How does a small company with half of its pre-pandemic staffing level and limited IT support, go from a largely manual marketing process with millions of prospects in flat files to an end-to-end marketing process that is simple, stable, secure, integrated, and future-ready? With a CDP, or customer data platform.
One definition of a Customer Data Platform is “packaged software that collects data from online and offline sources in real-time to create a unified view of the customer, powering highly-personalized marketing campaigns.” In other words, it is a pre-built solution that collects all relevant customer-related data -- think CRM, website, third-party data like demographics, and more -- into a central system where that data can be cleansed, standardized, enriched, and managed, and then the CDP makes that high-quality data available for other business processes and systems. For this client, the data will be used primarily for targeted, multi-channel marketing.
While the customer data platform is the intended solution, it has taken much more than a technology to meet the objective. It has required all four of The Execution Disciplines™ to successfully navigate this journey.
The Execution Disciplines
For example, in the Business Discipline, we started with understanding the current state process -- what it is, what is working, what is not working -- and then imagining what the future state could and should look like. This included defining business use cases across the customer journey and then prioritizing those use cases for phase 1, phase 2, and a possible future phase 3.
In the Data Discipline, we have discussed from an analytics-back approach, what metrics and information will be needed in future state to know what marketing efforts are working and where are the opportunities to improve our marketing effectiveness. Conversely, we have used a data-forward approach to understand where data is coming from, how it will flow through the ecosystem, and how the data can be standardized and enriched to create high-quality data assets.
In addition to some of the traditional project management work, The Leadership Discipline has solidified executive sponsorship for this initiative, justified the value proposition of this initiative by conducting a return on investment (ROI) analysis and creating a total cost of ownership model, and focused on adding a critical business partnership component of selecting a new technology solution vendor. Also, because this company uses EOS Traction, this project became a quarterly rock for one member of the executive leadership team.
Finally, when we got to the Technology Discipline, it became relatively easy to evaluate vendor solutions, narrow that group down to a short list, and ultimately narrow in on the preferred solution by evaluating:
- the solution functionality against the prioritized use cases from the Business Discipline,
- the data flow, storage, and architecture against our Data Discipline work, and
- the pricing and partnership components in light of the work done in the Leadership Discipline.
There is certainly more to each of the four Execution Disciplines but The iBusiness Group has proven over and over that this process works, from large and complex organizations to small and nimble companies. Not only does this process produce successful project outcomes, it is efficient and cost-effective. We would love an opportunity to discuss how The Intelligent Business Program can help you start -- or rescue -- your project and see it through to a successful outcome.
Question: Which of the four execution disciplines is a strength, or weakness, on your projects? Leave a comment.