Tuesday Apr 15, 2014

5 Things That Should Be Keeping CMO’s Up at Night

CMO insomniaHey, don’t go assuming that being kept up all night is always a bad thing. When you think about what’s swirling around in a CMO’s head, it might be worry that keeps them tossing and turning, or it could be excitement about the cool changes we’re seeing.


To be on safe side though, let’s just assume it has to do with confusion.


And that’s understandable, because marketing has been turned on its head in a very short period of time. Here are 5 things the CMO-on-their-toes should be asking themselves. If they don’t know enough to even be asking the questions, well, there are bigger problems.


1. Seriously, Am I Going to Be in Charge of EVERYTHING Now?


The demands on today’s CMO have gone far beyond branding, PR and advertising. Since the disruption to business had its epicenter in Marketing, the CEO is looking to the CMO to “deal” with every ripple effect resulting from it, no matter how far out into the organization it reaches.


Suddenly, it’s not about getting leads for sales, it’s about conversions. Suddenly, the CMO must understand the tech that drives marketing execution or harvests the metrics by which they’ll be judged. Suddenly, with social a big part of recruiting, the CMO has a big hand in HR. Suddenly, with customer service via social, the CMO is invested in that customer interaction. Suddenly, the CMO is culling feedback that informs product development.


Today’s CMO might notice the c-suite doesn’t require as many offices as it used to.


2. What Do My Customers and Prospects Want From Us?


Nothing good will come from a CMO that lies awake at night thinking about the next campaign or corporate message. If you’re going to lose sleep, lose it thinking about how to find out exactly what your customers do and don’t want from you. It’s called customer-centricity. Lots of companies talk about it, but frighteningly few actually do it. If you care, and if you listen, you’ll be more than halfway to sleeping through the night.


3. How Am I Going to Cope with Being a Media Company?


No matter the platform, marketing is increasingly content marketing. With an all-out war on to capture attention from a mobile, over busy, short-attention-span public, only content that entertains, informs, or provides tangible value will score.


You’re probably not an entertainment or journalism brand. That doesn’t matter anymore. You have to be. Imagery and video are huge in terms of engagement. Your blog has to rock. 24% of digital marketers even plan to add podcasting this year to capitalize on the intimacy of in-car listening and car connectivity. The days of not resourcing content, not hiring people who know how to consistently make it, or trying to commoditize it, are OVER.


4. What Tech Am I Supposed to Invest In?


Many brands are trying to operate with disconnected, standalone solutions. That’s an untenable position as Marketing continues its expansion and social extends to nearly every function of the enterprise. Not having integrated components means you’ll be leaving big data advantages on the table. The right hand won’t know what the left hand is doing, and the feet will be completely clueless.


It’s unlikely most brands are ready to jump in to the largest social and marketing ecosystem for the enterprise available. Therefore, a technology partner that gets you the components you need today, but that also sets you up for the addition and quick integration of components like CRM, will help you rest easier.


5. What If I Pursue a Strategy and Then Everything Changes?


Good news: you don’t have to wonder about that, because you can already be 100% assured everything is going to change…probably often and quickly. Looking for a point at which you can say, “Okay, we’ve totally got this down,” or at which you can go on autopilot, will only lead to anxiety.


The social networks themselves will always change, the ad products they offer will come and go, mobile technology will change, abilities to measure will change, trends & tastes will change, and consumer behavior will change – as will their expectations. The fact that change is inevitable makes waiting for things to “settle down” before you act a dangerous endeavor.


Asking yourself the questions is the first step toward resolving these pressing issues in your mind, which is your key to sleeping like a baby.


@mikestiles
Photo: freedigitalphotos.net


Friday Jan 10, 2014

5 Secrets to Marketing and IT Collaboration Success

Today’s post is from Jack Newton, Dir. of Outbound Product Management & Strategy for Oracle Social Cloud. He shares results from the new Oracle, Leader Networks and Social Media Today study on Marketing/IT collaboration inside the enterprise.


Collaboration white paper coverIf you’re hoping that congress comes together in 2014, it’s probably a lost cause.


But it can be a different story with Marketing and IT leaders in modern organizations.


In Oracle’s Socially Driven Collaboration study, 26% of Marketing and 36% of IT leaders report that they collaborate frequently – with Marketing leading the charge. While that’s great, it’s disappointing that 20% of Marketing and a whopping 38% of IT leaders collaborate rarely or never.


For those who don’t collaborate, they’re holding themselves and their organization back.


