Talk of “one-to-one customer experiences” and “the customer buying journey” permeates the marketing space today. The goal of delivering customized, relevant, timely messages to customers to propel them toward a buying decision is a lofty goal, but an important one. It speaks to the increased responsibilities CMOs hold in their companies today: Customers do a lot of decision-making before they ever interact with a sales person, and it’s the CMO’s responsibility to engage customers during this pre-purchase stage.
To help marketers execute these one-to-one customer conversations, there’s been a huge roster of marketing technology created in recent years. These technologies have been largely customer-facing, campaign execution-based technologies, designed for the campaign manager. A social manager will use a social campaign technology, the demand-gen specialist will use automation software, content marketers will use content applications, etc. The list is long.
But, campaign-focused execution technologies fall short in helping a company achieve the nirvana of one-to-one customer engagement. There is an operational side to understanding and enabling the customer buying journey that marketing teams need to address:
- How do we align our teams to our buying journey goals?
- What revenue do we plan to drive from these efforts?
- How do we fund improving the customer buying journey?
- How successful are we at actually driving results?
- How can we share this information with the marketing team, CEO and CFO?
One of our CMO customers said it best. “Being data-driven means two things: being focused on our customer data and on the internal operations of the business of marketing.” These two sides of marketing (customers and internal operations) are linked. This link is provided through foundational, operational technology that helps plan and measure marketing. Every user in marketing – including campaign execution marketers – needs to participate. We sometimes refer to this as “the back office to the front office”. The back office of the marketing cloud is inextricably linked to the customer-facing front office of the marketing cloud.
In other words, in order to achieve the nirvana of one-to-one customer engagement, you have to have a plan, align everyone to it, fund it and measure its success. When you use smart technology, assemble a strong team of marketing futurists, and focus on both front-office and back-office data, you can work towards making one-to-one engagement a reality.
As CEO of Allocadia, I’ve had to learn to lead in a rapidly growing, fast-moving market. And as marketers building Allocadia, we have learned a lot about selling to CMOs: their needs and challenges, and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead in this new Marketing 2.0 world. This Leading in Change: CEO Blog Series is intended to help inspire CMOs and marketing operations to lead and build data-driven marketing organizations.