MM: This mirrors what we’ve seen in the IT service management area. Specifically around self-managing autonomic computing, advanced by IBM and other vendors. The core building block concept of self-managing systems is something that they call the “MAPE” loop. That’s an acronym for Monitor Analyze Plan Execute.
If I can apply the MAPE loop to your conversion funnel, we need to do a better job of monitoring what’s going on in the conversion funnel.
The analyze part then really starts to ask—to your point—”Why are we only getting 3%? Why not 10%? Why not 20%?
This will go back and forth between the IT service management and the equivalent of a service level agreement. What set of ongoing benchmark scorecards can we establish with the idea that, “If we can measure it, we can improve it?”
Having really good performance indicators or performance benchmarks as part of that analysis becomes critical.
The other part then entails understanding what the data’s telling me. Back to the MAPE loop—the “P” of “planning.” Planning really entails having a framework by which you can execute. So it seems to me that once I’m monitoring customer experience and engagement success, now it shifts.
From, “Okay. Here’s what we need to do,” to, “Now, let’s do it.” That puts emphasis on engagement systems. Some of that maybe entails some sort of a dynamic messaging system. But it’s driven by some sort of analytic profiles or personas, and it has a bunch of content in the newsletter that was really optimized for the intended person, given their customer profile or session behavior.
That then suggests that as I start to react almost in second cycles, as they begin to receive these bounce-back or outreach confirmation e-mails, there are click URLs in the newsletter that if they click, basically validate, “Yes. We’re on-target.”
So there’s a closing of the loop between something that happened, some behavioral data generated, some analysis of that data in terms of, “Here’s what it likely means. Let’s go probe and test it—either as a function of something that was served on in the session, or something that was served by means of a messaging system subsequent to the session.” Closing that loop and then also validating that, “Yes, you are who you are, and you’re still interested in Category X or Y or whatever the criteria is,” that you’ve associated with a particular persona.
Then ultimately, we’re talking about maintaining that data in a useful way. Such that when you come back and visit again, there’s even a further tighter loop. Ultimately driving us all toward individualized content, where every page is my home page. Where all the search engines in a faceted search framework reflect the needs or the taxonomy of awareness, consideration, desire and satisfaction of, “me.”
Based not only on my transaction, but my brand interaction histories. That thereby closes the loop of what I’d call an overall engagement cycle.
I know that was a lot to listen to, but does that make sense?
BK: That makes sense. In my experience, the handicap to implementation or improvement is a culture of change. It’s an environment where you can be agile enough to ask those questions and then make the appropriate changes. That might be something as simple as, “Why is this page not optimizing correctly,” and then having an infrastructure where you don’t have to wait weeks or months for a web development team to make desired changes in order to have an impact.
I think the desired environment is something everybody would sign up for. Automating it or having technologies to support it would be a desire as well. Now it’s a matter of, “Can I get any bang for the buck if I spend moneys on systems?”
BK: Is that fair?