2014 Digital Marketing Punch List: 7 Things You Should Be Doing But Are Not (Yet)

black-friday-checklistOne thing that I never expected to hear was news from White House correspondents about Cabinet-level meetings where the conversations covered user experience and a digital “Punch List,” which is a term of art for a “To-Do” list.

Now that 2014 is upon us, digital marketers need to restart with a 2014 punch list of all the stuff we know we should be doing, alongside the requisite juice cleanse and gym membership renewal.

Almost anywhere on the planet, a customer has a mobile device in her hands and is — in one way or another and whether she knows it or not –shopping. Mobile is the white hot sun that sits in the center of the multi-platform solar system. Whether she’s in Shanghai or Sheboygan, the phone is not far out of reach, and that has consequences for marketers.

In this world where mobile devices are a ubiquitous life accessory, customers expect to get information at any time and expect immediate feedback. While the phone is in her hand, she’s most likely doing other things like watching TV, riding a bus or browsing in a store. So what can we as marketers do to respond to her needs?

We need to be always open for business and we need to be nimble enough to respond to her any time of day, across all channels, as a single customer. There’s no way to have that many sales people on all the time to respond efficiently. Let’s take the simple sending of an email. It seems like the easiest thing in the world, but I’ve never worked with a company that had an easy time sending out weekly or even monthly emails. To be “always on” is to have written hundreds of emails for different segments and different parts of the customer’s journey — and have them ready at the pull of a trigger.

Here is the 2014 Digital Punch List, or the stuff we know we should be working on but didn’t get around to in 2013:

  1. Put all your data in one place. If data is tucked into different silos, there’s no way to see one customer across channels and no way to improve response.
  2. Get ready to share your data. Yes! While “Big Data” is all well and good, customer information should be stored in a way that it can be properly shared with partners like Facebook. I know it sounds scary, but parsing the data so it can be safely shared allows it to be better leveraged by partners enabling you to tap other networks more powerfully.
  3. Use your data and segmentation to build eCRM responses across the customer’s journey to be always open and responsive.
  4. Bring all the numbers together in 2014, even if you can’t bring together all the data. Analytics must be able to report on all channel attributions with actionable recommendations. It’s hard, but hire that extra analyst or seek out an agency that can help bring some unity to the chaos of information.
  5. Integrate with non-digital channels. Direct mail and call centers may not be considered digital, but they are interactive. The call center needs to respond in the same way as web or email, but does it? Business response cards and click-to-call need to connect to the same backend to take people immediately into a single sales funnel.
  6. Be digital consumer-friendly. The customer may be in your store but shopping somewhere else. We’ve all found great items in a brick-and-mortar store and immediately gone to Amazon to see if we can get the same thing delivered for a lower price. Get your place ready with QR codes, Wi-Fi and digital signage; be ready to offer location-based deals from the freeway to the parking lot, all the way through to checkout.
  7. Be social consumer-ready. If there’s a single channel that can bind all the others it’s social. Do you have the internal social team you need to be always on, always able to talk to the customer and respond in near real time? It takes time to execute the right strategy in social, with the right brand voice, cadence and quickness. Best get to it.

Sorry to say there are many more items for this list, but if a punch list gets too long, it’s too hard to face. Let’s start with the above and move on throughout the year!

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A QR code which leads to the URL for the ClickZ article about QR codes. Meta.