Holistic Measures Move Into the Mainstream

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Holistic Measures Move Into the Mainstream
Holistic Measures Move Into the Mainstream

What marketing measure is overrated or outdated?

The proliferation of customer data from across channels is propelling marketing's continued evolution from solely brand marketing to a hybrid of brand and database marketing. A brief look at the history of this field explains the change.

Brand marketing is an ancient art, with the oldest known generic brand dating back to the Vedic period in India, according to the epic narrative Mahabharata. Over the centuries, brand marketing has evolved to become the practice of creating a name, symbol, or design that differentiates a company and its products or services from those of its competitors. An effective brand strategy communicates to customers what they can expect from your company. In an environment with limited interaction with customers and prospects, brand marketing is highly effective.

Database marketing emerged in the 1980s. It's a form of direct marketing in which reams of data gathered from frequent client and prospect interactions are mined and analyzed. Findings from these processes tailor communications to meet customers' specific needs, and in the modern, technology-centered world, where data is growing at an everrapid pace, database marketing is destined to rein supreme.

With the growing amount of data available, some marketing measures are receiving increased attention, while others are being forced to evolve.

Time for change

What marketing measures are drawing the greatest attention? The answer is more quantifiable, digital campaigns. Popular digital campaigns include content, social, and email marketing. Content marketing is incredibly valuable for generating leads since buyers are constantly searching for e-books, videos, and whitepapers to learn more before they purchase.

Organizations can easily track customers and prospects' interactions with these forms of online media and collateral. Social marketing allows companies to build consumers' trust. When people see their peers promoting products and services, they're more inclined to buy them. With the majority of the population now attached to their smartphones, tablets, and computers, email marketing is highly effective, as well. By tracking if, how, and when customers and prospects open their emails, companies can easily gauge those recipients' interest in their products.

Marketing measures reinvented

While no specific marketing measurement is entirely outdated, corporations are shying away from using hard-to-measure channels like TV, print, and radio. Instead of using these channels to generate impressions and extend their reach, companies now require more intelligence in addition to previous measurements. With increasing opportunities to learn more about buyer preferences, companies are devising ways to generate more qualitative details while still keeping the quantitative reach they typically achieve in these channels.

What will click?

Furthermore, campaigns that were once considered cutting edge due to the massive response data they generated are evolving, as well. One example is click-through data.

It is no longer enough to say that a webcast was viewed by exactly 100 people, or that a whitepaper was downloaded exactly 100 times. Today marketers want to see the 360-degree view of a lead to revenue. They want to see, of those 100 clicks, how many of them then became leads. And, of those leads, they want to know how many convert to sales. Within this context, people need to turn to new solutions.

What should marketers do?

More holistic measures require new technologies, but they also require marketers to get back to basics.

One solution is investing in a marketing automation system. These platforms use automation and analytic tools to help marketers better understand and keep track of buyer and potential customer preferences throughout the marketing and sales cycles. Marketers should also consider using data-leveraging tools online, such as applications that optimize landing pages for users or display more relevant ads.

Finally, the fundamentals of marketing are the same as they always have been: to effectively communicate company products and services; to generate greater awareness; and to encourage trial, repeat purchase, preference, and advocacy. When marketers stay focused on those fundamental goals, the more detailed, yet holistic measures—from consideration to purchase and beyond—they need most to demonstrate

achieving them will become apparent.

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Atri Chatterjee, Act-On Software

As CMO at Act-On-Software, Atri Chatterjee is responsible for all things marketing at the company. Although he didn't join until 2012, his association with the company as an adviser and an early customer goes back to when the company was founded. Chatterjee's over 20 years of experience span marketing, product management, business development and engineering at high-growth, innovative companies. Most recently he was VP and GM of the user authentication business at Symantec. Prior to that he was SVP of marketing at McAfee Inc. (now part of Intel) and was the CMO of Secure Computing Corporation until its purchase by McAfee. Chatterjee was also the fi rst VP of marketing at Responsys, where he helped create its fi rst business plan, raised several rounds of funding, and established the company as a pioneer SaaS application for email marketing.

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