In today’s world, connected, consistent and differentiated experiences are born from closely aligned Marketing functions and technology teams. The collaborative relationship between a CMO and a CIO is crucial and has increasingly become a hot topic. Forrester recently stated that a CMO’s collaboration with a CIO is one of the four essential steps for a CMO planning their marketing evolution.
While, according to ‘2019 State of the CIO’ research, 55% of CIOs are spending more time learning about customer needs as a way to foster the creation of revenue-generating initiatives– prime marketing territory. When these two roles collaborate seamlessly, they are the ‘power couple’ of extraordinary brand experience. Laurence Parkes, CEO of Rufus Leonard, explores how CMOs and CIOs can align and provide a differentiating experience for their customers.
Meaningful Differentiation Will Drive Competitive Advantage and Growth
Today, 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience. In this competitive environment, the biggest challenge CMOs have is making sure their brand is delivering a truly differentiating experience. And while 80% of companies believe they deliver these ‘superior experiences’, only 8% of customers actually agree with that statement. Forrester explains the reason for this as ‘digital sameness’ – companies solving the same problems in the same ways over and over, therefore creating the same experiences. “The experiences of the world’s leading brands languish, lapse, lockstep, or lag because their customers struggle to separate one experience from another.”
While they are delivering on customer experience promises and meeting customer expectations, they are not creating competitive advantage – rather just matching the status quo. So how do you prosper in the landscape of digital sameness? Thirty years of helping brands like BBC, The Gym Group and Pinsent Masons has taught us that if customer experience matches customer expectations, then brand experience exists to create differentiation.
Brand experience involves identifying and investing in-hero moments along this journey – specifically where your brand could credibly provide a unique experience – which will create a memorable and differentiated experience for your customers. This is what will keep people coming back to you (loyalty) and start encouraging them to talk about you to their friends (advocacy). Brands with a strong brand experience command 79% higher purchase intent and an average of 45 more Net Promoter Score points than those who offer a lesser experience. This, ultimately, is what CMOs crave.
More Than Just Efficient It Provisioning
Companies who create technology-driven differentiation see growth 4x faster than the competition, so there’s no question of the importance of using technology to drive brand experience. Aligning around brand experience will help bring focus and priority to the CMO and CIO relationship to meet your customer’s digital expectations. Your platform is at the heart of this business-critical relationship.
The CIO needs to provide the blueprint and platform to deliver this experience in a way that manages costs, threats, and risks to the business. This is not just about efficient IT provisioning; if the platform is not available, not fast enough, or falls foul to a security breach it will cost. It’s the platform that facilitates growth and efficiency; allowing you to create new highly personalized services more easily and expand more easily with new partners or new channels using your services.
The challenge is how. How do you build an intelligent business core that is able to facilitate and orchestrate internal and external ecosystems, all while delivering experiences using data, content, and insight from people, process and platforms? But that’s not all; it should also connect your back-end and front-end distribution channels in order to create actionable insight which will help you enhance your product and service development. Ultimately, informing high-quality propositions quicker than your competitors, as well as creating operational efficiencies through automation which drive more contextually relevant customer experiences. A big ask? The good news is you have options.
Building the Capabilities to Curate Extraordinary Brand Experiences
There are a number of routes you can take to develop a robust experience platform – commitment to a full enterprise stack, a vendor PaaS solution, a CMS that has some experience and headless features, distributed channel logic, or a centralized Omnichannel Experience API which you own. Each comes with its own pros and cons. But if you want an option that lets you take control of your business experiences in a way that you own, is highly portable, open-source and more easily maintained, for many modern businesses your best option is a centralized Omnichannel Experience API (OX.api). This framework provides the capabilities to curate the experiences the CMO craves across all of your channels through the solid technical engineering your CIO needs; adhering to architectural principles such as availability, data as an asset, interoperability, secure by design, resilience, and performance.
Bridging the Gap
What a platform like this essentially allows you to do is connect. Connect what customers want with what technology can do. Connect your brand purpose to your tech stack. And connect the CMO’s agenda with the CIO’s agenda. By connecting and powering the experiences the CMO craves, with tools and systems from the CIO, your brand can deliver the unique, meaningful experiences that customers are demanding. Providing a tremendous opportunity for your business to gain market share and drive growth.
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