on-demand-webmasonSharing interesting thought leadership about social business is one of our favorite blog themes. In this post, we look at a recent McKinsey Quarterly article which addresses the changing landscape of consumer behavior and its impact on marketing.

Our favorite part is where the authors highlight the importance of data and describe the three data lenses that are needed to extract the insights for the right situation.

Authors Peter Dahlström and David Edelman pose the challenge.

Marketing is headed toward being on demand—not just always “on,” but also always relevant, responsive to the consumer’s desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery.

The article makes the argument that consumer demands will rise in four areas:
1. Now: Consumers will want to interact anywhere at any time.
2. Can I: They will want to do truly new things as disparate kinds of information (from financial accounts to data on physical activity) are deployed more effectively in ways that create value for them.
3. For me: They will expect all data stored about them to be targeted precisely to their needs or used to personalize what they experience.
4. Simply: They will expect all interactions to be easy.

Business will Need to be Better Coordinated

The reality of today is that marketing cannot function in a silo. Excerpt from the article:

Consumers will soon make these demands of every interaction they have with companies. Although the marketing function may often be the best conduit to get customer input and to drive decisions about how to distinguish brands, coordinated efforts across the enterprise will be needed on three levels.

More than ever before, marketing and customer service need to be working closely together. There’s little room and patience for sloppy service for consumers using social media. Businesses need to have access to real-time data, workflow and tools to stay on top of conversations about them.

Action Plan
So what tangible steps can marketers and brands take? The authors describe three key items to manage the on-demand marketing.

1-Designing interactions across the consumer decision journey
2-Making data and discovery a nonstop cycle
3-Delivering with new skills and processes

Designing interactions across the consumer decision journey
Today, many companies have successfully defined and addressed customer interactions across a few channels. What they need to be designing, however, is the entire story of how individuals encounter a brand and the steps they take to evaluate, purchase, and relate to it across the decision journey.

Making data and discovery a nonstop cycle
To win over on-demand customers, you must know them, what they expect, and what works with them, and then have the ability to reach them with the right kind of interaction. Data lie at the heart of efforts to build that understanding—data to define and contextualize trends, data to measure the effectiveness of activities and investments at key points in the consumer decision journey, and data to understand how and why individuals move along those journeys. To realize that potential, companies need three distinct data lenses: Telescope, Binoculars and microscope.

Delivering with new skills and processes
To deliver these new experiences, executive teams must rethink the role and structure of the marketing organization and how it engages with other functions. The changes are likely to cut deeply, transforming the way companies manage campaigns and communities, measure performance, provide customer support, and interact with outside agencies.

Businesses need to pay attention to this change if they want to stay relevant. The excerpt below is a good recap of this post.

The forces enabling consumers to expect fulfillment on demand are unstoppable. Across the entire consumer decision journey, every touch is a brand experience, and those touches just keep multiplying in number.

What are your thoughts on this? Please share example of brands that are doing a good job of meeting the challenges of their customer’s on-demand marketing.

Credit: Image via Webb Mason

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