What is SMarketing and why should you spend energy on another concept and strategy? In a series of blog posts we will delve into just that.In the first part we started by explaining the concept and why the need for SMarketing exists in the first place:What is Smarketing and why is it needed?
What does it take to become a customer-focused organization?
A customer-focused organization where you can offer a seamless customer experience?
1- Customer trip
As companies move towards becoming more customer-focused, mapping the customer journey is an important part. Conducting a customer journey analysis helps shift the focus from the organisation's channels and departments to the customer's reality. Where are the customers? What online and offline channels do they use to gather information and find their suppliers? What are their needs, barriers and drivers? By visualising the customer's needs and challenges in a journey, it becomes easy to, for example, identify opportunities, become more relevant and improve the experience.
By visualising the customer's needs and challenges in a journey, it becomes easy to identify opportunities, become more relevant and improve the experience.
In this step, it is important to leave the departmental mindset behind and focus solely on the customer's needs and their experience throughout the customer journey, rather than talking about which department is responsible for the customer at each stage. A customer journey analysis should therefore be done jointly with stakeholders from different functions that have direct and indirect contacts with the customer through the customer journey in order to truly understand the customer.
2- Common Language
Communication is the key to a successful organisation.
"Communication is a basic prerequisite for the creation, existence and development of organisations. Coordination, management, learning, job satisfaction, customer relations and more are virtually impossible to create without communication."
M. Heide, C. Johansson, C. Simonsson, Communication in Organisations, English, 2012
To drive development, you need to disseminate and communicate ideas effectively and get quick feedback. That's why collaboration between marketing and sales is key to success in digital, measurable and scalable sales, and communication requires a common language and vocabulary. This becomes even more important as new phenomena and concepts are constantly emerging in sales and marketing. Do sales and marketing agree on what is meant by a "lead"? Even in the same system such as Salesforce, the definition of "lead" differs in the Marketing Automation and CRM systems. And it puts extra emphasis on defining different terms together and not allowing the system to define the terms and set the internal language.
In order for sales and marketing to lay the foundations for a common language, a series of analyses should be carried out together. Map the customer journey and its different stages, define your customer segment and personas.
It is extremely important that marketing and sales have common definitions and a common understanding of the different stages of the lead pipeline, from need to decision. Once they are in agreement, they can jointly develop common goals and KPIs for all parts of the pipeline. This will foster collaboration and break down silos by having a common focus and vision. Then, continuous joint meetings can help keep the focus on agreed objectives and moving in the same direction.
"Real-time information enables real-time adjustments and improvements."
3- Uniform Data
A prerequisite for creating a seamless customer experience and understanding customer behaviour is a data collection strategy. Data silos are a common problem, where important customer data is stored in separate channels and devices, or kept isolated by a particular department. In fact, data silos are synonymous with a fragmented customer journey. And this is where today's well-developed technology plays an important role. To break down data silos, you need to unify your data. To do this, you need one or more integrated systems that bring together different types of data, and preferably a central platform where you can analyse the data and create a unified view of the customer. A good start is to integrate CRM data with a marketing platform such as a Marketing Automation system. This provides an opportunity to improve the efficiency of the organisation and create a holistic view of its customers. The integration between these two systems will also open up new possibilities in terms of personalisation and segmentation, for example. In short, through a CRM-Marketing Automation integration, you will be able to start breaking down your data silos, lift and develop your lead management process and align the work between the sales and marketing departments of your company. Other important data sources that can impact the customer experience are support systems and customer service systems. This data also needs to be analysed in order for companies to act on the findings.
4- Agile Organization
Agile transformation is about developing the ability of an organisation or business to work effectively. A challenge that is becoming increasingly difficult to manage for sales and marketing in a traditional organisation. The use of an Agile working methodology enables teams to adapt more quickly to changing conditions while planning and delivering for the long term. Cross-functional teams can be temporary or more stable over time. Temporary teams are suitable for organisations that work close to customers and have customers with fast-moving needs and short lead times. Temporary teams can be created on an ongoing basis to address current issues or the skills available in the organisation. Stable cross-functional teams, on the other hand, suit functions such as SMarketing. Where members from sales and marketing, operations and customer service work together to create coordination between functions and create smoother and more frictionless internal processes, from customer needs through production to the supplier base, leading to a consistent customer experience.
In other words, cross-functional teams are the key to creating Agile organisations. And an Agile organisation leads to an environment that embraces creativity and innovation, leads to continuous development and improvement while empowering employees and reducing top-down management.
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