4 Ways Best-in-Class CMOs Stay Ahead of Their Competition
How Best-in-Class CMOs Separate Themselves from the Pack
October 8, 2015
Editor's Note: This post was contributed by Andrea Ward, VP, Marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud.
No executive role has changed more significantly in recent years than that of the CMO. The introduction of new technologies, use of data and the proliferation of digital channels have forced the CMO to shift from a brand marketer to a master of both art and science.
Marketing leaders must now take greater ownership of the end-to-end customer experience. Because customer experience is now the narrative of the brand, CMOs must keep pace with customer expectations, online and offline, which means harnessing and leveraging copious amounts of customer data so that they can consistently delight customers. These customers increasingly demand personalized brand experiences, which makes this a substantial challenge and will separate the average CMO from the best-in-class CMO.
Perhaps the most significant differentiator is the way best-in-class CMOs use data to orchestrate customer journeys that result in ideal customers – brand advocates who are more likely to buy frequently and who are also more likely to actively promote the brand. It is no small task to accumulate customer data from a multitude of sources and use it to create a cohesive customer acquisition and retention strategy. But those CMOs who do so enter a league of their own.
Oracle recently conducted a study with Aberdeen Group on the dilemma CMOs face between creating this world-class customer experience and the need to generate revenue without the luxury of significantly increasing budgets or resources. It examined how best-in-class CMOs tackled this challenge and generated the best overall performances. Here’s how best-in-class CMOs leap to the top of the class:
Make your data actionable for individual customers
As the number of customer interaction points has increased, so has the number of marketing systems to capture and store all the associated data. Marketers must assemble a comprehensive view of the customer, making it essential to gather and leverage data from CRM, ERP, e-commerce and other sources, at the time when they plan to take the “next best action.” In the past this has meant collecting a customer or prospect’s “digital body language.” It is also important to be able to connect this to their offline actions, and information from previous engagement that individual has had with your business. Best-in-class CMOs integrate data from online and offline interactions to create a real time-based, personalized customer journey. According to the Aberdeen survey, marketers who successfully managed the customer journey increase revenue from customer referrals by more than three times compared to all others. Collecting and activating data is the key to this process.
Orchestrate cross-channel experiences through a single command center
Proliferating customer channels means marketers must target customers through multiple routes or be left behind. But this creates a complex challenge for marketers, who must synchronize all their outreach efforts. Social media, email, search, mobile, web —coordinating these efforts across different teams and systems can create confusion and is difficult to orchestrate. CMOs who leverage a cohesive orchestration platform can help connect the various touch points and ensure a consistent brand experience across all these channels. Best-in-class CMOs understand the importance of this new reality and are 31 percent more likely than all other CMOs to standardize data capture across different sources, enabling them to better understand how and when to communicate with consumers. Without a central command center, marketers risk sending disparate messages to customers and creating a fragmented experience, which can negatively impact their customers’ impression of the brand.
Create content to capture customer attention
As mentioned above, the growing number of customer interaction options can lead to complexity for the CMO. Different channels require different content delivery formats. More than 40 percent of CMOs reported in the Aberdeen survey that one of their top challenges is the ability to generate enough content to fuel omni-channel customer conversations. However, sheer volume is not the only concern. The ability to measure the effectiveness of content and the ability to deliver the right message at the right time means that new strategies of sourcing, packaging, measuring and delivering need to be established. By providing marketing teams with tools to ideate, curate, develop and measure their content, and enabling them to tag content with data that matches the content to the right profile, stage of the customer lifecycle and performance ratings, enables best-in-class CMOs to ensure the right investment in content marketing is made.
Measurement is a priority
“With great power comes great responsibility.” As the CMO’s role expands in the organization, so does the pressure to demonstrate return on investment. Leading CMOs understand how critical attribution and measurement are to the future success of the business as past insights can help guide future decisions. The survey found that savvy CMOs are 22 percent more likely than other marketers to have established metrics that regularly gauge their performance against both organizational and industry benchmarks.
With the CMO’s role constantly changing, those who can remain nimble and in synch with their customers and prospects will make a difference in the success of their company. Marketing is the bedrock to customer acquisition and retention, and the CMO’s growing arsenal of tools and strategies presents a new opportunity to remain ahead of the competition.
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