Are you flying blind? To continue to operate smoothly and profitably in your market, you have to have the right information, you have to know you have the right information, and that information needs to be able to prove itself with results when you act on it! If your company has been flying blind without solid metrics, then odds are you have some homework to do. Fortunately, in the dawn of the information age, once you complete some basic steps, you can benchmark your way rapidly into an informed position. Establishing Your Starting Point First You have to establish a baseline and evaluate where you are. If you attempt to navigate through a forest to a single destination without knowing where your starting point is, your odds of success are not very good.
The old adage “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” could not be a more perfect battle cry for marketers in this new multi-channel age. The lessons of the past become the beacon for the future: 1) First ask yourself how you plan to measure the results. 2) Clean up your data and establish a process to keep it clean. 3) Integrate your data within the enterprise and across the channels. 4) Make analytics and reporting both within and across channels critical. 5) Build your core internal applications with re-usability in mind. 6) Bring your offline direct marketing approaches to your online channels. 7) Pick an infrastructure that is scalable, particularly processing and storage. Make continuous learning a key component of your campaign and operational strategies. 9) Select a marketing/campaign/automation software platform last.
Once you have figured out where you are, you need good information to establish your direction. Companies that are looking for sales leads need to see where their customers are, what they are doing, and which of those customers need services now. Even more importantly in turbulent times, you need to see which customers are able to make a move now. Showing up to do business with a potential customer before they are ready to do business, is almost as bad as showing up too late. Give them a great offer too early that they can not act on and they are likely to look for a similar offer with a competitor, next week, in hopes of getting the deal done. This week they may not be ready to do business, and if you plant the idea in their head but do not let them complete the deal, you are likely only helping your competitors. Its just as bad if you are too late and attempt to strike after you competitors have already closed the deal. Act on Your Plan You will absolutely fail if you do not act. Move with confidence with your strong baseline measurement of where you are, with your solid information that charts your course. Move forward and act by reaching out to your customers and close the deal. Once you have finished the cycle, update and review your metrics, reset your baseline as necessary and repeat your moves after making any adjustments in course necessary