FROM SILO'ED TO ORCHESTRATED MARKETING
So far, I have explored the power of observation and the ability to collaborate with customers. But how do we convert all this into a razor-sharp focus on a specific set of customers? The marketer has now the opportunity to use this power to bring the customer to a positive decision about a product, whether this is a first-time purchase, a repeat purchase, or a tweet to friends exalting the virtues of the recently purchased product. These decisions happen over time and require a series of collaborations. Without a proper conductor, the musicians hired to influence the customer can at best create musical noise. How do we orchestrate these powerful tools to collaborate with each other? This chapter discusses how marketing efforts can be pooled across the silos to influence a customer through the stages of marketing. How would marketers coordinate the effort to reduce cost and the annoyance factor and use the power of collaboration to improve the relationship with their customers?
I poured through online advertising information and found that many large telcos invest tens of millions of dollars in advertising with Google. For example, AT&T invested $40.8 million in Google advertising, and Verizon invested $22.9 Million in 2011.1 According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), telcos invested 12 percent of the
$20.7 billion in overall US online advertising in the first half of 2013.2 The payments are made either directly to Google or through the realtime bidding system operated by advertising agencies, demand-side platforms (DSPs), and supply-side platforms (SSPs) to purchase online spots from Google. Presumably, much of the advertising happens through the communication infrastructure provided by these telcos. I was curious about how much of this advertising was directed to an existing customer and using a basic advertisement. Telco marketing to a customer should know for certain who the customers are, and be able to refine the advertising based on what the customer has already purchased. Given that Google offers advertising opportunities to a DSP, is there a way the advertising agencies can direct the DSPs to bid for different advertisement based on customer status? Can marketers focus their advertising based on where the customer is in the buying cycle? As I talked to a number of telecom providers, I found they are in various levels of maturity in targeting their advertising to their customers, based on past purchases and current customer interest as observed through their browsing behavior.
The orchestration requires a couple of components, which can be shared across these organizations. It also requires a clear navigation through an external exchange of information, keeping in full view privacy policies and differences in customers’ privacy preferences. Some of the challenges in orchestration are organizational. Marketers need to fully understand the data bazaar introduced in chapter 2 (and explained in more detail in chapter 7) and how each player is economically motivated to participate. This new infrastructure tears apart the advertiser, agency, publisher, and media research network of the past and puts in place a new ecosystem led by information services giants like Google and Facebook. This chapter will describe technological, organizational, and legal / regulatory issues faced by marketers and how orchestration is being achieved by the pioneers.
Let me focus on the “work-at-home” customer whom I discussed in the previous chapter. Through analytics, a marketer finds a segment of telecom customers who are in need of big bandwidth during the daytime, in a residential location as they work from home. How do we identify members of this segment? How do we track each member of the segment as we organize marketing campaigns? How do we keep track of someone who is responding favorably to the campaign and could easily be an early adopter of the program? How do we accelerate the campaign to support shopping and selling to the early adopters? Can we seek the help of early adopters to attract their social group and influence others to follow suit?