There are things that work and many more that don't. Let's discuss what we've experienced . . . not our opinions . . . but actually what our days and nights as marketers, business leaders, parents, people are teaching us. Please give us a hand. Tell us about your experience with this stuff.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Avoiding the Flavor of the Month Club in Marketing Technology

I had the thrill of watching the consulting arm of Ernst & Young at the end of the 90's. They printed money working with the leading companies in the world around primarily putting in technology solutions to operational or system challenges.

However E&Y was always clear about what determined whether their technology solution would return value to the client: the technology had to be tied into an established business process. In fact a part of some assignments would include working with the client to develop or evolve a relavent business process which would require the technology solution in order to acheive the value goal.

Within law firms, this rule is rarely considered or understood. Its why CRM is a pipe dream in most environments and CRM software implementation is a vain exercise.

The question always has to be asked first? What established business proces is this supporting? For instance, if a firm isn't currently comfortable sharing its information with one another and there aren't truly functional cross-practice Industry Groups and/or Client Teams, what is the point of a CRM tool? Well, for many firms so far the point is to have a powerful mail list program.

The 'build it and they will come' orientation to organization evolution mostly fails. It only works when people are looking for a way or place to do something that they don't currently possess or their current way is broken. Better mousetraps are always more expensive and often miss the mark of the user's or purchaser's needs.

So as we are thinking about impacting our organization by investing the shareholder's monies in new marketing technology, we base our investments on how the organization is currently moving into the marketplace.

Otherwise the arithmetic on initiatives not conncected to current business process is that you have just bought into the flavor of the month club. These are usually good ideas that have no place to connect or grow within the organization. And they will not generate the value you desire.

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