Useful tools for marketers borrowed from CX/UX disciplines

This post is by Beate Duesterwald, Senior Consultant at TrinityP3. Beate has over 18 years experience in helping clients to translate their business objectives into compelling digital marketing strategies.

From marketing funnel to customer decision journey

I was working on a presentation recently where I referenced McKinsey’s Customer Decision Journey (CDJ) model. If you are not familiar with the CDJ model here is a graphic that illustrates the difference between the classic marketing/sales funnel and the more iterative customer decision journey model.

Purchase funnel-Customer Decision Journey

The CDJ model reminded me of an established method that might assist marketers in better understanding their target audience’s decision-making journeys.

The CX (customer experience) and UX (user experience) disciplines use Customer Journey Mapping (amongst other methods) to capture user journeys and the experience a user makes along the journey with a business, product or service. It’s an insightful and efficient method to better understand your target audience and their engagement with your business, product or service, especially when the mapping is conducted as a group exercise (e.g. with other stakeholders and/or management).

Customer engagement is more than a series of interactions, or getting people to visit a website, “Like” something on Facebook, or download a mobile app.  Genuine engagement focuses on how your organisation, product, service or brand fits into your existing and prospective customers’ lives.

Customer Journey Maps

So, what is a Customer Journey Map?

Customer Journey Maps

It is a visual interpretation (think ‘infographic’) of the overall story from an individual’s perspective of their relationship with an organisation, service, product or brand, over time and across channels. The method is ideal to map user journeys in preparation of a digital initiative, as it looks at multiple channels that influence the interactions and user behaviour in the digital channel.

Here are some benefits of creating Customer Journey Maps to define or re–refine digital initiatives:

  • The maps provide a holistic overview of the paths, interactions, touchpoints and experiences that a user or customer makes with your business, product or service
  • The maps identify the emotional experiences that the user/customer makes at various touchpoints. This is a great way for all stakeholders to project themselves into their customer’s/user’s shoes
  • You can identify those ‘moments of truth’ that can be turned into a great experience for the user/customer.

Ultimately the Customer Journey Maps assist you in defining what might convert a user/customer into an advocate for the business, product or service.

Customer Journeys and Personas

Ideally you create a Customer Journey Map for each of your key Audience/User Personas.

Creating user/audience Personas is another method commonly used by CX and UX practitioners e.g. for a digital initiative. If you don’t have or use Personas it may be time to consider it.

Audience/user Personas are a powerful way to capture more qualitative insights of your target audience segments.

Wikipedia describes a Persona as:

“A user persona is a representation of the goals and behaviour of a hypothesised group of users. Personas are usually captured in 1–2 page descriptions that include behaviour patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and environment, with a few fictional personal details to make the persona a realistic character.”

What are the benefits of developing audience/user personas?

Personas assist to ensure your product, service and content meet your audiences’ needs and at the same time contribute to your business goals.

Personas can be a powerful addition to the standard marketing segmentation as they focus on the qualitative insights such as the audience’s needs, attitudes and behaviours that can span across age groups. Most likely this captures user segments more accurately and meaningfully when planning a digital (or other marketing) initiative.

In a nutshell the benefits include:

  • providing a human “face” to an audience segment that is otherwise defined by demographics.
  • helping team members share a specific, consistent understanding of various audience groups. Data & demographics about the groups are placed in context and this makes it easier to understand and remember
  • proposed solutions for a product or service that can be guided by how well they meet the needs of individual user personas. Features or services can be prioritised based on how well they address the needs of one or more personas.

Customer journeys and data

So, how does a Customer Journey Map fit into the mix with other data about your users/customers, such as insights from Google Analytics?

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How NOT to treat first time job seekers when recruiting

This post is by David Simpson, a seasoned former CEO who has devoted himself to the mentoring and development of other CEOs, senior executives and management teams.

Throughout my management career and more recently as an Executive Coach, I have been frequently asked by friends and colleagues to help a young person find their first serious job. I seldom refuse because the memory of my own struggles to get my foot in the door during the first Oil Crisis is still fresh in my mind forty years on!

Job seekers waiting for job interview

The methodology is fairly straightforward: Get the CV in order, hone the narrative, develop a networking plan, do the homework, treat the exercise as a full time job and above all stay positive. I am happy to report a high success rate; however I have become increasingly dismayed in recent times with what young people have to go through to get to the finish line.

The widespread lack of professionalism in the recruitment process I have witnessed second-hand, and what has been observed from the sidelines by many other members of my generation, is alarming to us.

