If you separate business decisions and technology, the following real-life situations could happen to you too.
- It’s late November and your hosting partner specialists reason, that it’s a perfect time to upgrade your server memory over the weekend. They follow the standard procedure to inform you about the service break, but the information is never connected to the fact, that this particular weekend is your peak for Christmas sales. Consequentially you miss 12 hours of sales and millions of euros.
- Management hires a marketing agency to create the future concept of e-commerce. A great concept is created, but never implemented due to the costly implementation project. The fact that the concept was far from the standard operation of your e-commerce platform and backend capabilities, it would have resulted in endless expensive customizations.
- The VP of Sales notices a significant drop in the season’s furniture sales, both in stores and online. He reaches out to his analysts and finds out, that he’s no longer showing up on the top 5 relevant Google searches. It’s too late to start optimizing his product data and site for higher ranks. Because of a reactive strategy, a huge stock is left over and is later dumped with high discounts.
- Your most important campaign of the year is about to start. The batch-run onboarding the product and campaign data from your ERP to e-commerce fails during the night, causing 30% of the products – including many of your campaign products – to disappear from the site. By noon the issue comes to your attention through increased call center contacts.
What if instead….?
- Your infrastructure would be run with tight connection to your business. Not just ran, but also continuously improved for a perfect customer experience.
- The team building your concept would know exactly the capabilities of the technologies you use. They could immediately tell you, what’s easy and what’s costly. Constantly keeping in mind that an exceptional customer experience is a key driver for your success.
- Your search engine marketing and optimization partner would understand your business and your upcoming campaigns. You would get quantified proposals for improving your search ranking and investment in paid search, matching your seasons and campaigns.
- Your key business metrics are monitored and any anomalies are reacted on and fixed immediately. The followed metrics could be e.g. a drop in number of products, bad conversion for a campaign and higher bounce rates.
I believe that managing the marketing-technology relationship and thus end-to-end customer experience is both our clients’ and our responsibility. Being a leader in customer experience requires re-thinking and re-organizing of the way we work together. In my mind, it also means broader responsibilities covering both the technical and business issues. The questions you should ask yourself are:
1) What responsibilities are vital for your organization and what are the ones you would rather give to someone else?
2) What are the requirements for the partner that you need by your side – and what responsibilities could they carry?
I have seen many ways to manage (and cope with) the issues described above. Many are on the right track, but they are still not quite there. We have been working for several years on making marketing and technology converge seamlessly and also on creating an exceptional customer experience. That’s what we mean by being a “new breed of marketing and technology company”.