POSTED BY: | January 24, 2017

A marketer’s life is certainly interesting, as many are forced to operate within 3-year rolling business plans that are struggling to remain relevant while also forming loyal customer relationships. My own company is no exception! SMARI, historically known as Strategic Marketing and Research, is just that: a primary research-driven marketing consulting company. While we work with mid-sized to multi-national clients, guiding brand management, product positioning, promotional messaging, product development and customer experiences, we have had to reinvent ourselves more times in the past 10 years than we did in the prior 25 years.

Guiding clients in the art of consumerism has recently escalated to unfathomable levels of complexity. To grasp control, many organizations have migrated toward leveraging “massive amounts of data” to both discover consumer patterns via killer algorithms as well as to identify emerging behavioral shifts that can trigger new service opportunities as they monitor their customers’ purchase and usage journey. To this objective, two marketing strategies seemingly dominate: 1) disruptive and 2) incremental.

While SMARI is working with clients seeking both endeavors, those continuously pursuing incremental improvements are driving better ROI outcomes. Regardless of the strategic path, however, our clients’ go-to-market process always evolves from a similar starting point: an acute understanding of the consumer acquisition dynamic, supported by organizational agility that can accommodate real-time personalization. To achieve this level of ongoing clarity in brand fulfillment, both real-time monitors and comprehensive understanding of the drivers of noted shifting behavior must be understood.

Unfortunately, consumers’ value tenets are continuously migrating, driven in part by advancing technology and innovative delivery systems. As such, consumer feedback systems must become interactive and capable of truly reflecting individual desires.

While organizations are developing these types of applications that can monitor and create improving customer experiences in real time, many lack the organizational ability to support new consumer desires to retain fewer brand relationships via relational cross selling of multiple services. To survive, relational partnerships will likely become a critical component in reaching a sustainable marketing scale capable of delivering inventive “one customer, one account, multiple services, and multiple products.” Undoubtedly, collaborative partnerships will become imperative among small- to mid-sized organizations seeking cost effective scale to create and preserve relational customer loyalty models. Live Long and Prosper

This article was originally published in the January 2017 issue of the Hendricks County Business Leaders publication.