Jan 12, 2011

Managing expectations on RM

In her blog "My life as a focus group," Elizabeth Elfenbein commented on managing expectations so that your clients are not disappointed. This is especially true in a consulting role, and with relationship marketing programs. Individuals want some kind of comfort if they are getting a positive ROI. Yet the systems being deployed are sometimes innovative and have uncertain response rates. Furthermore, crowded markets and channels create clutter and reduce response.

So, what to do to make sure expectations are met as you field innovative marketing programs liek CRM and PRM?

A few questions to ask to manage expectations:

- What is the current status quo of Rx, conversion, and adherence. Can you exceed it?

- Can you use low and high estimates of response rates, and conversion and adherence rates to put a range on the expected return

- Rather than stay fixated on a single number like ROI, what are leading indicators that also show progress?

Also, encourage a mindset of a phased approach and continual improvement, not just a one shot measurement. For some thoughts on implementing continual marketing optimization in the digital world, see this issue of the "Business 2 Community" blog.