Today’s CMO Needs a Few CTO Chops

CMO Featured Image Today’s CMO Needs a Few CTO Chops

Data sets at large companies (and even some smaller ones) are so large and unwieldy that the only answer is technology that segments, personalizes and automates the data usage process. Understanding the best platforms, the best tactics and the newest trends in using data most effectively will continue to be a key driver of CMO performance.

Do you need a business intelligence tool? Do you need to hire a brilliant Excel jockey? Do you have capabilities you’re not using in your existing tool set? Can you reconcile data from different sets? It’s well worth your time to determine the fewest, most important questions you need to answer, and focus on the tools and techniques that will get you those answers.

2. Personalization

The white noise in digital, mobile and social spheres is reaching a crescendo. We all are bombarded by so many one-size-fits-all marketing messages that many people now auto-filter mobile and social ads and brand emails, unless there is a really good reason to pay attention.

Personalization goes a long way toward being that reason. Personalized app push notifications, conversational emails, and ads that break through the clutter will continue to gain importance. This is the classic marriage of the creativity of the marketing department and the insights and activation of technology. Expertly crafted conversational emails laser-focused by the data and segmentation of the marketing department’s technology will drive results in an increasingly overcrowded digital landscape.

As this study from VentureBeat points out, opportunities for personalization vary across channels — ads, web, mobile, and email — because customer engagement methods and the resulting data are different. And while stated goals stress lead generation, much of personalization is done for existing customers. That’s where you have the most data, of course. There is a growing trend toward real-time data that lends itself to personalization, which could be handy in your lead gen efforts. However you choose to employ personalization … don’t neglect it. Your competitors won’t.

3. The Convergence of Paid, Owned and Earned Media

The old divisions between paid, owned, and earned media (e.g. news stories) are slowly fading. The emergence of native advertising has put a spotlight on how consumers prefer paid media to have the same storytelling hooks and compelling content of earned media. Narrative storytelling campaigns by brands like REI and Patagonia in their owned media (on websites and in video) now mimic the storytelling prowess of the best journalists that were regularly relied on for earned media. And earned media (such as public relations placements) are now often paired with an ad boosting ad budget on social media to gain a wider audience.

Understanding how all three of these divisions of media interact, intersect and amplify each other is a complex task. You’ll need monitoring platforms and amplification tools. The most effective CMOs are harnessing technology to power results across earned, owned and paid media and using the insights and analytics from their results in each division to adjust and optimize their marketing decisions, performance, and spend.

  4. Leveraging user generated content (UGC)

Thousands of loyal customers equipped with smartphones are an increasingly useful resource for marketing departments. User-generated content from brand loyalists has more credibility than your own content, and can spread throughout the social sphere, impacting a whole new circle of customers – and potential prospects who never knew you existed . It puts you on the right side of the trust issue; people trust other people more than they trust brands. According to a Nielsen study, 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products – making these recommendations the information source ranked highest for trustworthiness. And according to BrightLocal, 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.

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