CMO Perspectives (26th Dec, 2014)

In 1988, a man by the name of Phil S. Ensor coined the term “information silos” to refer to closed information and management systems in an organization that are incapable of cooperating with related systems. Ensor was originally from rural Illinois and was inspired by the self-contained, solitary grain silos he saw when driving down country roads. The term spread quickly, mainly because Ensor had put his finger on a real problem. This week’s CMO Perspectives is all about silos, and the importance of breaking them down in the digital age. These silos could be between CMO and CIO, between business intelligence and big data or between different channels of customer feedback. Whatever the silo, our authors offer tips on how to break them down.

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

How The CMO And CIO Will Determine The Future Of Business In 2015 

Forrester Chief Research Officer, Cliff Condon, writes that the the two roles that matter most for 2015 are the CIO and the CMO – their relationship and joint strategy to boost the business will determine the future of any corporation.

In this age of the customer, the most important driver of business success is the customer experience, Condon writes. The CMO must be the one to represent the customer’s perspective in corporate strategy. But because technology powers these changes, the CIO is also a key player. CIOs who focus mostly on IT – keeping the systems running – will see their budgets cut and their positions marginalized. Successful CIOs instead will focus on investments in technology that win, serve, and retain customers. This is an unfamiliar role for most CIOs.

The true challenge for these CIOs and CMOs he writes is not only to accomplish these goals but to accomplish them together.

Structures to help build marketing and IT bridges []

This video from McKinsey features Mike Keller, the Executive Vice President and CIO of Nationwide, explaining how his company has overcome silos when it comes to deploying new technologies. The company has a business transformation council that includes the head of finance, the head of strategy, the head of marketing and other members of the C-suite, to discuss how to deploy digital strategies like analytics, digital marketing and social media. Watch to learn more.


Leverage The Convergence Of BI And Big Data In 2015 - Or Miss Out 

Application development and delivery (AD&D) professionals must make sure that their BI and big data initiatives don’t move forward on parallel tracks, resulting in data silos. The real value lies in combining existing BI and analytics capabilities with new big data technologies and techniques.

Along with data exploration and data wrangling, predictive analytics is on its way to becoming a key capability in a broad BI suite. This goes hand in hand with increasing demand: Forrester’s 2014 global data and analytics survey found that 31% of respondents state they have predictive analytics platforms and applications in production (compared with 21% in 2012), with another 24% planning to do so.

Are brands making the most of the voice of the customer? 

A recent report by the Aberdeen Group projects a 2% increase in annual customer care costs for business that don’t have a robust Voice of the Customer (VoC) initiative in place, whereas those that do are expected to increase annual revenue by 10.9%. Nevertheless, while most companies use a range of tactics for listening to the customer voice, they generally lack a formal VoC strategy.

Most companies get customer feedback through channels such as the phone, email, in-store feedback and customer satisfaction surveys, as well as monitoring social media.  But, write the authors, it is also important for companies to engage in open forums that enable a public dialogue with consumers.

A simple and effective way to do this is through the use of online reviews, and many businesses are already reaping the benefits. For instance, when UGG boot manufacturer Deckers Outdoor started to actively collect and display customer reviews on its website, its already impressive conversion rate increased by 15%. The article goes on to offer more useful tips on implementing VoC programs. Read it in full. 

How Developed is Your Customer-Centric Strategy for 2015? []

Many companies have adopted customer-centricity as one of  their New Year’s resolutions. The author, Jeannie Walters, makes several suggestions for how to actually achieve this laudable goal. First, she says, track customer-centric KPI’s. These include customer lifetime value, customer satisfaction and/or Net Promoter Score, as well as customer referrals.

Second, she says, invest in employees. Her favorite example of this is how Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey described what has brought success to Whole Foods. In an interview with Harvard Business Review, he said:

“Management’s job at Whole Foods is to make sure that we hire good people, that they are well trained, and that they flourish in the workplace, because we found that when people are really happy in their jobs, they provide much higher degrees of service to the customers.  Happy team members result in happy customers. Happy customers do more business with you.  They become advocates for your enterprise, which results in happy investors.  That is a win, win, win, win strategy.”

These two strategies are just a taste of this insightful article. Walters goes on to define three others. Read them all.

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

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