***** From Crayons to Calculators

Not sure Crayons are the best compare, but Calculators work for me.  In this article from CRM Magazine we hear about how the accountability movement is affecting marketers, and about the need for closer alignment with other silo functions to increase Productivity.  That’s pretty much what my blog is about; what do you think?

The “alignment with IT” thing is the really sticky part; it’s interesting that more IT people seem willing to learn marketing concepts than the other way around (see web analytics).  But I have to tell ya, every place I have worked it has paid off big time on the marketing side to get with the engineering or IT folks and try to understand the basics of what they do and how things work in the company.

When I was in cable TV, I went out with the installers and engineers on a regular basis just to figure out what they cared about and what they did.  This interaction led to a string of marketing programs based around engineering issues that not only improved productivity on the technical side of the business but also generated good returns on the marketing side.

The classic was running contests on the system that only cable subs could see, targeting areas where we suspected there was a high theft of service level.  People hooked into the system illegally would call up to claim their prize and we would politely ask them if they would like to subscribe… “Mr. Smith, the contest is for cable customers only and we have no record of service with you.  If you’d like, I can sign you up and then you will be eligible for the prize…”

Yes, engineering, marketing, and customer service had to work together to pull it off.  Is that really such a weird idea?

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