Task 1(a) Organisation name: AccessPay
Type of Organisation: AccessPay is a SAS (Software as a Service) company founded in 2012. They are specialist in a wide range of cloud based payments and cash management products. The software supplies cloud-based connectivity between a business’s finance systems, their banks and all the major UK & International payment networks (Bacs, Faster Payments, Sepa etc).
Size of Organisation: AccessPay recently received a 2m funding package from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ Growth Finance team, allowing AccessPay to continue with the ambitious growth plans.
|Number of employees||Number of customers||Turnover||Gross profit||Loss for the
|Employee number provided by internal data. Turnover provided by Companies House|
|Fixed Assets||Current Assets
Cash in hand at bank
|Creditors||Net current assets
|Total net assets||Shareholder funds|
|Data provided by Companies House.|
Range of products and services provided: AccessPay provides software to help businesses connect directly to the payment network (Bacs, Faster Payments, Sepa). Businesses typically use this network to either pay employees/customers (Direct Credit) and/or collect money from customers (Direct Debit).
Customer Base: AccessPay operates across B2B sector, selling software to a customer base that is split across 3 main customer segments;
- General commercial, these are typically businesses with a turnover less than £50m, employees less than 250, and gross assets less than £12.5m.
- Key Accounts – Typically businesses with between 50 and 250 employees. With revenue of greater than or equal to £50m and less than £200m
- Strategic – Typically businesses with over 250 employees. With revenue of greater than or equal to £200m, and offices based in several locations around the world.
Competitors: The main competitors consist of the “big 4” in the payments industry: Bottomline Technologies (market leaders with over 10,000 customers), Corvid-Paygate (previously part of Ultra-electronics), Mosaic Software & Smarterpay.
Measuring techniques – refers to performance measures and operating statistics for marketing activity carried out at AccessPay. The metrics are key performance indicators, that allow AccessPay to track performance over time and enable greater precision in execution of marketing activities. A concise definition would suggest a measuring system that quantifies a trend, dynamic or characteristic (Farris, 2009). To fully answer the first part of the question, it is important to firstly define what stage of the Organisation Life Cycle AccessPay is, illustrated in diagram below.
Organisational Life Cycle
Length of Time
AccessPay is a private limited company, a privately held small business entity, in which owner liability is limited to their shares. Although currently defined as a FinTech start-up by various media outlets such as bankingtech, business cloud and fintech ranking, AccessPay is exiting the start-up phase and entering the (early) growth phase of the organisational life cycle making it a developing company. This means that the focus is not solely on acquiring new customers, but also retaining existing customers, especially because AccessPay sign customers onto a 1 year rolling contract, so retention is vital to the business strategy.
The 2nd part of the question was identifying what the market context AccessPay competed in; a new market. Defined as such because up until recently the services offered in this market didn’t exist and all organisations competing in this space have been competing in this area for less than 5 years.
As a private limited company during the growth phase of the company lifecycle, the business objective is achieving market share and market growth. Market share represents the percentage of an industry or market’s total sales that is earned by AccessPay over a specified time period (Margaret rouse, 2017). This is calculated by taking AccessPay’s sales over the period (2012-2016), data sourced internally, by the sales &marketing team, and dividing it by the total sales of the industry over the same period. Market growth defined by CIM (2014 p38) define market growth as comparing sales in one year against those in the previous period”. Thus, this metric would allow AccessPay to evaluate their performance against organisational goals.
Marketing Performance Metric (Operational and Tactical)
The second set of metrics used by AccessPay is marketing performance metrics. This is the systematic management of marketing resources and processes to achieve measurable gain in return on investment and efficiency, while maintaining quality in customer experience (Palmer, 2012). As marketers face growing pressure to show a return on investment (ROI) on marketing activities, these marketing performance metrics help measure just how much marketing is contributing to the bottom line. This metric would be useful for AccessPay to determine which of the 7ps of the Marketing Mix – product, price, place, promotion, people, processes – need improvement to increase some aspect of AccessPay’s performance.
Assessing whether the products on offer meet customer and stakeholder needs, is especially important when entering a new market, in establishing the size of the market, and whether there is required level of demand in the market. Establishing marketing performance metrics is integral to helping AccessPay satisfy customers, establishing a clear company image, being proactive in the market, and fully incorporating marketing into the company’s overall business strategy.
