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30-second summary:

  • Digital disruption is forcing C-Suite executives to take on different job goals and responsibilities, and marketing directors are not exempt from this shift.
  • In fact, a recent report from the CMO Council, produced in partnership with Teradata, found that 91% of marketers said senior management expects marketers to drive measurable growth.
  • Marketing managers need to rely on data – from all departments – to deliver actionable insights for a better customer experience (CX).
  • Essentially, CMOs now need to become a “jack of all trades” to master the data conundrum, stay the course amid disruption and outpace the competition.

The world around us is constantly changing and to keep pace, companies have shifted their priorities to align with the needs of modern consumers. It means using data as an asset and a guide to stay afloat during uncertain times.

More often than not, a huge digital disruption results in different – sometimes higher – expectations and more ambitious goals for employees. C-Suite executives in particular have had to redefine their responsibilities as we approach 2021 and beyond.

At a recent CMO board report, produced in partnership with Teradata, 91% of marketers said management and board members expected marketers to drive measurable growth, with one in three saying their CEOs company believed it was the main mandate marketers today.

To be successful despite the disruption, marketers must understand how their roles will evolve in 2021 and take action to master the essentials of data science and customer experience (CX) practices to drive profitable results for their organizations.

Looking to the Future: Marketing and CX in 2021

Let’s face it: no one has mastered the data conundrum yet – not even the biggest brands. And for many businesses, there is a long way to go to become a true data expert. Ongoing efforts to become more data-driven have propelled the marketing function beyond the role of chief brand promoter, to the benefit of customer experience and championing growth.

Marketing managers are increasingly realizing the importance of turning to data to show powerful customer insights and to refine their personal motivations.

The CMO Council report found that nearly 60% of marketers report inconsistencies with the level of depth and granularity of customer information, while a shocking 36% admit they just don’t the information necessary to know their consumers, and even less to anticipate their needs.

These results show that learning to use data to refine customer personalities and get to know the end user will only increase in 2021. Marketing managers need to recognize that having an « anticipation attitude » is not. no longer a « good to have » – ​​it is now a necessity.

While it can be a difficult transition, optimizing the customer experience across the organization is vital to their health and well-being, especially as 2021 approaches. create real value by leveraging information to connect smarter with customers and reach them when they need it.

For example, when asked about « the biggest relationship building challenges, » 41% of marketers admitted their eagerness to roll out campaigns, but also said they often overlook the individual behind those campaigns. If you prioritize data first, you have the opportunity to bridge this gap before launching a marketing campaign that would otherwise overlook the end user.

As marketing managers chart their marketing trajectories for the next year, three key steps should be considered when planning and executing sustainable, data-driven CX initiatives. These include bridging the IT and marketing divide, turning data into customer insight, and empowering marketing and customer experience professionals with personalized analytics for your customers.

The first step – bridging the IT and marketing divide – will ultimately bring the customer’s previously elusive 360-degree view to life. This will allow data integration experts and citizen data integrators to collaborate rather than compete with each other.

The second step is to transform the data into tangible information about the end user. How? ‘Or’ What? Analytic. There is a need to arm your marketing and CX team with powerful and easy-to-use machine learning and other more advanced analytics. Having the right mix of simple and advanced analytics will help derive accurate and fast insights into customer behavior.

While this is much easier said than done, the third step is to leverage the information and turn it into action across the organization. Come to a conclusion on how best to turn data-driven insights into actions, and make sure you tap into the necessary channels to make sure those actions are followed throughout the organization from top to bottom.

And, finally, make sure people in all departments and roles – from CEOs to frontline workers – can access and understand how data is being used to drive action across the organization.

Use data as an asset

Executing a data-driven, customer-centric strategy won’t happen overnight. However, marketing managers who take the time to develop a critical and thoughtful approach, with the goal of producing real value for customers, will see the benefits of turning to data to optimize marketing tactics. Here are some steps – building on the insight from the findings of the CMO Council report – that are essential in tackling this feat:

Step 1: integrate all customer data

Having a unified data infrastructure that brings together data from multiple departments and systems is the most critical step. This is not a job to be tackled through marketing or IT alone – it requires a company-wide strategy and approach based on pooled investments and data shared across departments .

According to the CMO Council report, 68% of marketers said relevant data was only relatively accessible or « hit or miss. » It’s also important to have a process when dealing with new data to avoid silos. And yes, marketers – not just IT pros – are guilty of the proliferation of silos.

Step 2: Scale Customer Information

Once you’ve defined a solid database, it’s time to build on it. This step is where you can use analytics to measure the impact of customer information. Thousands of models can detect and react to customer opportunities and weaknesses.

Once you’ve delved into these through advanced analytical techniques, marketers can then use the information to build customer personalities and truly understand individual drivers and preferences. In order to scale analytical information, the tools must support a wide range of users, from coders (data scientists) to clickers (most marketers).

Step 3: Turn insights into action

It really is a time sensitive process. Delays in collecting information, along with the time it takes to act on that information, can make the difference between failure and success. If you miss a trend or stick with a trend for too long, you can lose a lot of money.

It all comes down to predicting a trend faster than the competition. This means that accessing real-time data is crucial – and the linchpin is actually turning that customer information into action.

For example, if a potential customer has expressed their interest or intention on the web, the opportunity to profit from it and create a meaningful CX is moot. It is therefore imperative for the company to intercept the customer’s buying journey in real time, coordinate the cross-channel and transform information into tangible experiences.

Step 4: Create a CX Culture

It all comes down to using data as an asset and fostering a collaborative culture of data sharing. Make sure front-line workers are empowered to harness data by making it more accessible and readable for each unique set of business requirements and priorities.

Understanding the unique motivations of your cross-functional partners and how the knowledge can be leveraged to advance business in other areas of the business is imperative.

All about data

Twenty years ago, a marketing manager could look at these tasks and immediately dismiss them as the responsibility of IT. However, as 2021 approaches, marketing directors need to think carefully about this repositioning and how they will pivot.

They now need to add another skill to their CV: adopting and driving data-driven initiatives. Becoming data-driven won’t happen overnight, but marketers need to learn how to leverage data to power their organizations, anticipate consumer needs, and beat the competition.

It is now their job to ensure that data is not siled and integrated into the unified data architecture, as well as to leverage the insights gained from analytics platforms and turn it into action. As data permeates and connects all departments, marketing managers must accept that they are “jack of all trades”.

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