Author: Steve Olenski

Dear CMOs, Mobile Data Security Should Be Everything

Ok quick review for those who are currently out sick and thus may have missed the news. I will expect a note signed by Epstein's Mother. NOTE: If you don't know this reference it means you're under the age of 40. So Google It.

Anyway, for the uninformed...

When it comes to data, roughly 90% of ALL data in the world has been produced or created just in the past two years alone. Broken down to the minute, try this on for size from the folks at Domo:

That is EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY boys and girls. In other words there's a whole shitload of data (technical term) being generated.

In terms of mobile, try this one on for size via The Next Web:

Ok so on one hand we have lots of data being generated while on the other we have lots of people on mobile devices generating a large chunk of said data.

You with me?

You better be.

Data Breaches

In case you missed some more news, there's been a few breaches of data over the past X number of years. How many exactly?

Well this site puts all the info right at your fingertips.

As you will see there is an alarming number of ever-growing data breaches occurring all around the world. Now couple that with the fact that a whole lot of people are using their mobile device to do pretty much everything including financial-related tasks and the following stat via PwC makes perfect sense AND why I believe...

Mobile Data Security Should Be EVERYTHING To CMOs

65% of shoppers are wary of having their personal information hacked using their mobile/smartphone.

Moreover, according to PwC research "more than half of those surveyed only use companies/websites and payment providers that they believe are legitimate and trustworthy."

Madeleine Thomson, PwC’s retail and consumer leader in the UK put it perfectly:

"If people are going to continue to shop efficiently and quickly on mobile, then there has to be more thorough systems around how we secure the data and make the mobile environment more resilient."

So more and more people on mobile means more and more mobile data generated which means more and more breaches are in play which means brands need to the security of mobile data (and ALL data for that matter) at the top of their priority list.

It's All About the Experience

CMOs and marketers at all levels are fully aware that customer experience (CX) is everything today. And the mobile experience is of course at or near the top of the CX list for all the reasons stated above. 

Providing the best CX can be challenging but it doesn't need to be. Not in the least. Down Customer Experience Simplified to discover how to provide customer experiences that are managed as carefully as the product, the price, and the promotion of the marketing mix.

Image source: Pexels

Helping CMOs Look At The Digital Space From A Human Perspective

If continually bombarded with data and technology, it can at first feel overwhelming. Despite initially creating confusion soon after its introduction, we then realize the benefits of a new technology. From there, it leads to a new norm, helping us understand our own intentions and behaviors.

At first, we had millions of data points. However, we solved that by creating new marketing roles like that of data scientist. Five years ago, no one knew what that was. Today, you are looked at strangely if you don't have one on your marketing team. These new marketing team members that take these data points and put them together like puzzle pieces. It reveals a clearer picture that expresses and amplifies what marketers should know and say.

What + Why = How

At least, that's what Abigail Posner, Head of Strategic Planning, and her team at the ZOO, Google's creative think tank for agencies and brands, believes is possible. In this role, she shines a unique, humanistic lens on culture, business, and technology that brings a fresh perspective to corporate culture, product development, branding, and marketing. Her quest is to spark novel thinking and lead people to take action.  At Google, she helps advertisers and marketers make sense of human beings’ deep, emotional relationship to the digital space. From there, they help to convert those insights into strategic and creative efforts.

Google's Abigail Posner Google's Abigail Posner helps advertisers and marketers make sense of human beings’ relationship to the digital space. Photo by Vincenzo Lombardo/Getty Images

To Abigail, it's not a jungle out there when it comes to technology, data, and human behavior. It's been categorized, studied, and displayed to help CMOs see things differently. Her quest is to spark novel thinking and lead people to take action.  At Google, she helps advertisers and marketers make sense of human beings’ deep, emotional relationship to the digital space and convert those insights into strategic and creative efforts.

To help CMOs, ZOO has two teams - Abigail's Creative Strategy Team and a Creative Effectiveness Team. Together, they take the what (i.e., data) and combine that with the why (why people behave a certain way and react to a particular brand). That gets them the why answer to the equation, which then enables CMOs and their respective brands to know what they should create within that digital space to resonate and engage with their audience.

At the Intersection of Technology and Anthropology

Posner likes the "little whys." Those details help to decode the larger "whys" related to human behavior, impulses, actions, and perspectives. From there, we have context for the "how" to that consumer equation.