The fourth of metrics utilised by AccessPay are customer metrics. The 3 main areas of importance to measure are Customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score and customer retention. Anderson et al. (1994) put forward two definitions of customer satisfaction; – transaction specific experiences and cumulative experiences (Mittal et al, 1999 cited in Zeithaml et al, 2009). Transaction-specific experience; customer satisfaction is defined as the post-choice evaluative judgement of a specific purchase occasion. Applied to AccessPay that would be, during the sales (or sales call) process, the experience customer has when dealing with the sales team during that transaction. Whereas a cumulative experience, customer satisfaction is determined because of a customer’s evaluation of his or her total purchase and consumption experience over time. For example once the customer is fully onboarded, what is their on-going experience like when dealing with AccessPay technical support staff whenever they have an issue. This is especially relevant for AccessPay as the company offers a 1 year rolling contract, so it is imperative that the business ensures all touch points of customers provides a good experience, so that AccessPay can retain the customers once they are initially onboarded onto the software. This in turn guarantees a consistent level of cash flow from which to build on. This data would be collected using surveys and feedback forms, collected after specific interactions with AccessPay. For example, after a customer is served on Live-chat (pop up questionnaire), following a phone call (automated message), once they complete a purchase order etc (feedback email sent out).
The net promoter score was developed by Reichheld (2003) to measure the link between customer referral behaviour and company profitability. This metric was implying that that satisfaction alone is not a good predictor of company growth and that word-of-mouth by customers is a much better determinant. This is proven by the popularity of review sites such as TripAdvisor, Trust pilot and Glassdoor (Hinckley, 2017). It is calculated by first, asking the one question, “how likely are you to recommend AccessPay to a friend or colleague?”. Response rated on a 0 – 10 scale (0 = very unlikely and 10 = very likely). Customers with response 9 and 10 are “promoters”, while those with 7 and 8 are “passively satisfied” and those with 0 – 6 are “detractors”. The net promoter is the difference between the percentage promoters and percentage detractors (i.e. NPS = %P – %D).
Retention rate measures the percentage of customers that remain with the organisation over a set period (Davis, 2013). Farris et al (2009) argue this allows AccessPay to track changes in the ability to retain customers.
Digital Metrics & Sales Funnel Metrics
As a developing company, AccessPay is focused on acquiring customers and growing its online reach to provide potential new business. Digital metrics allows the business to accurately measure CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) of its digital marketing campaigns; PPC, SEO, display, social etc. Other metrics such as bounce rate, time on site, pages visited help AccessPay to determine; if the marketing campaigns are targeting the right audience, and if the on-page messaging (the website) is resonating with said audience. As a relatively new player in the market, a strong digital presence is especially important, to be seen as a credible source of information, and competitor for already established brands such as Bottomline Technologies and Corvid-Paygate. Data from this metric to be collected through Google Analytics and online tools such as Hotjar (heatmap and session replay), SEM rush and Ahref which measure backlink profile.
Brand Metrics & Online/Digital Brand Metrics
Lastly, AccessPay use brand metrics as units of measurement that determine how strong or weak AccessPay is relative to its impact on driving business goals. Focus of this metric will be on brand position, one of the perception metrics, providing insight into the perceptions customers have formed of AccessPay following their interactions with any of the touch points, both online and offline. This is an important metric for AccessPay as knowing how the brand is perceived, enables the business to amend/adjust certain aspects so that the brand is better aligned with overall business objectives. This can also provide meaningful insight into which marketing activities are most effective in shaping desired perceptions of the brand to help grow the business. This data would be obtained predominantly through sales staff or the implementation team during the sales process, using surveys, emailing forms etc for offline aspect. The online aspect will be measured using AccessPay’s various social media sites, to measure engagement (shares, retweets), growth (number of likes, followers etc and visitors to the website via these channels).
1(c) Using 3 of the 7s from McKinsey’s 7S’s & Organisational culture framework to analyse the working practices at AccessPay
AccessPay on paper has a hierarchical organisational structure, as the company is a start-up, the objectives are influenced by investors who require a ROI by a certain date. As such the company’s mission statement is cascaded through the organisation from the investors, senior board members and the CEO, in a top down manner. Best evidenced by Palmer et al, 2007 who cite Hastings (1996) in providing a hierarchical structure of mission and goals for an organisation.
