Tunnel Work

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Managing Workflow Based on Client Demands

By Michael J. Pallerino

While working closely with one of its larger direct marketing clients to build a database for its catalog business, Marketsmith was gathering data from multiple sources. The well included orders for some of its client’s products on Amazon, its own information and other retailers. The next step was to segment all of the information. 

As Marketsmith was creating the database, the client asked if it was possible to drive more volume by simply sending everyone new to the database a new catalog.

Simple, right?

The Marketsmith team said yes. If they could send the catalog, why not? Maybe the strategy would pay off. But as they started digging into the analytics and reviewing past experiences in such endeavors, they recommended against the strategy. There was much to be learned from the new data by using other methods. For example, consumers who bought only one item in the last six months might be better reached via an e-mail or alternate channel. While it would be more complex to determine, in the end, it would be more efficient and drive better ROI.

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Everyone on the team needs to be working toward the same goal, at each step in the process and everyone must commit and agree on the desired outcome.

– Monica Smith, Founder & CEO, Marketsmith

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“No plan can be evaluated without clear, meaningful KPI’s,” says Monica Smith, founder and CEO of Marketsmith, the integrated marketing-based agency that provides its clients with the tools and technology needed to make informed decisions. “Everyone on the team needs to be working toward the same goal at each step in the process, and everyone must commit and agree on the desired outcome.”

The work must get done – both efficiently and effectively. But remember the Golden Rule – never over-promise and under-deliver. Sure, sometimes client demands defy logic and reason. Timelines go awry and approval processes drag. That’s why effective workflow management processes can be the difference between success and failure. 

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“Over-promising and under-delivering is often referred to as managing expectations so that your customer will not be disappointed with the results,” Smith says. “But without transparency, there is no sharing of information, productive collaboration or the ownership of ideas and plans that are necessary for success. You never want to lose credibility with the client. That’s almost impossible to recapture.”

Marketsmith developed a unique process to help manage workflows and client expectations. Called the I.P.Q. Approach (Intelligence. Proprietary. Quantified.), the process starts with the Marketsmith team immersing itself, side by side with its clients. That means securing an in-depth understanding of the brand, the situation, the consumers and the markets through open discussion and dialog.

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The work must get done – both efficiently and effectively. But remember the Golden Rule – never over-promise and under-deliver. 

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Next, it moves on to the automation phase, where all of the relevant data - which is crucial in this omnichannel world – is fully ingested, cleansed and interpreted through its Proprietary, patented i.Predictus analytics platform.

“We visualize the data so that everybody on the team – clients and agency – can make informed and timely decisions on spend levels, mix, targeting, market influences and KPI’s,” Smith says. “Throughout active campaigns we continue to evaluate the data, together with our clients, quantify our results, measure our KPI performance, and then start the process again – immersing ourselves in the learning, refining, always finding new ways to improve ROI.”

In essence, the I.P.Q. Approach is the one where everybody sits around the table together and works toward the same goal.

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