To illustrate what ZOO thought was beneficial for the agencies and brands it serves, this Google business determined it would be beneficial to undertake an anthropological study on virtual reality 180-degree and 360-degree video. This study would deliver an understanding of the cultural underpinnings that would drive certain audience members to respond to this new platform.

The findings have now become the basis of guidance that ZOO is providing to a number of brands it calls clients. For example, Ad Age cited two brands where ZOO provided direction. The first was for Guinness. They did a 360° experience inside a convenience store, where you can experience the colors and sounds of what beer should taste like. The second was for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called Last Call 360°. People could see and feel why they should not drive. There are numerous other examples of how the digital space can relate and engage with the human experience.

Always in Search of Connections

Hence, the CMO is searching out how to connect technology and marketing strategy with what their audience really wants. This is an inherently human trait. In everything we do, we are seeking to create a connection. As Abigail Posner explained in an interview with AICPA:

"... merely at the suggestion of two random words like chocolate and pillow, the human mind begins trying to find connections. The connection it finds may very well be the next big idea. Using the chocolate and pillow example, innovators may develop chocolate-covered melatonin for a midnight snack that improves one’s circadian rhythm."

As marketers, we must identify the best connections to create for audiences. From there, we know how to deliver on what they are seeking from products. And, that's what all this data is helping to do.

Now, Posner and her team see that there will always be a need for humans in marketing. This is despite what technology has been able to accomplish. In this case, humans are a necessary component for decoding the patterns identified by technology in the marketing data.

We can put our knowledge of cultures, belief systems, emotions, and human desires into disseminating this information comprised of little whys and creating meaning from them. That meaning becomes the insights necessary to help develop new ideas for brands to apply in the digital space.

Retail - The Human Experience

The retail space, particularly the in-store, brick & mortars of the world will always rely on human interaction, of course. However, retailers are increasingly challenged to grow revenues and engage customers while managing costs.

Download Nucleus Research: Getting To Know You to see how some retailers increased marketer productivity by an average of 50 percent while increasing customer engagement—leading to a surge in campaign-driven revenues of up to 30 percent. 

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Image source: Pexels

3 Things To Scare CMOs This Halloween

Someone once said about Halloween: "It's said that All Hallows' Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin - and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright."

Well if the air feels different today for chief marketing officers, CMOs to me and you, these may be the reason. 

1. Integration Continues To Be the Holy Grail

Consumers, in case you didn't know, like to use more than one channel before making a purchase - most notably among these channels? Mobile and social media. And it appears the latter and the integration thereof remains problematic for CMOs. 

According to the most recent CMO Survey, marketing leaders continue to struggle when it comes to integrating customer information, better known as data, across channels including social media. 

The question is why? Why this prolonged futility? Could it be these same marketing leaders are not using the correct martech? Could also explain why that since 2014 nearly 50% of these same marketers are unable to show the impact of social media on their business. That is mind-blowing.

Here's something you should already know: Marketing leaders need to eliminate data silos and create a single source of truth. And they need a 360-degree view of customers to reliably and efficiently target the right message, to the right person at the right time. 

2. IoT Means Increased Data Security

I am a huge proponent of IoT from both a marketing and a consumer perspective. The possibilities from the former are endless but the concerns from the latter are real. Very real. 

From a recent e-Marketer article:

As you can clearly see many consumers around the world are concerned about their data and hacking when it comes to IoT. 

And knowledge of IoT and data is growing. From the article: 

"Interestingly, the survey also found that awareness about security threats to internet-enabled devices actually increased with the age of respondents. For example, 72% of those ages 18 to 24 were aware that IoT devices could be targeted by hackers, but that figure rose to 80% among 45- to 54-year-olds."

The bottom line is that as more and more devices get connected to the Internet the more and more brands and businesses need to up their data security game. Easier said than done for sure but if these brands and businesses want to reap all the benefits of IoT collected data they better be at the ready to guard it with their lives. Their brands lives. 

3. Personalization Remains An Enigma

As per another ubiquitous red and black eMarketer chart, marketers continue to struggle with personalization with lack of resources and data the top of the list. 

if you notice coming in at 14% are tech-related challenges. Forgive me but there's no way this percentage is correct. 

Whether the survey was worded poorly or for some other reason, the martech challenge is significantly higher and more than likely should be rolled up into lack of resources. 

The reason I am so confident lies in the numbers, AKA the over 4,000 different marketing-technology solutions on the market today. 

What's ironic is that with the right martech the challenge of resources - automation anyone? and data would be relieved to some extent. 

