“Feature & Function” vs. Holistic Approach


Day by day there are thousand news arround digital. Companies fight about the best strategy, the best solution or the best tool for search, social, mobile, etc. They are talking about Cross-Channel or Omni-Channel as a buzzword.

How do you feel with this?

Most of them are coming from one direction (channel) and want to be innovative within this channel or do cross-channel by integrating one or two more channels into their solution.

Do you feel well with this?

For most of the solution provider or companies who are doing their own marketing it is a big step to combine 2 or 3 channels and takes their entire attraction. They win with this in direction of their business goals (awareness, brand, leads, e-commerce, etc.) shortly.

Let’s step back, forget about features & functions or integrating one channel into another. Let’s have a view 2, 3, 4,… or much more years ahead. You may shout out now, that your goals are for this or the next year or maybe just for the next quarter.  You are right! You are right for now, but this goals should be just your milestones. Without having a  long-term vision to work to with these milestones you will come to a point where your growth will slow down or stop. A point where you need to reset everything.

So how to progress right? There are 3 steps important:

  1. Strategy
  2. Transformation
  3. Operation

My feeling is, that the digital market is talking and talking about operations (while people think they are talking about strategy), then is looking into how they can do the transformation and then they start up a strategy in direction transformation and operation. So their steps are 3, 2, 1, 2, 3.

Here is in my eyes the main issue: Start thinking with operation (3) and not with strategy.

With this their strategy is going more into the operation direction instead of the user direction. Well, they all talk about buzzwords like user-centric or other but this not with the 100% right approach.

Reset yourself to start from scratch

Ask yourself:

  • Who are my user / clients?
  • What are my company goals?
  • How do I communicate?
  • How can I place the right message at the right time for the right person?

And then ask yourself:

  • Which information do I have about my user / clients within all online & offline channels?
  • Which information about the target grout and the market can I get externally?
  • How do I combine all this information?
  • How can I build profile and enrich them?
  • Ho do I analyse profiles and how do I start predictive marketing?

Now you see that we are not talking about customer journey or features of a bid-management tool for example. We are talking about data we may use later on within a bid-management system. We are talking about raw and aggregated date, about real-time and near-time data, etc.

If you understood this you have done the first step into a digital transformation. Then you have the right mind-set and the holistic approach. With this you can start think about:

  1. Other people’s mind-set
  2. Internal structures
  3. Goals

1) Other people’s mind-set

It’s not only you who needs to have the right mind-set. There is a channel-thinking deep-rooted which needs to be break up.

2) Internal structures

They are build by channels. One is the marketing leader, one the sales leader, one is responsible for online, one for search, one for social, etc. Think more about one for user-profiles, one for awareness, one for identifying user at the right time where they need you, etc. and then one for building campaigns and one for channel-management.

3) Goals

Align the goals  on the new structure and your target group, the added value for them.

Is this the right direction for me? Do I reach my goals with this?

This will for sure takes time and is not done shortly. In the meantime you have your goals to reach which you should not lose out of view. For this you need tools with features & functions to save time and increase ROI.

What to achieve are 2 things:

  • Do not focus on all this features & functions. Observe them with a quick & dirty view and use your time in the direction described above. Make sure you can use everything you build up now also in this direction later on. Nothing is more complicate than doing a reset and start again from scratch.
  • Don’t focus on short-, mid- or long-term company goals. Focus on developing your target group by adding value. Your goals will be fulfilled automatic… maybe not shortly and as quick as you like but sustainable.


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Customer Experience & Digital Transformation