In fact, 74% Marketing and 71% of IT leaders collaborating more report that they are more effective as professionals. With the business benefits that can come from collaboration, the C-Suite has a vested interest in creating a strong culture of collaboration, too. Some of the benefits include:

  • Stronger/more compelling marketing messages (54% Marketing; 51% IT)
  • Faster speed to market with products and services (47% Marketing; 43% IT)
  • Greater adoption of the products or services offered (40% Marketing; 42% IT)
  • Reduction in project costs (23% Marketing, 36% IT)
  • Fewer defects in products or services offered (26% Marketing, 27% IT)


How can you bridge the collaboration gap?


1. Get C-Suite Buy-in for Shared Goals

When it comes to the quality of collaboration between groups, 57% of Marketing and half of IT respondents classify their level of collaboration as being only “adequate.”


Turn the tide by tapping into the widespread belief among executives about the potential for social to transform business. An MIT Sloan Management Review executive study shows that 70% of senior leaders indicate that social business presents an opportunity to fundamentally change the way their organization works.

2. Understand the Perspective of Your Peers

For those who do see the benefit of collaboration, it can be frustrating to get the cold shoulder from the other team. More Marketers (17%) report that while they see the benefit, their peers in IT are not receptive.


Why is this a problem? A Lightspeed Research study shows that 25% of customers who complain on Twitter or Facebook expect a response within an hour. If the organization isn’t set up for social customer service, bring IT’s experience with organization-wide technology rollouts and Marketing’s experience with social together to fix it.


3. Be the Role Model

Over the past 12 months, 41% of Marketing and 38% of IT leaders say they have engaged in more collaboration. This means there’s a lot of room for improvement, since the majority of Marketing (56%) and IT respondents (60%) report no change.


Don’t be the anchor that’s weighing the company down. Kick things into gear by picking one point of customer pain or a business priority that has both IT and Marketing implications, then reach out. Be persistent.


4. Find Meaningful Metrics

Pick two or three initiatives that are near-term so you can show impact sooner rather than later. Use the list above for some ideas.


5. Carefully Choose Tools and Technology

Your new bargain basement bike may be able to get you to work now, but it’s not going to be very helpful when your job moves across town… in the wintertime… in the middle of a polar vortex.


One-off social tools are similar. The cost incurred when adopting short-term solutions and then switching to integrated tools can potentially be more than the money saved.


According to one IDC analyst, “aggregating into a new user experience (UX) or augmenting an existing one requires social tools to be integrated with other enterprise systems and needs to be embedded inside the work processes to get the most value.”


Want to learn more?


Download the study to see more findings and read interviews with social media leaders from Whole Foods Market, Chubb and Shell. They share tips and lessons learned that could be applied to almost any business on the journey to becoming more collaborative.


Tuesday Dec 03, 2013

6 Reasons Marketing and IT Might Be “Frenemies”

The two areas being most dramatically affected in the modern transformation of the corporation is marketing and IT. What’s more, the changes involve a forced coming together of two of the most unlikely of compatriots. It can be awkward.


A “frenemy” is someone you’re technically friends with, but the friendly part exists mostly on the surface. Neither is exactly cheering on the other. Here are some reasons marketing and IT are set up for such a relationship.


1. There’s someone or something making them play nice.

Frenemies usually don’t come together by choice. They’re pushed into it by circumstances or some authority figure. In this case, business changes imposed by socially empowered consumers have CEO’s fully expecting their marketing and IT teams to unite and meet these new challenges…like it or not.


2. They’re usually very different people.

Think about company holiday parties of the past. Did the marketing people hang out with the IT people? Didn’t think so. There’s often a different vibe, a different language, and business goals are viewed from a different angle. No longer can each refer to the others as “those guys over in marketing or IT.”


3. There’s resentment over who has the most.

Who has the biggest budget and the most control? The Gartner prediction of January 2012 is oft repeated; the average CMO will have a larger IT budget by 2017 than the average CIO. IT is being eyed for cost containment, not investment. IDC says about 2/3 of tech spending for marketing and rising already comes from marketing. Add to dropping IT budgetary needs the fact that tech strategy is increasingly being led by the CMO, and it can be a tough pill to swallow.


4. Fear of being the odd person out.

Larry Weber of the W2 group points out CIO’s are realizing they may soon basically be working for the CMO as the tech arm of marketing. An Economist survey of C-suite execs found 57% expect their IT function to change significantly over the next 3 years, 43% said their company will increasingly use IT as a commodity service, and already 1 in 6 CIO’s have no real role in setting IT strategy. The choices are to fight (hoping the CEO won’t side with the department driving lead gen), or follow Dell CIO Andi Karaboutis’ lead and make your primary concern “how do I enable this enterprise so they have what they need?”