Of late I keep asking myself:

Don’t you people realise that these young folks could be your potential clients some day and they will remember how well or how poorly you treated them? You are on the front line of your brand. At the very least you should treat people as you would expect (or at least hope) to be treated. Have you forgotten completely the anxiety of seeking your first job when you were in that very same position?”

I recognise that the commercial landscape has changed. In the wake of the global financial crisis and the restructuring of the economy, there have been increasing pressures on margin, a reticence to invest in entry level talent development and an obvious reduction in the number of trainee type roles. As a result, it is a buyers’ market; employers hold all the cards and recent graduates are more accepting of a challenging job market than their pre-GFC counterparts.

All that is understandable but here is what is not:

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Selfies, babies, drones and the marketing data deluge nightmare

This post is by Anton Buchner, a senior consultant with TrinityP3. Anton is a lateral and innovative thinker with a passion for refocusing business teams and strategies; creating visionary, data driven communication plans; and making sense of a more complex digital marketing environment.

Imagine taking photos with your hairbrush. Well now you can with Selfiebrush. A brush with a compartment to hold your smartphone that claims to make “the best selfies ever!”

The Selfie Brush

Imagine monitoring your baby’s breathing rate, movement level and sleep position. Well now you can with MonBaby – the first baby monitor in a smart button that fits to your baby’s jumpsuits transmitting vital signs and important alerts directly to your smartphone.

Imagine sharing local artist’s stories around the world via your feet. Well now you can with BucketFeet. Their mission is to connect people through art. They claim to have collaborated with over 4,000 artists in more than 60 countries to create their uniquely produced canvas shoes.

Bucketfeet

Has society gone digital and data mad?

Well apparently not. Sit tight because this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Coming down the line is:

  • the Apple Watch (with 5-6M units ordered for the first quarter. Note, Apple sold 7.5 million iPads in the first six months after its release in 2010)
  • a myriad of wearable tech smart devices including jewelry which can be located when lost
  • StoreDot’s ground-breaking nanotechnology including a wafer-thin, bendable smartphone battery that recharges in 30 seconds
  • drones that can follow you around on auto-pilot (check out airdog.com)
  • smart garments that can measure your body and exact shape for the perfect fit (check out likeaglove.co.il)
  • and the Mercedes F015 – an autonomous driving concept car which has been designed with an interior digital ‘living space’ including six high-resolution displays integrated into the instrument and side panels. Interestingly it was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 and not the International Auto Show!
Mercedes F015

Source: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz 2015 interior

Source: Mercedes-Benz

Everything is starting to get smart and connected. However with this revolution and transformation, comes an explosion of data.

And for marketers it’s a deluge. A tsunami.

Put simply, for many marketers that we speak to, it’s a bloody nightmare.

So here are 3 quick win stages to help you uncover the data that matters. The 1% that will make a difference to your business, rather than the 99% that will send you into a tailspin.

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How Calibr8or calibrates the strengths and capabilities of media agencies

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.

The article this week about the anonymous disquiet in some sectors of the media industry about the launch of the Calibr8or system is amusing to say the least, because it is exactly this sector that the system has primarily been developed to help.

So I want to take you beyond the sensationalist 800 odd words that makes a Mumbrella story (perhaps they believe their readers are incapable of sustaining concentration on a story longer than five or six paragraphs?) and explain what Calibr8or is and what it is designed to do.

AdCostChecker_FINAL

First, to directly address some of the fallacies put to us by Mumbrella regarding Calibr8or:

  • You have to pay for inclusion – FALSE. There will be at least 30 Agencies assessed initially. Any Media Agency not included that wishes to be included can register for future inclusion.
  • When using the Calibr8or system in the early stages of the pitch process only those Agencies that subscribe to Calibr8or would be put forward by TrinityP3. FALSE. Every Agency will be assessed based on it’s Calibr8or profile and suitability to the needs of the prospective client.
  • Agencies that subscribe to Calibr8or will be scored more favourably. FALSE. However Agencies that subscribe to Calibr8or will be significantly better informed on how they compare to their competitors and as a function of this will be in a stronger position to improve the quality of their offering across time.

It’s an idea right out of the industry itself

When Stephen Wright returned to TrinityP3 after spending two and a half years as New Business Director at Starcom MediaVest, he was full of stories about the frustrations on being on the other side of the pitch fence. He had participated in consultant-managed pitches, client-managed pitches and procurement-managed pitches. Some the agency was successful in and some not. But there were some essential themes that emerged and some trends that were already developing.

He said one of the biggest challenges for a media agency was to be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors as part of the pitch process. With every Agency professing competitive advantage (in word at least) it was very hard for clients to determine meaningful differentiation and the selection process often defaulted to trading and ‘a race to zero on price’.

