Hello. I’m Andrew Hally, head of segment management for Unica and this month’s Marketers' Consortium host. I’ll be blogging about topics that predate blogging by decades. Tired, threadbare subjects like “customer-centricity” and “one-to-one.” Might even touch on “closed-loop,” or (heaven forbid) “cross-channel marketing.” Why? “To improve search engine rankings!” cry the cynics. No, for reasons far more selfish than that: in the hopes of understanding something that’s been bugging me for months. Why are we marketers are still talking about these things?!?
It’s been 14 years since Pepper & Rogers published “The One to One Future.” 23 years since customer-centricity went mainstream with Burger King’s “Have it Your Way.” Few seriously challenge how critical it is to focus on the customer, yet the ranks of those companies who can walk the walk remain thin. Those that can, like Best Buy and Southwest, become Wall Street and media darlings. But most companies are stuck somewhere between knowing and doing.
Clearly, these immortal marketing buzzwords are easy to say but hard to do. This title was inspired by the refrain from Peter Kim’s great presentation at the Forrester Marketing Forum earlier this month that drew a parallel between being customer-centric and saving the environment. Peter showed how it is easy to talk about “being green” yet quite an effort to sustain the day in, day out commitment to recycling, conserving, etc. Even though the fate of the planet may depend on it.
Unica has the good fortune to be working with hundreds of marketing organizations across the world, including those like Best Buy who have attained buzzword compliance and those still striving. This provides some perspective on the obstacles preventing marketing organizations from being the accountable, closed-loop, customer-centric Superstars that our salespeople and customers alike wish we were. I look forward to sharing some observations and remedies over the next month. And, to your feedback, validation, refutation, expansion, or whatever. Part of the culture here at Unica is what we call “brutal honesty.” We believe in using discussion and debate to separate the wheat from the chaff. What could be better for this than our blog?