CMO Perspectives (10th Oct, 2014)

They say it’s never a good idea to compare yourself to others. Except in business, that is. Every CEO worth their salt must be familiar with the market and know their competitive advantage. In today’s “age of the customer,” that advantage is knowing your customer and delivering the best possible customer experience. And in order to do that, you need to know what your competitors are doing.

This week’s edition of CMO perspectives will tell you just that: what are other companies doing to give their customers an individualized experience? What are some of the best practices? The answers will surprise and, we hope, give you food for thought.

We hope you enjoy these articles. Let us know your thoughts by commenting below, or reach out on Twitter: @NICE_Enterprise.

Gartner Debunks Five of the Biggest Data Myth [Gartner.com]

For the last few years, there has been a lot of excitement surrounding Big Data. Some companies even see Big Data as a cure-all for everything that ails them. This article by Gartner brings some of those sky-high expectations down to earth. When used correctly, Big Data can be a powerful tool, but there are several myths Big Data neophytes need to dispel before embarking on a project.

First, not everyone is ahead of you in adopting Big Data. In fact, a Gartner survey revealed that only 13 percent of organizations have deployed Big Data solutions. Second, the fact that you have lots of data doesn’t mean you needn’t be concerned with data quality. Third, you can’t just do away with data modeling and data warehousing, and fourth, data lakes are not a replacement for data warehouses.

It’s a fascinating article and will help you approach your Big Data solutions in a less naive and more knowledgeable way.

How a CEO sets up the CMO for success [mckinseyonmarketingandsales.com]

This case study from McKinsey features a video interview with an unidentified Dutch CEO in the energy industry. He describes the process he followed in recruiting a CMO.

In 2010, the company was losing customers and the business was only breaking even,  so they positioned the marketing department as the engine for commercial transformation.

The executive said he was looking for a CMO with a track record in fact-based marketing as well as someone very creative.  “We actively supported him so that it was very clear to the whole organization that there was a commitment from me...I put marketing on an equal working level with other departments.” If only every CEO was this attentive to the needs and leadership potential of their CMO!

IBM Big Data in a Minute: The Age of the Customer [ibmbigdatahub.com]

In this short video, Mike Gualtieri, principal analyst at Forrester Research, explains that “consumers want to be treated like royalty.” With all the data that customers share about themselves, a business that can quickly capture, analyze and act on this data “just in time, all the time” acquires a competitive advantage.

Gualtieri gives the example of a consumer visiting the Cheesecake Factory after completing a long-distance run. Instead of a laminated piece of paper, the restaurant hands you a tablet instead, one that is customized for your individual preferences.  He says, “Imagine you ran four miles that day and your Nike+ FuelBand recorded it. Imagine when you’re handed that menu it calls the Nike API and the Cheesecake factory knows that you burned an extra 370 calories.”

These things are no longer in the realm of a far-off possibility, he explains. They’re the way leading-edge businesses are providing their customers with more individualized, or “royal” treatment. 

Create a business technology agenda centred around customer obsession [cio.co.uk]

This article, by Kyle McNabb, says that there is only one source of competitive advantage today. It is an obsession with understanding, interacting with, and serving today's empowered customers. Close to 75% of surveyed business leaders identified improving the customer experience as a high or critical priority.

By understanding how technology supports each phase of the life cycle, you'll bring clarity to how you and your team can build new competitive advantage for your company. This article offers tips for how to do so at each stage of the customer lifecycle. For instance, make sure your technology allows your customer to interact with your brand on third-party sites like Facebook.  Or try to make your online presence seamless and simple for customers to navigate. There are many more tips in this article that are well worth the read. He calls the sum total of implementing these steps “customer obsession.”

We hope you enjoyed our picks and bookmarked a few articles for future reference. Please don’t forget to share with other CMOs.

Are there any other marketing topics that interest you? Tweet us, or comment below to let us know!

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