CEOs expect higher growth and from new sources from CMOs
Up until the digital age kicked in marketing was more art than science. Some marketers were still "spraying and praying" their message to the point that everyone is now extremely critical of receiving blatant sales and marketing material unless they have asked for it.
While the majority of marketers were still spending huge amounts to boil the ocean, a few companies with foresight were training their teams to provide a consultative approach to help prospects make the best decisions. This was an early precursor to holistic marketing, but without the tracking mechanisms that are available today to automate it.
More and more CMOs are being held accountable for finding new sources of growth, and to providing higher ROI. According to Gartner roughly 12 percent of a company’s budget is spent on marketing activities. According to Forrester CEOs are expecting higher measurable ROI for that spend. This expectation is growing by approximately 5% each year.
Today marketing is a trackable science.
The entire customer experience can be tracked to create a digital footprint and trails of data that marketers can leverage for deeper insight to attract, retain, and grow customers.
According to the article, “while the stakes are higher now (and more CEOs expect new growth and better results from their CMOs. Major brands, such as Coca-Cola, Hershey, and Hyatt have chosen to eliminate the CMO title altogether and are instead leveraging new or revised roles to accomplish the new growth agenda.”
The opportunity for marketers to make a difference is huge. The CEO growth mandate is here, and most CMOs are struggling to meet it successfully. Marketers that focus on providing the best end-to-end experience, based on intimate knowledge of their customers are killing it. They are focused on the entire customer experience from research to renewals. This is taking a holistic view of your customer’s experience to make sure your experience is the one they like the best.
This isn’t changing nearly as fast as it should be.
According to Forrester while approximately 17% of marketers have already stepped outside their traditional marketing boxes to deliver highly positive customer experiences throughout the buyer’s journey, only 25% of marketers indicated it would be a priority in the next 12 months. That means 68% of marketers (yes, some of your marketers too) are going to continue doing it wrong at least through 2020.
There is no silver bullet that will take you from spammer to holistic marketer. in their article titled, “Eight Imperatives for Marketing-Led Growth” Accenture suggest that making these changes to the way you market, will put you on the path toward more holistic marketing.
Here are the eight steps provided by Accenture with summaries. If you are interested in digging into this deeper, hit the link above to be taken to the complete article by Accenture.
8-Steps to Holistic Marketing
1. Become a Customer-Led Organization
Connected data - so marketers can create better connection of all customer touchpoints - not just those within the immediate purview of marketing.
2. Employ Data as the Lifeblood for Customer Insights
Data must be captured, curated, centralized, enriched, and deployed to truly create, understand, and respond to a single view of the customer. Connected data also makes it easier for marketers to create more commercially driven target segments; for example, cohorts that directly link to growth objectives.
3. Replace Vanity Metrics with Performance Metrics
Growth leaders must be singularly focused on business outcomes related to revenue growth, new and retained customer count, and sustained profitability. Vanity metrics such as followers and likes only speaks to the success of individual tactics, with no correlation to growth.
4. Align Marketing Budgets with the Customer Journey
It's essential to align marketing budgets around paid, earned, and owned marketing activity so all customer touchpoints are seamless and coordinated. Siloed channel strategies, in which marketing activities happen in a vacuum without regard for impact on other aspects of the business, is one of the biggest barriers to experience activation; it also leads to wasted budget. budgets should be aligned across the customer experience teams (e.g., marketing, sales, and support) to ensure that everyone has visibility into the "money in, money out" value equation of the full funnel.
5. Use Analytics to Inform Content and Marketing Strategies
Analytics can do more than drive better cohort segmentation. Insights should guide both content creation and the overall distribution elements of the marketing plan. They should also inform the customization that will allow the brand to deliver dynamic hyper personalization, which today's customers increasingly demand.
6. Develop Customer Listening Capabilities
The most influential companies leverage social media to listen to their customers. Social listening enables marketers to shrink the world of social media and focus on what's important to the brand. Online feedback communities, focus groups, and surveys are also essential for understanding and keeping track of customers' expectations, needs, and preferences in real-time.
7. Assess the Customer Experience Technology Stack
Promote a balanced approach to technology. The two most common traps are: too strong an attachment to legacy investments and unrealistic expectations for technology as a "cure-all." Be willing to acknowledge sunk costs and retire any outdated technology that fails to meet business objectives. Also, recognize that the biggest opportunity for technology impact lies in coupling it with the appropriate operating models, business process transformation, and change management to achieve end-to-end executional excellence.
8. Optimize Nonstop Learning Company Wide
All customer-facing teams should be continuously testing and learning, creating a cycle to achieve ongoing improvement and agile deployment. This concept applies within marketing, testing everything from messaging and timing to channel mix and segments. Perhaps more important, it applies to cross-functional opportunities.
It’s not about you, your company, your product, your sale, or your opinions. It is all about the customer. You have to start thinking about their buyer’s journey and be there for them in a helpful way at each stage. This is where they can see you living up to your brand promise and those that resonate with that promise will take interest in your company.
I was a very successful corporate marketer for a decade or two and everything they are saying here resonates with me as well. If sales and marketing spent half as much time really getting to know their customers and creating value for them of course they are going to want to work with you. You took the time to get to know them!
If this is a direction you would like to take your marketing, Mad Science can help. We have been employing "customer centric" marketing techniques since it was called "consultative marketing" 15 years ago. Let us set it up right to begin with, and you will not be part of the 68% that is dong it wrong. :)