Business Prevention Committee

Do you have a BPC (Business Prevention Committee) where you work?

The BPC may not have a formal meeting schedule, so it can be difficult to tell who is actually on the Committee.  But you can often tell who is on the BPC by looking for these signs:

1.  Person has a narrow view of the company or customer, a “my silo” thinker.  For example, a Marketing person who doesn’t care about the negative impact of a marketing program on customer service.

2.  Person is generally averse to testing new ideas, a “this is the way it has always been done” kind of personality.  BPC’ers never admit to being wrong about an idea, especially ones that have to do with “change” of some kind.

3.  Talk of performance-based measurement and compensation makes BPC’ers very nervous.  Not fans of their own skin in the game, getting a little risk on the table.  Like many bloggers, they just repeat what they read.  No data, no conviction, and no responsibility.

4.  A fundamental lack of knowledge about how the business really works.  Worse, won’t take the time to find out what they don’t know because “that’s not my job”.

The best way to go about dismantling the BPC in your company is?

Analytics.  Customer, Marketing, Sales, Web Site, Supply Chain, Business Process, Service, Fulfillment.  All of it. 

The common denominator you use to tie it all together?  The effect on the customer, Customer Value (or Engagement, or whatever KPI drives profit).  Each “view” of the business data should resolve to the customer level – that’s the only way to find the variances.  Then roll up to segments and look for clusters, for example:

Best Visitors, Commentors, Participants who have stopped Engaging.

Customers who bought a specific product that are no longer active.

Prospects who had a certain salesperson that are no longer active.

Affiliates tagged for a service problem that are no longer active.

Not Reporting, mind you.  Analysis.

And then Optimizing cross-functional Processes.  Here’s a great example of how this works at P & G (free log in, worth it) from their head of Global Business Services, which includes IT.

Talk about an Optimization.  If P & G can do it, you can too.

All of this talk about “Customer Experience” and “Social Marketing” is crap if you don’t do something about it.  Instead of worrying about what people are saying and spending a lot of time hunting down posts and responding to them, why don’t you fix the damn systems and policies that you already know are broken?

Not your job, Marketer or Analyst?  You’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.  For example, do you have any idea what percentage of prospects or audience you target never become customers due to:

  • Payment processing problems
  • Customer Service problems
  • Fulfillment problems

Why don’t you know?  Isn’t it just as important to know how much money you are wasting due to the above as it is to know how effective your campaigns are?  So you’re comfortable with the fact that a known service problem decreased conversion on your campaigns by 10%, for example?  What if it’s 20%?  Do you know?

Dig this quote from the P & G piece:

“Our opinion is that if you optimize by function, you will inevitably end up creating silos, which would carry the risk of fragmentation.  By integrating all these services into one organization, we can manage them by work process rather than by function and better leverage scale and create synergies.  Take purchase-to-payment for suppliers, for example.  Some of this work is normally in procurement, some in accounting, and some in finance.  We can have one group of people who handle the whole process and so avoid handovers across multiple functions, each with its own management and perhaps different objectives and incentives.”

Sounds to me like they deployed the Business SWAT team.

Web teams, you can do this.  Do the Business SWAT thing.   Optimizing the entire business is not very different from Optimizing a web site – except it’s harder, of course.  But since when did “hard” stop you?  Same process.  Cross-functional teams, agree on goals, get baseline metrics, make changes, view results, iterate, continuous improvement.

Do you have a BPC where you work?  Do you have a personal “dismantling the BPC with analytics” win you’d like to share?


3 thoughts on “Business Prevention Committee

  1. Hi. Just to let you know that have included Marketing Productivity Blog into Spotlight Ideas’ Top 100 Advertising, Marketing, Media & PR Blog list (with blog entries being gathered into different genres).

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