Power and politics – The CEO and senior board members outline the strategy for the business, and then senior managers cascade this message to various members of teams and departments. This can result in there being a fragmented way in which work is carried out, as departments and team’s objectives are not necessarily joined and could result in conflict. One example when this happened was when AccessPay launched a new product, through the product team, but didn’t coordinate the launch efficiently with the marketing team; resulting in low initial take up of the product and lost momentum and sales.
However, for larger projects and specific campaigns, the organisation learned and now adopts a matrix organisational structure. In this case, there is a project/campaign sponsor who the team reports to in addition to their regular line manager. As a result, departments work closely together and regularly communicate with each other to problem solve issues and work on campaigns.
The matrix structure encourages a democratic leadership style. This leadership style values and encourages the input of team members before the managers make decisions; “what do you think we should do”. The ability to contribute valuable information before decisions are made leads to employee satisfaction and increased motivation. Managers are involved in the day-to-day operations, which allows them to make decisions through the viewpoint of employees.
This way of working is called cross functional teams, the effective structure allows everyone at AccessPay to generate, implement and use marketing metrics. When employees from different departments from a similar hierarchical level come together to complete a project or campaign. The members bring their individual expertise from their respective work area and exchange information for a common cause. For example, AccessPay created a cross-functional team of employees from various departments; product, sales, customer support, and marketing, to brain storm an idea of launching a new product into a new international market. This allowed the team from different backgrounds, to give different perspectives to arrive at the best solution. The team’s suggestions helped produce the most cost-effective method to launch. It did this by decreasing the time to build the UI and MVP (minimal viable product) by 2 weeks in comparison to the previous launch. As well as reduction in creating the product, the launch also resulted in a 10% increase in ROI.
At AccessPay Cross-functional teams are highly effective, however they need good management skills to build trust and teamwork amongst the members and manage the diverse nature of the team. There is a strong relationship between organisational culture and good working practices amongst members of the organisation. Factors such as trust, leadership, communication, information systems, reward system, all impact AccessPay’s ability, and willingness of employees to create the best environment for collaboration and strong and successful working practice.
Efficient lines of communication enhance productivity and allow for quick decision-making. For example, at AccessPay in a matrix structure, the teams are normally made up of individuals from the marketing, sales and product departments, who may confer with one another to formulate strategies. Trust between co-workers is an extremely essential attribute in organisational culture, which is believed to have a strong inﬂuence over collaboration. Team members require the existence of trust to respond openly improve the working practice. (Gruenfeld et al., 1996).
Reporting Techniques (Working processes & systems)
Due to the cross functional structure of the team, each member of said team will have access to specific platforms to inform the metric reporting system. Each member of the team is responsible for different areas; however, each team member produces and shares their data to the wider team on a weekly basis.
Managers must consider the importance of collaboration and data sharing best practices when designing reward systems. The idea is to introduce processes in which sharing information and horizontal & cross functional communication are encouraged and indeed rewarded. (Goh, 2002).
Data sources & metrics currently used
Google Analytics and Hotjar heatmap to track website activity and report on website metrics such as visits, bounces, time on site, online applications, step funnel drop offs etc
NPS – exit surveys & feedback forms sent out via email, direct mail & exit intent on the website record customer’s feeling about AccessPay brand.
Measurement technique from a brand perspective
For Senior Management Team
1st December 2017
Task 2 (a)
To evaluate the effectiveness of the metrics currently used at AccessPay, we must firstly consider the
strengths and weaknesses of those metrics, what happens if they are poorly implemented, the quality
and appropriateness of the data supporting them, as well as their application to measuring brand value.
“A brand metric is only worthwhile if you can take an action as a result of the information revealed, and if you can ultimately link your brand metric to your company’s overall business performance”. (Davis, 2004)
AccessPay’s brand metrics are predominantly used to measure qualitative parameters of brand performance. The brand metrics fall into 3 categories: performance metrics, perception metrics, and financial metrics.
These metrics help assess how brand-building activities directly drive overall business results, and range from loyalty, price premium, to the lifetime value of a customer. The report will focus on loyalty and customer lifetime value, as those are the most relevant for AccessPay.
