I attended a CMO Summit recently, networking with heads of marketing from a wide range of F500 companies from GE, Starbucks, Nike, Coca-Cola, NBC Universal and more.
One of the workshops -hosted by a senior marketing strategist from a well-known media and entertainment company- revealed some interesting feedback from an attendee survey. It resulted in a long list of wishes (beyond the traditional 3 allowed) that CMOs wanted granted. Therein lies the rub of the 5 I found most illuminating:
1. Wish for better data
No surprise here. They complained that their data is distributed across systems, and most don’t trust the quality of the data. As long as each group within an enterprise continues to operate on their own view of the customer, product or location, not only will information continue to be siloed and inconsistent, but critical relationships between entities and the 360 degree view will never be attainable.
2. Wish for better access
Marketing feels it’s so hard to get data they know exists in other departments; they’d rather pay an outside firm for the same data than rather than try. This is such a shame since it’s not cheap to buy data. Some interesting statistics quoted (from Gartner) stated that 99.5% of data is never analyzed. And companies spent $21 Billion buying and procuring data this year. Ironically this is less than 1/3 of the $65 Billion that is forecasted to be spent on SEO. Which goes to show that some marketers value being found, more than they want the data to understand what’s going on. Most did not understand that data acquisition could be simplified through Data as a Service.
3. Wish for better collaboration
Marketing and IT still aren’t on the same page when it comes to how to manage and use the data. There was significant discussion and debate about the gap between IT efforts and marketing needs. Topics mentioned included how the CMO was morphing into a hybrid CMO/CTO role, as well as the intermediary role of a CDO or Chief Innovation Officer, that bridged the gap between the two. How to get skilled marketers more tech savvy was also a topic. The facilitator had a question that stopped all the CMOs in the room in their tracks. He asked “Who thought of bringing their CIO counterpart to this event”. Crickets.
4. Wish for better insights
Personalized contextual customer experience is the goal, but most don’t know how to get there. There were several vendors offering mobile location technology, and the ability to track individual’s whereabouts and to deliver them in context offers and experiences. Ranging from auto check-in to hotel rooms, to free coffee coupons. Most in the room thought it was interesting, but clearly it would be a challenge getting just the foundation of core customer data in place before something like that would be on their radar. Further those in B2B marketing wanted personalized insight for better account-based marketing and sales execution.
5. Wish for recommendations
Many admired Amazon’s recommended products capability, and think it’s the tip of the iceberg. Recommended or suggested products provided by Amazon was lauded as an example of knowing the customer well, but most quickly agreed that even Amazon had a way to go to improve the targeting and the capabilities were in its infancy as closed feedback loops to track the outcomes of those recommendations were needed to improve recommendations and measure ROI.
It was eye opening to hear first hand how the top marketers from the largest organizations expressed their universal need for better data, access, collaboration, insights and recommendations. This represents an opportunity for IT to bridge the gap with new modern data management platforms to grant marketing's 5 wishes, but other groups across the enterprise.