WWW.CHIEFMARKETER.COM SPRING 2013 19
Chat operators' skill sets vary from
phone skill sets. For one
thing, they need to be good spellers.
ences in the customer look and
feel of each product, but the
backend agent view that tends
to show the most variance. For
instance, how easy is it to tap
into customer history from
the view? And how
obvious is it that a customer
has been waiting online for
an answer? The ability to see
who is actively asking a question and tie that back to the
history is a valuable
offering. Take the opportunity
to try before you buy.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
GETTING BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS RIGHT FOR YOUR MARKETING TECHNOLOGY BUILD
If your marketing team plans to take on a significant marketing
technology upgrade this year, your most important first step is
to build smart business requirements to guide the team.
The best path to success is to create a plain-English
document that clearly spells out what you are hoping to
accomplish. This business requirements document, or
focuses on what you want your new system to do, rather than
how it must work. The come later in functional or technical requirements documents that are aimed at more technical audiences who will ultimately build the solution.
The Three Technology Investment Drivers
There are three main reasons marketers invest in new technology, and your reasons should be at the core of your requirements document.
Driving more more efficient customer
acquisition, better customer retention or growth is a top reason to build.
Capturing missed marketing opportunities that your current solution cannot react to is another.
Improving your marketing operations because of a lack of
access to data or insights, poor integration, or hard-to-use
technology is a third reason to build a new solution.
Laying down specific improvement goals in each of these areas
will strengthen your business case for the technology investment.
Your business requirements document should specify the
marketing objectives for your new technology. Is your most
important objective the acquisition of new customers? Or
are customer retention, loyalty and growth your primary concerns? Very often we see marketers make technology investments with customer acquisition in mind, when the greatest
benefits and the biggest payback could actually come from
reducing attrition. Carefully articulating the marketing objectives you expect the technology to meet is your starting point.
Create a detailed list of the specific types of marketing
activity you want the technology to manage, including the volume and frequency of marketing efforts and campaigns. Think
about the level of automation you will want in your marketing
efforts. Will you need to trigger email communications based
on changing data or events in the relationships?
Many marketers chart a number of very specific and
repeatable campaigns they hope their marketing technology will with the results to be measured.
These are your and they can be a practical way
for your stakeholders to understand new capabilities that may
be impossible today. Do not make the mistake of creating
super-complex campaigns just for the sake of using all the
features of your new technology. Create good, solid campaigns that you think will work better than what you can do
today with a walk, approach.
Find the Stakeholders, Line up the Data and Identify
Think next about your marketing organization and who will
use, or be impacted by, the new system. Identify their roles
and responsibilities clearly. You may find you have a skills gap
and that the new system will require new hires or the support
of a services provider. Identifying the skill level of your users is
important. Too often, systems are built for very sophisticated
users and then sit dormant because they are too intimidating
for the exiting team to huge waste of investment!
Nothing will sink a technology build faster than bad or missing data. The business requirements should include a major
focus on identifying the kind of data that will be necessary to
make your campaign use cases possible. What source systems
will feed data into your new solution? How good is the data you
can get from source systems? Whose help will you need to get
the data from the source systems? What data is missing that
can be acquired from third parties? Include each of these in
You and your team will make a series of assumptions in the
BRD. Write them down and include them in your document,
because assumptions are also risks. What happens if the
assumption is wrong or something does not happen the way
you believe it will? Finally, building business requirements is a
team effort. You will want to start by identifying all the stakeholders in your technology solution, including people who will
use the solution, those who will benefit from it, and those who
will support it. Bush, senior vice president of strategy,
SIGMA Marketing Group
MARKETING TECH ROUND UP
Black Friday, that escalated
to almost minutes, according
to CEO Jordy Leiser.
the value of the live chat
experience is that an instantaneous Leiser notes,
doing yourself a disservice by not doing it
Vendors vary from live chat
as part of a suite of services
(some call it multimodal) to
standalone live chat. Over the
past year or two, Oracle has
acquired several live chat companies (including ATG/eStara
and Right Now), and LogMeIn
acquired Bold Chat (which it
says will continue to operate
independently). Industry consolidations and acquisitions
are likely to continue, so
important to discern, if possible, whether your independent
provider will be swallowed by
someone larger, and if that matters to your business.
Most vendors offer a free
trial demo period averaging 30
days to provide potential buyers with a chance to test drive
the platform. There are differ-