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Shouldn’t we be innovating?

Shouldn’t we explore the next big thing for our industry?

Shouldn’t we consider how to be first-movers in new areas?

Shouldn’t we determine if new tech can help us to acquire market share?

Yes. Yes. Yes, and yes.

Few businesses actually have the required resources (and finances) to justify ‘playing’ with VR technology (and similar) and exploring if it has a role to fulfil within your industry and organisation. Hats off to those who do and I very much look forward to seeing the test cases of how the tech will deliver tangible ROI for businesses in the future. And that’s the key point; these innovations are terrific and will undoubtedly impact our world, but, it will be some years until they’re utilised in mainstream business, delivering evidential financial results.

So let’s park the very latest technology. I want you to think about tech that’s been around for a while. For example, social media. Everyone is doing that these days. Aren’t they? Well, yes, in so far as they have channels and publish content. Even B2B businesses are delivering multi-million pound lead pipelines, originating from social. Consumer brands are exploring the very latest Facebook functions. Social is doing rather well, thank you very much.

Except it is not as good as it could and should be. Few businesses are using social CRM. Far too few businesses have understood the integral role social can and does play in the data cycle. It is shambolic the number of businesses who deploy multimillion pound marketing budgets publishing and displaying marketing content and they’ve not been curious about data tracking. I know one group spending tens of millions of pounds annually and their data collecting and usage is non-existent. Shocking stuff. In today’s world this is inexcusable.

At IF and for virtually all of our clients, we’ve evidenced the integral role social CRM has. Smart data usage allows you to:

  • Evidence the impact of social by channel, campaign, theme, topic and post
  • Track the buying journey through to conclusion
  • Collect customer data to build ‘lookalike audiences’, for targeting
  • Use the same data for retargeting, to foster stronger loyalty loops
  • Integrated with wider CRM programmes
  • Allows for contextual storytelling, relevant to the customers’ status across multiple channels

Businesses who are actively doing this are seeing jaw-dropping results. Before anyone suggests this is exclusively for B2B lead generation and not something that exists in the consumer world, well, I would urge you to look at all of our stellar award wins. There’s a common trend. It works!

My message is clear. Yes, be curious about new technology and track development road-maps, but invest time and effort innovating with existing technology. Your rivals are not likely to be doing this and there are still plenty of market share to win.

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