The right martech solution creates engagement, orchestrates experiences, connects data, and optimizes online interactions that attracts and retains ideal customers. Moreover the right solution connects cross-channel, content, and social marketing with data management and activation. 

Yeah it really is that simple. 

And Speaking of Simple

Much of the customer experience is broken because the marketing experience is broken. But it’s not marketing’s fault. With legacy technology, marketers only get a distorted view of the customer because data silos cannot be shared across channels.

Download Customer Experience Simplified to discover how to provide customer experiences that are managed as carefully as the product, the price, and the promotion of the marketing mix.

Image source: Pexels

11 Marketing Books Every CMO Should Read

It’s safe to say that marketing isn’t the same industry it was even five years ago. If you’re a CMO, you know how crucial it is to stay ahead of industry trends — and how challenging that can be when the industry is constantly evolving.

Although we receive the majority of our news through sound bites and social posts, there’s nothing quite like sitting down with a good book to learn new perspectives on such a dynamic field. To get your reading list started, here are 11 marketing books that I believe every CMO needs to read in order to keep growing:

1. Top of Mind by John Hall Hailed as “an absolute must-read for any professional or company seeking to build influence and lead their industry,” John Hall’s “Top of Mind” sheds light on just that: how you can become top of mind with your audience and lead your industry. In this insightful, personable, and straightforward book, Hall explains how he built both his brand and his business relationships through helpful and engaging content. In the rapidly changing digital landscape that marketers are navigating right now, the need to foster authentic business relationships built on trust is even more important — and Hall’s book gives CMOs the tools to stay top of mind with their networks and their industry.

2. Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer One of Business Magazine’s top three business books of 2016, “Hug Your Haters” is a hilarious and relevant twist on the traditional customer service book. While 80 percent of companies claim they provide superior customer service, only an alarming 8 percent of their customers agree. Jay Baer explains the reality of customer service today: that marketers should spend more time interacting with consumers on social media, not through phone or email. Baer uses research to make a compelling argument for addressing every complaint and handling internet trolls in an age when one-third of customer complaints go unanswered.

3. Outside Insight by Jørn Lyseggen If you’re like me, you may occasionally feel oversaturated by marketing industry news and trends. In this book, Jørn Lyseggen advises professionals to step outside their industry bubble and to look beyond internal data. Using real-life examples from Nike to L’Oréal to Barack Obama, “Outside Insight” is packed with tools to aid forward-thinking industry professionals in making innovative and, most importantly, data-driven decisions.

4. The Content Formula by Michael Brenner and Liz Bedor Content marketing can be a monster of a task for many CEOs. The very idea of consistently churning out engaging and informative posts across the internet is daunting — especially at the frequency that many content consumers have come to expect. Michael Brenner and Liz Bedor simplify the whole process, breaking down the numbers behind content to help keep you from breaking your brain — or the bank — with your content marketing campaigns.

5. They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan After the housing crisis in 2008, Marcus Sheridan’s pool company struggled to bring in customers. Today, it turns down millions of dollars in business each year that it just can’t take on. The secret to Sheridan’s success? Content marketing, pure and simple. In “They Ask You Answer,” he explains how his team expanded the company’s web presence and produced winning content in order to create advocates for the brand. He says that CMOs are likely overspending on television, radio, and print; by dropping the “marketing speak” and simply answering questions, they’ll begin to build trust.

6. Leading Through the Turn by Elise Mitchell We’ve all read the classic leadership book outlining how to set and achieve your goals. Elise Mitchell, the motorcycle-riding business maverick, takes a different approach. Focusing on journeys instead of destinations, Mitchell helps CEOs and marketers alike to build plans centered on enjoying not only the achieving of goals, but the path that gets you there, as well.

7. I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Anybody who believes that humor is a great equalizer, as Ajayi does, is ok in my book. And then some. Her 'manual' debuted at No. 5 on the New York Times best-seller list this past October. The New York Times calls her "The Internet’s newest comic phenom."

Publishers Weekly says the book is "a light, 21st-century discussion of manners and morals, with Ajayi taking people to task for oversharing on social media or for being casually bigoted." And Redbook Magazine calls it “The ultimate handbook on the dos and don’ts of socially navigating the digital era. Brilliantly witty and heartful.” No, this is not a marketing book by any means. But it is a book every CMO, marketer and human being should read for it causes all of us to take that hard look in the mirror at ourselves but does so with a smile on its face. Quite the accomplishment.

