Making Friends with Your Inner – and Outer – Geeks

As a bit of a nerdy, geeky type myself, I’ve advocated that CMOs make friends with their inner geek. Why, you ask?

Given the vast amount of data becoming available on customers and their behaviors, successful marketers, are beginning to collect this data on their customers’ experience with the brand and analyzing it to learn how they can create what I call a “brand ritual”—a branded behavioral bond with their customers.

A recent Forrester Research report exhorts marketers to make friends with their outer geeks—the people in their IT Department, especially the CTO.

It’s true: marketing and IT have traditionally clashed. CMOs often perceive IT as those who say “no, you can’t do that” or take too long to create the technological underpinnings of a campaign that needs to launch quickly. And CTOs frequently experience marketing professionals as those who “shoot from the hip,” want everything right now, and aren’t interested in using a solid process and creating a clean architecture for gathering data.

Did we say CTOs are from Mars while CMOs are from Venus?

Forrester has some suggestions. After interviewing a number of CMOs and CTOs, they propose using the following approach to unlock value from the customer data flow:

One, make sure CRM systems deliver business value. Your aim is to get a 360-degree view of consumers.

Two, combine the data you get from disparate sources: contact centers, websites, third-party providers (such as BuzzMetrics), etc. Then determine a limited number of customer and value metrics that deserve to be tracked. The last thing you want is to be buried in meaningless and unactionable data.

Three, share relevant customer insights throughout the organization—not just in marketing and IT. This will allow other areas to make better decisions on ways they can support the brand.

Four, use the information to continuously improve the brand experience. As you spot customer trends—or complaints or good ideas—have a system in place to quickly act on them.

Based on the above, I do believe, tt’s past time for a truce, because neither IT nor marketing can achieve its goals without cooperation from the other. Technology and marketing have to integrate in the marketing eco-system of today to prepare the brand for the future.

SolutionSet is one of the few agencies that actually speak to CMOs and CTOs together. With our deep technology capabilities and strategic brand and marketing competencies, our people are very comfortable with both groups. I’ve seen the geometric progress that can be made when this happens—and even the strongest brands stumble when it does not.

It’s time for Mars and Venus to play comfortably together. And, make the term “geek” fashionable.


Categories: about me, Analytics, brand strategy, crm, database, marketing, measurable

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Great post, brought some ideas up for me, let me share…it’s always better to work in a group while brainstorming, than alone. It is said that 1 + 1 minds working together does not equal 2…it equals a third and more powerful mind.


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