Four Characteristics of Next-Generation Campaign Management

Campaign-management technology has long been associated with the creation and deployment of outbound marketing campaigns. It’s time to change that. Marketing can no longer afford to simply act as a bullhorn pushing the product du jour or blasting cross-sell and up-sell offers.

Marketing experts have been talking about ad overload for years now. Simply put:

  • Consumers are overwhelmed with ad content.

  • They are tuning the messages out.
  • Response rates are declining while costs are rising.

Marketing organizations must evolve by shifting their communications strategy away from one-size fits all push marketing to a more customer-centric strategy that leverages the increasing proliferation of addressable channels and strives for responsiveness to individual customer behaviors. This shift requires marketing organizations to get beyond the old-style outbound campaign construct and seek to engage customers and prospects in a cross-channel dialog that builds upon their past and current behavior (I refer to this new style of marketing as interactive marketing). To do this effectively, marketers need technologies that enable them to:

  • Listen to all information provided by customers and prospects — both explicit and implied.

  • Understand past and present information to determine the best possible marketing action.
  • Communicate in a compelling, timely, and relevant manner.

What’s more, technologies must enable marketers to interact across inbound as well as outbound channels in an integrated way. Enter next-generation campaign management.

Characteristics of Next-Generation Campaign Management

Helping marketing organizations achieve this transition requires marketing technology providers to step up and outside the box. Campaign management is no longer about segmentation and list pull. Next-generation campaign management technologies must emerge that:

  • Are customer-aware. The key to listening is the ability to capture what a buyer is saying — both explicitly and implicitly — and to process that information to determine what to say next. This requires a campaign-management solution that has the capability to leverage and process both a customer’s past history, as well as present situation, in order to make predictions about likely future behavior.

  • Provide centralized decision making. Capturing both what the customer says, as well as how he responds to what you say, is fundamental to the shift to interactive marketing. That means next-generation campaign management solutions must provide a centralized decision-making capability that determines the best marketing message to extend in outbound and inbound marketing channels — online and offline.
  • Enable cross-channel execution. Your buyers interact with you across multiple channels and expect both a consistent and seamless experience as they move between channels. Anyone involved with a customer experience initiative knows this is a hard problem to solve. Next-generation campaign management solutions can help. By enabling cross-channel (inbound/outbound, online/offline) execution and providing the fundamental capability to compile a comprehensive marketing communication and response history, next-generation campaign management can help drive message and treatment consistency as well as a seamless experience as customers interact with the enterprise.
  • Integrate marketing operations. In any mid-sized or large company today, effective interactive marketing along the lines of what I’m describing has a lot of moving parts and requires collaboration across many disparate groups within the marketing function. To ease these challenges, next-generation campaign management must help marketers improve collaboration and facilitate cross-channel planning, design, execution, and measurement.

What’s your favorite marketing tool or service? Which one made your campaign a success? We want to know! Nominate your choice in the 2008 ClickZ Marketing Excellence Awards. Nominations are open until August 14. Nominate now!

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