8. Chief Marketing Officers at Work by Josh Steimle As data becomes more widely available, industry leaders have begun claiming that marketing and communication are becoming less art, more science. The value of analytics, especially within digital marketing and marketing automation, can’t be overstated. However, in a field dominated by data, some CMOs still stress the importance of not becoming too dependent on data.

Josh Steimle’s “Chief Marketing Officers at Work” examines this balancing act between analytics and intuition from the perspectives of 29 CMOs and C-level executives from GE to Harvard Business School to Spotify. Steimle sheds light on how to work effectively in a culture of ever-increasing collaboration between CMOs and CTOs, as well as CEOs and COOs, and how these powerful executives can learn to thrive amid these industry changes.

9. More Is More by Blake Morgan With more and more (no pun intended) CMOs overseeing the entire customer experience to go along with the million other things they're doing, there is an undeniable need to provide superior customer service. The full title of Blake's book in fact is More Is More: How the Best Companies Go Farther and Work Harder to Create Knock-Your-Socks-Off Customer Experiences.  

A mouthful for sure but every word carries the same amount of weight of importance behind it. In his Amazon review of the book, John Venhuizen, President & CEO, Ace Hardware Corp put it best: "Every executive gives lip service to great customer service, some even have sincere intentions; but the troops thin out a bit when it comes down to actually delivering an exceptional customer experience. More Is More, is a much deserved - and very practical anvil to the head for anyone in business who desires to differentiate by truly amazing the customer."

10. Performance Partnerships by Robert Glazer This brand-new book (seriously, it just came out May 2) was a fantastic new addition to my library. In “Performance Partnerships,” Robert Glazer uses his decade of in-depth experience to make a compelling case for affiliate (or “performance”) marketing, a strategy in which marketers only pay for quantifiable outcomes. In addition to examining misconceptions about the tool, Glazer delves into how affiliate marketing evolved, how it impacts the changing digital marketing landscape, and how it can be used to better your business.

11. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley In today’s internet and social media-saturated world, every one of us is marketing ourselves through our words, whether we realize it or not. Instead of fighting this trend, Ann Handley strives for everyone to embrace their inner writer. She uses her knowledge as a marketing veteran to guide readers through the entire process of content creation — from hard and fast grammar rules to nebulous elements of storytelling to the science of publishing. By the end of this book, even the most wordplay-averse among us will be expert content creators.

Although this list only contains eleven good ones, I’m confident it offers enough material to present a variety of perspectives and insights within marketing for you and your team to consider. I truly believe each book contains lessons that you can apply to your day-to-day work and use to continue growing with this industry.

The Experience Matters Most

Every single one of these authors knows the same thing you and I do: that the customer experience is the key to success for any brand across any industry. 

Much of the customer experience is broken however, because the marketing experience is broken. But it’s not marketing’s fault. With legacy technology, marketers only get a distorted view of the customer because data silos cannot be shared across channels.

Download Customer Experience Simplified to discover how to provide customer experiences that are managed as carefully as the product, the price, and the promotion of the marketing mix.

 

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Image source: Pexels

For Cross Channel Marketing Success, Don’t Sit On Data; Act On It

I know, I know you have all the data you could ever need, blah, blah blah. And I know you know that ours is a cross channel world where a whole lot of us use multiple channels as we make our way to the checkout line - be it a real checkout line or of the digital/online variety. 

But for kicks and giggles let's look at how top performing brands handle use data. The chart below shows how top performing businesses use numerous activities to put insights − generated through reporting and analysis of data − into action. For example, they are 38% more likely to utilize the uni ed view of customer data to deliver omni-channel messages.

The finding comes directly from a recently released report from Aberdeen Group, Relationship One and Oracle Marketing Cloud which revealed the business value marketers derive by mastering orchestration of omni-channel marketing campaigns.

Optimize Accordingly 

Enabled with a unified view of customer insights, marketers can then optimize future campaigns accordingly. Specifically, this refers to tailoring the timing and content of each campaign based on insights captured through previous interactions. For example, if a high-tech buyer is more likely to respond to in-depth written content when making a purchase decision, knowing this insight would help the marketer use relevant content. The chart shows that Best-in-Class  firms are 81% more likely to have this capability in place, compared to others.

There is a lot of competition to capture customer attention and wallet share. Marketers who succeed do so by establishing a unique relationship with clients. One of the ways Best-in-Class firms do this is by using customer data to deliver informative, proactive communications (interactions that are initiated by the company, as opposed to the customer).

