Forrester “expects data to form the basis of nearly all successful marketing campaigns” in 2014. This is largely due to the changing role of marketing and the CMO’s new mandate to deepen customer relationships and provide measurable business value.
My last post explained the core benefits of closed-loop marketing integrations; automating the transmission of data between the three stages of customer data acquisition, customer data analysis, and the implementation of analytical insights drives measurable results by decreasing the sales cycle, improving data quality and increasing campaign optimization speed.
Here, I briefly discuss 6 CMO trends that make harnessing closed-loop integration results key to success in the current and emerging state of marketing:
- Pushing to pull – Customers don’t want to be sold. And CMOs understand that the best way to influence the customer’s decision is through relevant content, provided at the right time. In fact, Outsell’s “Information Industry Outlook 2014” states “Aligning content and marketing with individual users’ intent and context is the largest growth driver and the business purpose of applied analytics.” Closed-loop marketing tactics provide the data necessary to deliver customers the content they require at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Striving to increase return on marketing cloud investment – According to the same Outsell report, 41%-46% of surveyed B2B companies use CRM systems and 22% use marketing automation systems to assist their new content marketing efforts – and these figures are growing rapidly. Integrating these systems with media management systems greatly increases the efficacy and value of marketing cloud investment.
- Emancipating themselves from IT dependence – The emerging state of marketing is causing CMOs to take greater ownership over technology decisions. The proliferation of media channels and customer touchpoints continuously increases the difficulty of managing data effectively. CMO reliance on tech vendors consequently grows ever year, which has traditionally meant greater dependence on IT as well. Such dependence undermines the business value inherent to marketing technology. Closed-loop marketing integrations are designed to transfer data seamlessly between systems, limiting IT involvement.
- Still seeking agility – In a recent study of more than 400 large companies, Bain & Company found that organizations using data strategically are five times as likely to make decisions much quicker than peers, three times as likely to execute decisions as intended, and twice as likely to generate greater financial performance. By automating the transmission of data between systems and closing the loop with marketing integrations, it is far easier for companies to strategically access, analyze and leverage customer data.
- Convinced of cross-channel value – Cross-channel marketing strategies are now the norm, and actionable customer insights derived from one channel benefit all the others. For example, analyzed customer data gained from a content syndication lead gen campaign can be used to target specific buyer personas in a programmatic display campaign or an affiliate mobile campaign. The quicker this data moves back from the analysis phase in one channel to the customer data acquisition phase in another, the better the cross-channel program results.
- Questioning cookies – The majority of marketers are by now used to the idea of buying data for their programmatic campaigns. As Eric Wittlake recently pointed out, however, there is a growing skepticism regarding the accuracy of cookie data. Connecting your CRM to your media-buying system for a CRM retargeting campaign is a far more effective marketing tactic.
These trends are unlikely to slow. Having a demand marketing platform in place that automates the transmission of customer data for quick and effective analysis and implementation of insights is one of the best ways CMOs can improve their marketing results.