As society approaches a new reality in which anything and everything is connected in real time, the relationship between the CMO and customer is evolving. Moving away from the traditional confines of the ‘four P’s’, we can expect to see a new level of engagement – ultimately changing the way in which the modern CMO works within their role. This shift is referred to as dimensional marketing and it’s readjusting the traditional marketing mix to focus on engagement, connectivity, data and technology.
While the way in which CMOs will be expected to work will change, the actual deliverables required will stay the same. One of the key roles of a CMO has always been – and will continue to be – to gather important customer information and turn it into actionable insight for the business. One of the more traditional ways to do this has been through the ‘persona’ and the use of segmentation to highlight specific data such as demographics, gender, and socio-economic status.
But as the industry moves towards a new normal, is this still the best way forward?
The short answer to that question is no. As it stands, executives are most likely to report underspending on gathering customer information and insights. According to McKinsey research, roughly 7 in 10 business leaders claimed that their companies do not spend enough on the discovery of new insights, and on average, spend just 19% of their overall marketing budgets in this area. With such a low level of interest and engagement, it only makes sense to adjust the approach.
Revisiting the customer relationship
In order to truly thrive, the CMO needs to commandeer a strategic relationship with the rest of the business. To effectively do this, the customer must be placed at the heart of everything – CMOs need to be an expert on the customer.
There’s no debating that becoming an expert on every customer can seem like a daunting task. But when it is dialled back down, is it really any different from getting to know a loved one or new friend on a personal level? Similar to how one would approach a relationship with a friend or family member, the key to having a successful relationship ultimately depends on knowing more than their age, gender and contact information. Marketing chiefs must move beyond the idea of a ‘persona’ or ‘type’ to hit the four key areas at the core of any strong relationship – delight, intimacy, personal connection, and relevancy.
- Delight – are you providing something positive to the customer?
- Intimacy – does what you’re saying personally resonate with who you’re trying to reach?
- Personal connection – are you sure you’re reaching the right audience, at the right time, though your messaging?
- Relevancy – are your key messages in line with the interests of the consumer?
Having an in-depth awareness around likes, dislikes, preferences, habits and so on, will put businesses ahead of the rest and will bolster a brand’s ability to solidify consumer relationships. Using the data available – the cleanest and most accurate data we have ever had thanks to compliance regulations in Europe (such as GDPR) – makes building this in-depth understanding of consumers easier. But it is more than just gathering data – it is then using that information to build enduring connections with people by delivering experiences they love. The only way to do this is to stop thinking of customers as abstract figures. Once that happens, the opportunities will be endless.
Looking to find out more how Rakuten Marketing can help you reconnect with your customers? Get in touch with our team today.