While facilitating customer spend and retaining clientele are top-of-mind for marketers, it’s important to remember that customer loyalty is closely related to brands becoming a trusted advisor to their buyers.

For example, a retail buyer being notified that an online order has been shipped is more likely to think of the retailer being engaged in addressing their needs, as opposed to another that’s not delivering such proactive notifications.

The Rest of the Story

Data is only part of cross channel marketing success. Download Digital Experience Management Through Marketing: Orchestrating Omni-Channel Conversations to learn other key parts of a successful cross channel marketing strategy. 

 

 

3 Steps to Success in Omni-Channel Orchestration

Before I get to the aforementioned steps, if you're in marketing and are reading this and are not convinced the majority of people AKA consumers AKA your customers (yes this applies to you B2B marketers) use more than one channel to do pretty much everything — well, you may want to sit up take note of the world around you. 

Consumers today, on average, use six channels with nearly 50% regularly using more than four. In the US alone 98% switch between devices in the same day.  My assumption is that percentage is right around the same for the rest of the civilized world. Or very close to it. 

Blame our ever-growing ADD if you want but the point is we change marketing channels like we change channels on our TV. 

Business Value

A recently released report from Aberdeen GroupRelationship One and Oracle Marketing Cloud revealed the business value marketers derive by mastering orchestration of omni-channel marketing campaigns.

Here's the 3 steps to achieving success in our omni-channel world. 

1. Standardize Customer Data

Top performers standardize customer data throughout the business. In a world where ‘big data’ has become the new normal, marketers collect a wealth of structured and unstructured data. These come from multiple different channels (e.g., web, social media, email, in-store) and geographic locations. Structured data refers to data that is organized in a pre-de ned way or model. Examples would include data regarding a customer’s web visitation history or past purchases. Unstructured data refers to data that is not organized in a pre-de ned way or according to a standard model, such as text in social media messages, recordings of service calls to a contact center, images, etc. 

2. Don't Sit On Data. Act On It.

One of the most common mistakes companies make when launching and managing a Customer Experience program is assuming that collecting customer data is good enough to improve customer satisfaction and other measures, such as revenue growth. While some organizations might get lucky and see short-term results, those that achieve long-lasting performance improvements do more than just collect data. They analyze and act on it too. 

And so should you. 

3. Analyze Customer Feedback

In an environment where marketers use so many channels, it’s easy to get confused about how each channel contributes to marketing program results. One of the ways companies can ensure meeting customer needs is by capturing and analyzing customer behavioral and feedback data. This refers to data such as marketing campaign results (e.g., click-through rates, open rates and shopping cart abandonment rates) as well as survey data gleaned through methods such as online surveys.

Learn More

Download Digital Experience Management Through Marketing: Orchestrating Omni-Channel Conversations to learn more about the 3 steps to achieving success in our omni-channel world and about the business value marketers derive by mastering orchestration of omni-channel marketing campaigns. 

3 Steps to Success in Omni-Channel Orchestration

Before I get to the aforementioned steps, if you're in marketing and are reading this and are not convinced the majority of people AKA consumers AKA your customers (yes this applies to you B2B marketers) use more than one channel to do pretty much everything — well, you may want to sit up take note of the world around you. 

Consumers today, on average, use six channels with nearly 50% regularly using more than four. In the US alone 98% switch between devices in the same day.  My assumption is that percentage is right around the same for the rest of the civilized world. Or very close to it. 

Blame our ever-growing ADD if you want but the point is we change marketing channels like we change channels on our TV. 

Business Value

A recently released report from Aberdeen GroupRelationship One and Oracle Marketing Cloud revealed the business value marketers derive by mastering orchestration of omni-channel marketing campaigns.

Here's the 3 steps to achieving success in our omni-channel world. 

1. Standardize Customer Data

Top performers standardize customer data throughout the business. In a world where ‘big data’ has become the new normal, marketers collect a wealth of structured and unstructured data. These come from multiple different channels (e.g., web, social media, email, in-store) and geographic locations. Structured data refers to data that is organized in a pre-de ned way or model. Examples would include data regarding a customer’s web visitation history or past purchases. Unstructured data refers to data that is not organized in a pre-de ned way or according to a standard model, such as text in social media messages, recordings of service calls to a contact center, images, etc. 

