Discovering the Requirements – How do I define what the solution should deliver?

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In the last posting we looked at how you approach the definition and identification of clear goals to determine marketing objectives. We will now move on to look at how you understand and define the key deliverables and solution objectives. This posting is the third instalment of the Discovering the Requirements series.  If you are joining the discussion now, you may want to start by reading the first posting.

Before using the identified goals and marketing objectives to define the solution objectives, a key element is to define the scope of the solution (required deliverables). A good place to start is to look at the journey your customer makes with you, understanding all the interactions and transactions that can be made. If we look at typical touch point model for a retail company below, we can see potential interactions a customer may initiate or receive from you during their lifecycle.

Completing this exercise and then considering how the customer interacts with each touch point will enable a picture of the customer’s journey with you to be built. For example, this may cover the following touch points (although this is not an exhaustive list).

  • Interaction via Company Facebook site.
  • Entry to online competitions delivered through the company website and Facebook.
  • Registration of the e-newsletters.
  • Purchases through the physical and online shops.
  • Calls to customer services to enquire on order status or too make a complaint.
  • Delivery of the purchased product.
  • Marketing communications from the company to the customers via email, post, etc.

For the purposes of this example I have concentrated on direct customer interactions, but a future consideration is the broader landscape of social media interactions, which may or may not directly involve your company but impact purchasing behaviour.

Using the touch point model, knowledge of customer’s interactions and the marketing objectives will help you define the key deliverables of the solution, with a clear set of:

  • Data sources.
  • Communication channels.
  • Purchasing channels.

This information can then be used to define the solution objectives that must be delivered to meet the identified marketing objectives. For example, to deliver the growth in number of active customers discussed in the previous posting, a supporting solution objective might be the consolidation of business data from the identified data sources into a single customer view, leading to the need for multi-channel deduplication across the various sources of individual customer information.

Please join me next week when I will turn my attention to look at the first of three key aspects of a Customer Marketing solution, understanding your communication needs. (Week 4: Understanding your communication needs)

If you have any further questions or would like support / guidance in discovering or defining your Database Marketing solution, please contact me through the BlacklerRoberts Ltd “Contact Us” page and I will be happy to discuss your needs. You can also follow @BlacklerRoberts on twitter for further insights.

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