Chief Marketing Officers today carry a heavier burden than ever before. With bigger budgets and expanding job descriptions, the role of the CMO has never been more complex.
Hence the emergence of a more scientific marketing model.
More and more the CMO is being asked to predict marketing performance. With the abundance of data and consumer information out there, this is becoming easier.
Traditionally the CMO role was focused on the management of new media, tracking the growing number of sales and service touch points, and the focusing on communicating to multiple customer segments.
Now, with a deeper understanding of the importance of consumer insight in business practice, the role has grown to that of the “voice of the customer”.
The CMO role is once again shifting thanks to technology, or MarTech.
MarTech should be on every CMO’s mind in 2017. Whether you’re working for a start-up and looking to leverage online tools like MailChimp, HootSuite, and Google Analytics; or you’re CMO for a Fortune 500 with a large budget, looking to spend on artificial intelligence or virtual reality. The question on your mind – how can I leverage emerging technology?
Here’s a brief look at some of the technology we are keeping an eye on.
Today, marketing technology is powered by machine learning. Simply, this means that marketing can leverage ‘Big Data’ and use the information gathered to send out automated communications to current and future customers.
AI or artificial intelligence is making this possible.
Take a look at ChatBots. Chatbots are not new, or at least, the technology is not new. The technology dates back to mid-1960s.
AI psychotherapist ELIZA was an early computer program created by scientists at MIT that process natural language cues to simulate conversations. ELIZA was the first Chatbot!
Chatbots create real-time conversation, that mirrors chatting with a friend. Expectations are, from both consumers and businesses, extremely high. Consumers are favoring the instantaneous nature of these platforms. They can now get information about products, or questions answered immediately. Chris Messina, the Twitter hashtag inventor, wrote in his blog last year,
Expectations are, from both consumers and businesses, extremely high. Consumers are favoring the instantaneous nature of these platforms. They can now get information about products, or questions answered immediately. Chris Messina, the Twitter hashtag inventor, wrote in his blog last year,
“2016 will be the year of conversational commerce … you and I will be talking to brands and companies over Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, and elsewhere before year’s end, and will find it…2016 will be the year of conversational commerce … you and I will be talking to brands and companies over Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, and elsewhere before year’s end, and will find it normal….I’m less interested in whether a conversational service is provided by a human, bot, or some combination thereof…”
Artificial Intelligence has enabled companies to develop a better understanding of their consumers’ behaviors. With future improvements imminent, businesses will be able to use these apps to have an even deeper understanding, which will lead to smarter business decisions. In fact, one such technological development expected is speech recognition.
Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality
Virtual reality or its sister technology augmented reality is adding a new dimension to marketing, retail, healthcare, and more.
A couple of examples for you.
Healthcare – MindMotionPro
MindMotionPro is an example of a company using Virtual Reality is healthcare to improve the patient’s rehabilitation, in this case, after stroke.
The technology produced by Mindmaze enables the patient to practice certain key movements, often lost after Stroke. For example, patients can practice lifting their arms with the help of virtual reality.
Patients could not yet able to complete the actual movement, but the attention, motivation, and engagement with visual and auditory feedback proven to speed up recovery. The app makes repetitive movements fun for the patient and the resulting mental impact is truly extraordinary.
Retail – Lowe’s
Last week, Lowe’s furniture announced that it is testing a new ‘Holoroom’. Created to answer a growing concern from customers who lack the confidence to build the company’s DIY projects. The company has started running a proof-of-concept program at its store in Framingham, MA. The Holoroom How To, an on-demand virtual reality skills clinic will help customers address in-home DIY efforts.
Essentially, using a virtual reality headset and controller the customer is immersed into the DIY project and will receive step-by-step instructions to complete the task. The use of Haptic feedback, such as feeling the vibration of a drill, adds to the life-like experience, without the waste or mess of testing a DIY project in the real world.
This is the latest iteration of Lowe’s Innovation Labs’ Holoroom experience, which was introduced almost three years ago.
Predictive analytics platforms take advanced analytics and predict future events.
These platforms use a variety of techniques like data mining, artificial intelligence, modeling, and statistics to analyze data. The results are then used to make predictions.
For the CMO, this technology is playing a vital role. A clear trend emerging in 2017 is that the CMO needs to create predictable “intelligent insights” that will serve as guidance to make an impact on business- and marketing-related KPIs.
Emphasis on the predictable.
More and more CMOs are being asked to predict the next customer trend, predict the next question the customer will ask, predict the customers’ movement through the sales funnel, and more. Predictive analytics in one tool helping CMOs to stay one step ahead.
Advice for the CMO of tomorrow
- Subscribe to publications that will help you keep on top of the latest MarTech. Keep on top of the latest technology, by regularly reading newsletters, listening to podcasts, and downloading expert content. MarTech today is a great source for CMOs, CIOs, and CTOs alike.
- Follow start-ups who are igniting new trends like Growth Hacking. Start-ups are always looking for quick wins. With little to no marketing budget or knowledge, their “hacks” has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for even established companies to cheat their way to new business.
- Think about the individual and how to authentically engage with them. The rise of individualism has changed the way marketers engage with their target audience. More and more, the customer is craving a more authentic relationship with brands, a 1-on-1 level of engagement. The incredible uptake of messenger apps is indicative of this.
- Learn the art of storytelling. Engage with your customer by telling them the story of your brand. This will lead to more authentic engagement and relationships with your customers.
- Real-time marketing, right place, and right-time messaging. Real-time marketing is not enough these days. Communicating in real-time at the right time and in the right place for your customer is the new golden formula.
- Close the loop. Make sure your message is unified and consistent across all marketing platforms you use.
- Resource your team effectively. Resource your team with a variety of strengths, that fill not only your knowledge gaps but gaps within the business as a whole. Marketing as a function is more important than ever. Don’t skimp on getting the right talent and nurturing them into future leaders. If you don’t believe that one day they could replace you, and do a better job, don’t hire them.
- Be a leader, not a boss. Create an atmosphere of respect, of innovation by facilitating discussion and leading your team towards common, agreed upon goals.
Transformational CMO Assembly 2017
Events provide you, the CMO of tomorrow, with insight into the latest trends, technology, and also tips on building a better, more efficient marketing team.
The Millennium Alliance is pleased to announce that Russ Klein, CEO American Marketing Association, will be joining us on April 2-4, 2017 at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel in Dallas, TX for the biannual Transformational CMO Assembly.
The Transformational CMO Assembly will bring together North America’s most prominent Chief Marketing Officers, from all major consumer-driven industries.
C-Level executives around the world are anticipating a highly complex marketing environment over the next few years; making the role of the CMO more important than ever before.
The digital revolution has forever changed the balance of power between individual consumers and brands.
CMOs know that there is an explosion of information that is creating the digital enterprise. In addition, marketing leaders having an understanding that social media is the key channel for engaging with customers. Knowing how to measure these results will help organizations stay ahead of the competition.
A series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions will offer industry-specific topics and trends to ensure your company sustains its competitive advantage.