By nickjohnson - May 21st, 2013

In this series, we'll summarise the key findings from notable industry white papers and reports - so you can scan the core insight and decide whether you want to read the full document.

This week, we look at McKinsey's new report on "On-Demand Marketing". In an illuminating and interesting 15 pages, Peter Dahlstrom, a McKinsey Director in London, takes us through his thoughts on a major new trend in marketing (something that chimes closely with our thoughts on the new 'accessible consumer').

So, what are the major points that Dahlstrom makes?

The way a customer judges brands is changing

You're not going to be judged on the quality of your marketing, of your customer-service, of your product individually. Up to quite recently, these areas have all been siloed, and one would judge the success of individual departments based on separate criteria. Not any more. According to Dahlstrom, nowadays "consumers will judge brands by their ability to deliver heightened experiences...that offer high levels of value and are radically customised and easy to access." Relevance and unique, tailored and seamless experiences are key.

This means companies must change what and how they deliver in three key ways

  1. You've got to find new ways to engage your consumer
  2. You've got to have eyes on every way a customer engages with your company - and ensure data from these disparate touchpoints is shared internally
  3. Building on the two preceding points, you've got to create awesome experiences for the customer

McKinsey is giving short shrift to privacy concerns

Apparently, your consumer is going to want to interact with you any time, any place (hence 'on demand' marketing). But Dahlstrom's assertions go too far in our eyes. He asserts that the customer wants to do new things, based on the desiloisation of multiple data sources and the deployment of multiple data sources in concert to deliver better experiences. He goes further, and states that "they will expect all data stored about them to be...used to personalize what they experience."

From our own discussions with CMOs and VPs, this is by no means taken as read. Most corporate practitioners are extremely cautious about 'creeping out' their customer by revealing the sheer amount of data they store on them. Customers, equally, are sensitive to the use of personal data to target advertisements to them (just look at Facebook's issues - there's a remarkably sane discussion in the comments section of Lifehacker here)

Online and offline marketing/comms experiences must merge

NFC and other technology will mean that "the consumer experience [gets] radically integrated across the physical and virtual environment".

Several departments must work in concert to ensure an effective 'consumer decision journey'

Marketing and Comms are part of a broader team. Companies must now be "designing the entire story of how individuals encounter a brand, and the steps they take to evaluate, purchase and relate to it across the decision journey. Marketing or Customer Research can't do this alone."

Your measurement has to be broader and better integrated too

Dahlstrom makes the valid point that too many companies still have far too simplistic an approach to measurement in this new environment - focusing too often on 'last attribution analyses'.

Echoing the previous point, McKinsey feels your business must ensure all customer-facing functions work better together to share all forms of data to ensure an integrated view of consumer decision journeys. For a rather jargon-filled explanation:

"With longitudinal pictures of customers' touches and their outcomes, companies can model total costs per action, find the most effective decision-journey patterns, and spot points of leakage"

That's a stripped-down, cut-back and simplified reading of the core elements of the McKinsey piece. If you want to read the whole thing, you can do, here.



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