AccessPay uses NPS score to measure brand loyalty. Beyond advocacy, it is useful to measure satisfaction, effort and purchase intentions as well as ask open ended questions to give the “root cause” of why customers might be feeling the way they are about the software, or the service they receive from the support staff. NPS helps to inform AccessPay if customer is likely to leave due to high level of dissatisfaction, Markey et al (2009), and what can be done to ensure customer becomes a promoter as oppose to a detractor, because it is cheaper to retain a customer that acquire a new one (Gallo, 2014). Questions such as; “based on your recent experience, how likely are you to recommend AccessPay to a friend or colleague” are asked after a customer interacts with the company. These are distributed via texts, emails, once a customer has finished dealing with customer support, once they have been fully onboarded onto the platform, or once they provide AccessPay with a sales order.
AccessPay uses customer lifetime value metric to gain as much qualitative insight into customers, so that it can better understand customers’ intentions. As mentioned earlier, repeat business is especially important as it is key for AccessPay becoming profitable. This data is recorded by measuring the size of the sales order, and how often the customer renews (CLV= Customer value X Customer average lifespan). This is a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. From this data, AcessPay can determine;
- How much spending is required to acquire a customer
- Are the products and services tailored to acquire the most profitable customers
- Customer Support: How much to spend to service and retain a customer
- The types of customers sales reps should spend the most time on trying to acquire
This metric focus on the range of emotional and functional connections that combined, customers use to form an opinion of the AccessPay brand. These include awareness, recall, recognition, consideration and preference. These attributes allow AccessPay to measure the impact of any brand-building campaigns engaging with customers across any of AccessPay’s touch points.
Perception metrics monitor the more intangible aspects of brand such as relevance, consideration and awareness. AccessPay’s measurements of this metric is largely based on qualitative research, such as feedback from the customer support staff, exit polls on the website, and review sites.
However, this isn’t without its challenges. Survey response only provides a fraction of feedback from customers who use the software (12% – data obtained internally). This can lead to failure of marketing performance based on inaccurate metrics CIM (2014), particularly if it represents a false perception of brand position, as decisions are made on only a small portion of data.
The primary purpose of this metrics is to help the business improve service quality of the customers support staff and onboarding staff. As one of the key differentiators between AccessPay and other providers is the quality support staff, this is a key metric for the business.
Another way AccessPay measures brand perception is using Social media screening & monitoring tools, monitoring activities such as likes, shares, retweets, etc. These are websites, apps and tools that measure performance and analyse engagement across relevant social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Using search functions for each platform, enables the business to find any mentions and the tone of said message. For example, is the mention a compliant, a referral, a review, an enquiry etc. Is the sentiment positive, neutral, negative, and are the people leaving this comments/reviews; first time customers, competitors, long standing customers. Using this data enables AccessPay to build up a picture of the customer perception across all relevant Social media channels.
These represent the economic impact on AccessPay, and are achieved by measuring the company’s financial value through combinations of market share, revenue generation, transaction value and lifetime value. Explained further below, these measures allow the business to estimate a more accurate financial value of brand value linked to marketing metrics:
- Market share: Quantifies AccessPay’s share of the market, and can be divided into customer segments, product segments. It is an indication of AccessPay’s ability to attract, acquire and retain its customers. The volume and value of sales for this metric is collected internally, with data supplied from the accounts and sales team. The difficulty with this metric is that other businesses don’t publish their total sales, making it difficult to get an accurate picture of AcessPay’s performance relative to the industry. Revenue: The average annual revenue per customer divided into segment and product segments. In this case it is split between AccessPay’s 2 main products; AccessPay & BankSense. The trend of this metric illustrates whether the brand extracts more value from customers on an annual basis. This data is collected internally.
- Growth rate: The level of brand strength and its brand equity in the market along with the level of loyalty among customers segments and the pipeline of prospective customers. The ability of the brand to drive growth adds to its overall equity.
For AccessPay to gain an accurate insight into how marketing investments bring in results, then it must use both financial and non-financial metrics to measure the productivity of these investments, as it does in Task 2b. Unlike other departments in the business, such as products, sales or even finance where results are more tangible and can be easily quantified, marketing is something function that records behaviours, attitudes, intentions, satisfaction and loyalty and so requires multiple metrics to accurately measure.
