Challenges CMOs Face: Harnessing Data for Profitability

February 20, 2018 Mythili Viswanathan, PhD

CMOs often struggle with how to make sense of all the data available to them. Further, many analysis tools might look attractive, but do not deliver the customized goods we need to overcome our own unique challenges and achieve our own goals. In this installment of our “Challenges CMOs Face” series, we discuss how to make sure your data helps you generate profit for your business.

It’s an amazing time to be a customer. There are so many different ways to consume information, quickly make purchase decisions, and tell the world about your experience.

Not surprisingly, it’s an even more amazing time to be a marketer. Creative opportunities abound to design the next memorable campaign. With so many ways for customers to interact with your business, it also means you can create unique experiences that resonate with the right people.

To keep these creative opportunities flowing, you need a solid marketing plan that makes the most of the data at your fingertips. As it turns out, making sense of the data available to you is a major challenge for many CMOs. As they work to make sense of the data they have, CMOs report having trouble with the following:

  • Synthesizing the data they collect into proper insights to make important decisions.
  • Determining if they’re collecting data the right way, as quickly as possible.
  • Retaining the right data analysis talent.

Without a plan to conquer these challenges, your marketing efforts will drain more profit than they make. Here’s how to change that:

The data you need

CMOs have access to a LOT of data, whether it is through a company’s current data collection systems or through third party providers, but how do you know it’s the RIGHT data?

To answer that question, you must first know WHY you need data:

You need your brand story to resonate. Even the most creative brand storytelling will fall flat with audiences who don’t need what you’re selling or don’t identify with your brand’s values. Data helps you ensure your stories are consumed by the people with the right pain points your business solves, and the right value systems your business demonstrates.

Customer touch points are constantly changing. It is absolutely crucial to understand the buyers’ journey of the people most likely to buy from YOU. Where are they most likely to get information about you? How do they prefer to interact with you? Is the experience you offer inspiring customers to publicly declare their loyalty? Data will not only give you answers, but it will also help you quickly retool to meet customers’ needs and create more brand advocates.

Data acquisition is constantly changing. It is crucial to have the right skill and talent on staff to help you determine if your data systems are quickly and effectively gathering what you need.

How to make data work for you

How do you properly generate the insights you need to drive your company closer to its goals? Insights gleaned from the data should:

Help anticipate customer needs. When people interact with any company touch point – from your website to a mobile app to a phone conversation – the data received should be able to help you automatically set in motion other helpful actions.

Delight current customers. Your data should help deliver customized experiences to keep customers happy and engaged.

Target new customer segments. In addition to delighting current customers, your data should also help you to creatively target new crowd cultures. If your data analysis uncovers new and interesting opportunities to connect with people, you will be able to make a business case for introducing your product or service to new audiences. Even if the risk does not pay off, your ongoing analysis should be able to point out the lack of results and allow you to quickly pivot to a new strategy.

Better integrate customer data between online and offline. An analysis of both online and offline data can help you identify and fix gaps. This helps streamline the customer journey.

Gathering the right skills

If CMOs don’t have the skill to make the best use of data, they must turn to their staff and outside firms to get the expertise they need.

Sometimes, this can lead to even more confusion, especially if no one on staff has tech experience with results-based marketing technology platforms, such as Google Analytics or Adwords.

As Wes Nichols, former CEO of MarketShare, told Forbes: “The issue is that CMOs often don’t have the skill – and there is nobody on their team that does either – to vet these B2B firms. And when you don’t have deep experience in technology, it can all sound very similar.”

The problem gets worse when CMOs know they need an analytics solution but end up hiring the wrong company for their needs. Many companies out there offer a lot of really attractive analytics bells and whistles but end up delivering more costs than results.

How do you know you’re doing the right thing and not just following a trend? That’s where some valuable outside guidance can help.

Bringing it all together

A marketing strategy roadmap will help you plan not just for the short term, but for 12 to 18 months down the road. An initial analysis will ensure your roadmap addresses any gaps in your data. The roadmap also takes actionable steps toward improving the experiences you offer current and potential customers.

When you’re able to quickly identify gaps in your data, then implement next steps, the marketing department is better positioned to be a profit center for your company. At Tegrita, this is why performance and gap analysis are always the first steps toward developing a strategic roadmap.

We help to pair your big ideas with valuable data insights, ensuring your efforts are informed, creative and poised to get results.

We also help you cut through the noise of all the latest analytics trends and find the tools that will work for your unique goals.

To get you started, we’ve put tougher a Strategic Roadmapping Playbook to outline the process and provide some of the templates that we use when we work with clients like you. Click here to get your own Roadmap Toolkit.

Contact us today to discuss your needs and find out how we can help.


About the Author

Mythili Viswanathan, PhD

Mythili Viswanathan is our IP Warming and Deliverability SME. With two decades of academic experience, Mythili is results-driven and focuses on short-term goals that help our clients achieve long-term marketing success. Mythili is from Hong Kong and resides in Toronto. Her global background helps her work efficiently with our clients who have teams located on various continents. She received her BA and MA in the United States and a PhD in Developmental Cognitive Psychology from York University, Toronto.

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