5. Lack of trust.

CIO’s think marketing promises things without consulting them and without good business reasons. 36% of CMO’s say IT doesn’t deliver fast enough. An Accenture survey came right out and showed the CMO and CIO don’t trust each other. CMO’s are thinking of IT as a provider, not a partner. So convinced are they that IT works against their interests, they go around them. 45% of marketing execs prefer letting marketing employees handle data with no involvement from IT. IT thinks marketers don’t “get” data integration, standards, privacy or security.


6. Everybody around the bad relationship stands to get hurt.

There’s a reason collaboration between marketing and IT is imperative. When it’s not happening or when it’s being done poorly, the customer experience (and thus business) suffers. Nobody wins…except maybe the competition if they’re more unified.


How can marketing and IT move beyond “frenemies” and into a healthy, productive relationship? The good news is younger workers in both aren’t as keenly aware of the divide. New marketers are not opposed to embracing tech. New IT types embrace facilitating lead gen and want to be agile, internal innovators in the process.


Rapid7’s CIO Jay Leader points out, “In the old days, you couldn’t get anything out of a computer unless you came through me or my organization. Those weren’t the good ol’ days.” If marketing and IT can agree on primary business goals, on what’s needed to reach them, and the parameters to do so securely, the foundation exists for real collaboration.


Part 2 of Oracle’s study with Social Media Today and Leader Networks focuses on collaboration between marketing and IT departments, and how enterprise organizations are faring in that respect. We invite you to sign up to be alerted to the paper’s release.


@mikestiles
Photo: Martin K, stock.xchng

Tuesday Oct 29, 2013

Are You Afraid of Each Other? Study Shows CMO’s/CIO’s Missing Benefits of Collaboration

Scared guyRemember that person in school you spent months being too scared to talk to?  Then when you finally did, it led to a wonderful friendship…if not something more. New research from Oracle, Social Media Today and Leader Networks shows marketing and IT need to get over whatever’s holding them back and start reaping the benefits of collaboration.

See the details on the Oracle study

Back in the old days of just a few years ago, marketing could stay on their side of the building, IT could stay on their side of the building, and both could refer to the other as “those guys.” Today, the structure of organizations is shifting from islands to “us,” one integrated body where each part knows what the other parts are doing, and all parts work together in accomplishing job one…a
winning customer experience.


Ignore that, and you start losing. Give your reluctance to change priority over the benefits of new collaborations, and you start losing. You’re either working together and accelerating forward or getting in the way of each other’s separate agendas and grinding down…much to your competitors’ delight.


The study reveals a basic current truth: those who are collaborating in marketing and IT report being more effective, however less than 1/3 report collaborating even “frequently.” In other words, this is obviously a good thing, so we’d better not do it. Smart.


The white paper, “Socially Driven Collaboration,” set out to explore how today’s always-changing digital, social and mobile landscape is forcing change across the enterprise, whether it’s welcomed or not. Part of what it found is marketing and IT leaders are not unaware of what’s going on and see their roles evolving. And both know the ability to collaborate more effectively now exists. And of those who are collaborating, over 2/3 say they’re “more effective” professionally because of it.

Collab slide


Yet even if you don’t want to take the Oracle study’s word for it, an August 2013 Accenture study of 400 senior marketing and 250 IT executives revealed only 10% think CMO/CIO collaboration is at the right level. There’s a lot of room for improvement here, and not just around people. Collaboration is also being called for across processes and technologies.


Business benefits of such collaboration cited in the Oracle study include stronger marketing messages, faster speed-to-market, greater product adoption, faster discovery of product and service shortcomings, and reduction in project costs. Those are the benefits you will cheat yourself out of by keeping “those guys” at arm’s length and continuing to try to function in traditional roles while modern business and the consumer is changing around you.

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” –Stephen Hawking


@mikestiles
Photo: istockphoto

Friday Jun 07, 2013

The Dynamic Duo of the Enterprise

heroNo, I’m not talking about Kirk and Spock.  The Dynamic Duo of the enterprise is the CMO and CIO. No positions are evolving more or faster, brought on by the perfect storm of social, mobile, and data. To triumph, the CMO and CIO must partner as never before.

In the AdAge webcast, “Capitalizing on Marketing & Technology: Social’s Powerful Impact on People, Processes & Technology,” Oracle VP Product Strategy Erika Brookes and Forrester VP & Practice Leader David Cooperstein discussed how changes to these two positions are altering the entire organization’s structure and operations.

Social changed communication. It’s how people now interact, get informed, express themselves, and connect to brands. Facebook has a billion users, Twitter over 200 million, Pinterest over 50 million and Instagram over 100 million. Since 2010, social site visitors went from 58 to 70%. 45% Liked, followed or became a fan of a brand, with the average Facebook user Liking 9 of them.

The 2nd revolution, the shift to mobile, is happening quickly and right now. By the end of the year, there’ll be more mobile devices than people. Mobile is at 55% penetration in the US. More time is spent on smartphones than is spent online. And 55% of social consumption happens on mobile.

