When we look back at 2013, there were a number of key developments which had a profound impact on marketing organizations. Location-based marketing, social media engagement, real-time marketing, just to name a few. As we look ahead to 2014, here are three topics for CMOs to contemplate:
1. Think small (data). There's been no shortage of Big Data hype, particularly as it concerns marketing and the potential for learning more about customers and personalizing messaging for them. But let's face it: Big Data can be unwieldy. Allen Bonde of Digital Clarity Group (via Paul Greenberg) recently posted an interesting blog on the merits of using "small" data or accessible data sets that can provide decision-makers with timely and relevant insights. While businesses continue to wrestle with effective ways to gather, store, manage, analyze, and act on Big Data, expect to see more companies striving to make use of smaller data sets that are more navigable and offer the potential to deliver greater ROI.
2. Collaborate, don't clash. One of the top themes that emerged from 2013 is how CMOs and CIOs (not to mention Chief Sales Officers) need to become better partners. There's been a lot of discussion around how CMOs will control a greater portion of IT spending in coming years and how this will further deepen the divide between CMOs and CIOs. While the cloud, the consumerization of IT, and other trends are bringing into question the future role of the CIO, savvy CIOs recognize that their responsibility is not to command IT spending but rather to ensure that the IT organization is delivering value to the business, including marketing. CMOs who reach across the aisle and work more closely with CIOs, CSOs, and other peers stand to open themselves up to new approaches to tackling business challenges and drive the company forward.
3. It's an omnichannel world. Another lesson we've learned over the past few years is the importance for marketers to embrace omnichannel customer behaviors to better understand and act on customer needs as they move from one channel to the next. Marketers that develop a better understanding of the omnichannel customer journey and act on these insights to deliver more relevant and personalized messaging will position themselves to strengthen relationships with customers.