2. Don't Sit On Data. Act On It.

One of the most common mistakes companies make when launching and managing a Customer Experience program is assuming that collecting customer data is good enough to improve customer satisfaction and other measures, such as revenue growth. While some organizations might get lucky and see short-term results, those that achieve long-lasting performance improvements do more than just collect data. They analyze and act on it too. 

And so should you. 

3. Analyze Customer Feedback

In an environment where marketers use so many channels, it’s easy to get confused about how each channel contributes to marketing program results. One of the ways companies can ensure meeting customer needs is by capturing and analyzing customer behavioral and feedback data. This refers to data such as marketing campaign results (e.g., click-through rates, open rates and shopping cart abandonment rates) as well as survey data gleaned through methods such as online surveys.

Learn More

Download Digital Experience Management Through Marketing: Orchestrating Omni-Channel Conversations to learn more about the 3 steps to achieving success in our omni-channel world and about the business value marketers derive by mastering orchestration of omni-channel marketing campaigns. 

5 Steps CMOs Can Take To Prepare For The Next Disruption

The immediacy of online interaction has made marketing both easier and more challenging than ever before. On one hand, companies can respond to market shifts in real time. On the other, new innovations can quickly make once-vital services unnecessary.

In other words, disruption is now part of every brand and business' DNA. Or at least it better be for the next disruption is coming.  It's only a matter of time.

No event demonstrates disruption better than Netflix’s ascension over Blockbuster. Not only did Netflix’s disruption swiftly decimate Blockbuster’s market, but the former video giant openly rejected the idea that the market could change so quickly. According to Business Insider, Blockbuster had the chance to buy Netflix for just $50 million. Today, Blockbuster is defunct, and Netflix is worth more than $32 billion.

For CMOs, running a business in the digital age constantly presents never-before-seen challenges. Companies that fail to appreciate the power of instantaneous communication will succumb to more savvy enterprises that embrace innovation.

The Ripple Effect

When Netflix toppled Blockbuster, it set off a chain reaction of events that disrupted several subindustries within the tech sector.

As more viewers switched to streaming, demand for high-speed Internet skyrocketed (per Leichtman Research Group), ramping up the competition between ISPs and infrastructure providers. This intense competition then led to the creation of a new subindustry of comparison sites. Tech company InMyArea.com, for instance, began offering people a way to compare prices on home services in their area — such as high-speed Internet — to save money on Internet services and avoid the hassle of searching themselves. Companies like AT&T and Comcast were then forced to overhaul their sales structures to maintain competitive rates.

Cutting the cord is now so common that the cable packages large companies once relied upon no longer interest most customers — even at discounted prices. According to The Economist, more Americans have been giving up cable than buying it since 2013, and the gap continues to grow.

This entertainment revolution expanded rapidly. Soon, competitors to Netflix — such as Hulu and Amazon Prime Video — emerged. New streaming hardware from Roku and Apple came out to combat the bulky and expensive boxes that were then the norm.

When one industry changes in the age of the Internet, the shockwaves affect everyone. Companies that are not prepared to change quickly find themselves outpaced and overtaken by more innovation-minded competitors.

To ensure your company doesn’t follow Blockbuster into irrelevance, follow these strategies to stay nimble in the digital world.

1. Tell a proactive brand story.

Creating engaging content to establish a narrative for your online customers to follow is one of the new top priorities of a CMO. Thanks to social media, consumers today are more in control of brand perception than ever before. It’s up to you to keep up a steady flow of content to guide that conversation in a positive direction.

Content Marketing Institute found that 75% of companies plan to increase the amount of interactive content they produce. The more engaged your customers are, the less likely it is that you will lose control of your brand’s image.

2. Find consumer hangouts.

Wherever your customers are online, you should be, too. Whether you use digital advertising, organic social content, or active engagement, maintaining a constant social media presence is a prerequisite to successful marketing. CMOs need to coordinate regular communication on their brands’ own pages (including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) and join industry groups around the web to see what people are saying.

MNIB Consulting recommends using suggested sections on sites like Amazon and Facebook to see which sources and tangential sources are influencing your customers.

3. Respond to consumer demands.

The Internet can be a scary place for brands because consumers don’t hide their feelings when they’re unhappy. But don’t lurk in the background online. CMOs must listen, engage, and respond to consumer wants, needs, and demands. Take advantage of social media tools like SocialRank to gather data and address common issues.

If you address consumer complaints well, your brand ambassadors will do your marketing for you. Few companies do this better than Southwest Airlines, which regularly receives commendations for its excellent customer service.

