These are some of the questions that we answered during our breakfast seminar on the analytics of customer experience in August. We also explained why digitalization, predictive analytics, management with knowledge, and marketing automation are terms that each and every person whose work involves marketing should be familiar with. Based on personal experience, I can say that we will address all the issues that I would have liked to know a year ago when I started my own journey to digitalization in order to produce more profitable, better targeted, and more successful marketing.

Lessons learned during a thorough initiation to digitalization

After ten years in various marketing positions, the past year I have worked for an ICT company has been very refreshing and eye opening. This may not have been the easiest route, but I am not sure whether a few week course in digitalization and the various opportunities provided by different technologies would have been sufficient to lift the feeling of unease I was experiencing: all development I was facing in my sector involved, on one level or another, IT and digitalization, which were not among my strongest areas of expertise. Does this sound familiar to you?

Since our event sold out very quickly, I decided to summarize in this blog the main points I would like to tell the person I was a year ago and to any market manager who is highly motivated but slightly uncertain about the future.

Customers with the strongest purchasing power are often short of time. Therefore it is vital that you make finding information and purchasing services easy around the clock at the customer’s own terms.

A ‘pretty good’ customer experience is not good enough. International online store giants have increased the customers’ expectations of the customer experience and digital services.

Information is the only production factor whose value increases when it is used.

You will be wasting your time unless you utilize the customer information gathered in your company’s databases and the opportunities offered by technology. Analytics can genuinely help in enhancing the customer experience.

You don’t need to be an expert in technologies to be able to utilize the analytics and marketing automation solutions – all you need is courage to take the first step.

In my time, I used a lot of marketing agency services for brand improvement, which is not a bad thing in itself. However, a lot can be done with analytics in that sector also. By using a media agency, I was able to enhance the scale and efficiency of the operations. It never occurred to me to approach the IT department with the right questions – and even if it had, the ‘device management service unit’ of my then employer would not have been able to provide the help I needed. I browsed web analytics reports with interest and tried to form a sensible analysis of them in my head – which proved completely impossible. Now I know that it would have been possible had I had access to the right tools.

Managing with information is a precondition for maintaining competitiveness

During the digital era, managers must have a certain amount of understanding of the opportunities provided by digitalization in addition to the competence required by their position. If not done previously, it is about time the entire corporate management be initiated to digitalization.  After the initiation, the management will have the understanding needed to increase the competitive advantage of the company in this time and place. We are looking forward to the speech of Jyrki Kinnunen from DNA on developing the analytics competence of companies and the related challenges. How to make the top management understand the need to move from feeling-based decision-making to a model in which decisions are based on facts, analytics, and market automation?

I believe that in near future, success in the banking and insurance, retail, and consumer sectors will require modern, analytics-oriented information management and related marketing automation. It will no longer be a means to seek a competitive advantage but a requirement for maintaining competitiveness. You are the expert of your own business and know your clients the best: has your competitive advantage increased or decreased in their eyes in recent years?