After all, if every agency had the tools, the people, the systems, the trading position, the expertise, the skills, then all you are left with is how cheap can you buy and how little you will charge. It becomes the ultimate commoditisation of the category.

Even if you do have a competitive advantage in perhaps your trading desk or your optimisation systems, how easy is it for a competitor to completely negate it by saying all those tools are pretty much the same?

The difference between media agencies and all other agencies in a pitch

We manage all types of pitches. Creative, digital, mobile, event, promotional, experiential, social, PR, and of course media. The difference between all of these and media is there is usually an output of the work all of these agencies do for other clients.

However, the work a media agency does for a client is largely hidden or can only really be demonstrated through the strategic, planning and trading process, which is often dry and difficult to follow.

Meanwhile other agencies have tangible pictures and videos to show and tell that are interesting, entertaining and elicit an emotional response, both positive or potentially negative, from a potential client. (Perhaps this is why creative agencies appear to win so many media awards?)

This is why in media, many advertisers and procurement default to having the agency prepare plans to mythical briefs (or real ones) and require them to cost these, with the agency knowing they will be compared and assessed by the cost per thousand and CPM and total cost and not the quality of the thinking underpinning the strategy.
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Pitch for the Stars: 5 things to look out for in a great media agency

This post is by David Angell, General Manager, Melbourne, and National Head of Media at TrinityP3. In these roles, David brings his media-specific, broader commercial and relationship expertise to bear on a diverse range of projects with one core objective – achieving beneficial results for our clients.

Media agencies. They aren’t half polarising. At one end of the opinion spectrum: skilled, trusted and increasingly strategic practitioners, using sophisticated tools and technology to deliver millions of dollars of their clients’ money, as well as expanding into increasingly diversified areas of service.

At the other end: shonky generalists, traders at heart who pass off other people’s ideas as their own (refer to various aggrieved network salespeople for details) and who ultimately cream far more off the back than they take from the front (so to speak).

Pitch for the Stars

Are things really changing?

There’s no doubt that media agencies of today are almost unrecognisable from as little as five years ago. In fact at UM, Mat Baxter doesn’t even want his media agency to be called a media agency any more, and having read his commentary, I can understand why.

So what’s real, and what’s rhetoric? Well – I don’t think many would disagree that change is a constant. I would also argue, based on fifteen years of media agency experience, that the degree of complexity faced by media agencies as businesses is huge, not least because they need to pick a path between the now, the next and the ideal.

Fitting all moulds, and then some

Trying to drive forward-thinking media strategy is hard when the fact is that right now, the bread and butter of any media agency is the trading of paid media – the majority of which, in dollar terms, sits in television.

A great deal of elasticity in skillset, mindset, envisioning, motivation and resource is required to pull everything off at once and I would argue that most of the bigger media agencies are creaking a bit under the pressure.

Pitch for the stars

So what does all this mean for the poor advertising or marketing client, trying to make the right choice of media agency partner? It means they have to go beyond traditional ways of assessing the worth of a media agency.

You all, I’m sure, know the fundamentals of what you need to assess – buying performance, a good strategic process, the right FTE, enthusiastic people, market knowledge, and competitive pricing are some of them. But these things should really be the must-haves – no agency should even be in the room without them. There is so much more to look for.

Call it a media agency or not, there are some big buttons to press in assessing a great agency from a good one. Here are five of them.

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8 personality types agencies may encounter in a new business pitch

This post is by Kylie Ridler-Dutton, Marketing Management Consultant at TrinityP3. Kylie is a discipline neutral specialist with consulting and implementation experience spanning across retail, alcohol, utilities and telecommunications.

One of the important factors in any pitch decision is how aligned the agency is to the advertiser’s culture. And while there can be some misunderstandings, it is important to make sure you know who you are pitching to, the culture of the business and the people employed there before you go to pitch.

Personality types in a pitch

If you have worked in the industry for long enough you would be well versed with the pitch process. This usually involves a practice run, who will attend the presentation, what format you present in and who is going to speak when.

The one area that you may skip over, which is easy to do as you try to pull together your approach, is who you are presenting to. It becomes a lot about you and your methods.

But remember the audience you are presenting to. The decision makers.

Running pitches is about the advertiser and what appeals to them. It is very hard to answer this question at this early stage as you have probably met only one or two key stakeholders at the initial brief. So the next best thing you can do is ready your audience and the room on the day to ensure you appeal to as many attendees as possible .

You only need one attendee with a negative experience to kill your chances when decisions are being made.

