That wealth of data can bring us closer than ever to our customers, and give us the ability to build real relationships with every customer, based on what they’re saying—and not saying. It’s the Holy Grail for marketers.
Consider how yesterday’s marketers created ads and made decisions; it was based largely on emotion. What a different picture exists today: marketers now have access to powerful tools to help make decisions using data. What’s more, today’s marketers drive revenue and have a broader stage to drive strategy centered on the lifecycle of the customer experience.
A Boardroom Priority
I’ve had many conversations with executives from leading global companies that are all talking about the next transformation ahead for their business. Some call it a digital transformation, others a customer experience transformation, but whatever you call it, this transition commands the attention of the CMO, CIO, and even the CEO. Indeed, McKinsey found that more than half the time, CEOs now personally sponsor their company’s digital initiatives, up from only 23 percent in 2012.
Their involvement underscores just how important it is for companies to put the new data and analytics to use and get closer to their customers. This shared agenda, recently described by Forrester Research CEO George Colony as a new Age of the Customer, is going to change the customer experience forever. But the road ahead includes unique technology challenges as well.
A New Class of Enterprise Systems
Digital is at the core of everything we do in marketing, and the delivery of cloud marketing technology is undergoing an exciting revolution. What we once called “marketing automation” has developed strong new muscles and evolved into a broad, ultra-high-scale, analytically powered enterprise customer platform. The technology has broken out of the marketing department to become essential to large numbers of transformation projects and a strategic weapon in business.
The explosion in the number of touch points and interactions is far beyond what most organizations are used to handling. There’s no hope of transforming the organization without a way to hear and analyze the totality of all this new information. That’s why prescriptive and at-scale technologies will play an integral role in this digital transformation.
The volume of information and interactions that companies need to understand as they engage their customers will be unprecedented. They’ll take the form of more than one billion customer touchpoints per day that tell a story about a customer and require a company to listen, learn, and speak in a consistent, relevant, and meaningful way at every stage of the customer journey.
You need to think about investing in a marketing automation platform that will become the fabric of the enterprise, allowing companies to hear their customers everywhere they are, and enabling marketers to guide their customers to exactly the right place and the right time. Technologies like this will ensure that companies never leave the customer’s side.
That’s the only way to do the digital transformation, right? Otherwise, what’s the point?