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Everything is personal [8 Trends]
Personalised marketing could lead to a merging of the CIO and CMO roles
By leveraging big data, companies are able to personalise the sales journey of their clients and customers. But creating a successful personalised sales and marketing strategy does not come without its setbacks. How can companies overcome these challenges?
If you frequently fly with the low-cost airline EasyJet, you might remember receiving an email, showing a timeline with all your travel experiences in recent years: the date you went to Paris for the weekend, the flight home for Christmas and the last-minute trip to that ski-resort.
The campaign is often cited as one of the most successful examples of personalisation. The emails were based on a wide range of personal data that, collated, spun tales of travelling with EasyJet that were unique to each customer. Not only did the campaign highlight the individual travel experiences of their frequent flyers, it also captured their imagination by suggesting places they could visit next, based on their personal interests.
The effort that went into the extremely complex campaign paid off. The open rates were 100% higher than for their average newsletter and the click-through rates increased by 25%. Over 7% of customers who received the personalised mailing made a new booking within 30 days.
Huge opportunities from personalisation
Expectations from personalisation run high. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, it will push a revenue shift of some $800 billion to all the companies in financial services, retail and healthcare that manage to leverage big data analytics in the right way.
Two-thirds of all respondents in the study say they expect to see at least a 6% increase in annual revenue from personalisation. In some sectors, including technology and financial services, the figure is even higher, with companies expecting to experience increases of 10% or more.
Two-thirds of all respondents in the [Boston Consulting Group] study say they expect to see at least a 6% increase in annual revenue from personalisation.
Big challenges to leveraging big data
It´s therefore no surprise that companies are allocating a large part of their marketing budget to digital marketing. The number of job openings for digital marketers grew by 460% last year, according to PageGroup data.
The number of job openings for digital marketers grew by 460% last year, according to PageGroup data.
However, the number of companies actively using big data analytics to personalise their sales and marketing remains relatively low. The Boston Consulting Group survey concludes that 65% of companies are still using segmented or even mass-market approaches.
What is holding these businesses back from sharing in the proven benefits of personalisation? Many contend with organisational and cultural challenges that block them from collecting, analysing and leveraging big data to build a personalised sales and marketing strategy. The question is how business leaders should tackle this problem.
A key role for the chief marketing officer
One of the key figures to take on the challenge is the chief marketing officer. CMOs sit at the intersection of converting digital expertise and data analytics into consumer demand. They need to demonstrate an understanding of what drives customer demand and then align the firm’s operations to act on this insight.
The higher expectations placed on the CMO are changing every aspect of the role: “There is growing need for a new set of skills and mindset,” explains Paulo Gomes, PageGroup’s Head of CRM Europe. “CMOs need to be tech-savvy, so they can create the technological vision for marketing. The CMO role needs someone who can combine marketing strategy with technology and analytics.
The CMO role needs someone who can combine marketing strategy with technology and analytics.
Paulo Gomes, Head of CRM Europe, PageGroup
Bringing the boardroom on board
Allocating budget for the necessary technology is not enough: a digital marketing strategy can be successful only if all the members in the boardroom are in agreement regarding the responsibilities of the CMO and then trust the CMO to fulfil them. The CMO needs to be free to take the decisions that are necessary to implement a digital strategy.
One of the most pressing issues when it comes to defining the role is the collaboration between the CMO and CIO. PageGroup’s Paulo Gomes says, “With big data increasingly playing a key part in the sales and marketing strategy, these two roles cannot been seen as two completely separately entities any more. That’s why these roles will most likely merge in the near future.”
He continues, “The so-called chief marketing technology officer (CMTO) will combine the best of both worlds: as a data guru he or she will engage the other senior leaders and take them on this new data-driven journey. The CMTO will collaborate closely with the chief marketing officer, who will be responsible for the data analytics and the performance measurement of the marketing campaigns. As a team, they will lead the way to a new kind of marketing, where advanced technology helps them to get a better understanding of people and their personal needs.”
It can sometimes seem as if there’s a proliferation of ‘chiefs’ in the organisation. However, creating this role recognises the value of having an in-house architect of digital business solutions in a world where marketing has to take control of its own technological destiny.
- Few companies actively deploy a personalised sales and marketing strategy
- Organisational and cultural challenges can be a showstopper for personalisation
- The chief marketing officer is the senior leader best placed to overcome those challenges
- To be successful, the role of the CMO must be well defined
- The role of the CIO and CMO could merge into that of ‘chief marketing technology officer’
We hope you enjoyed reading this article, which is part of our Executive Trends’series where we explore the biggest challenges facing senior business leaders and executives today. The series is already in its 3 edition, and you can access all previous articles by clicking here.