Here are a few tips on spotting some of the personality types that could be in attendance and whom you need to engage.

The Facilitator

Usually the person you have received the brief from or the person who owns the pitch. They already know in their mind what they want to see and tend to get carried away with the sound of their own voice to direct the conversation. This person needs to be politely swayed around to engage in your conversation and at the same time felt they were heard. They are eating into your time and need to be reminded of your agenda.

The Silent Assassin

They are analysing all the time. You may not notice them as they seem not engaged in what you are saying, however be assured they are taking down points on your response and probably taking note of who in your team is adding value or just in attendance. This person will have plenty to say in the stakeholder review.

The Type A Personality

They are ready to challenge you on every point for the sake of a good argument. Their agenda is to see how you think on your feet and how you solve a problem on the spot. It is important for them to know you are forward thinkers who can add value to their thinking. Give them the right energy without coming across as though it is an argument and they will be impressed.

The Loyalist

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The secret of marketing success in 2015: MIUAYGA

This post is by Nathan HodgesTrinityP3‘s General Manager. Nathan applies his knowledge and creativity to the specific challenges of marketing management, with a particular focus on team dynamics and behavioural change.

Clients often ask us if we see the same patterns in marketing organisations, processes and structures time after time, project after project. And for any consultant, the temptation is to say yes, because you assume that answer engenders a certain confidence on the part of the client. Oh good – you imagine they would think – they’ve got experience in working with this kind of challenge in other companies, and so they’ll be able to make short work of this project.

Make it up as you go along (MIUAYGA)

But the truth is that looking for the same patterns only gets you so far. It can certainly help with choosing the most effective techniques to apply during the process. It can also save a lot of time and money along the way. But so often – in fact nearly all of the time – the picture that finally emerges during a project is pretty much unique to the organisational, market or business challenge in question.

In a complex world you need innovation

That’s when you need to start breaking new ground and developing bespoke solutions and approaches if the objectives of the project are to be achieved.

But that’s also when a lot of clients start to get nervous, and start asking for case studies from overseas markets or examples of ‘best practice’ or models we’ve implemented with other clients.

This is because what some see as creativity, innovation or flexibility in the pursuit of an objective will always be seen by others (especially those with procurement in their job title) as simply ‘Making It Up As You Go Along’. (Or MIUAYGA, as I shall call it for the rest of this post, in the hope that it starts sounding like a martial arts discipline.)

The power of “making it up as you go along”

Last year, Oliver Burkeman wrote a short and tremendously entertaining article in the Guardian, titled ‘Everyone is just totally winging it, all the time’. First of all, it was intended as a source of relief to all those who assumed that they were the only ones practising a bit of MIUAYGA. Secondly, it presented a challenge  – try admitting this is what you’re doing now and again, and don’t be scared that you might be seen as less smart or less able as a result.

MIUAYGA is much more than something you hope no-one discovers you doing. In business – and especially in marketing – it’s incredibly important. Indeed, complexity theory and David Snowden’s hugely helpful Cynefin Framework would suggest that the past – or ‘best practice’ – is often a terrible predictor of the future, and that emerging or novel practice is the only sustainable approach to any complex system – a description which would certainly include every market, organisation, brand or roster that we’ve ever worked with at TrinityP3.

The trick is to have enough confidence in your business, your team and yourself to allow for a bit of MIUAYGA. Actually, to encourage it, and to get better at it, and to believe that it is often the difference between success and failure. This is tough to do, however, because in business we’re all a bit suspicious of it.

And there it is. MIUAYGA still somehow implies that you’re not as smart as you should be. Or that you’re not worth your salary. Or that you shouldn’t be in charge of as many people or as much money as you are.

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3 woolly stories for marketers this Lunar New Year

This post is by Darren Woolley, Founder of TrinityP3With his background as analytical scientist and creative problem solver, Darren brings unique insights and learnings to the marketing process. He is considered a global thought leader on agency remuneration, search and selection and relationship optimisation.

As we approach Luna New Year, and with a family name Woolley 伍利, I was interested in what the Year of the Sheep / Goat / Ram had in-store for me, TrinityP3 and our marketing clients and friends.

In my research I came across an article by Victoria Li, CCTV America, who shared these five Chinese Idioms about Sheep. In reading these stories I found myself reflecting on two things. First, how so many stories (or Idioms) are universal and second, how they illuminate lessons for us today.

Year_Of_The_Sheep_2015As a thought provoker for marketers and their agencies everywhere, I have chosen three of the five stories to share with you here and will provide my take on the lessons for marketers for the coming Year of the Sheep.

