Marketing leaders are in trouble. As the once-esteemed gurus of growth, Chief marketing officers’ roles are becoming ever more important while their budgets and staff continue to be whittled away. A CMO’s role is even more thankless as a result. They’re challenged to know every nuance of the ever-changing world of marketing and expected to do more with less.
As CMO, you’re expected to drive the sales that grow the company as well as take charge of every customer’s experience. You’re the one who decides how best to engage customers, all while resources are scaled back, making your overall vision increasingly myopic.
CMOs are called upon to work magic, to increase growth while making customers happy. With these ever-increasing challenges and expectations, it’s not surprising that the average tenure for a chief marketing officer is under three years.
Foster Growth While Justifying Return on Investment
It’s important to redirect conversations away from overhead costs. Connecting marketing activities directly to revenue growth, or other positive business outcomes, encourages risk adverseness. And as every CMO know, it takes money to create leads that, with enough luck and hard work, become sales.
When looking at customers’ experiences and how they drive growth, look at it with a common-sense approach. There are two major themes that are intimately intertwined that apply to modern marketers: understanding underlying causes of growth and enabling customers’ experiences.
In order to promote growth, you have to understand reasons for past growth. Knowing where your sales come from, especially which marketing campaigns produced them, is vital. It helps determine where to concentrate valuable marketing resources. Was it the clever Instagram post or the advertisement on a particular YouTube channel that caused a customer to get out his or her credit card? Or was it the e-mail campaign sent out on Thanksgiving that caused a consumer to call up on Black Friday to buy?
Gathering and supporting data collection allows you to optimize results, and to decrease the amount you spend per sale. As someone who spent years in market research, I can’t emphasize the importance of data enough .
Develop Micro-Customer Experiences
Personalizing experiences is another important area. It used to be that marketers could take a popular tune to draw in customers and make sales. The concept’s the same now, but expanded to include videos, images, social media platforms, and so much more.
But the good news is that in many ways it’s easier to gather data on what people like. Look at someone’s Instagram or Facebook account and you’ll note that person’s likes or dislikes and how you can market your product to him or her. One problem is, however, that customers’ desires get lost in the data.
It’s also important to deliver on your marketing claims. For instance, if your website features a specific product or service for sale, it’s important that your sales staff knows about the product; otherwise, you’re just throwing money away. It’s important to integrate experiences seamlessly and make customers a part of the process. And it’s also important that your sales, distribution, and marketing staff realize they’re part of the same team.
Incorporating insights from the data you collect from each interaction helps improve and personalize customer experiences. It’s these small experiences that make a person want to come back to buy.
Empower Your Business with Artificial Intelligence
I always think about 2001: A Space Odyssey when I think about artificial intelligence. In reality, it’s more like directed advertisements on Facebook and other social media. There are three key elements to consider when marketing with AI:
- Big data
- Machine learning
- Powerful solutions
Big data simply refers to aggregating and segmenting large data sets with minimal manual work, allowing you to understand when and where a message should be delivered. Machine learning platforms make sense of this data, giving you ways to react by providing insights, reacting, and responding to trends in real time to identify the likelihood of specific actions occurring. AI marketing solutions try to understand the world as we humans do, interpreting emotions and communicating back through social media platforms—in computerized voice responses when customers call customer support lines, or in automated written responses via e-mail.
Strategize Voice Channels
I hate calling customer support, regardless of the industry. It’s an, ahem, experience. I also remember working customer support in my younger years, which is marginally less annoying than actually calling a support line.
But they’re not going away. And they’re teaming up with AI to provide quicker solutions for customers, especially with the rise of smartphones. According to the latest BIA research, smartphone calls will have reached 162 billion annually.
Here are some things CMOs need to keep in mind:
- In 2020, half of all Internet searches will be via voice
- 58% of consumers used voice search to find local businesses within the last year
- According to a Forrester study, callers spend 28% more and convert 30% more quickly to revenue than consumers contacting businesses online
Utilize Offshore Outsourcing
Another way in which CMOs can benefit is by utilizing partnerships through outsourcing. Partnerships with outside experts tend to cost less, as you don’t have expenses like training or healthcare, as per internal employees.
By outsourcing your business-to-business (B2B) marketing, CMOs get a team of marketing professionals to help fulfill marketing needs at a fraction of the cost. Whether you need blogs written, traffic driven to your website, or a social media platform set up or tweaked, you’ll have those specialists at your disposal.
Creating a partnership with a marketing-as-a-service (MaaS) company, you’ve got a marketing team that can help you execute marketing plans. You pick people based on the skills required and their expertise, whether it be in content writing, market research, data analytics or engineering, website design, or search engine optimization techniques.
A B2B marketing firm brings specialized knowledge and experience, with years of trial and error already behind them. This way, you get a team you can rely on to utilize industry best practices, and trained in the latest technology. Plus, they’ll understand current marketing jargon, know what do to increase demand generation, reduce drag on pipeline acceleration, and analyze revenue impact.
Marketing as a service (MaaS) should be in every CMO’S 2020 budget. It should be an essential part of every modern CMO’s playbook.