Sunday, November 05, 2006

What about Demands and Emerging Needs?

When Alterian, a marketing software company, asked marketing service providers about their top challenges the results were no surprise. The primary five were analytics, data acquisition, database management, lead management and track ROI. Industry leaders seem to agree that the demand is for integrated-single serve solutions and this is leading providers to make strategic alliances.

Something I’ve not seen quite as much discussion about is the value of uniting marketing software and strategy to CRM strategy, because obviously CRM technology is the heart of sales solution software solutions. To refute this is in my opinion is to prevaricate the reality that failure to approach them holistically is nothing short of shortsighted, often denying consideration for the larger ecosystem in which the enterprise has to thrive.

Developing integrated answers to this jumble of defined challenges and needs points towards the need to identify the company’s core humanistic/social values. This in turn leads to expanding the idea of profitability to include social capital that can be leveraged for sustainability of the business and the context in which it has to operate/grow.

At the same time this means that new metrics and analytical tools must be developed to subsume this expanded understanding. It is clear that continuing to do business as usual is not the only alternative; in fact abiding short sided approaches to growth is guaranteed to create more problems simply because it is counterproductive it is destined not to be sustainable.

Now that Comfusion is firmly underway my attention is being drawn towards the need for companion tools for calculating and analyzing the ROI of this conceptual framework where the definition of profitability is expanded and represented systematically. I think that points to a clear next phase for this project.

Last week I was very excited about a very interesting application I ran across that I feel can work for this project to measure and standardize quality assurance. But I’m keeping quiet on that until my meeting with the company’s co-founder.

If the lessons learned thus far are any indicator (and they are) then the tools will emerge as the core concept evolves and garners support.