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Gina Keeler

The customer engagement experience is a critical focus area for the business around digital transformation value realization—in all companies today. The ability to continually engage customers, positively impact brand loyalty, and increase retention and share of spend through new products and services in the digital economy, is a hot ask from the business to CIOs. It’s on everyone’s agenda.

This evolving ask directly impacts the marketing function, which can heavily benefit from the opportunities new digital transformation capabilities can offer. The CMO function is a direct result of this business focus and imperative.

In my interview with Anthony Groves, founder of Percipience software, we discussed how the CIO can approach a strategic partnership with the CMO to successfully co-innovate the customer experience.

Gina Keeler: How can the CIO build up a partnership with the CMO to make transformation successful?

Anthony Groves: A starting point is an external customer facing focus and needs of the business. In some regards, too much focus around digitalization opportunities has been internally focused, so this needs balancing with the customer-company external intersect.

Gina Keeler: How do you see a CIO wrapping customer engagement automation into their broader digital strategy?

Anthony Groves: Actually if you look at data, it’s not about ‘wrapping’ but rather this should be a key area of focus for the technology function. As the business is looking for new areas of business opportunity in the digital economy, customer engagement is a critical requirement. Being able to leverage solutions built on a highly scalable, real-time platform will bring significant advantage to their customer insight analysis and ability to act immediately to customer behavior.

Gina Keeler: How can IT effectively prepare for digital transformation in customer experience and marketing?

Anthony Groves: They need to first understand what leading solutions are already out there and being worked on that compliment seamlessly their platform. There is strong innovation taking place in the market in this regard. Secondly, they need to understand the evolving change in the marketing function and business requirements and how these are not per se, as they were even ten years ago. They should also not over-engineer but understand that basics of customer experience engagement, act rapidly to achieve quick results. Analyze and further develop their requirements from there. So they need to be pragmatic, agile and keep it simple.

Gina Keeler: What advice can you offer to the CIO when engaging the CMO around a digital strategy?

Anthony Groves: Both should come to the table with an open mind. And most importantly, they should invest time jointly in understanding what their customers want from their company. This is a dimension that unbelievably, is often totally bypassed. Involve your teams and approach with your customers as part of the process and, leverage the value-add and experience from companies that have supported your company in serving your customers for a sustained period of time. The insights you will get will help you understand what capabilities you require and the customer experience to deliver. All of which will make your invested effort pay off much more!

Explore how IT can help the business shift to real-time business. Read the Economist Intelligence Unit report.

Gina Keeler

About Gina Keeler

Gina Keeler is a marketing professional with 20 years of experience in both medium and large enterprises across several industries. She is interested in marketing automation trends and how organizations are leveraging these tools to build robust marketing infrastructure.