Adam T. Sutton

Break Barriers to Understand Customers

October 26th, 2010

Sales, marketing and customer services teams can each have slightly different views of customers. In large organizations, differences in perception can coexist within the same department.

For example, a search marketing team can perceive customers’ interests differently than an email marketing team. A customer service team can perceive customers’ needs differently than the sales team. In both cases, the two teams connect with customers through different platforms and analyze their behavior through different data.

“Siloed” departments that have teams separated from one another can prevent organizations from understanding and communicating with customers effectively, says Dave Lewis, CMO, Message Systems, a messaging management solutions vendor.

As the number of marketing channels continues to expand with the growth of mobile and social media marketing, Lewis sees opportunities, but also the potential for additional channels to deepen the problem.

“You’re only furthering the fragmentation that gets in the way of understanding your customers on a holistic basis and being able to communicate with them on that basis,” Lewis says

That’s why Lewis says more teams need to pursue marketing integration (Lisa Arthur, CMO, Aprimo, expressed a similar sentiment in our post last week). By having a central platform from which to communicate with customers and monitor their behavior, teams can get a more well-rounded understanding of their customers and how best to reach them.

Several months ago, Lewis’ team launched a new solution called Mobile Momentum, to help marketers avoid further fragmenting their customer data and messaging. The software combines email and SMS messaging into a single platform that can track customers’ delivery preferences and provide reports on the channels’ performance jointly and separately.

Lewis anticipates incorporating more messaging services into the platform, such as MMS and social media. His team started by combining email and SMS because of the tremendous volume of SMS messages consumers send per day, and because more marketers can benefit from SMS than are currently, he says.

“My view is that the overlooked opportunity associated with text (messaging) is in using it to strengthen the customer relationship over time,” Lewis says.

By offering a platform that combines email and SMS, Lewis’ team is helping marketers better understand their audiences, better meet their needs and provide a better experience. Marketers who feel pulled in too many directions should take note that combining several marketing channels into a single platform may provide more insight into how best to reach customers.

Adam T. Sutton

About Adam T. Sutton

Adam T. Sutton, Senior Reporter, MarketingSherpa
Adam generates content for MarketingSherpa's Email and Inbound Marketing newsletters. His years of experience in interviewing marketers and conveying their insights has spanned topics such as search marketing, social media marketing, ecommerce, email and more. Adam previously powered the content behind MarketingSherpa's Search and Consumer-marketing newsletters and carries that experience into his new role. Today, in addition to writing articles, he contributes content to the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa blogs, as well as MECLABS webinars, workshops and summits.

Prior to joining MarketingSherpa, Adam was the Managing Editor at the Mequoda group. There he created content and promotions for the company's daily email newsletter and managed its schedule.

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