1. Lifecycle marketing improves customer experience, drives growth and creates loyalty
Today’s marketers have experienced an unprecedented shift in their responsibilities, goals and KPIs. Josh London, CMO at IDG, may have said it best: we used to live in the age of “chief megaphone officer” but now we are “in charge of growth more than ever before.”
So what does that mean?
Today’s CMO is responsible for leveraging technology to build an unbelievable customer experience across all areas of the business – not just sales, marketing and customer service. We are no longer measured on overall lead generation, but also many other KPIs that require us to have rich data insights throughout the entire customer journey. That includes KPIs such as closed-loop multi-touch attribution, which prove just how much value marketers contribute to the business.
London encouraged marketers to carve out time for innovation. We can no longer do what’s familiar if we want to grow while preparing for new competition.
“Those are the organizations doing fascinating work,” London said. “Organizations making massive leaps are incredible storytellers. The bigger the organization, the bigger the politics, but we have to create that type of environment or the disruptors are going to disrupt us.”
2. Change is difficult; we must work together to reach common business goals
When considering the massive shift in how marketing and sales teams are structured, how they operate, and how they are measured, the change that arises is not easy.
Keeping the common business goal in mind throughout change and reverse engineering how to adapt our internal processes will help us survive and thrive in a new business climate.
Carey Butler, CTO of the Seattle Times, said cross-functional teams and integrated systems are critical in developing the type of insights needed to serve the customer better, innovate the customer experience, drive growth and create loyalty in an ultra-competitive market.
“Success requires a certain commitment for stakeholders to work together,” Butler said. “For us, audience development takes a village of people with technical skills and subject matter expertise. Those skills, when combined, are so much more powerful than individual contribution.”
3. Poor sales and marketing alignment hurts businesses more than they realize
We hear a lot about sales and marketing alignment but few organizations are really executing this with precision. Still, it is absolutely necessary to make this a priority since it’s the only way for marketing to fully understand the customer journey and how to improve it.
Top Teams Realign Around Customer Experience
“49% of businesses today pass leads to sales completely unqualified,” said Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce. “How can you build alignment that way?”
Building alignment requires a 360-degree view of the customer with fully integrated systems, especially between marketing and sales. But full system integration goes beyond traditional sales and marketing systems to all teams and databases with a customer touchpoint – think pricing, operations, customer service and accounting. We call that “lead-to-cash.”
Think about it this way: how can marketing build a delightful and easy experience for their customers if they don’t have visibility, and data, over the entire process?
4. Targeted, personalized and relevant marketing is how top businesses are winning
High performing marketing organizations are 9 times as likely to build customer journeys rather than focus their time on one-off emails.
We’ve heard it for years – marketers need to be thinking beyond email blasts, which contain the same message for all audiences. Yet, as few as only 15% of organizations report using these “advanced” capabilities.
We now have the stats to prove just how much this strategy works in action, and the big marketing automation technology providers have taken note. Marketing Cloud and Pardot, for example, have continued to dump huge resources into capabilities that enable marketers to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.
What does it take to build a successful email strategy?
First of all, it takes a commitment by the organization as a whole to invest the time for innovation. We have to stop doing the things that are familiar and dedicate resources to doing things that will drive long-term growth and customer satisfaction.
It also takes awesome data and strong data governance. We need complete, accurate and meaningful data in order to interpret trends and route Prospects down the appropriate journey. It is everyone’s responsibility to promote data stewardship, and data quality is hugely important to developing successful automation.
Marketers also must understand what data they need and implement strategies to capture data. For example, manufacturers with a channel sales team lose sight of their leads after passing them to a distributor. Without a Community portal, which gives these teams targeted access to their sales org, it is downright difficult to understand the customer experience or provide closed-loop reporting on what marketing channels yield the most opportunities.
5. Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics are the next big thing
Every year, Salesforce executives and product managers use Dreamforce to tout their next big innovations and products. This year, we heard a lot about Einstein, the artificial intelligence tool being built into key Salesforce products as an add on. It is available for Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Pardot, App Cloud, Analytics Cloud and Community Cloud.
Einstein helps users interpret data, capture key trends and make recommendations on what to change in order to improve. In Marketing Cloud and Pardot, Einstein works to alert users when Prospects fall off an engagement program and provide suggestions on what content would better replace weak-performing emails.
One of the goals of Einstein is to help marketers be more responsive to their Prospects and customers. Ultimately, we want to solve a customer’s problem before they know they have one. We want to make it easier for them to do business with us. And we want to empower our teams to work smarter and more effectively to reach our common goals.
About the author
Stephanie Gaughen is a certified Pardot Consultant and marketing expert with a passion for entrepreneurship, technology innovation, content development and digital marketing. Stephanie holds a master’s degree in marketing, communication and advertising. She previously worked as a journalist and corporate communications writer. Stephanie works with Nuvem customers to develop creative sales and marketing strategies leveraging various products and technologies in the Salesforce ecosystem.