4. Solve real-life problems.

Industry disruptors like Netflix succeed because they solve a key problem for a target demographic. Similarly, when people started complaining about the difficulty of dating in the modern age, Tinder was born. When fashion enthusiasts were tired of paying high prices for clothes they would wear once or twice, Rent the Runway gave them a solution. Even established brands, such as Domino’s and Jimmy John’s, adapted to shifting consumer needs by developing apps to allow customers to order from their phones.

CNBC compiles a list of 50 new disruptors each year, with some 2017 highlights including Airbnb, Lyft, and 23andMe. No matter the industry, the digital age leaves plenty of room for disruption if you have an innovative idea. To find inspiration, CMOs can scour social media and read online reviews regularly to see what people like and where they would like to see improvement. It just may spark an idea for a new disruptor.

5. Anticipate market shifts.

Stay informed on industry trends, and plan ahead for the needs and demands of tomorrow. Attending conferences, keeping up with market news, and networking with industry influencers will help CMOs to stay in the know about the next big things. Observe competitors with a keen eye to see where they shine and where they’re lacking. The more insight you have into what’s happening now, the better prepared you will be for what happens next.

The age of the Internet will continue to disrupt markets across the world. Don’t hesitate and get left behind — use these strategies to take control of your destiny and own the next disruption in your industry.

It All Comes Down To CX

Regardless of what the next disruption brings with it, the key to success will be the customer experience. That will never change. As customer expectations continue to rise, businesses need to appoint a senior executive like the Chief Marketing Officer to deliver exceptional, end-to-end customer experiences. It’s a tall order, but if done right, enhanced customer experiences translate into loyalty, repeat business, and revenue.

Download Should the Chief Marketing Oversee the Entire Customer Experience to learn all about the rewards and risks for a CMO to step into an all-encompassing role to deliver the end-to-end customer experience. 

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Photo credit: Foter.com

Behold the Business Value of Omni-Channel Orchestration

If you think ours is not an omni-channel world, think again. The fact is we humans are using more and more channels to engage with everyone, including brands and marketers every single day.

Just consider these stats:

  • 15 years ago the average consumer typically used two touch-points when buying an item and only 7% regularly used more than four. Today consumers use an average of almost six touch-points with nearly 50% regularly using more than four. 
  • 98% of Americans switch between devices in the same day. 
  • 90% of customers expect consistent interactions across channels. 

The Good News, Bad News and Best In Class

The good news nearly 7 in 10 marketers deliver omni-channel conversations. The bad news is only 3 in 10 of these same marketers say they are either somewhat satisfied or fully satisfied with their ability to use data in marketing programs.

These findings come courtesy of Aberdeen Group, who in partnership with Relationship One and Oracle Marketing Cloud released an eBook which reveals the business value marketers derive by mastering orchestration of omni-channel marketing campaigns.

As for Best In Class, it should come as no surprise that the best marketers are nearly 40% more likely than others
to have established an infrastructure to deliver omni-channel customer conversations.

In other words, these 40% get it; they understand that consumers are using many channels to engage and interact and they know they better be prepared to deliver on the promise AND the expectation of a seamless, omni-channel experience.

Findings from Aberdeen’s CX study revealed that a leading group of organizations excel in managing customer experiences across digital channels such as email, web, mobile applications, and social media. Those are defined as ‘Best-in-Class’ businesses

Here’s how these 40% look in comparison to other brands AKA their competition.

Look at the disparities between best in class and all others. And pay very close attention to the chasm that exists when it comes to year-over-year change in annual company revenue.

While that looks like it’s only 39 percentage points different (6% to 45%) it is in fact a 650% difference between those marketers who excel in meeting customer expectations and all others.

You can choose to ignore that stat at your own peril.

Three Steps to Success in Omni-Channel Orchestration

The eBook identifies the three steps to success in omni-channel orchestration including the inherent and undeniable need to standardize customer data, which the aforementioned best in class marketers do before anything else.

Do yourself a favor and download Digital Experience Management Through Marketing: Orchestrating Omni-Channel Conversations because you didn’t realize it, omni-channel is now omni-present. 

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How CMOs Can Stay Fit With Their Busy Lifestyle

The role of Chief Marketing Officers is growing day by day. With all the advancements in technology and sophistication of the web over the past decade, marketing is truly becoming a task that never sleeps.

