Mastering Digital Marketing
David Edelman, co-head of McKinsey's global digital marketing strategy group, explained what organizations get wrong when they engage in digital marketing, as well as how they can better engage their target audiences. One key is to avoid common stumbling blocks associated with digital marketing. For example, organizations should first let go of the dream that your organization is going to have a system that neatly integrates all of your customer or member data. Even for the largest organizations with great resources, that can take years to put together and should not be something leadership should wait to create. Instead, focus on the data that is needed for the limited range of things that are going to be of the highest value. Ask the question: "Can we create a lightweight way of bringing that together?"

The second major challenge area involves organizational impediments to getting people to work together. More and more association members and other consumers are on a cross-channel journey where they are going to touch your mobile site, use their laptop computer, talk to somebody over the phone and so forth. "It is all one journey," Edelman said. "And you have got to be able to look at that in its totality and get people (staff) to work together and acknowledge the fact that these channels are all going to have different roles." Next, the testing and learning phase of implementing digital marketing options should often focus on small-scale pilots. Pick a small geography or a specific segment of members, start with a test and learn to improve things within that area. Understand what the challenges are, what the processes are and what data you do and do not have. Large-scale implementations can then be launched later when approaches have been fully vetted.

Edelman cautions that digital marketing should not be thought of as "just one more channel." It is very different. "It is about changing the way you are operating, because it is about using data, faster cycle times, more interactivity with more empowered customers,” Edelman said. “And that is going to change a lot of what is going to [across the organization]."
McKinsey Quarterly (06/14) Collins, Luke
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