So, technology is how marketing is executed. And marketing/CX are technology’s key raisons d’etre. That’s why the enterprise needs heroes, the Dynamic Duo of the CIO and CMO working in tandem, each bringing their unique strengths. Our Dynamic Duo has to go up against:

POW! The Data

80% of data is unstructured and is literally growing by the second. Emails, blogs, Facebook posts, tweets, pictures, videos, online purchases, customer inquiries…all trying to teach us what our customer wants, if we’d just listen. In 2012, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were created daily. That’s a 1 with 18 zeros after it.

Time to flash the “C-signal” into the night sky, calling on our Dynamic Duo to determine what data is relevant and actionable, institute systems to gather and process that data, and integrate that data holistically across the enterprise to every customer touch point. They should be fighting for a better “customer-centric” tomorrow, where data leads to exceptional products and flawless customer experiences.

BAM! Internal Disruption

Marketing and technology are converging, a trend that will become the new “normal” in just a few years. In October 2012, Oracle & the Economist released the survey “Cultivating Business-led Innovation,” which found companies with cross-collaboration, taking advantage of disruptive technologies, are the most successful.

Who should instigate these organizational changes? In a perfect world, CEO’s recognize the disruption and see the opportunities therein. Some companies have named Chief Digital Officers. It might stick, or it might be a transitional role given how fundamental “digital” is to business (like having a Chief Copy Machine Officer). Others suggest the formation of a Marketing Technology Office (MTO).

Aside from technology, there are cultural changes wherein roles and habits long and comfortably held get upended. The CIO must understand the speed of marketing is different than the speed of tech maintenance. The CMO must understand tech, period. It can no longer be “those guys in the other department.”

BOP! Social ROI

Ever get the feeling social is held to a higher ROI accountability than many other marketing channels? That’s because it often is. Some use it as an excuse not to deal with the very real changes we’re seeing. At Oracle, we socially enable enterprises such that social is not just a marketing channel, it’s integrated throughout the organization both externally (customers) and internally (employee collaboration).

On the marketing side, perhaps it’s more realistic (and fair) to measure social ROI on whether users were moved to the next step, not necessarily straight to the cash register. Remember that bit about data leading to exceptional products and flawless customer experiences? That’s the kind of thing that should kick the ROI question to the curb.

So cheer on our Dynamic Duo, for they are agents of some of the biggest, fastest changes in business the world has ever seen.

@mikestiles
Photo: Julien Tromeur, stock.xchng

Friday May 17, 2013

Data Adoption Must Come Before Social ROI

On May 14, Social Media Today hosted the webinar “What Is Social ROI Made of? New Revenue or Reduced Costs?” with a panel consisting of Oracle VP Product Strategy Erika Brookes, MarketShare CEO Wes Nichols, and V3 Integrated Marketing CEO Shelly Kramer. Based on the number of retweets, things were said that really hit home. Below are some of the discussion’s highlights.

go team gorillaEB: If you’re looking for social ROI, you have to start with a strategy. Big data and little data must then connect back to that strategy.

SK: The C-level feels as long as we’re on Twitter and have a Facebook page, social is covered. When you ask what their goals for it are and how it ties back to their strategy, they have an “Oh my God” moment.

EB: Data fuels the belief that with all this digital data, surely we can do a better job of telling the story of what works and what doesn’t work. True, but you have to know what the intent was for getting into social in the first place.

WN: Companies operate in swim lanes. Direct mail is a lane. PR is a lane. Social is a lane. Each lane reports its own ROI, often self-serving, which doesn’t help the CFO. It’s critical to know how these lanes interact with each other.

SK: Marketers know what needs to be done. They know what’s important. But they aren’t staffed or resourced to collect the data, analyze it, and leverage it.

EB: It’s not just about marketing anymore. It’s about how do I attribute across the company. That’s where the data problem grows enormously and the call for marketers to be prepared goes up. The CMO has to collaborate with IT and sales.

WN: What used to be done by marketers isn’t possible anymore. You have to have the technology infrastructure to process the data. Most don’t have that set up internally.

EB: People have legacy tech, then buy new tech, and those things aren’t hinging together. That has to happen for real time insight. Marketers must share with IT the metrics on which they’ll be measured. That’s what facilitates actionable decision-making.

WN: It’s not so much a sales funnel anymore, it’s a pinball machine. A social post might bounce you to a video. The video might bounce you to a search. The search might bounce you to a coupon. The coupon might bounce you into the store to buy something.

SK: Even smart marketers still think a 40k/year person running the social channels has it covered. That’s far from the case. Job descriptions want a digital strategist, social strategist, email strategist, content strategist, and business analyst all rolled into one person…for maybe 70k. That’s craziness.