That being said, factoring the time to stay fit can be extremely difficult in this high-level position. As a good deal of the job involves sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen, making an effort to prioritize fitness is absolutely essential for a long, fruitful life. Studies have found that sitting too much can be detrimental to your health. Some even indicate that it’s worse than smoking.

As busy as CMOs are, there are plenty of ways to stay fit both inside and outside the gym. Here are a few key points to consider.

Create A Routine And Stick To It

While the finer details of a CMO’s routine will vary quite a bit, adopting a reliable structure that budgets the appropriate amount of time to address both physical and mental health is critical for staying fit and avoiding burnout.

In addition to waking up at the same time, eating breakfast, and showering in the morning, a good strategy to get through the work day is to block up your time. For instance, try to keep your “screen time” separated into blocks of 25 minutes. In between, take five or so minutes to stand up and move around to keep the blood moving.

Either before or after business hours, try to budget an hour or so 2-3 days a week to work out. Going beyond staying fit, hitting the gym is a great way to disconnect for a while and blow off steam.

Eat Wisely

As important as it is for a CMO to find time to work out, having a proper diet is even more vital to staying fit. For starters, skipping breakfast is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a professional. For one, it can have a bad effect on your attitude and judgement. Second, it can slow down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to process meals later in the day. Starting with a high-protein, low carb meal can help you stay productive throughout the day. If there is one meal you shouldn’t skip on, it’s breakfast.

When lunchtime rolls around, it can be tempting to stay at your desk and try to get as much done as possible while eating. Given the workload that comes with being a CMO, it can be very easy to either reach for a convenient (unhealthy) snack, or end up skipping the meal altogether. For this reason, it’s best to separate yourself from the work area while eating lunch.

After a workout, it’s extremely beneficial to supplement your diet with a healthy source of protein. While many types of protein powders can give you great results, it’s recommended to stay away from whey, as it can lead to bloating and indigestion. For CMOs, who must constantly be on the ball, opting for plant-based alternative can do wonders to keep energy levels high throughout the entire day.

“I normally schedule my daily workout in the early mornings before business hours, says Charles Weller, CEO of Ground-Based Nutrition, manufacturer of plant-based superfoods. “For years, I was using whey protein and finding my stomach would get upset in the late morning, making it really tough to focus. Once I made the switch to a plant-based powder, I could stay motivated all day and not be tempted to take a nap around noon.”

In the hours when you need to be at your most productive, do your best to stay away from greasy meals and junk food. All these will do is slow you down. As a CMO, that is the last thing you need.

Get Plenty Of Sleep

Even though marketing never sleeps, all humans need to. Valuing sleep is a common habit amongst the most successful people in the world. Sleepfoundation recommends adults get between 7-9 hours per night. Unfortunately, many professionals don’t meet this criterion. In fact, a survey of 3,200 American workers conducted by CareerBuilder, reported by Fortune, found only 16% of respondents claimed they get a substantial amount of sleep every night.

As a CMO, there is a lot that depends on you. Therefore, you (and your company) cannot afford to be anything less than 100%. In addition to being more effective and alert throughout the day, hitting the target amount of sleep can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and provide a plethora of other benefits

Many times, it can be hard to power down your brain at night between emails, looking at website data, social media analytics, etc. Performing these tasks late at night stimulate your brain and make it harder to fall asleep. The key is to find a time in the evening to disconnect from electronics.

Doing this will give you time to unwind and fall asleep at a good hour. Sleep is perhaps the most important ingredient to staying fit and healthy. Don’t cut any corners here — you can approve that new campaign first thing next morning!

Stop Making Excuses

In the busy lifestyle of a CMO, it’s incredibly easy to put work in front of your health. Fighting the urge to stay up late to get some extra work done, putting off meal times, or skipping a workout will be a never-ending reality of the position. Staying fit while bringing a brand into the future is by no means a simple feat. It all comes down to discipline and motivation.

True, your career is extremely important and your clients need that brand awareness every moment of the day. But, your health should always come first. Neglecting it won’t do you, your company or agency any good in the long run.

More On Your Plate

As if CMOs don't have enough on their plates already more and more CMOs are being asked to oversee the entire Customer Experience. 

Download this guide to learn how businesses can set CMOs up for success using four of Constellation’s primary business research themes, including Next-Generation Customer Experience, Digital Marketing Transformation, Matrix Commerce, and Data to Decisions.

 
This article originally appeared on Forbes
 
Image source: Pexels