October 19, 2023
Chief marketers are in a position to lead the way when it comes to defining, driving and delivering on the model of a "Customer-Intuitive Enterprise" in today's digitally connected world. However, they are struggling with the never-ending pace of marketing technology change, customer engagement innovation, and new and more valuable flows of market-relevant, decision-support data.
They are faced with the need to be more adaptive, intuitive, and predictive in responding to customer needs and problems, as well as addressing revenue opportunities, reputational challenges, and competitive inroads.
CMOs must become the customer experience custodians and champions in the enterprise, working in tandem with their functional peers to realize the potential and value of a customer-centric culture at every level of the organization. This requires a complete 360-degree view of the customer, understanding of the path-to-purchase, and knowledge of how well they reach, activate, monetize, retain and satisfy customers across rapidly evolving and more complex global markets and digital channels.
Exploring the use of the internet-based social media channels and customer communities to enable brands to engage more intimately and continuously with their audiences has become a priority. While many have yet to verify the value and return of these investments, online tracking and analysis of market conversations and postings is clearly improving the ability of marketers to listen, respond, and deliver better products, services, and customer experiences, particularly when it comes to customer self-care and after-market support.
Building a Data Foundation for Customer Gratification
Centralizing and unifying market/customer data and extracting meaningful, actionable intelligence from vast volumes of transactional, behavioral, and attitudinal information requires ever-more tighter linkages with IT groups. In addition, many marketers are tapping data flows from third-party sources for supplemental profiling of current customers and prospective buyers. All of which must be refined, adapted and integrated in real-time.
Despite these pressing requirements, most marketers are hamstrung with antiquated legacy systems, an inability to "talk tech" with IT groups, and lack of resources to implement marketing automation projects that improve the quality and outcome of marketing decisions, as well as the effectiveness and performance of marketing teams and partners. While some marketers have teamed with IT in complex and successful data integration projects, most are still at very basic levels of point solution adoption.
Better use of real-time transactional and behavioral data is allowing marketers to be more clinical and effective in their approach to segmenting, targeting and accessing critical audiences. Central to this are powerful AI and ML-driven customer data integration platforms that are the foundation for valuable personalization and one-to-one marketing campaigns, as well as customer revenue optimization programs.
However, only 15 percent of marketers surveyed by the CMO Council believe their companies are doing an extremely good job of integrating disparate customer data sources and repositories; 55 percent note there is room for improvement in this area. One of the most notable areas of deficiency is cross-border consolidation, cleansing and optimization of localized customer data. Integration of multiple sources, platforms and formats of customer data from across a region or geography is daunting and complex given the language and ethnic diversity, lifestyle differences, economic disparity, geopolitical considerations, as well as privacy and regulatory requirements.
Having greater visibility into market dynamics, better knowledge of customer behavior and intentions, as well as more effective competitive tracking systems is heightening the requirement for new levels of "Market Sense-Ability" across the organization. This is especially critical as an emerging crop of global contenders and challenger brands from developing markets gain traction with low-cost cloud-based infrastructures, value propositions, disruptive product innovations, lean manufacturing, and pricing advantages.
The Challenge of Doing More with Data
Top-line revenue growth is increasingly tied to essential IT-powered processes and capabilities, and how well companies extract value from data assets. These include customer data integration and analytics, prospect profiling and intelligence gathering, online market engagement and relationship management, sourcing and qualification of leads, conditioning and conversion of opportunities, and ongoing handling and retention of valued accounts.
One in four marketing, commerce and supply chain leaders admit there is simply not enough time, budget or patience to unlock all of data's potential, reveals research by the CMO Council in a milestone study, entitled "Doing More with Data: Discovering Data-Accelerated Revenue Traction (DART)."
Thirty-seven percent of all executives surveyed said that the current state of data accessibility is hit or miss, at best, limited by selective connections across functions, systems and platforms. Once data is accessed, executives are further pressed to identify usable data as 39 percent of executives admit that data is often incomplete or only partially integrated across systems.
Time to Become a Customer-Intuitive Enterprise
Marketers are struggling to forge the future of customer experience. CMO Council research finds a disturbing 97 percent of marketers deem their organizations ineffective at turning customer data into insights and actions.
The urgency to revive businesses has accelerated the rise of the data-driven marketer. Companies are looking to marketing chiefs to deliver winning customer experiences (CX) - not just promote brands - by turning data insights into action. Yet the data story for many marketers is incomplete.
Nearly 60 percent of marketers point to inconsistencies with the level of depth and granularity of customer insights, while a shocking 36 percent admit they don't have the data to know their consumers, let alone anticipate their needs, according to a CMO Council survey. Indeed, only three percent of marketers believe their organizations are exceptionally effective at turning data insights into actions.
The top three challenges of realizing greater value from internal data assets include:
Marketers have plenty of data, but now it's about leveraging that data across channels and organizational touchpoints in real-time and in a way that feels personal, relevant, and even anticipatory. This is the marketer's mandate today.
Failure to achieve this mandate comes at a steep price. Recent CMO Council research highlights three out of four senior marketing leaders feel their jobs could be on the line if CX strategies don't deliver profitable results. Moreover, 77 percent of CMOs admitted they were yet to realize the full revenue potential of today's connected customer.
The mandate to solve the data driven CX enigma has only increased as data assets become more robust and fickle customers stand ready to defect if their expectations are not met. Marketers realize that to truly impact CX, they must reach across the aisle and ensure there is a cohesive experience and data story across all relevant functional touchpoints in the organization.
Today's connected consumer expects a personalized experience optimized across channels. Marketers must effectively connect the dots of the customer journey across channels and touchpoints to not only understand what their customers have done, but what they are likely to do.
CMOs need to focus on using actionable data and insight to create a "Customer-Intuitive Enterprise" that assures both revenue and enduring relationships. CMO Council assessments of the state of customer experience in the enterprise reveal most marketers are struggling to achieve a passing grade in the use of customer data to achieve this future-focused model.
Donovan Neale-May is the Founder and Executive Director of the CMO Council, the Growth Officer Council (www.growthguidancecenter.com), and the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network (www.bpinetwork.org), a global community of executive change agents driving business reinvention, IT transformation, and process improvement across the enterprise.
No comments yet.