Anyways....enough about the Titanic - the underlying message here is called the Iceberg Principle or as Hemingway called it, the Iceberg Theory. The observation is that in many cases only a very small amount (the tip) of information is available about a situation, where as the 'real' information or bulk of operations and data are hidden. When Ernest Hemingway would introduce a character in one of his novels he would spend years crafting their persona, yet only introduce the bare minimum leaving the mysteries to unfold through his writing and the imagination.
How does this relate to marketing?
At its simplest form, most marketing teams spend majority of their time executing campaigns. The customer gets bombarded with marketing communications that have no brand consistency (due to the different departments sending the campaign) and more importantly, the content isn't particularly relevant. Marketing departments all around the globe are spending more than 8hrs a day executing tasks that require human interaction 9 to 5, 5 days a week. That sort of work ethic is not scalable and will only stunt your innovation and business growth. As a consultant, typically when you intervene with a framework or solution that will help, the response is quite alarming:
The duck's legs move a million miles an hour underneath the water, yet on the surface they seem so calm and collected.
The tip of the iceberg for marketing departments is the customer. The customer receives the communications and believe it or not can identify quite quickly whether you are actually listening to their needs and have all your ducks in a row.
The framework has four key areas of focus:
- Customer: Explore the customer lifecycle by mapping out the current and future state customer experiences. Strategically define what’s working and what’s next?
- Operations: Define current process for building, sending and measuring emails and workflow in other key channels.
- Technology: Determine what data and systems you use that may require an integration. This will help drive automation.
- Strategy: Understand your company's quantifiable goals, digital marketing vision and the value you bring to your clients. More importantly your priorities for this year and beyond.
Your customer only sees the output - yet what happens underneath the surface plays a big factor in whether it is considered successful or not!