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How Slalom—not a traditional consulting firm or traditional marketing agency—is filling a void for marketers.

Sean Dempsey | December 14, 2016

Shifting from creative-driven to data-driven marketing

The marketing landscape has been in a state of constant and rapid change for the last several years, which is caused by new technology and the growth of digital as a platform. And many traditional marketing agencies are struggling to understand—and navigate through—the new marketing landscape driven by technology and data.

At Slalom, we’re uniquely positioned to deliver high-value, performance-driven campaign management services based on our purpose-built Customer Engagement practice.

Here’s why our clients trust our Customer Engagement team with their most important marketing work:

The space between

According to Gartner, by 2017 the CMO will control more IT spend than the CIO. As marketing becomes more digital, CMOs are seeking partners with the ability to connect data dots and integrate enterprise marketing technology.

We created our Customer Engagement practice to fill the void between traditional consulting firms (focused on IT implementations), and traditional agencies (chasing creative awards that deliver vanity metrics such as impressions or “likes”). Slalom is more data and technology driven than traditional agencies and more brand and marketing strategy focused than traditional consulting firms.

“The key to Slalom’s success is an agile position in the middle of two outdated business models.”

Slalom’s four key competencies

We help brands engage their customers in four key areas: understanding their customers, envisioning and planning, designing and building beautiful experiences, and operating and optimizing. Here’s what we mean:

  1. There’s no room for guesswork when it comes to your customers. Through deep data analysis and research, we help you better understand who your customers are, what they need, and how they experience your brand.

  2. Let’s explore the possibilities. Together, we'll articulate your vision for the future and build a clear roadmap to get from where you are to where you want to be.

  3. Here’s where the magic happens. After laying the foundation with a strong brand identity, we’ll bring it to life across multiple channels with beautiful, fan-building experiences.

  4. To make it stick, you need to leverage the right technology, data, and processes for optimized operations. Whether we’re delivering a turn-key managed service, or supporting your internal teams, we champion a culture of continuous learning and improvement to keep getting better and faster, every day.

“Consultants are eating the agencies’ three-martini lunch”

Forbes recently reported on the changing agency landscape and the increasing competition by legacy consulting firms. According to Ad Age’s 2015 Agency Report, every one of the top four (and eight of the top 10) agencies are consulting firms like Deloitte, Accenture, KPMG, and PwC. Traditional agencies are buying up strategy, data, and digital firms in an effort to compete.

The backstory? Ad agencies got fat on media kick-backs, and grew complacent due to multi-year AoRs (sold by seniors, executed by juniors). These same agencies are struggling now in a performance-driven, data-centric, measurable world. Traditional consulting firms, who drove their share price by recommending complicated, multi-year, on-premise technology implementations, aren’t faring much better. Many are scrambling to restructure in a cloud-based, on-demand world. The key to Slalom’s success is an agile position in the middle of two outdated business models.

End-to-end digital

Slalom is a digital native in the consulting world. We grew up in the cloud. In less than fifteen years, we’ve grown to a 25-office, over 4,000-employee, $1-billion-dollar company organically—without any acquisitions.

Partners like Salesforce have called out Slalom's uniqueness, identifying the rarity of an organization that can manage CRM implementations, marketing cloud integrations, and managed services. No other partner with our scale can provide this fully-integrated marketing automation offering.

“Slalom is a digital native in the consulting world.”

Impactful work for influential brands

Customer Engagement is not a new area for Slalom. We’ve proven ourselves by designing, building, and delivering incredible work for a roster of big brands. These projects’ specifics are highly-guarded, but we can share the following:

  • Slalom analyzed and optimized the marketing communications for North America’s largest athletic loyalty program.

  • Slalom evolved one of the highest volume apparel email programs from bounce rates and click-throughs, to conversion and revenue.

  • Slalom managed the largest loyalty pilot in apparel retail history.

  • Slalom developed the digital strategy, loyalty program, personalized offers, and industry-disrupting mobile order/pay solution for North America’s best-known coffee retailer.

While Slalom started with a focus on marketing strategy, data, and technology, over the past few years we’ve seen a shift. Clients didn’t want to see us leave after implementation, and didn’t trust creative agencies to leverage the full capability of complicated, enterprise-grade marketing automation systems, nor to process the deluge of data generated by these same systems. Our unique expertise in marketing campaign management and managed services enables us to help clients better connect with customers— and boost company growth—through exceptional customer experiences.

Sean Dempsey is no longer with Slalom.

Sean Dempsey

Sean Dempsey is a founding member of the Slalom Canada team and leader of the Customer Engagement practice in Toronto. A big-brand retail and CPG marketer for the past 10 years, Sean wrote his first line of code at age seven and built his first CRM at 16. Follow Sean on Twitter: @iamdempsey.

            

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