Task 2 (b)
Before first recommending an appropriate range of data, it is important to first define and establish both Brand value and market analysis. Brand Value – Defined by Macinnis and Park, cited in Davis (2013) as ‘the financial value of a brand, reflecting its efficiency in attracting and retaining customers’. Market analysis is the process of researching the market to understand the threats and opportunities and how prospects and clients will react to AccessPay’s products and services. This will be achieved using a combination of predictive data and transactional datasources. Predictive analytics involves extracting data from existing data sets with the goal of identifying trends and patterns. For example, AccessPay uses predictive metrics to forecast how much revenue it anticipates bringing in based on forecasting conversion, lead, and sales data. Transactional data generated when AccessPay surveyed the customer after each interaction or transaction with the organisation.
Promotional and Media Metrics
Conversion rate – This is number of enquiries that then go on to fill out an order form with AccessPay. Percentage of prospective customers who requested a call back or filled out a form, illustrated in task 2 C. This metric is used to quantify the number of prospects who became customers because they’ve built a relationship with AccessPay through content, conversations with sales team, and engaging with other AccessPay touch points. The main method AccessPay obtains customers is through the website, there are 2 methods of contact; filling out a contact request form or calling AccessPay directly (phone number is displayed on the website). This metric is useful way to measure if the messaging on the website resonates with the customers that AccessPay is targeting. This is measured from 2 sources of data; Google analytics and in-house reporting analytics. Google analytics provides the conversion data from PPC campaigns, and informs the team how each campaign is performing. However, the limitation with this data source, is that there is a requirement to verify this data, as there are occasions where a conversion isn’t necessarily a sales conversion and is incorrectly attributed as such. For instance, if an existing customer fills out a contact form after clicking on a PPC ad, or when they are incorrectly directed to the sales team for a support query. This data is obtained internally from primary data sources, and from the operational level within the organisation.
This data also enables AccessPay to make predictions and forecasts about future performances, by being forward looking, and anticipate outcomes based on past data, and not just assumptions, using predictive analytics. The patterns found in historical and transactional data, can be used to identify opportunities and risks for the future. For example, based on website and conversion data from last year, AccessPay knows that the volume of enquiries during the Christmas period typically tails off fro m the 16th December. Using that knowledge, the business can now plan for that shortfall in leads and revenue, and sales target adjusted accordingly. Predictive analytics can optimise the process of customer acquisition by predicting the future risk behaviour of a customer using application level data, Evidenced in the diagram below:
Reporting/Analysis of Data
Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value calculates the profit contribution of a customer over time, by essentially utilising a financial formula. The accumulated value of all CLV’s is a measure of AccessPay’s brand value. For AccessPay, there is a strong correlation between customer lifetime value and brand value, as customers are only retained if they are loyal to the brand. This is demonstrated in the following model below, which identifies that the sum of customer’s purchase actions essentially determines the customer lifetime value, which as well as being a strong driver of overall profitability is also contribute to the brand valuation. This data is collected internally, starting with the CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost). Using a combination of both offline and online acquisition channels (SEO, Social, Sales Staff, PPC etc). It costs the business anywhere between £80 to £200 to acquire an enquiry depending on variables such as conversion, website performance etc. So, this data tends to fluctuate and is influenced by a lot of external factors, such as competitor activity. For example, if a competitor suddenly increased their PPC budget, it would result in AccessPay paying more for that click and subsequently more for conversion. There is also the fact that the sale could be influenced by factors such as poor sales staff, resulting in the lead not progressing to a sale. The second part of this data is retention rate, again this data is recorded internally. Customers are onboarded on a 1-year contract initially and then rolled on if they are happy with the level of service they received during their first year.
AccessPay uses the transactional data from conversions to calculate Customer Lifetime Value but also uses it to tailor marketing activity to ensure that both time and money isn’t wasted targeting the wrong customer. For example AccessPay tailors the messaging to a certain type of customer (Corporate or Enterprise businesses) and so it tracks the name, revenue and employee size of business that enquire about the product to ensure that the campaigns and messaging are targeting the appropriate audience.