Wool Comes From the Sheep’s Back

羊毛出在羊身上

According to a Chinese fable, a government official in charge of the treasury promised his citizens a financial bonus at the end of the year. Everyone was very excited, except for one wise man who warned them that they whatever the official gave them came from the government treasury. Basically, the money they’re going to get, came from taxes that they paid anyway, so why should the people (sheep) be so happy when the bonus (wool) came from their own backs?

Lesson for marketers: At a time when there are way too many agencies wanting your business and when it seems that they are all offering you lower and lower costs, it is important to remember you get what you pay for and no more. The lower cost comes at a price, with either less experienced people, or the agency pocketing kick-backs from suppliers that they should be giving to you, or stinging you with surprise costs when they know you have little choice to meet your deadline.

It is your marketing budget, so spend it wisely. That is not always cheaply. It is better to focus on what you achieve or at worst what you get than simply what it costs. Because in the end the wool they are offering comes off your back in the first place.

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The secret to transitioning from print to digital media

This post is by Chris Sewell, Business Director at TrinityP3. Chris has a wide ranging knowledge of all areas of the advertising and procurement world and specializes in helping companies understand the environmental impact of their marketing spend.

Now don’t get me wrong here, an organised transfer of marketing spend away from printed materials to an efficiently managed investment in digital channels is the only game in town.

Unfortunately, in reality what happens is that the number of digital suppliers disproportionately increases, costs blow out and visibility of the process becomes blurred at best. You’ll still have a good view of the dwindling print spend but the money going into digital is now lost in the strange www.world of acronyms and gobbledygook.

print digital spend

An example of how to wrestle back control

Firstly, it does depend on where you are on your transition away from print.

Let’s paint a picture using a recent project for a major company that shows how transition from printing to digital can be approached.

This company had a large annual spend with a traditional printer and as the contract was expiring their governance dictated that they had to go out and test the market.

Marketing already had a comprehensive digital strategy in place with their agency but were looking to the future and how new technology could replace traditional commercial print communication.

So their challenge was how to link the mandatory need to review the print contract while at the same time move away from printing in an orderly fashion.

From a procurement standpoint the signal ‘to go to market’ would automatically ring alarm bells with the incumbent. An easy win for them would be to just extract yet another ‘pound of flesh’ from the current supplier. It is after all more cost effective for the printer to retain business that it is to go find a replacement customer.

The alternative is to test the wider market and seek a larger reduction in the print spend. While this does tick the savings box, replacing one printer with a cheaper one will not help uncover opportunities to use more effective digital tools.

Staying with the traditional model of either a printer, print group or print focused manager, will only enable you to watch the print spend reduce year on year but is this quick enough and where is the money now going?

Finding a better mousetrap

Let’s return to the example company. They originally went to the wider traditional print market and could immediately see the financial cost benefits of switching printers. But where was the long term vision? What could these printers do to help the organisation move away from print when the digital alternatives were available?

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10 warning signs your Agency relationship is failing

This post is by Stephan Argent, CEO of Argedia Group and a member of the Marketing FIRST Forum, the global consulting collective co-founded by TrinityP3

Sometimes the decision to undertake an agency review is clear: International alignment. Competitive conflict. Regional mandates. Perhaps even irreconcilable differences.

But what if the reasons aren’t so clear yet there’s something gnawing at the back of your mind that an agency evaluation or review is something you should consider? Those reasons can often point to bigger issues and underscore the fact you’re not maximizing value from a particular agency relationship.

10 Agency relationship warning signs

So whether you’re contemplating a full agency review or thinking about a formal agency evaluation with agency search consultants, here are ten warning signs that your agency relationship isn’t as strong as it needs to be:

1. Team members are leaving and retention is becoming an issue

Whether it’s your team or at the agency, poor retention is an early warning sign that the relationship could use a check-up. If the team members are within your own organization, take extra time with an exit interview and really dig for the underlying causes. If the team members are on the agency side and you really valued their contribution to your business – find them on LinkedIn and ask for their feedback and perspective on the relationship.

2. New ideas aren’t forthcoming

When was the last time your agency came to you with a really innovative idea for your business? I’m not talking about an added service, I’m talking about the excited call or e mail that says, “hey, I’ve been thinking about your business and I’d really like to talk about how this could make a difference to your business…” If you’ve not had one of those calls in a while – why not?

3. It looks pretty but…

The creative is great and perhaps winning awards. But is it working? What do the numbers look like? What does the tracking study point to? And how’s the competition doing relative to your share? Are you maximizing real, measurable value from your current campaigns?

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