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Cracking the Code

Articulating your CRM Visions to the Organization

Customer-centric transformation is complex, and marketing leaders often struggle to articulate the future state vision to the organization. Many stakeholders fail to understand the scope of the change required — how the customer experience will improve and what new technologies, analytics, and processes and skills will be needed. How can marketers successfully communicate their vision and needs to the organization?

Merkle recommends that companies summarize their vision by creating use cases that clearly illustrate future state customer experiences. The use cases are tied to specific, high priority experiences rather than taking on every possible customer interaction. These can mirror corporate priorities — cross selling health insurance products or increasing renewal rates, for example — or reflect customer lifecycle stages — e.g., sales, onboarding, service, renewal, etc. 

A basic use case charts the new channels, messages, and touches experienced by the customer and shows how they lead to a desirable behavior change (e.g., a purchase, registration, referral, etc.). Graphics help non-marketers follow the new experience flow, and many companies create videos for internal audiences. The use cases become an important vehicle to make the corporate case for change.

Merkle has found that a more technical version of the use case is needed to facilitate implementation. In addition to a detailed experience flow, Merkle will typically provide data and analytics requirements, references to specific systems impacted, KPIs and process recommendations. The use case can be shared in Excel or other formats to allow IT to clearly identify the right changes to enable the desired experience.

The Merkle Technical Use Case (MTUC) provides a heretofore missing linkage between business and IT. As one Merkle leader put it, "it is often difficult to translate a standard business requirement into tech-speak for developers. But the Technical Use Case is something that anyone can understand — technical or nontechnical. These act as a universal language between business folks and IT folks, and help ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction.” Merkle has successfully leveraged these use cases as part of a multi-year, two-million-dollar marketing database implementation at a Fortune 100 insurance company.

For more information on the MTUC, please reach out to Colin Brogan.

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