CMOs Must Partner with CIOs and CDOs to Enable Data-Activated Marketing
By collaborating with CDOs and CIOs, marketing leaders can accelerate their data-infused strategies to meet -- and even exceed -- ever-changing customer expectations.
- By Rick Jackson
- April 11, 2022
Chief marketing officers have always been given the task of branding and driving digital marketing and advertising efforts. However, the role’s scope has expanded over the past several years, as B2B and B2C companies alike are embracing customer-centric strategies. Informed by increasing volumes of data, campaigns and content based on personalized and timely insights are now how stellar marketing creates better value for the business.
For example, Amazon’s innovative and data-driven recommendations create a positive user experience by suggesting relevant items, speeding the search for complementary items, and reducing visual overload. Many B2C e-commerce companies have set the standard for data-driven marketing and offer generation -- approaches which also work well for B2B companies.
As CMOs and their teams expand both the types of data they want to leverage and martech stacks to activate it for impact, they are increasingly encroaching on territory normally owned by chief data officers (CDOs) and chief information officers (CIOs). Strategic CMOs will proactively find ways to collaborate with these C-level partners to ensure marketing’s data needs align with the organization’s overall data strategy, which will result in a more holistic approach to driving revenue and meeting customer expectations.
Partnering For a More Data-Driven, Customer-Centric Enterprise
Today’s buyers are overwhelmed with marketing, and it’s getting harder than ever to stand out. Content and offerings that cut through the clutter are designed and executed with rich and relevant data. CMOs and their teams can only do that -- utilizing a deeper understanding of customer needs and wants, and segmentation -- by collaborating with their internal data leaders.
Historically, there hasn’t always been clean alignment between CMOs and chief data executives. In many organizations, marketing is still viewed as a cost center, and data leaders have been operating as gatekeepers instead of enablers. The acceleration of digital transformation, the focus on multichannel customer experience, and the introduction of self-service data and analytics are forcing CMOs and their C-suite data colleagues to break down old barriers. By working together, these organizational leaders can build robust, data-driven, customer-centered enterprises while also driving the bottom line.
The first step to building this vital bridge is understanding. CMOs must show that they truly understand both internal and external governance standards, along with the need to protect personally identifiable information (PII). This will build trust with CDOs and CIOs, which sets the stage for a constructive conversation on data sharing and availability to fuel marketing’s efforts.
This collaboration should also extend to martech tool selection and implementation to ensure data usage and lineage are in line with company standards. Focusing on these two areas will create common ground for both sides and alignment on goals.
Adapting Brand Experiences Through Real-Time Data to Maintain and Grow Loyalty
Brands across all industries are being pushed to personalize, meet shifting customer demands, and quickly react to competitive pressures. Customers expect the brands they use to know who they are and what they want. How can marketers gain the necessary insights -- at market speed -- to react in time to positively impact the bottom line? This is where CMOs need data leader partners to lead the way by building analytics data pipelines that provide the vital, real-time data crucial to timely marketing strategies.
For example, a report by Capgemini found that more than three-quarters of consumers (79 percent) have adjusted their purchasing behavior based on sustainability. In a report by Kearney, well over half (65 percent) of Gen Z respondents say they prefer manufacturers to use simple packaging, and 58 percent want packaging materials to be eco-friendly. This is a clear call to action for brands everywhere. Whether focused on sustainability or another attribute, customers across B2B and B2C frequently go into a purchase with at least some knowledge and/or expectation of what they want.
This expectation increases the pressure on CMOs to “own” the full brand experience, which goes well beyond marketing strategies and tactics. This also puts an even higher premium on the need to partner with data leaders to create and leverage current and accurate data.
One way strategic CMOs are tackling the challenge of buyer expectations is by working with data leaders to deploy AI and predictive modeling to understand, triangulate, and target prospects who, based on data signals, are currently in “buying mode.” This is a much smarter and more efficient approach than traditional mass marketing pushes, leveraging valuable budget and technology dollars to create higher-value engagements that deliver bottom-line impact.
By working with data leaders in this way, CMOs can also inform and drive the larger organization’s 360-degree understanding of the customer, helping to better design an overall experience to maintain and grow brand loyalty.
Accelerating Data-Infused Marketing Creates Brand Loyalty
In a highly competitive marketplace with evolving customer attitudes, new desires, and new competitors, every market is noisier than ever. To uncover what buyers and customers want, CMOs must have relevant insights into what is actually happening throughout the entire buying journey. From early-stage interest all the way through interactions with late-stage marketing content (and even after purchase), these insights must continually inform the next interaction.
CMOs can’t afford to base their strategies on incomplete or old data. They need real-time, actionable information that can guide decisions and answer questions, including those they didn't even know they had. By collaborating with CDOs and CIOs, marketing leaders can accelerate their data-infused strategies to meet and even exceed ever-changing customer expectations.
Rick Jackson is the chief marketing officer at Qlik where he leads global marketing strategy and execution as Qlik continues to build upon its leadership position in the growing data and analytics market. A technologist at heart, he has more than 25 years of experience marketing software and services to businesses and consumers in the technology industry. Rick joined Qlik from Rackspace, where he was CMO and a member of the company’s senior leadership team. Prior to Rackspace, he served as CMO at VMware, where he was responsible for leading the company’s global marketing strategy since early 2009. You can reach the author on LinkedIn.