Digital Strategy

Dear CMO - are you ready to do more with less?

Written by
Sebastian Jespersen
Dear CMO - are you ready to do more with less?

Imagine a 2023 planning session where the CMO says:

“Dear CFO… My budget request for the new year is 20% less than the 2022 budget, yet I promise a 25% higher impact.”

Doing “more with less” may be the business anthem for 2023. At Davos, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated, “We in the tech industry will have to get more efficient — it’s not about everyone else doing more with less, we will have to do more with less.” However, doing more with less should not be about doing the same things in the same way-- just with less resources and smaller budgets. I would argue that doing more with less requires a complete rethinking of marketing priorities.

2023 will be a challenging year for most marketers, but it can also be the year when the modern CMO leads the kind of transformation where much more is achieved with not only less budget, but with less confusion, distraction, or overall waste. Interestingly, even Kaz Nejatian, Shopify’s COO, recently introduced the concept of “useful subtraction” to reconsider how they work.

Leading the digital transformation

Digital Marketing transformation is the process of using technology to fundamentally change the way businesses market and deliver value to customers. With the right guiding strategy, digital marketing transformation is a powerful tool for making unpredictable market conditions more predictable, while also saving money, and increasing business impact.

In today's digital first world, customers expect brands to be accessible and responsive to their needs and preferences. By leveraging digital technologies and data, companies can obtain a zero-degrees of separation with their customers, and then use these insights to do more with their customers. Moving from one-to-one to one-with-one paradigm.

There are three key steps which can help businesses transform their marketing function and literally do more with less. We call them 1. Plotting the Coordinates, 2, Leave No Customer Touchpoint Behind, and 3. Infuse AI Technology.

Plotting the Coordinates

Any transformational marketing process begins with a digital strategy as a road map to connect or better align a brand's products or services more closely with the customers' routine and habits. The goal is to effectively build long-term and enriching relationships that ultimately become an integral part of customers’ daily lives.  Establishing "Share of Life®" means providing value and convenience through a symbiotic or interdependent and cooperative relationship that is mutually beneficial to both brand and customer. A key element of this strategy is to understand the customers' needs and desires, so these essentials may be addressed and personalized in tailored marketing efforts.

The strategy should at least consist of the following components:

  • Understanding of the customers' daily digital routines and habits. This can include 1. Analyzing direct customer response data, such as through surveys, existing web analytics, CRM data, data from customer forums etc., 2. Analyzing 2nd party data, such as social behavior, search engine behavior, and blog posts to understand what your customers are talking about, searching for and what they care about, and 3. understand which other brands your customers are interacting with and how.
  • Based on these insights, identify the opportunities to integrate the brand into your customer’s digital life by creating content, campaigns, and services/products that are relevant to their digital routines and habits. We call this the creation of One-with-One activities.
  • Define and score varying initiatives or projects according to three parameters: time to market, business impact, and financial investment.  

Leave No Customer Touchpoint Behind  

Mapping, as well as analyzing, all customer touchpoints is essential to understanding the customer journey and designing a seamless and holistic experience across all interactions with a brand.

Brands must identify all the different ways customers interact with the company, including website, mobile app, social media, email, and events, retail, customer service channels etc. Then, brands should track and analyze customer behavior at each touchpoint by considering key metrics like engagement, conversion rates, and customer feedback.

Once the touchpoints have been mapped, the next step is consolidating the martech and platforms. This may mean centralizing data and analytics to create a single holistic view of the customer, and consolidating customer service channels into a “one-stop shop” for customer service to streamline the customer experience. These efforts can reduce costs, and as importantly, they provide a unified view of the customer-- which leads to better informed brand decisions and an improved overall customer experience that drives sustainable growth.

Infuse Artificial intelligence (AI) Technology

This will certainly be the year when more brands incorporate generative AI. ChatGPT, as one example, is making headlines as a potential game changer for business with its powerful image generation capabilities and its natural language processing technology than can make online conversations faster, as well as more helpful and engaging.

Overall, AI allows brands to tailor their marketing efforts and deliver personalized and relevant experiences that are more likely to resonate with their customers. In addition to using AI to deliver personalized experiences, brands can also use this technology to optimize their marketing efforts and reduce waste. By analyzing customer data, brands can identify the most effective channels and tactics for reaching their target audience and allocate their marketing budget accordingly. This saves money and improves ROI.

Brands must be mindful of the potential downside risks of using AI in marketing. It's essential that brands prioritize the privacy and data protection of customers to avoid becoming intrusive.

AI can also be used to increase efficiencies among marketing teams. Language capabilities are a welcome assistance to teams managing many channels, campaigns, and audiences. But brands should be careful of such efficiencies at the cost of authenticity. Maintaining genuineness and sincerity in the midst of machine-powered marketing is critical.

More with Less?

Digital marketing transformation is fundamental to helping businesses gain a competitive advantage in unpredictable market conditions by equipping them with the insights, tools, and processes needed to anticipate and respond to change. Adopting a Share of Life® approach enables brands to create long-term customer relationships and drive sustainable growth while providing value and convenience to people’s daily lives.

Doing more with less requires rethinking the ways we work, how we use technology and how we define the customer relationship. If CMOs do that now, 2023 can be the year they drive growth and improve the customer experience while spending less.

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