Customer’s Purchase Behaviour
Brand Metrics (NPS Score)
AccessPay use brand metrics to help provide marketers with an understanding of the businesses brands valuation. This is a key metric for the business in understanding the customer’s perception of the brand, and the survey helps to highlight areas for improvement for the business. This data is recorded through primary research surveys conducted via a combination of the payment specialists (sales staff), the implementation team, and the customer support staff. The business also uses secondary sources using a 3rd party service called Feefo, to collect further customer feedback, which is displayed on the website. To present this and assist decision making on brand strategy, the data is presented as a table below. This table helps to illustrates the strength of AccessPay’s brand value in the eyes of its customers.
The strength of this data is the fact that it is easy to administer and cost effective. Provided customers are 100% honest with their feedback, it can help AccessPay determine areas for improvement. For example, customers mentioned the length of time it took for them to be onboarded onto the software exceeded the time advertised. As a result, the organisation is looking to increase the number of staff in the implementation team to ensure the process is smoother in the future. The surveys were administered remotely via online, mobile devices, mail, email, kiosk, or telephone, this allowed for the the customer to choose their preferred method to be contacted. Some challenges and weaknesses do exist with using this metric, such as the customers may not feel encouraged to provide accurate, honest answers.
They may also feel comfortable providing answers that present themselves in an unfavourable manner. AccessPay attempted to mitigate by actively encouraging customers to provide critical analysis, as a way of self-reflection and a business seeking to improve its service to customers.
Task 2 (c)
Promotional and Media Metrics
|Plan vs actual||– 40||– 5||5||– 110||– 40||– 92||– 130||– 90||– 130||– 141||38||70||-163|
|Enquiry to MQL conv rate||50.00%||50.00%||50.00%||20.83%||41.18%||40.00%||12.82%||33.33%||38.46%||50.00%||51.00%||50.00%||38.04%|
|Net Promoter Score Calculation||Individual Scores|
|Net Promoter Score||37||4||20||1%|
Customer Lifetime Value
|Customer||Initial Acquisition Cost||Initial Sale||Number of Contract Renewals||Average Cost of Servicing Customer||Expected Retention Years||Total Sales contribution to date||Profit Margin||CLV|
Final brand value
Before providing the final brand value of AccessPay, it should be noted that “Many marketing experts, feel that it is impossible to reduce the richness of a brand to a single, meaningful number, and that any formula that tries to do so is an abstraction and arbitrary” (Collings, 2010). In saying that
Income Approach Brand Valuation: This method is often referred to as the “in-use” approach. It considers the valuation of future net earnings that directly attribute to the brand to determine the value of the brand in its current use. The brand value using this method is equal to present value of income, cash flows, or cost savings actually or hypothetically due to the asset. Branded intangible earnings X brand contribution X brand multiple (predicted future earning potential of the brand)
Understanding how metrics
impact each other
By Thomas Oben
1st December 2017
Task 3 (a)
AccessPay works with large data sets, designed to give the company insight into customers purchasing habits, digital clicking behaviour, time spent on various sites, purchasing history, personal preferences based on social media postings etc as mentioned previously in Task 2. This detail enables AccessPay to focus on individuals with any campaigns, matching increasing insights with increasingly welcome and relevant conversations, resulting in an increased return on contact strategy. According to McKinsey research, companies that make extensive use of customer analytics see a 126% profit improvement over their competitors (Miller, 2017).
Data integration means combining information from various sources into something useful. It’s about efficiently managing data and making it available to those who need it, to inform decision making within the business. For example, using the heatmap tool to determine where the best place to place a CTA on a landing page due to customers navigating to that area of the page. For AccessPay the integration of this large data sets is quite complex as there are several challenges such as analysis, capture, sharing, visualisation, etc. As reported by Akerkar (2014) and Zicari (2014), the challenges faced are grouped into three main categories, based on the data life cycle: data challenges, process and management challenges:
• Data challenges relate to the characteristics of the data itself (e.g. data volume, variety, velocity, veracity, quality, etc).
• Process challenges are related to series of how techniques: how to capture data, how to integrate data, how to transform data, how to select the right model for analysis and how to provide the results.
• Management challenges cover for privacy, security, governance relative to measuring brand value.
