Online marketing rock stars through Merkle glasses

The OMR founder looks at life through marketing glasses - we have turned the tables..

I would love to have started this blog post with the fact that a Merkle delegation travelled to the Online Marketing Rockstars (OMR) in Hamburg again this year. Unfortunately this was not the case. Already on March 12th I received an email from Philipp Westermeyer (founder of the OMR) that the festival, which usually takes place in May with 60'000 participants, cannot be held due to the generally known situation. Nevertheless, a little later the information came that the popular format of the OMR Masterclasses would be offered digitally. Of course, I couldn't miss that at all! For all those who missed this opportunity, I paid close attention and tried to summarize the most important findings.

Donald im Home Office
Donald Aebi in home office OMR.

The Merkle glasses

In his virtual keynote on the topic "State of the German Internet" (which can be looked up here) Philipp Westermeyer talked about how he looks at the whole of life through marketing glasses - and thus philosophized about marketing trends in 2020. For the summary of the findings, I turned the tables and looked at the OMR Masterclasses through Merkle glasses. I asked myself subjectively what I could learn from the various master classes and what would be particularly relevant for Merkle and our customers. Of course I would not like to keep back what the imaginary Merkle glasses look like...

Namics Brille
An OMR Masterclass through Namics glasses.

Development of the marketing funnel: Same thing, but different

The first insight relates to the Marketing Funnel. The history of the Marketing Funnel goes back to the year 1898. That was when the AIDA model, which is still known today, was used for the first time. The purchase process is divided into four different phases (Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action). Since then, the Marketing Funnel has been declared dead dozens of times - including this year's OMR. But somehow not quite. The classic Marketing Funnel has been replaced by a new concept, which Westermeyer calls "the arrival of the flywheel".

Flywheel? Yes, the main point here is that successfully acquired customers do not have to "go through" the entire funnel again before every purchase. Instead, they use intelligent customer relationship measures (e.g. SIXT uses an app for customer retention) for highly profitable cross- and upselling, thereby saving the additional effort of re-capturing customers. The whole thing is presented as a novel concept.

Loyalty Loop
The Merkle Loyalty Loop - or rather a Flywheel?

The view through the Merkle glasses makes me smile at this point. On the surface the idea seems to be new, but basically it is about a slightly different or extended funnel. We often call it the "Loyalty Loop" (see picture). The focus is no longer on the upper funnel, but on successful customer retention after the first purchase. In other words: it is all about CRM (Customer Relationship Management). And by CRM, I certainly don't mean just a tool, but the active cultivation of customer relationships via the individually relevant touchpoints.

But what Westermeyer excellently demonstrates is the potential of CRM in the area of cross- and up-selling. Meanwhile, the SIXT App is responsible for 1.7 million euros turnover per day and at the same time saves advertising expenses for the re-acquisition of existing customers.

Es dreht sich alles um Daten. Menschenbasierte Daten

The second finding does not take up a concrete point from a master class, but refers to the main topics across the entire master class. Although I did not have the opportunity to participate in all of them due to the time overlaps and the allocation, the titles of the master classes alone reveal a lot about the most current and relevant topics...

The personal overview of the (not) assigned master classes.

An estimated 11 of the 15 masterclasses for which the maximum number of applications could be made are directly or indirectly related to the use of data. And admittedly, the collection and successful use of data is also a major issue for us and our customers. Just recently Merkle surveyed 200 German and 100 Swiss companies from various industries and investigated how well organizations today handle and benefit from their collected data.

I can anticipate one thing: there is still great potential, especially in the successful use of data across the entire organization. It is precisely because of this problem, which many companies are struggling with, that the enormous number of master classes on the subject of data is not surprising. Of particular interest were the measurably successful results of individual initiatives. For example, by using Datorama, hagebau connect was able to achieve a time saving of 92% in data analysis. Such success stories also confirm our experiences. At Siemens, Analytics Unlocked enabled a time saving of 12 hours per campaign and 23% more effective budget planning.

Often, however, the master classes were not only about analyzing data more efficiently, but also about making it usable in the form of a personalized customer experience, thus generating effective added value for the customer. Bosch Power Tools was a prime example of how this can be done. Using a central customer data platform, (1st party) data is aggregated, processed and used for personalized customer contact on an individual level. If this has become a little too abstract for you, then perhaps a term we at Merkle like to use might help you: people-based data. We don't like to talk about unknown users, but about people. Each person has individual needs and people-based data or people-based marketing is the key to success.

Tools Will (Most Probably) Not Solve All Your Problems

The third and last point I would like to mention is that in such masterclasses dozens of tools are shown, all of which promise a significant added value (not to say the blue of the sky). In certain cases - for example, at Bosch Power Tools, where centralization of data has allegedly led to internal silos being broken up - introducing a tool can actually lead to the internal organization being transformed and transformed with the tool. However, this is by no means the case. Internal structures can enable technological change, but they can also paralyze it. We have already had this experience together with our customers. For this reason, an approach has become strongly established within Merkle that not only takes the technological perspective into account, but also ensures a holistic view: the combination of the customer, the organizational, and the technology and data perspective. This interaction and the interdisciplinarity required for this is indispensable and this should - at best - also be kept in mind for an OMR Masterclass.