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Checkmate: 3 Tips to help you Survive Digital Transformation

BY LOU BARREIRO  @lou_barreiro

For many CMOs, navigating the digital landscape can be a lot like a game of chess. Every decision that is made needs to be strategic, calculated, and adaptable. Each piece has its own function that is integral to the overall comprehensive strategy. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, digital transformation has become the new king across the globe. It is up to CMOs to figure out how to use the different pieces they are given, to protect and move forward a company’s digital transformation initiatives.

As most brands begin to invest in digital transformation, CEOs are turning to CMOs to lead the change. This has led to CMOs struggling to find ways that will satisfy the expectations of CEOs and the company’s bottom line. Industry experts predict that in 2017, at least 30% of CEOs will fire their CMOs for not having the right skill set to successfully drive digital transformation. One of the key challenges has been trying to make sense out of the loud, complex, and fast-paced beast that digital marketing has become. Understanding how to tame the beast and managing all the data that comes with it, is the foundation for building success in digital transformation.

While we can’t promise that you will become the next Bobby Fischer of the digital marketing world, here are 3 tips on the skills you need in order to win the digital transformation game:


Build an Effective Digital Ecosystem

One major challenge that CMOs face with digital transformation is creating a system that automatically reconciles fragmented customer data from different channels that can help drive informed and strategic decisions. What sometimes may feel like a jumbled mess of data coming in from different directions, should be seen as an opportunity to build a healthy ecosystem. When CMOs can identify and implement technology that can resolve this issue, it will put the organization ahead of the competition.

Having the skill set to effectively build a system that connects all the pieces, will be able to drive digital transformation much more effectively and efficiently within the company. By centralizing data collection, this also unifies how all marketing staff understands and accesses customer data. This results in a marketing team that has a streamlined approach that can truly work together in designing and executing various marketing strategies.


Grab ROI by the Horns

In 2016, Gabe Leydon, CEO of Machine Zone, infuriated marketers around the world when he claimed that CEOs will no longer accept marketing that doesn’t deliver ROI. Marketers can agree or disagree all they want with his reasons, but ROI has truly become a sticky situation for most CMOs. If a CMO is going to lead digital transformation, understanding how to build a system that best demonstrates ROI is crucial.

Many CMOs think of ROI being measured only in regards to incoming revenue from marketing campaigns, but new technology is redefining and taking ROI to the next level. For example, utilizing technology that has the capability to focus ad spend on individual known dormant customers, instead of shooting in the dark and retargeting all website users, is a perfect demonstration on how investing in the right technology can provide ROI in a different form. When a CMO can implement a technology that will help marketers become more efficient on how funds should be diverted, it becomes a winning situation for the organization.


Act Quick and React Appropriately

As consumers continuously change how they interact with brands, it’s imperative that companies remain nimble in keeping up with their customers’ behavior. Most of the time, viewing customer behavior through the lens of data is captured only in a snapshot of time. While that type of data is still critical, integrating technology that can help marketers act in real-time is essential for digital transformation.

A CMO that can build their skill set in identifying and implementing technology that resolves this issue, will be able to build much deeper relationships with the brand’s customers. In order to build a better customer-brand relationship, marketers need to act on real-time behaviors and have automated technology that can ensure no opportunities are missed. With consumers having so many touchpoints and different ways to purchase products, a successful CMO needs to give its marketers the ability to understand and access that real-time customer data. Being able to understand your customer’s journey will help your brand stay ahead of the curve.


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