EB: Even at 100k you won’t find someone who does all those aspects really well, because they’re very distinct functions and disciplines.

SK: Expectations are totally out of whack with what they want to pay somebody. Just pushing out your content is not integrating social into business objectives toward any hope of ROI.

WN: There’s no correlation or causation between vanity metrics and P&L or ROI impact. Once they see the lift impact of social, they’ll allocate for staffing. Until then, they’re going to keep dabbling.

EB: Marketers want this. But are they really prepared for the wholesale changes required inside the organization?

WN: You have to look broad to look narrow. You have to look at the ROI of marketing to get to the ROI of social. You can’t measure at a what’s-under-your-nose campaign level.

SK: Content marketing is so not new. But we’re struggling to get clients to understand the importance of content strategy and how that, SEO, et al works to drive leads. We’re struggling to get clients to understand the importance of data to drive business strategy.

EB: Companies realize they’ve built audience, but now how do you turn that into engagement and sales? More marketers are asking for help turning those opportunities into something the rest of the organization can activate upon. CMO tenures are increasing, not declining, because they’re thinking broadly about social and tech, and the data is there to tell success stories.

WN: CMO’s can be at the executive table, armed with proof of impact. Otherwise they get relegated to the kids’ table. Being numbers-oriented doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. Analytics can show the impact of creative and thereby get more funding for it. But without numbers, marketing looks soft and thus an easy place to make cuts.

SK: If you try to do this on the cheap, you’re going to get what you pay for and you’re going to get what you deserve. You have to be in it to win it.

WN: You’re CEO has to embrace the changes that are underway. Marketing is not yell and sell, it’s customer dialogue and relationship building, leveraging social.

EB: Oracle did a study with The Economist and found companies with cross collaboration across departments, taking advantage of disruptive technologies, are the most successful. Marketers can start the dialogue internally about data sources and the metrics you’ll be measured on. Get the buy-in and structure in place.

WN: We can prove the impact of marketing is larger than what they’re currently getting credit for. You need the tools to defend and grow marketing investments. Analytics is like electricity running through the whole organization. It will one day be as taken for granted as electricity.

@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng, Glenn Pebley

Friday Apr 12, 2013

Mad Men is Just a Show: How to Be the CMO of the Future

baby macLife has changed, and is still in the process of changing for the CMO.  The marketing opportunities of social, of emerging technologies, of mobile, the rising importance of content, the addition of social data to big data, and how social is changing the enterprise experience have all evolved the required skillset of the position. Since these consumer behaviors are highly unlikely to reverse, I picked the brain of Oracle VP Product Management for Cloud Social Erika Brookes for a look at what today’s CMO should seek to fully understand going forward.

The Customer Owns Your Brand

  • Understand the customer is now in charge and should be the focus. Their expectation is to be respected and treated well. Anything less disappoints.
  • Understand that phenomenal products and services, and personalized, hyper-attentive customer service is the new marketing.
  • Understand social is how the public is choosing to engage with each other and brands, and has kicked word-of-mouth into overdrive. The public is talking about you.
  • Understand social is not a megaphone for ads. Try to internalize how mistrustful of push messaging people are and that the path to drawing attention is to provide something of real value.
  • Understand you’ve got to lead crowd-pleasing content creation efforts, or find people who do know how to entertain/inform.

The Marketer Must Speak API

  • Understand you can no longer be comfortable in what you don’t know. You have to jump into technology head-on, knowing how it will deliver business value.
  • Understand you’ll be collaborating with the CIO and IT to leverage technological advantages faster than ever. You must have a voice on tech matters and implementation.
  • Understand the unprecedented gold mine of social data that, married with enterprise and 3rd party data, can paint an actionable picture of the customer.
  • Understand the importance of your brand’s mobile experience and how fast it’s becoming the primary way social is accessed.
  • Understand the cloud as the best technology practice for gathering, managing, analyzing and acting upon big data.

Know the Science Behind the Art

  • Understand campaigns should be built around what the consumer has shown you, through data, they like.
  • Understand not just social marketing, but social selling, social commerce, social service, social HR, social recruiting, and social collaboration.
  • Understand the value of listening, and how to extract worthwhile data from the noise.
  • Understand all of the social channels and platforms available to you, which targets are using them and how so appropriate strategies, messaging and measurement can be crafted for each.
  • Understand you have to keep moving toward proving the ROI behind the spend.

You Will Likely Conduct an Internal Symphony

  • Understand the changes going on inside the organization. Your role is expanding.
  • Understand that an unprecedented collaboration of people, processes and technology is being called for, and it’s probably you that must conduct that symphony.
  • Understand you have to communicate and align with sales for consistent brand and consumer experiences.
  • Understand you’ll play a large role in finding the technology partner to insure effective execution of social, a single vendor that offers every piece of the puzzle.
  • Understand that even in huge business enterprises, agility offers a competitive advantage and should be aspired to.

