What does the world’s largest and deadliest jellyfish have to do with a story on customer-centricity?

According to Wikipedia, what people consider to be the world’s largest and most deadly jellyfish, the Portuguese Man O’ War:

… is not actually a single organism, but a colonial organism made up of many minute individuals called zooids.[1] Each of these zooids is highly specialized, and although structurally similar to other solitary animals, they are attached to one another and physiologically integrated to the extent that they are incapable of independent survival.

The same can be true of how your vendors, data, and tools can perform, or not perform, for you. In today’s world of fragmented data, channels, and vendor technology, each of your channels, touchpoints, and offers often becomes incapable of independent survival if you are not considering how they are all attached to or integrated with one another.

Earlier This Week

I read in a post on customer-centricity by Monetate’s Bruce Ernst that, “Most companies are optimizing their websites in a vacuum, separately from other marketing channels.”

I had previously been trying to simplify messaging around how marketing data platforms can remove the vacuum because they act as a “router” to identify, connect, and operationalize the data stream between tools (connecting Monetate, bid management tools, remarketing tools, and DMPs to campaign journey data, 1st party, 3rd party, etc.).

When I discussed this concept with digital marketing expert Bryan Eisenberg (who is speaking at Monetate’s Agility Summit that starts today), he advised me to avoid common negative analogy connotations.

For example, while merchants can now collect, integrate, and operationalize many combined dimensions of data and tools to ensure (as Bruce put it in his post) “the customer is the center of your universe,” the analogies of days gone by such as “Minority Report” are now too negative and (if you poll your friends) even the term remarketing can be seen as “creepy.”

A simple sentence that Bryan penned in his email has become a topic for discussion at my roundtable at the Agility Summit tomorrow:

No one can argue that effective marketing is presenting the right offer to the right person at the right time.

Customer-Centricity Checklist

When you combine Bruce’s piece on customer-centricity with Bryan’s simple statement, it presents us all (vendors, publishers, and merchants) with a useful checklist/methodology that can be introduced at the start of each decision-making process when considering how each new project, vendor, and campaign could influence a user’s journey to action or non-action:

customer-centricity_checklist_NEWIn other words, how does each new vendor or data source you add, remove, or combine into a clean unified data stream help Monetate and others improve performance and create efficiencies? How will each user react to page layout, pricing, and offers when you operationalize the unified intent, campaign journey, and demographic data each time you see them?

The flip side: If you do not integrate, are they incapable of independent survival? Do they thrive or die?

The chart below is a very simple conceptual illustration using Agility Summit sponsors to stimulate conversation on how “removing the vacuum” and thinking about the “customer-centricity checklist” could impact results:


So, if you know that the intent (bluekai) of a certain user means they are more likely to navigate (ClickTale) to the coupon area of your site, how would you change the offers, placement, and messaging in real time (Monetate) if your analysts (Brooks Bell) determined that particular intent, campaign journey persona, and on-site behavior meant the user preferred coupons to be emailed (Responsys) to them for use in-store (Nomi)?

chris brinkworthChris Brinkworth is a founding member of TagMan, an enterprise-level tag management and marketing data platform. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBrinkworth