By now, all marketing professionals are surely aware that their customers are using multiple channels to interact with their companies. Reaching customers on their preferred channels has spurred the growth of cross-channel marketing campaigns to deliver a consistent message and enhance customer engagement. Managing cross-channel marketing can present a number of logistical challenges, including budgeting, asset management and collaboration. A marketing process optimization solution, or MPOS, can help with all of these tasks by streamlining processes from initial planning through cross-channel analytics.
MPOS should not be confused with marketing automation solutions. Marketing automation can be an important part of an MPOS, but a marketing automation solution will not offer the variety of an MPOS. An MPOS can be used for approval workflow, spend management and distributed marketing as well as to streamline all other routine marketing functions. Adding a customer relationship management, content management or digital asset management system to the front-end of an MPOS with integrated automated marketing capabilities increases the value of all solutions and improves the probability of successful marketing efforts.
Frost & Sullivan, a consulting firm specializing in market research, has identified four drivers behind the upsurge in the popularity of MPOS. They are:
- The need for marketing to be flexible and agile to be able to allocate assets properly and evaluate the effectiveness of efforts across multiple channels.
- The evolution of multi-tier marketing is driving the need for distributed marketing that can span all networks while remaining cost-effective and legally compliant.
- A need for consistent marketing processes that encompass local as well as global efforts while optimizing marketing spend.
- The need to shorten the purchase process due to shrinkage of the product life-cycle, which is also driving the need to automate marketing activities whenever possible.
Frost & Sullivan also noted the stumbling blocks faced by MPOS vendors.
- Fragmented technology and data siloes frequently cause customers to be slow to invest in MPOS.
- "Home-grown" solutions are often viewed as a more customized solution, making it more difficult for MPOS vendors to obtain opportunities to "pitch" their solutions.
- Smaller MPOS vendors are at risk of being absorbed by larger players, and as the market becomes more consolidated, the pace may slow.
- MPOS systems currently have a price tag that places them beyond the means of many small organizations although it is expected that the prices will drop as the overall revenue from MPOS increases.
In today's competitive economy, marketing can benefit from optimizing every phase in the marketing lifecycle. For example, the digital marketing process is typically represented as having the following three phases:
- Drive traffic to your website.
- Convert visitors to buyers or leads.
- Close all new business.
An MPOS can help optimize all of these phases by adding:
- Collection and analysis of pertinent data.
- Opportunities for marketing process refinements.
- Help to identify opportunities to automate marketing processes.
Refusing to make the move to a digital enterprise has become a less-viable option with each year that has passed since the advent of the Internet. Successful marketing in the digital age requires a greater reliance on technology that spans all channels and data that is substantial enough to allow the types of personalized, engaging experiences that consumers are demanding. Marketing optimization is merely the next step along the digital road; it allows each marketing tactic to be optimized individually and then placed into the overall marketing strategy.
Today's competitive environment requires cross-channel marketing to reach your target customers. However, without the proper tools, managing cross-channel campaigns can be cumbersome and time-consuming. An MPOS can help you ensure that you are reaching the people you want to reach by making all of your marketing processes more efficient, less costly and more consistent.