DMA 2014: CMOs, Big Data and Marketing Silos

With marketing, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. There is an abundance of technology partners, analysts, research firms, industry experiences and co-workers teaching us about a new technology or idea every single day. I personally cannot remember the last day my inbox was free of a new piece of content meant to engage me and provide me with insight to a new product. However, the one concept I’ve been most interested in lately has been about how to break down marketing silos, as I believe connecting these silos offers the most benefits, both internally and externally, to marketing teams globally.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend DMA 2014, specifically a session by Brenna Snuderman, the Senior Director of Research for Forbes Insights at Forbes Media. The title of her talk, “Breaking Down Marketing Silos: The Key to Consistently Achieving Customer Satisfaction and Improving Your Bottom Line,” provided key insights on ways to breakdown these aforementioned marketing silos to strategically improve both internal and external communications. By leveraging the resources available to your company, not only can you improve customer satisfaction and your bottom line, but you can also work efficiently as a team to provide an improved customer experience. The five following tactics were discussed in her presentation as a way to break down marketing silos:

1. Maintain Consistency of Message: As a marketer, you are speaking to your customers across multiple channels and devices. If the same customer is receiving different messages across devices, this can be highly problematic. This will not only confuse the customer with different marketing and communication messages, but in certain cases will offend them; this can be especially true if they have been a loyal customer and your company is unable to identify who they are and their unique personalization needs across device and channel.

2. Bridge Internal Gaps: Take a quick look at your internal silos that are impeding marketing success. Start with the simple challenges and work your way through the complex challenges. For example, you may have an operational challenge if you are a global company with one marketing department who speaks many different languages across multiple time zones. According to Snuderman, one common problem marketers are facing is avoidance of internal collaboration with other stakeholders across enterprise. By collaborating through a planned bi-monthly or monthly meeting with key stakeholders, you are well on your way to removing these barriers.

3. Be Customer-Centric: The customer is at the heart of every decision. Before any decisions are made, ask yourself how this will affect your customer. Is this decision going to save time or lead to a new multi-step process that will annoy your clientele? Sit down for a moment and list out what you know makes your clients happy, then ask yourself – how can you implement innovation to help improve their happiness?

4. Change Your Focus: This tactic is focused on the motivation behind marketing decisions. Let’s say the end of the year is coming up and you have $50,000 in the marketing budget that will be lost if you don’t spend it. Instead of spending it just to spend it, take a step back and look at the full picture. Use the metrics that you have to see what actually provided the best ROI instead of executing a spray-and-pray method. By working with teams internally, you can pull together what resources you have to get the best bang for your marketing buck.

5. Use Data As A Weapon: By now, marketers are well aware that data is key. We have no shortage of data and the key is in knowing how to read and analyze your data. In Snuderman’s talk, a survey was cited focused on the transformative CMO, where 47% believe they are wasting money in executing marketing initiatives, 51% believe they are able to monetize their audience sufficiently and 56% believe they are making the right media buys. Using your data in real-time to understand the impact your marketing spend is having on your sales, ROI and corporate objectives gives you a strong competitive advantage as it helps predict customer behavior based on the most accurate and up-to-date information available. Furthermore, using your data correctly can increase insights into consumer behaviors, sales, sign-ups, registrations, ROI, customer satisfaction and sales leads.

By starting to implement these tactics to break down marketing silos, you will be well on your way to achieving your corporate objectives while simultaneously improving your bottom line, customer satisfaction and brand image.

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