THE BLOG
04/06/2015 04:44 pm ET Updated Jun 06, 2015

5 Ways CMOs Can Deliver A More Integrated Customer Experience

Back in January of this year in an article entitled Are CMOs Poised To Take Over Technology Purchasing? I wrote that "Whether they (CMOs) are ready or not, technology is fast becoming an inextricable part of the CMO's functions, and they need to participate in making tech decisions in order to determine the ROI for purchases."

Based upon the results of a recently released study from The CMO Club and Oracle Marketing Cloud a great number of CMOs are indeed not ready to utilize the technology that is available to them as a means to deliver upon long sought after integrated customer experience.

This integrated experience is at the top of the priority list for the CMOs surveyed but only 13% of the 110 CMOs surveyed said they are able to truly deliver a personalized and engaging customer experience across channels. Additionally, 21% did not even know when it comes to understanding a customer's end-to-end experience with their brand, and added that they needed help evaluating marketing technologies to be sure they are aligned to the organization's goals.

Working with the heads of marketing from major brands, including American Express, Gap, Hilton Worldwide, and Pets Mart, the CMO Club and Oracle Marketing Cloud created the "The CMO Solution Guide to Leveraging New Technology and Marketing Platforms."

Rising Responsibility

Nadine Dietz, CMO of The CMO Club, who co-wrote the guide says CMOs are increasingly responsible for delivering the right customer experience at every touch point.

"Marketing automation helps deliver consistent experience at scale, but requires the right mix of technology, analytics, people, and processes for success," said Dietz. "Given the sea of technology options available and monumental integration challenges faced while implementing marketing solutions, we felt it was time to issue a Solution Guide for CMOs from CMOs to collectively support each other in this shared mission."

Andrea Ward, vice president, Marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud is quick to remind, however, that it is not just about technology.

"Every business talks about focusing on the customer, but few actually deliver," said Ward. "Why? Simply put, digital marketing technology alone can't tell a compelling story. It requires the right mix of people, process, and technology to be successful."

The Fab Five

The guide outlines five solutions from CMOs for CMOs to better leverage technology and enhance the customer experience.

  1. Be the customer champion every step of the way: CMOs need a clear understanding of how customers and prospects interact with their brands at every stage, from consideration, to engagement, to purchase and advocacy. They are the voice of the customer, translating insights to actions across every organizational function.
  2. Become BFFs with your CIO: Of those surveyed, only one of 110 respondents referenced a positive relationship with their CIO. A critical action item for a CMO is to reach out to their CIO to collaborate, plan, and integrate activities.
  3. Co-design the optimal customer-driven technology roadmap: CMOs need to develop an understanding of the technology that is required to deliver the optimal customer experience and co-design the technology roadmap with the CIO, allowing flexibility in design to incorporate new technology and third party applications.
  4. Rethink your marketing organization and processes: There are many formal and informal opportunities to create collaboration across marketing departments and technology. As critical as it is to building the right culture and cross-functional environment, it's also critical to hire the right talent.
  5. Establish a system for continuous improvement: The customer is outpacing companies in terms of their expectations for personalized service compared to a company's ability to act on the information - both technologically and analytically. The CMO of today must - in addition to being agile - be open to taking chances and remain risk receptive.

The guide ends with a very direct message to CMOs courtesy of Christine Nashick, Chief Customer Officer at DHL Express.

"The danger for brands and organizations that do not deliver a consistent positive customer experience across all touch points are many, but at the top of the list are loss of loyalty and patronage and a negative impact on brand reputation."