Below are some additional resources on the changing role of the CMO that might help you get to the future sooner rather than later.

Webinar with Oracle SVP Product Development for Cloud-Social Reggie Bradford and Forrester lead analyst David Cooperstein.

Social Spotlight Blog: Scandal! The CMO/CIO Relationship Revealed.

Video: “The changing role of the CMO.” Argyle Executive Forum’s 2013 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum (New York).

@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng

Tuesday Mar 26, 2013

CMO's and CIO's Should Be Repositioning for Today's Social

The following is a post from Oracle SVP of Product Strategy - Oracle Social Reggie Bradford, as first appeared in Social Media Today.

pocketwatchHave you ever noticed not very many people want to listen to the person who keeps talking about the way things used to be? It’s those who talk about how things are, and where things are headed, that seem to get the most attention. So let’s have a brief moment of sympathy for the enterprise CMOs and CIOs who don’t believe their worlds are changing…quickly.

Somebody audaciously entered the hallowed halls of the corporation: the customer. They now feel they actually have a say in a brand’s product, service, tone, look…you name it. They feel this way because they’ve banded together. They have megaphones and can get very loud, very fast. They’re always connected (no matter where they are, thanks to mobile). They know they collectively represent value to you, so they fully expect good experiences. This is what social media has created.

The job of the enterprise is simply to adapt. I say “simply” knowing that it’s anything but simple. Those consumers are forcing infrastructure changes, policy changes, priority changes and role changes. And all that’s happening in large organizations where change is rarely an overnight affair. An unprecedented collaboration of people, processes and technology is being called for.

Social was once a “marketing thing.” Not anymore. It’s become increasingly essential in every consumer interaction across the enterprise.  From CRM to sales to HR to product development, there’s an unprecedented gold mine of social data that, when married with enterprise data, can paint an actionable picture of the customer so as to create differentiating consumer experiences. Conversations about holistic, socially enabled enterprises are increasingly common. 

Forward-thinking CMOs are plunging into tech head-on. They’re collaborating with IT to leverage social/mobile/cloud technologies faster. They want to understand digital, have a voice on tech matters, align with sales for consistent brand and consumer experiences, and move toward proving the ROI behind the spend.  Gartner predicts the CMO will even outspend the CIO on IT by 2017.  

For their part, the CIO is realizing everything they do is about the customer. InformationWeek found more IT leaders give their relationship with marketing weaker marks than any other business area. They’re highly effective at what they do, but “what they do” now has to extend beyond functional excellence and move toward pioneering customer-focused innovation that speaks to the CX. 

CMOs must see the science behind the art. CIOs must see the art behind the science.

It’s no longer a matter of whether or not to focus on social, but how roles will be reorganized around social, plus figuring out what partner can insure effective execution of the social enterprise. Plenty of vendors offer pieces of the puzzle, but social can’t sit in vendor silos if the goal is true integration/accountability. The growing CX imperative requires a scalable, end-to-end system that facilitates satisfying and profitable interactions, no matter the touch point. Social marketing, social selling, social commerce, social service, social HR, social recruiting, and social collaboration…fully realized with global enterprise applications.

Companies that truly understand social lives at the core of a powerful CX will be reflecting that in the reshaping roles of the CMO and CIO. We hope you will explore this changing landscape further by joining Oracle’s upcoming webinar discussing this topic and more with myself and Forrester’s lead analyst David Cooperstein, in a videocast March 28, 11am EDT/8am PDT.

Photo: stock.xchng

Tuesday Mar 19, 2013

Social is Driving CMO/CIO Role Changes

drivingIsn’t life funny?  One minute you think you completely have a handle on your role as an enterprise CMO or CIO and can get all the way to retirement without those roles changing. The next minute, those roles and required skillsets have been turned on their heads.

You have social to thank for that. Oracle VP of Product Strategy for Cloud-Social Erika Brookes recently presented to a packed house at the Dachis Social Business Summit what forces are driving these internal changes so quickly.

There was a time social was dismissed, if not altogether laughed off. Many executives bet it was a passing fad with no tangible value to the enterprise. Bad bet. Fast Company editor Robert Safian wrote, “Social media is not a fad. It is a powerful, global communication revolution that requires new approaches for all businesses.” Specifically, social revolutionized how consumers interact with brands.

You should care about that.

There’s strength in numbers, and customers have connected with each other. In fact they’re always connected. They’ve kicked “word-of-mouth” into hyperdrive, with all the potential pluses and minuses that brings. Millions of conversations, many about you, happen every minute, in real time across multiple social networks. eMarketer says social is the #1 activity online. 63% of smartphone users are social networkers.

