Consultant, IBM Center for Applied Insights
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post discussing our
recent paper that links Leading Marketers with financial outperformance. In our study, these Leading Marketers had 40%
higher revenue growth and twice the
gross profit growth. Naturally, the next
question you’d ask is “how do I become a leading marketer?” And that’s exactly what I’m going to talk
about over my next few posts.
To kick things off, we found that Leading Marketers engage
with their customers across a variety of channels. These leading marketers are more likely to
have integrated inbound, outbound and offline marketing programs in some or all
channels. They are more likely to use
interaction optimization technology in all of their channels. And they are also more likely to adjust
offers in real-time across all channels.
In short, they create a “System of Engagement” that allows them to
engage each customer as an individual, across multiple channels.
So if leading marketers are creating a system of engagement
to deliver targeted messaging across channels, what specific tactics are they
using? To answer that, we looked closer
at mobile and social channels.
Essentially, a number of tactics within these channels can
be considered “table stakes.” Everybody
has a mobile version of their website and delivers mobile e-mails. Everybody has a social networking page on a
site like Facebook and most engage in micro-blogging (Twitter). But there are some specific, innovative
tactics where we saw differences between leading marketers and others.
When it comes to mobile, we found that leading marketers
were more likely to use mobile messaging campaigns, location based targeting,
and mobile-specific ads. For social,
leading marketers were more likely to develop apps for 3rd party
networking sites (Facebook), leverage social/local group buying (Groupon), and
participate in location-based games (Foursquare). All of this means that leading marketers are
faster to begin leveraging emerging/trending technologies to see if they can
enhance the system of engagement. Some
of these tactics may or may not prove to be effective in the long run, but the
leading marketers get there first… not unlike the adage “fail fast, fail
often”. By being at the forefront with
these tactics, they stand to benefit when they come across something that’s
It’s also interesting to note that location-based tactics
saw greater use by leading marketers in both mobile and social. When you think about a system of engagement
that strives to deliver targeted, personalized, relevant offers in real-time,
it makes perfect sense that location-data is a key component to enhancing that
There are a number of ideas you can take away from our data,
but there’s one over-riding principle that I think is worth taking to
heart: Innovation. Leading marketers aren’t afraid of trying out
new channel engagement technologies or tactics.
They get there first and they find out what works. They don’t worry about whether a channel is completely
mature… they jump in and get their hands dirty.
This enables them to be proactive with their customers, rather than
I’ll be back next time to talk about the barriers that
prevent many organizations from becoming Leading Marketers. As always, please feel free to reach out to
me with any questions. And, if you haven’t read it yet, take a look at our
executive report, How Leading Marketers Outperform: Effective Engagement and Intelligent Investment.