To facilitate evidence-based decision-making AccessPay needed efficient methods to process large volumes of assorted data into meaningful comprehensions (Gandomi & Haider, 2015). One of the difficulties is the fact that data is collected from multiple sources and from different members of the team. For example, the weekly inbound leads report collects information from, Social media activity (spend, reach), landing page interaction, live chat, paid social content downloads, AdWords data etc. Each of these sources collects and reports data using different methodologies. The team then needed to gather all this information and put it together into something actionable, as well as verify that the data was accurate (data aggregation). This was both time consuming and resource heavy, as by the time the data was put together into something actionable it was almost out of date and not as relevant.
AccessPay didn’t really begin to see the benefits of large data before introducing a marketing automation platform in Marketo as one single source of truth. This platform was customisable to the business environment and compiled the data into a form that the team could use. This saved both time and resulted in a reliable and timely source of data.
Process challenges are the group of challenges encountered while doing anything from capturing the data to interpreting and presenting the end results. An important factor in being able to achieve this was having knowledgeable and competent resources. For AccessPay this meant upskilling and training the team on the marketing automation platform, so they were capable and competent with storing and analysing data to support the decision-making process. It also involved hiring a Marketing campaign manager to run the campaigns and use the new system, a specialist skillset so that as to fill the skills gap in this area. Once a skills gap was plugged, the next step was applying a level of governance to the data. For instance, the process of creating a new workflow (modelling the data) to how a “lead” was viewed by the business. The Success Path shows the end to end journey of an inbound prospect from initial engagement through to revenue, demonstrated by the diagram below.
The analytics process, including the deployment and use of data analytics tools, helping AccessPay improve operational efficiency, drive new revenue and gain competitive advantages over business rivals. The more data that is analysed, the easier it will be to establish the causes of any failures or issues that might be compromising the customers’ experience. With a more comprehensive understanding of customers’ attributes and behaviour, AccessPay can also optimise their experience through targeted marketing to increase revenue per customer.
For example, using tools like Fastbase (once integrated with Marketo insights) allows the business to see exactly which companies visited the website, what pages they visited, when they visited, and what content they consumed. This data can prove invaluable in helping to understand what products businesses want, and what stage of the sales funnel they are. Once AccessPay has the data, it can then produce personalised campaigns to target these visitors, as consumer marketing is integral to boosting brand loyalty. Data can also show weaknesses in the online customer journey. For example, if a landing page is performing poorly, this indicates that the messaging isn’t resonating with customers, or that the page could be improved.
Task 3 (b)
Marketing dashboards provide access to an immediate and more precise view of marketing and business information that is vital to managerial decision-making, Wind (2005). The
below graphs highlight business performance over the last year, specifically looking at brand value of AccessPay.
Business Channel Performance & Cost
The graph indicates that volume of customers contacting the business is going to fall towards the last 3 months of the year. The data is based on actual data for October, and forecasting data for November and December. The reason for this is due to businesses tend to slow down as the Christmas period approaches, especially when getting into mid-December. However, the business still needs to hit its sales target in order to continue its target on achieving year on year growth, so it is important to understand how to combat for the volume drop in online traffic, and mitigate against it to ensure a steady flow of leads into the business all year round.
Customer Perception of Brand (NPS)
The graph demonstrates that there are more promoters than they are detractors of the brand. The data was collected by sending out surveys to 3000 customers who had been recently onboarded during the last 6 months. The 1370 in the graph were the respondents who replied with feedback and suggestions for improvement. However, what the graph doesn’t measure, is how many of these customers are actively promoting the business across various social media platforms. After all, NPS doesn’t just allow AccessPay to identify ways to improve customer satisfaction – it also lets the business identify opportunities to tap into the brand’s promoters to fuel word of mouth feedback and encourage organic growth. A way for AccessPay to track and measure how many organic referrals word of mouth and person-to-person recommendations were coming from customers because of positive sentiment. Monitoring social media mentions
Customer Lifetime Value
The graph indicates that correlation between the longer the customers stay with AccessPay, the higher their predicted lifetime value. This demonstrates the brand value of AccessPay and its ability to retain its customers. The Customer Lifetime Value is a useful metric in measuring the strength of retaining the customer, however what the graph doesn’t show is what channels were used to convert these customers initially. Is there a marketing channel that has a higher propensity to recruit a better quality of potential customers for example? Would customers who converted through a PPC acquisition campaign, behave differently from those that converted through SEO, outbound call, content etc. These additional metrics would provide better insight into reporting on the strength of brand value.