You get the picture. Today’s empowered, go-anywhere, socially connected consumer is forcing change in business. The transfer of control from the brand to the customer is every company’s new reality.

How have corporations reacted? Altimeter Group says they now manage an average 178 corporate social accounts each. That’s a wealth of potential social customer data that, combined with enterprise data, could result in a differentiating dream CX. But it can only happen if the CMO and CIO accept role changes and embrace the holistic, socially enabled enterprise.

The perfect storm of social, mobile, and cloud lets marketers leverage technologies faster, so the forward-thinking CMO is plunging into tech head-on. Gartner predicts they’ll spend more on technology than CIO’s by 2017, getting to the science behind the art by:

  • Better understanding digital and technologies
  • Gaining a stronger voice on tech matters at the executive table
  • Increasingly partnering with the likes of the CIO and CTO
  • Leveraging data to intimately understand the consumer
  • Aligning with sales for a more consistent brand and consumer experience
  • Proving the ROI behind the spend

InformationWeek found more IT leaders give their relationship with marketing weaker marks than any other business area. Participants at the Wall Street Journal’s CIO Network conference set forth some top going-forward priorities:

  • They should be more customer-focused and knowledgeable about the business
  • They should drive innovation by creating a culture that accepts change and risk
  • They must actively free themselves from the past, maintaining a functional excellence but also being willing to look beyond functionality alone

In other words, CIO’s must start seeing the art behind the science.

These changes aren’t easy, especially for the largest of enterprises where the most upside exists. A technology partner that can seamlessly extend social’s power across every consumer touch point and marry social and enterprise data for a real-time view of the customer is indispensible in creating, in concert with these new breeds of CMO and CIO, the most powerful CX imaginable.

@mikestiles

Friday Feb 08, 2013

The Social Enterprise: Who's Going to Run This Thing?

Army HatFrom the primordial soup of Marketing where it nested, evolved and sprang forth, social for business has now found its legs and is expanding into new terrains such as Human Resources, Sales, Procurement, and Customer Service. So with social growing more expansive, the question arises, who in the socially enabled enterprise is going to run “social”?

A panel of experts addressed that very thing in a recent Social Media Today webinar. The impressive number of attendees illustrated how such internal relationships are on a lot of minds these days.

But while we obsess over internal structures and processes, one little fact often gets overlooked. The customer couldn’t care less. They’re defining how they want to engage, and they have no regard for your various departments. To them, the brand is the brand, and they want results when they reach out. Our job is to adapt.

Oracle VP of Product Strategy Erika Brookes says we can’t look at social as a marketing-only problem. It’s permeating every aspect of the CX, something that has to be acknowledged across the top. Leadership first has to be exposed to the problem, otherwise a shift in strategy or structure is a hard sell.

Frank Eliason, Director of Global Social Media at Citi, agrees we’re entering a more holistic, customer-first era the C-suite must recognize. Different departments have different cultures, so a great deal depends on a leader at the top instilling the customer-first culture. We have to get better at upward management so execs know the reality of the brand’s customer experience.

Customers First Culture Principal Carol Borghesi says the executive suite can’t be exempt from CX accountability. She points out that a) it’s hard to get them to admit they don’t know something, and b) they’re focused on details unrelated to customers, almost shielded from the customer’s voice. “They have to stick their noses in the dog dish.”

Brookes says marketers were the ones thinking through driving the value proposition across all channels, and we still see most budgets coming from the marketing side. But we’re also starting to see conversations between the CMO and CIO. The CMO is spending more on tech, taking advantage of disruptive consumer tech. Today we’re seeing marketing and IT working together in that effort.

Borghesi reminds us social didn’t invent customer feedback, it just cranked up the volume. Budgets must shift so the buyer’s experience matches what’s presented by marketing. You’ll get caught if it doesn’t. The dangerous gaps are in the relationships between silos. Every function in the company should understand the relationship between what they do and how it relates to customers.

Eliason says companies love to say they listen, but they don’t. We’re in a relationship-driven economy, and that should start well above Customer Service where it resides today.

Brookes suggests marketers and CX people look for base hits that tell the story about how experience affects brand loyalty. CMO tenures are getting longer thanks to platforms that show some measure of ROI. But to maximize data across the organization, marketers need IT and other enterprise functions.

The “who’s in charge” question will likely vary from company to company, but Brookes says social must connect with overall business strategy, which requires leadership across process, tech and content using external and internal collaboration.

