Archive

Archive for June, 2011

Number One in Social Business

At Enterprise 2.0 this week in Boston, I found a few inspiring moments amid all the activity.  I particularly liked the opening keynote presentations by John Hagel from Deloitte on the first day and Lee Bryant of Headshift on the second day.  The big takeaway…my number one in social business:  it all starts with a problem that needs to be solved…and that you can affect.

Hagel described a simple metrics-based path to finding the right problem to address.  Start with business metrics (e.g., where are you spending the most money or where are costs growing faster than revenues).  Dig into the causal operational metrics (e.g., buses are breaking down and taking a long time to get back into service).  Then dig deeper into the processes that are leading to the operational problems (e.g., finding the right parts).  The discrete problem of speeding information sharing about availability and need for parts is the level where social business can have an impact.  Businesses don’t “become social.” Discrete problems get solved through new processes enabled by social technologies.

Bryant’s focus was on finding the things you can change–drawing actionable insight from the data and activity streams enabled by web 2.o and enterprise 2.0.  He pointed out that insights need to be shared widely so that the right person — the one who can take action — sees the information in a close to real-time process he described as discover, filter, action and evaluate.

Tony Martins, VP Supply Chain at TEVA Pharmaceuticals, added another layer to the role of social business in solving business problems, referencing spontaneous association to form ad hoc networks for solving problems.  By combining skills to solve a problem rather than escalating and following an agreed-upon procedure, his teams were reducing manufacturing cycle time by 40%.  And managers, who had been spending half their time handling surprises, gained valuable work time.

Debra Devoy, from OpenText, added her company’s findings:  that “strength of purpose” is the one factor that enables OpenText to predict the success or failure of an implementation.

Sure, it’s management 101:  start with your objectives.  Why don’t we do it more often?

 

New Research on Why CRM Fails…Also Lessons for Marketing Automation

MIT Sloan Management Review (Spring 2011) published new research on CRM in an article titled, “Why CRM Fails and How to Fix It.”  This is fantastic reading; truly an energizing piece pointing to down-to-earth advice.  The four key insights that the authors drew from their research are equally applicable to marketing automation.  They are (verbatim):

  1. “If the appropriate marketing capabilities are not developed, little or no return will be generated from investments made in CRM.”
  2. “The rate of organizational learning, rather than the size of the company’s CRM budget, determines how rapidly companies can change the way they relate to a consumer, which, in turn, is linked to the length of the consumer purchasing cycle.”
  3. “Top management can provide the money, software and authority to create a CRM program, but such investment must be informed by cycles of learning from consumer insight….an organizational culture that tolerates experimentation will be more successful at building new CRM capabilities.”
  4. “Hard work and commitment are what it takes to develop marketing capabilities…far from being a black box (marketing capabilities) can be developed through conscious, goal-directed learning by those responsible for CRM.”

While some scoff at my contention that today’s marketing is harder than ever before, these insights from the research support that view. Enough of the left brain/right brain argument.  Enough of the data/experience fuss.  Enough of the processs/technology discussion.  It takes them all…along with leadership and courage.  I’ll say that again:  leadership and courage.

Back to the article.  The authors display a matrix with four marketing activities (demand management, creating marketing knowledge, building brands, customer relationship management) on the left and three marketing relationships across the top.  The marketing relationships between companies and consumers are:  transactional (from the 1970′s), one-to-one (based on the long-term relationship focus of the 1980s ) and networked (flowing from online networks, the company supply chain and consumers).”

The latter (networked relationships) is characterized by “co-creating value with a network of consumers,” marketing knowledge coming from “key network participants and shapers,” consumers encouraged to “access a networks capabilities,” and consumer self service.  How different is this from where your marketing is today?  How does this vision apply to your marketing? How will you go about building the capabilities to succeed in this networked relationship between company and consumer?

Don’t be stuck in in the 1990s.  Please read the article and let me know whether it made you want to cheer also…

(Back to marketing automation:  Today’s ClickZ piece on Marketing Automation…Far from Automatic opened once again the discussion of why so many marketing automation implementations fail to deliver expected results.  It makes good points but doesn’t go far enough into a meaty topic that I’ve covered frequently.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.