Changing Role of Marketers Requires More Data

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Remember the days when it used to be impossible to correlate a marketing activity to a lift in revenue? Those days are gone as marketers are increasingly being held accountable for growth strategies and top-line revenue generation according to recent research from the CMO Council and Deloitte

In 2006 most senior marketers viewed their primary responsibilities as executing marketing plans/strategies, serving as brand ombudsmen, and delivering competitive intelligence to their organizations. This vastly differs in 2016, where some 35% of respondents say revenue is a major responsibility of their role, and 33% say it is their primary mandate.

In addition to those responsibilities, CMOs say, they are now also expected to advance the bottom line and champion the end-to-end customer experience. CMOs claim the most effective campaign strategies for increasing revenue/margins are to use data to maximize the effectiveness of spend and to embrace new digital advertising and engagement technologies. But most marketers admit they don’t have a complete picture of the customer journey and are missing pieces of data to make informed strategic decisions.

Introducing the Customer Visibility Gap

Data can be a very powerful tool for marketers to leverage, when available. The unfortunate part is most CMOs are still making blind decisions based on gut feel as they are missing the largest data set when making strategic decisions. This data comes from a very important channel many marketers are neglecting, most likely because data is difficult to obtain but is where the vast majority of sales occur. This channel of course is physical brick and mortar retail where 90% of sales still occur to this day. This information is very complex and difficult to acquire as it requires collaboration to share customers and data between channel partners, yet is invaluable to determine how consumers are shopping to make the experience better for everyone involved.

As a result most consumers that practice ‘webrooming’ where consumers browse online and go to store to buy are not represented in most CMOs data sets. Web influenced offline sales represent up to nearly half of all retail sales. This is a very significant number that skews any data set a marketer can obtain.

Closing Customer Visibility Gap Requires Collaboration

Connecting the dots between online and offline customer purchases is difficult and costly to obtain. Yet can prove to be invaluable in making entire sales teams more productive. Think about it, being able to shed light on the customers path to purchase means marketers can directly attribute every piece of marketing collateral to revenue. Sales teams can understand where they should invest their time and energy. Without this information it makes it difficult to allocate a budget to marketing activities that may or may not have a return on investment to maximize revenue, something most CMOs are being tasked with.

To capture a customer’s journey an omnichannel approach is needed to reward channel partners for sharing data and customers to optimize the buying experience. The type of data required for cross-channel sales to be successful is the complete transparency of inventory availability and POS sales data of dealers. Harnessing this information will allow for a seamless customer experience that starts online and ends in store while the data comes back full circle to the manufacturer that their efforts resulted in the sale.

Omnichannel is for Manufacturers Too

Buying online and picking up in store is not just for retailers anymore, with an online to offline strategy manufacturers can offer more convenient methods of purchasing so consumers can buy on their terms. Without increased collaboration everyone in the channel will suffer including the end consumer who will gladly take their business elsewhere to someone who makes doing business easier.

The report was based on data from a survey conducted in 3Q16 of 200 global CMOs/senior marketers (VP of Marketing, etc.). One-third of respondents work for companies with $1 billion or more in annual revenue.

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Changing Role of Marketers Requires More Data

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