In the past, marketers drove results through discrete campaigns and programs, with distinct lines between traditional and digital, social and web, awareness and conversion. That type of fragmentation doesn’t work anymore; it has caused marketers to lose control of the outcomes. This is especially evident now as we saw marketing budgets falling for the first time in 2017-18 after years of steady increases.
In order to get into a position to drive customer-centricity and cohesive customer experiences, accelerate innovation and deliver business growth, marketers need to take back control.
Control your data
It’s no secret that data is the lifeblood of marketing. It allows marketers to target audiences, hone tactics, engage audiences across channels, optimize results and manage experiences. It’s about customers, their behaviors and relationship history across marketing, sales and service that we get through first-, second- and third-party sources.
And that data is outside most marketers’ control because it’s fragmented. A data management platform (DMP) here, a customer data platform (CDP) there, some data in one or more customer relationship management (CRM) systems, multiple online analytics solutions, separate data insights groups, and a myriad of multi-channel marketing agencies that keep the data they use in campaign execution under lock and key.
Tips for taking control:
* Eliminate fragmentation: Create a marketing data integration function to define, govern and direct the relevant insights.
* Choose the right tools: CRM and marketing automation are not comprehensive marketing data platforms. Consider investing in a set of integrated data platforms covering customer and account data, audience data, and online analytics.
* Focus on action: Data is only useful if it drives decisions. Define actionable insights derived manually or through AI and tie them to actions.
Advance on these strategies and you will be in a position to truly optimize results, experiment and dive into cognitive technologies to innovate.
Control your tools
Marketing technology ecosystems are more complex, more fragmented and more diverse than ever. There are more than 5,000 mar tech vendors (up 40 percent in 2017 alone), and yet in the face of this explosion, CMOs have reduced mar tech spending by 15 percent.
The problem is that marketers don’t just need a better hammer. They need a fundamentally different set of integrated tools.
The prospect of reinventing their technology capabilities is too daunting for many. But without that reinvention, marketers are not only missing out on the ability to execute integrated programs rapidly and bring innovation to the markets. They are also spending time integrating and maintaining a patchwork of disconnected platforms. They are also constrained by other parties-often agencies and IT-in their ability to optimize the use the technologies they have.
Tips for taking control:
* Know what you need: Assess your capabilities and define what your toolset needs to be. Don’t just invest in new tools that solve old problems.
* Combat fragmentation: Make bold moves shifting to integrated capability stacks and building out an integrated architecture rather than a collection of tools.
* Evolve capabilities: You may need a massive shift, but not all at once. Take bite-size chunks that create measurable value, so you can reinvest in the transformation.
Technology matters. It is a key element that can help marketers move from fragmented tactics to integrated experiences. Reimagine your mar tech stack, so you can focus on marketing activities and not technical limitations.
Control your capabilities
If your marketing team has been executing in similar ways for decades, you’re not set up for success in today’s world. Marketing organizations should rewire themselves for agility and experimentation in order to deliver better experiences faster and more cost-effectively. Getting your technology and data in check is only the beginning. The way your people work and the culture of your business must lead to innovation.
This may well be the hardest part. Each organization has its legacy culture that has shown great success in the past (or it wouldn’t be here today). But the market has shifted, and organizations that create a more agile culture that is open to change are better set up for success. Leaders should flatten decision-making hierarchies and enable productive mobility to get the most out of their teams. It’s about giving everyone in the organization the information, tools, structure, incentives and the freedom needed to make quick, informed decisions that drive sustainable growth.
What’s required is rethinking your organizational structures, keeping foundational functions centralized and finding ways to enable rapid decision-making at the edge to enable speed and authentic engagement with audiences.
Tips for taking control:
* Plot your course: Understand how to unlock the best your people bring and how to shift from random acts of marketing to an integrated model that puts control back in their hands.
* Invest in your people: Begin morphing your teams, enriching and augmenting their skills and breaking down boundaries that have kept them channel-constrained in the past.
* Explore new ways of doing things: There are ways to go cheaper, faster, better, but you need to be willing to disrupt the status quo and bring in partners that can guide you along the way.
Marketing teams are ultimately the ones that unlock the value of data and technology to change marketing outcomes and deliver results. Everything you do should be in support of better equipping them for success.
Marketing leaders: Take charge
The influence of the CMO has arguably grown more than that of any C-suite member in recent years. They are a critical voice to help their companies change, innovate and grow in this increasingly customer-driven environment. The time is now for CMOs to take control to drive significant and sustainable value for their organizations.
Dennis Startsev is a digital experience and marketing transformation leader at Deloitte Digital who helps companies connect with their markets, engage with their customers and achieve sustainable growth in the digitally connected world. He leads Deloitte’s Adobe practice and co-leads marketing technology and operations capabilities.
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