@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng

Tuesday Jan 29, 2013

Scandal? CMO/CIO Relationship Revealed

No pictures!Ever get caught with someone you’re not supposed to be with?  Of course not, we didn’t think so. But increasingly, enterprise CMOs and CIOs are spotted together far more often than they used to be. And we should be happy for them, because they potentially have a beautiful future together.

Reggie Bradford, SVP Product Development for Oracle Cloud-Social is spilling the details today at the Evanta Southern California Mid-Market CIO Executive Summit in Los Angeles.

Bradford says technologies like social, mobile and cloud are upending business and organizational models, like it or not. The consumer is changing into an informed, connected, empowered driver of that change, and they’re using social to do it. They’re in charge, and now it’s the job of the enterprise to figure out how to best adapt.

The customer can interact across many touch points, globally and in real-time. And they love being able to do that, so expect it to grow, especially with mobile continuing to boom. By 2014, eMarketer estimates nearly half the total US mobile population will be mobile social networkers, and comScore indicates 24% of eCommerce will be transacted via mobile by 2017.

Customer expectations of you are higher. They know you’ve got immense amounts of data on them, and they seem to be fine with that as long as you’re using that data to give them a desirable customer experience. But while Fortune 100 companies are mentioned 10,400,123 times per month on social, 70% of marketers still have little understanding of the social conversations going on about their brand.

How do we get that understanding and use it to our and our customers’ advantage? We cheer on that budding CMO/CIO relationship.

Just as social plays a vital role in consumer’s everyday lives, so it should across the enterprise. It should be holistically integrated so insights, actions and interactions can be shared and acted upon across departments such as marketing, service, sales, and commerce.

That, of course, required unprecedented collaboration of people, processes and technology. The CMO needs the CIO more than ever to understand the science behind the art. The CIO needs the CMO more than ever to execute customer-focused tech. Relationship-wise, sparks are flying.

Oracle not only understands the changes enterprise organizations are facing, they’re uniquely positioned with the scalable technology tools that work in concert to field the cloud-based socially enabled enterprise. Social marketing, social selling, social commerce, social service, social HR, social recruiting, and social collaboration fully realized with Oracle’s global enterprise applications.

If that makes us CMO and CIO matchmakers, we’re okay with that.

@mikestiles
Photo: istockphoto

Friday Nov 02, 2012

9 Ways Facebook Monetization Could Change Your Marketing

Think Facebook monetization isn’t a head game?

Bored kidImagine creating something so functional, fun and addictive you literally amass about 1/7th of the planet’s population as an audience. You have 1 billion users that use it at least once a month. But analysts and marketers look at what you’ve done and say, “eh…not good enough.”

What if you had a TV show that garnered 1/7 of Earth’s population as an audience? How much would a spot cost? And how fast would marketers write that check, even without the targeting and engagement analytics Facebook offers?

Having already changed the marketing landscape forever, if you’re Facebook’s creator, you’d have to be scratching your head and asking, “Wow, what more does a product need to do?” Facebook’s been busy answering that very question with products and betas that will likely directly affect your brand’s strategy.

Item 1: Users can send physical gifts to friends through Facebook based on suggestions from user data. A giant step toward the potential power of social commerce.

Item 2: Users can pay $7 to promote posts for higher visibility. Individual users, not just marketers, are being leveraged as a revenue stream. Not impressive enough? There’s also the potential Craigslist killer Facebook Marketplace.

Item 3: Mobile ads. 600 million+ access Facebook on smartphones. According to the company, half of the $1 million a day generated by Sponsored Stories as of late June was coming from mobile. Ads in News Feeds seen on mobile had click-through rates 23x higher than on desktop News Feeds or the right side panel.

Item 4: App developers can buy install ads that show up in mobile News Feeds so reliance on discovery in app stores is reduced.

Item 5: Want your posts seen by people who never liked your Page? A test began in August where you could appear in non-fans’ News Feeds on both web and mobile.

Item 6: How about an ability to use Facebook data to buy ads outside of Facebook? A mobile ad network is being tested to get your targeted messages on non-Facebook apps and sites surfaced on devices.

Item 7: Facebook Collections, Facebook’s answer to Pinterest. Users can gather images of desired products and click through to the retailer to buy. Keep focusing on your imagery.

Item 8: Facebook Offers, Facebook’s answer to the Groupons and Living Socials of the world. You can send deals to your fans’ News Feeds.

Item 9: Facebook Exchange lets you track what fans do on Facebook and across the entire Web. Could lead to a Facebook ad network leveraging Facebook users and data but not limiting exposure to the Facebook platform.

Marketers are seeing increasing value in Facebook (and Twitter for that matter).  But as social grows and adjusts, will marketing budgets aimed in that direction grow and adjust accordingly, and within a reasonable time frame?

@mikestiles
Photo Christie Merrill/stock.xchng

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