In April 2020, ITWC and IDC Canada launched the CMO Talks podcast, with the goal of bringing the latest MarTech wisdom to our listeners. Since we began, I’ve interviewed more than 20 marketing leaders from around the world. We spoke about many ideas and technologies, but four themes came up consistently across all topics and industries; I encourage you to consider them before allocating your next marketing budget.
Focus on the customer experience
The marketing leaders I interviewed shared a common enthusiasm for building terrific customer experiences in both the online and offline worlds. New technologies—like conversational intelligence platforms—allow companies to mine customer service interactions to improve the customer experience. Organizations that want to know what their customers think use the net promoter score, even though this feedback can be difficult to swallow at times.
Avoid shiny objects; instead return to the most important question
In 2020, MarTech options grew to 8000 solutions and organizations worldwide spent $553 billion on customer experience technologies. Chief marketing officers must be nimble enough to adopt new and helpful options and disciplined enough to say no to shiny objects, even the ‘super cool’ ones. To help with this, the marketing leaders I spoke to suggested always returning to the most important question, “what problem are we trying to solve?” And if a new technology will help you solve your most pressing issue, will it integrate seamlessly with the rest of your tech stack?
Embrace data and artificial intelligence (AI)
Digital transformation is no longer the future and companies that ignore this truth will soon find it hard to compete. There’s a huge amount of data to mine—across all lines of business, including marketing—and AI is the only reasonable solution. However, this doesn’t mean humans are obsolete; think of AI as a tool that complements human solutions and can be used to humanize digital experiences.
Uncover your marketing return on investment (ROI)
Marketing ROI starts with aligning your marketing dollars to your overall business goals and the strategic goals of the marketing department. Marketing performance management and marketing resource management tools can then be used to increase the efficiency and ROI of your marketing spend. It’s time to move beyond the old joke, “half the money we spend on advertising is wasted … we just don’t know which half.”
I truly believe we can learn from each other, no matter how long we’ve been around, and I encourage you to listen to the CMO Talks podcast for more wisdom from global marketing leaders.
On behalf of ITWC, I’d like to say thank you for the warm welcome; we’re excited to join the AdClub community and contribute to the meaningful work you do.
Fawn Annan is the CEO and chief marketing officer at IT World Canada (ITWC) and host of the CMO Talks Podcast. ITWC is the #1 media news and service provider in the info-tech space.
If you wish to connect you can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org