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Overview

It’s time to produce marketing “just-in-time.”

Marketing has changed dramatically in recent years because of new consumer behaviors, technologies and competitive pressures. However, most marketing departments are still planning and executing in a factory model that tends to overproduce marketing that underperforms.

Accenture research has uncovered a select group of "just-in-time (JIT) marketing masters" who are more adept than their peers at reaching a greater share of in-market customers with the right message at the right time.


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Background

In late 2015, Accenture surveyed 532 Chief Marketing Officers (or their equivalents) across North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific, and across a broad range of industries. More than half of the companies had revenues exceeding $5 billion annually.

Among the companies we surveyed, a select group of masters can be seen who are leveraging a JIT approach to marketing. Scoring highest on JIT capabilities set them apart in our study.

Misspent marketing dollars

Today, marketers are using personalization and granular targeting in an attempt to create strong and engaging relationships with customers to build loyalty. This evolution has required a new set of consumer, technology and competitive dynamics at each stage.

Although companies’ strategic intent has evolved, their approach to the creation of marketing has not necessarily kept pace. In fact, exclusive Accenture research finds deep dissatisfaction among CMOs with their current approaches.

Fewer than half of 500+ CMOs surveyed (41%) are “very satisfied” with the value-for-money of their mix of marketing tactics.

Fewer than half of 500+ CMOs surveyed (41%) are “very satisfied” with the value-for-money of their mix of marketing tactics.

Of all the individuals reached by even the best tactics, only 18% are in-market.

Of all the individuals reached by even the best tactics, only 18% are in-market.

80% of marketing falls on deaf ears, representing a half a trillion dollars of waste.

Up to hundreds of billions of marketing dollars are being misspent.

The New Approach

Today, marketers can learn from tested manufacturing practices and take a new JIT marketing approach—producing only the marketing that’s required, at the time that it’s needed, with the right message or oer that will convert a sale.

JIT marketing is about producing smartly and more nimbly. Operating in a just-in-time way means creating marketing in response to signals of direct demand, empowering people closer to the “action” with decisions, and embedding new demand-sensing capabilities into marketing processes.

JIT marketing is in part about eective “listening,” often through social media and digital analytics, so companies get closer to their customers and then deploy JIT principles to capture the immediate demand.

Who are the just-in-time marketers?

Just-in-time marketers possess three critical capabilities:

Customer knowledge

1. Customer knowledge—consumer data to plan and execute effective marketing strategies.

Channel capability

2. Channel capability—a nimble, multi-channel marketing infrastructure to communicate and execute value propositions.

Real-time marketing flexibility

3. Real-time marketing flexibility— a marketing mix that tailors value propositions at the right price, the right time, and in the right channels.


Becoming a just-in-time marketer

What can a traditional marketing organization do to transform itself into a just-in-time master?


Hone operations
Sharpen operations and train people to execute quickly; to react smarter and more nimbly; to glean insights and turn them around in days or weeks, not months.


Become an effective “listener”
Quickly gain maturity with experienced marketing services providers.


Leverage extended teams and As-a-Service providers
Sharpen operations and train people to execute quickly; to react smarter and more nimbly; to glean insights and turn them around in days or weeks, not months.


Solve for leading indicators
Don’t solve just for the average, solve for the extremes, too.


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Takeaway

In an era when only 18 percent of the potential customers that CMOs reach are actually in-market, marketing organizations need to try something else. JIT marketing masters are investing in the capabilities, models and technologies that can transform their operations and give them an edge in the marketplace.


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Becoming a JIT marketer requires making significant changes across areas including planning, operating models, organization structures, processes and information technology. Sharpen operations, learn to listen more effectively and train people to execute quickly. In many cases, it’s important to spend less time studying the problem and more time executing, refining, and then adjusting and improving over time.