CMO Perspectives (29th Aug, 2014)

This edition of CMO Perspectives is all about harnessing data from multiple sources and channels, particularly social media. There is a wealth of big data that can be obtained from sources like Facebook that no CMO can afford to ignore. The better you are at putting this data to use, the better you will be at retaining and attracting new customers. The articles in this edition emphasize how to learn more about your customers and how not to be left behind in the digital race.

The customer journey & relevant experiences are the new business imperatives

This article outlines new sources of data, especially via Facebook, that you need to gather if you want to compete in this new marketing ecosphere. It's not enough to rely on the customer data you've collected on your own. For instance, Facebook now gives you access to customer data collected by other companies, even your competitors. In exchange for this information, you are expected to give up some of your own carefully gathered data. The author suggests that this trade-off could be worth it because data from multiple channels, particularly social media, can give you a distinct edge against your competitors. If you play things right, you'll be the marketer who can offer each customer a personalized experience even if they are totally new to your company.

How to influence customer behavior by making your ideas stick

Change is tough. That's why most people resist it at all costs. So, how do you get people to change an ingrained behavior, such as switching from a competitor's product to yours?

The author reviews the New York Times bestseller "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die," and culls some ideas for marketers on how to make their products and messages "sticky."

He gives entertaining examples of companies that induced change. Toyota persuaded customers in wintry climates to buy its hybrid cars despite early skepticism. Google influenced its employees to eat healthier food. Steve Jobs and Starbucks also figure prominently in the article. Enjoy!

Is the CMO the CEO’s heir apparent?

Are you a CMO who secretly (or not so secretly) thinks you would make a great CEO? Gartner estimates that in today's climate, where companies constantly need to strategize and innovate, the CMO is possibly the best poised executive to take over that role.

CMOs are no longer seen as the promotional chief or chairman of arts and crafts, but expected to drive strategic growth for the business. CMOs know brands, products, markets and customers.

The challenge for a CMO who is making the transition to CEO is to prove that they can run a predictable business. If a company places a lot of emphasis on brand and customer engagement, the CMO's chances of running the company are better than average.

Mapping the customer journey

The article precedes an excellent slideshare presentation on the subject of customer experience and just how all-encompassing that term can be.

Gartner recently issued a survey showing customer experience to be one of a CIO's top ten priorities. But customer experience, in a holistic sense, goes far beyond customer service or just transactions.

The author gives the example of a hotel chain. “It’s about the mood of the customer service agent when you have a complaint. It’s about the cleanness of the towels. About the email newsletters you receive, the social presences, the content, the informal chat with an employee at the bar, the online booking tool, the small gift you get as a returning customer, the loyalty program, the design, the everything.”

Customer experiences are about touch points and touch points are by definition social. And what is a key focus in marketing? Indeed, social. “Not as ‘just another channel’ but as a whole new way of doing business,” Ed Thompson says.

CMOs: Mobile spend slowing, social going strong

Spending on social media and video is accelerating, while spending on mobile marketing shows signs of slowing, according to the CMO Council's annual State of Marketing global benchmarking study.

The top areas of projected media budget growth over the next 12 months are social advertising and online video.

Asked to rank the most effective ways to brand and generate demand in their market, nearly 50% of CMOs list search-optimized Web site marketing, as well as events and trade shows. Another 42% see the most value in social media interaction and engagement. These eclipsed traditional print and broadcast media and were well ahead of mobile search and mobile advertising.

There are a lot of enlightening statistics in this article, and it is worth a full read.

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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