3 ways CMOs can meet the c-suite’s digital demands

As customer expectations continue to rise, CMO’s are tasked with implementing effective digital transformation to keep customers happy.

Technology is changing the way consumers behave — not just altering their buying power, but also how they think and what they expect from brands. A staggering £234 billion in U.K. sales are lost each year due to bad customer experiences, and 63% of consumers feel disillusioned by and resigned to poor service, no longer trusting businesses to do the right thing.

CMOs need to be able to think outside the traditional marketing toolbox, evolving alongside technology to attract today’s consumer. CMOs are tasked with implementing effective digital transformation, introducing processes to create positive customer engagements and, ultimately, driving results which impact on the business’s bottom line. But nearly 30% of CEOs will fire their CMOs this year over their lack of digital savvy.

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The key to satisfying CEO demands lies in digital data and insights. With consumers having access to more devices and platforms than ever, it’s time for CMOs to harness the data this presents to provide seamlessly personal, relevant and real-time customer experiences — at all times.

Here are three steps CMOs need to take to win over both customers and their C-suite peers:

Make the enterprise customer-obsessed

CMOs need to make sure that the customer is central to the entirety of their enterprise’s operations. It’s about creating seamless, personal and connected 1:1 brand engagements.

This means stepping out of the marketing department and communicating to colleagues that consumer data fuels strategic insights across every aspect of the business. The CMO should serve as the voice of the customer, influencing the board room to nurture a culture that is ready to quickly adapt to consumer demands.

After all, operating in silos is listed as the top business barrier to delivering impactful customer experiences by 52% of companies worldwide. As the trusted experts when it comes to the analysis and auctioning of customer data, it is crucial that CMOs break down organisational barriers and foster collaboration across teams to ensure all business units work together to deliver the ultimate customer experience.

Lay a strong foundation built on data and identity

CMOs can’t preach customer obsession without knowing everything they need to know about their customers themselves. No matter how much data is collected, it is vital that it is always tied back to every individual as they move between platforms, devices and locations. Customer identity is imperative to the marketing strategy, and that makes a data-driven CMO indispensable — as much so as the technology being used to deliver these insights.

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With each new data point comes another layer to a customer’s identity. CMOs need to know and understand how to use this data to fuel the effective data-driven insights essential to elevating customer interactions, build loyalty and ultimately drive business growth. CRM data, point-of-sale data, desktop and mobile activity and call-centre data all contain different perspectives. Together, they paint a detailed and accurate picture of a customer, enabling the brand to reach them with the right engagements.

Beyond marketing, the insights collected from customer data can encourage new product offerings, account for business investments and inform the technology, systems and processes needed to win and retain customers. In essence, continuous, cross-channel identity resolution enables CMOs to lay the groundwork for a customer data asset that can be used across the enterprise.

Build the ultimate customer experience

Most CMOs are already focused on developing richer and deeper customer experiences, with nearly 60% claiming it’s their top priority in 2017. Once the company as a whole is focused on its customers and has an identity strategy in place that allows it to truly know and understand them, CMOs can make wonderful things happen for their customers.

This starts with knowledge of customer experience technologies and tools, while superior analytical skills are also required. But just as important is the art of storytelling. CMOs determine what defines the right brand engagement, and today’s leaders must know how to sync creative instinct with data to plan meaningful interactions.

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Nearly 45% of UK consumers would pay more for a simple brand experience, claiming the best brands are those that make their lives easier and continuously exceed their expectations. Brands like Lush, Amazon and Starbucks are strategically using their customer data to create useful, convenient, intimate experiences — consistently drawing people back, and turning repeat customers into loyalists.

Delighted customers lead to impressive profit margins, which in turn means that CMOs will delight their CEOs when presenting results. To succeed in 2017, CMOs must establish themselves as business leaders, not just marketing experts. Customer experience will be their province, and they need to encourage customer obsession from stores to head office. Data and identity will be integral to their trade, and they will build a company-wide data asset that powers engaging, personalised moments that make customers feel valued.


Sourced by Kathy Menis, senior vice president of Marketing, Signal

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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