Not every company is ready for Journey Marketing. Some don’t have the right mix of products and/or services that could benefit from the concept. Others may not have the budget to embark on such campaigns.
But even if the companies have both those things going for them, an even bigger challenge may be, Is the company’s culture aligned with JM?
JM isn’t for everyone. Sometimes, we have embarked on a project and had to make lots of adjustments internally because it's such a different way of thinking for the client and it's based on such a different set of premises and assumptions and objectives. JM works best when your whole team structure is integrated and working towards the common goal of providing a great customer experience. It's hard for people to get their minds wrapped around it.
For example, we implemented JM for an enterprise client, which has a variety of products and programs. One of the things we've not yet implemented it for, and it’ll probably be months before we can, is a big chunk of their acquisition program. That specifically is the direct mail component of their acquisition program in which they mail tens of millions of pieces a year. This is a very expensive project.
That's really the 800-pound gorilla in the room from a cost efficiency standpoint. We would love to attack that with a JM campaign. But their whole business model, including how the people in marketing are compensated, is based on getting that mail out at a certain cost to producing a certain result.
We can go in and suggest: “Hypothetically, is there any way over time maybe we could reduce your volume by 50 percent, 60 percent, or 70 percent and still produce the same results in terms of sales and revenue’ Wouldn’t that be a huge win-win for everybody?”
They, theoretically, might respond: “Of course, but I've got certain objectives to meet this year. I'm 98 percent confident I can do it with business as usual.”
It's easy, as a marketing partner, for us to sit back and say: “Well, what a bunch of dummies. All they need to do is get with their management and convince them that a relatively minor change in their business model is better for everybody.”
This problem is not unique to this enterprise. It's the classic problem, involving corporate culture. It goes beyond just a given department. It's how the whole company is strung together and the methodologies they use to manage each other. It all starts getting a little fuzzy and that's a very, very tough thing to change unless there's very direct or very solid direction from on high. Even then it can take years.
Meanwhile, the competition probably isn’t waiting.