Your Marketing and Sales teams should communicate like a platoon.
This is the eighth in a series of excerpts from Allinio’s white paper Net-Centric Marketing & Information Superiority.
Obviously the telephone will continue to be a major tool to the Net-Centric Marketer for communications. For outbound and inbound data gathering and selling, the telephone has proven its versatility and from an interactive perspective, remains widely accepted by customers. Enhancing the capabilities of voice-based platforms are Internet based Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems, which are a significant advancement over legacy IVR platforms.
And of course, there is the web itself, which allows for multimedia communications between organizations and customers. Chat, web conferencing, avatars, and other interfaces such as the various popular social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter will elevate the value of communications with their ability to gather and archive more data for the marketer. In many instances, communication will occur solely via social media; for other organizations, depending on the industry, social media communication may not be as prevalent. What matters is that communications will increasingly occur in digital form; whether in real time or captured later.
Additionally, events that trigger communications such as email campaigns will be more commonplace than they already are today and artificial intelligence (AI) based platforms will allow communications between avatars or virtual, AI based salespeople and customers online.
Beneath the application layer will be a growing broadband infrastructure that will deliver packets in greater volumes than ever before for video and other bandwidth-intense purposes. Bandwidth costs, which have dramatically decreased since the beginning of the century, will continue to become more affordable.
Mobile and other wireless technologies such as RFID will play a more dominant role in Net-Centric Marketing in the years to come; we already see Bluetooth as a great way to reach people on a one-to-one basis. All of these technologies will be adapted to communicate to sales channels in order to give them tasks and information for customer interactions, or will be adapted to directly interact with the customers themselves.
Of course, wireless communications extend the network to the entire globe. Mobile capabilities bring the power of the Internet to the remote or itinerant employee with customer facing responsibilities. With today’s smartphones, most web-based applications enable a sales person or teleworking individual full access to whatever actionable intelligence they have been granted privileges. Given the analytics in the back office, business rules will alert a user to the right information, hopefully within a critical window of time that allows the user to move a buying opportunity down the sales funnel.
Communications will continue to be enhanced to speed up conversations between Marketing, Sales and other relevant Points of Contact within the enterprise, along with dialog with customers. These communications will continue to be executed through a converged marketing platform that relies on many former silos that grew within the organization but are now integrated.
Higher processing power is a given; so is distributed processing power. Moore’s and Metcalfe’s Laws are some of the catalysts behind Net-Centric Marketing. Key to the normal business rules of what information gets processed when will be an additional layer that of artificial intelligence that can determine where new data should get routed.
Feeds from ISR related activities will directly go to processing and data mining applications that operate in real time, producing actionable intelligence that will then go to internal clients and sales for swift execution, using communications or yet other applications that function as customer touch points.
The most important applications at the C4 part of this model mainly involve analytics. There are a wide variety of analytics tools available to Marketers; however, many of them require the gathering and storage of data in a native repository; Since there are many types of data hence many repositories, there is still a hurdle to find an applications to mine both legacy repositories and currently acquired data. With time, this challenge will be overcome due to
Web, text, sentient, contextual, behavioral, speech, and other flavors of analytics are emerging – some types are more proven and accepted than others. Lead nurturing and scoring platforms take some of these elements to provide the organization with better information on what prospect is “ready” for engagement by Sales. Further progress in these genres of analytics will enable Net-Centric Marketers to link various types of analytical data and paint a better picture of what a qualified lead is, or predict future prospect behavior that may be relevant to the objectives of an organization.
A mashup is a simple set of codes that can be quickly and inexpensively set up to take multiple feeds of disparate data and consolidate them into an intuitive display. Mashups, now associated with things more of a frivolous or consumer nature, will become more commonplace on a business desktop and will become the dashboards of choice in ad hoc environments.
Gartner correctly warns that because they combine data from various sources, they can be exposed to failures in any one of those sources; even so, they can still be valuable and eventually will be combined with proprietary or redundant sources of data to ensure continuity of data flow.
Ultimately, none of these C4 tools will make any difference unless their use results in positive actions by the enterprise in the marketplace.
This is the eighth in a series of excerpts from the The Marketing Consigliere’s white paper Net-Centric Marketing & Information Superiority. Click here to read the previous excerpt online. Stay tuned to this blog for the next excerpt.