Marketing Dashboard to improve Data Measuring
Task 3 (c)
The use of metrics can provide AccessPay with benefits for future planning, by helping to understand the customer behaviour and business and marketing performance. AccessPay can utilise metrics and the understanding they bring to gain improved product service, competitive strategies and decision making.
Improved Product & Service
The metrics discussed in task 2 and the dashboard in which they are presented provide AccessPay with a greater understanding of both the areas to improve regarding the software, and where the service may also be lacking. This provides an improved context in which to carry out strategic product development, designing fixes to the software to be released during the next software update. For example, customers mentioned that they wanted the option to assign roles to the payment process, so that people with access to the software were limited to what they could do. For instance, one person to submit the file, one to approve the file, and one to send the file off to various payees thus reducing the risk of fraud. As AccessPay gain an improved understanding of the products required for the market, they can actively move products that do not fit with this strategy into the decline phase of the product lifecycle Hooley et al (2012). For example, the AccessPay software was previously an on-premise solution, but abandoned this and move to the cloud based solution due to feedback from customers.
The cloud based, offered the clients more flexibility, such as installing the software on multiple computers, in case they were working from home or otherwise not at the office, whereas on premise could only be installed on 1 computer at a time. For how it allowed for future planning for service, an example would be feedback on the length of time customers mentioned it took to onboard them onto the software being longer than advertised. Resource planning for additional implementation staff was made to prevent this being a problem in the future.
Improved product and market alignment can also help AccessPay bringing new products in through the introduction phase of the cycle, Hooley et al (2012). For example, customer feedback regarding the fact that some payments were being made with errors in the file, and there was no system in place to detect errors before the payment file was submitted, resulted in the development team planning to introduce a way to detect errors in this product as part of a bonus feature of the software. The product is to be launched to penetrate another sector of the market as SecureFlow. Customer brand and product knowledge will assist AccessPay in gaining the greater product and market alignment from a customer’s viewpoint. Not only that, but product penetration metrics will also allow AccessPay to monitor the implementation of tailored products through the product life cycle, as will be the case with SecureFlow.
AccessPay’s competitive strategies can developed, using information provided from the metrics discussed earlier in Task 1 and 2 as starting points. Porter (1985) defines competitive strategy as the search for a favourable competitive position in an industry, aiming to establish a profitable and position. As a challenger in the Payments market, AccessPay sets out to differentiate itself in the market through a combination of product innovation (SecureFlow) but also through providing first in class service to all its current customers. Selling this proposition to potential and existing customers means AccessPay can maintain its competitive advantage without needing to compete in areas such as price. Essentially customers are happy to pay a slightly higher premium price for the software, because it is market leading for innovation and the business provides excellent customer service as evidenced in Task 2. So, when developing future planning and strategies to gain competitive advantage, it enables the team to focus on areas where there is the potential for the biggest win. The data sources in Task 2 give AccessPay an understanding of its customers so that when it comes to Marketing research or planning activity, the long-term strategies become not just adaptive but anticipatory of what the customers AccessPay are serving will want and respond to.
Improved Decision Making
As highlighted in the section earlier; improved product and market alignment and competitive strategies, metrics provide AccessPay with a greater understanding of the environment it is in. Effective strategic business decisions bring together the right resources for the right markets at the right time. Timing is crucial, and these decisions require a high level of data as that provides the foundation for improved decision making. Strategic, Tactical and Operation decision making requires data. As evidenced in Task 2. AccessPay creates lots of data; from enquiry volume, to NPS score, to CLV. This data can provide a picture of trends, which the business can use in its forward planning. Provided the data is properly analysed and reviewed internally, more data can help AccessPay with more complex decision making Zacharakis et al (2001). It is therefore important that the data is presented in a format that is both easy to read and clear to understand. For example, AccessPay can use the data as Key performance indicators (KPIs). These are an important management tool and can help to monitor the achievement and progress towards targets. For example, a target customer acquisition number a month, having a KPI allows the team to track progress weekly and then make decisions according to how progress is going against plan. If underperforming, can increase the marketing budget, or introduce tactical campaigns during the month to help the business hit target.
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