When I worked in the newspaper industry, just-in-time manufacturing was quite popular. Part of the appreciation was that you would minimize funding tied up in stock and storage, and work much harder to prepare for demand. Data was an essential aspect, assuring that we would never run out of the inventory we needed while being able to be flexible and meet the demands of our customers.
As rich customer data becomes much more available in marketing, companies are able to operate their marketing with the same precision. Why develop an annual content calendar that may be out of touch in a few months? Agile marketing efforts provide an opportunity to be flexible but still ensure long-term marketing strategies are deployed and goals attained.
What is Just In Time Marketing?
Just-in-time marketing is focused on creating only marketing content that’s needed, when it’s needed, and attuning it to the needs of interested consumers exactly when they are in the buying mood. In contrast, mass marketing strategies are focused on creating extensive content aimed at reaching the broadest possible audience. According to the survey, this strategy is proving to be less and less successful, as CMOs said that as little as 20 percent of the customers typically reached are interested in the promoted product or able to buy it. Accenture Interactive
Accenture Interactive identified 38% of the companies as just-in-time marketers have grown their annual revenues by more than 25% compared to just 12% of their peers. They are also ahead of the curve regarding the following capabilities:
- Waste consciousness – 82% report large efforts to minimize #marketing inefficiencies
- Right-time marketing flexibility – 57% are very satisfied with their ability to share the right message with consumers at the right time
- Ability to generate customer insight – 87% have employees with specialized analytical skills to develop actionable customer insights
- Higher digital integration – Just-in-time marketing companies don’t isolate digital marketing efforts from the rest of their marketing organization, as 58% described their digital and traditional #marketing initiatives as very highly integrated
- Freedom with technology – 58% report complete independence when it comes to making IT investment decisions – indicating that the CIO-CMO relationship has grown more collaborative in just-in-time marketing companies.
Just-In-Time Marketing is becoming a more common practice, as seen from this Accenture Interactive research.
By adopting just-in-time practices, we’re seeing leading marketing organizations unlock value that was previously trapped or unattainable. This value accrues mostly from just-in-time marketers’ ability to engage the customer at the exact moment of need and from avoiding wastage. Paul Nunes, managing director, Accenture Institute for High Performance.
Key steps on the path to just-in-time marketing
Marketing organizations wanting to transform into just-in-time organizations should consider the following recommendations:
- Optimize operations. Sharpen operations and train people to execute quickly; to react smarter and more nimbly; to glean insights and turn them around in days or weeks, not months. Put talent and decisions closer to the front line, aggregate the insights and act on them. Optimize your governance structure and make sure you know who is accountable and responsible for every decision, eliminating process steps and handoffs where possible.
- Become an effective “listener.” Listen through social media for cues to take immediate action, and become more comfortable using unstructured data to make decisions based on a combination of data-based insights and instincts.
- Solve for leading indicators not just for the masses. Set the unit of analysis at individual interactions along with a broad campaign approach as a means of achieving total quality among customer interactions. It’s not only necessary to address the masses today, but also to consider those who are predictors of what the norm will be in the future.