How Information Management Can Solve CMO Pain Points

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) have a daunting job. They’re expected to increase revenue while decreasing the cost to earn and retain customers, often while working with a narrow view of the customer. It’s no wonder the turnover is so great.

Common CMO pain points include:

  • Trying to prove ROI for marketing spend
  • Providing first-in-class, personalized experiences all the way through the sales funnel as people progress from prospect to customer (and ideally to evangelist)
  • Providing more leads, and ultimately more revenue, with less cost per lead

Why are these challenges so difficult to overcome? CMOs are often forced to rely on non-integrated platforms that can’t provide a comprehensive view of customer interactions with the brand or don’t allow for real-time marketing responses.

Systems that Aren’t Integrated Make ROI Calculation Difficult

Disconnected systems make it impossible to determine accurate attribution for lead acquisition or sales conversion. For example, was it the website lead nurturing that converted the customer? Was it praise for the brand on social media that led to a conversion on the site? Did the customer show up at the branch and invest $10,000 because the website had an offer for an additional $500 of investment with a minimum deposit, or was she just ready to move an investment out of savings? If you don't know how to attribute the conversions, it’ll be hard to prove ROI for each channel you're spending on.

Here are some of the key systems CMOs and their team members might need to manage or get information from:

  • CRM
  • Web CMS
  • ECM
  • CCM
  • Social listening platforms
  • Marketing automation
  • DAM
  • Ad placement platforms (digital advertising publishing networks, social media platforms, Google ads)
  • Analytics systems
  • Customer support/ticketing systems

Poorly Integrated (or Non-Integrated) Systems Weaken Conversion Opportunities

Systems that aren’t integrated bi-directionally and in real-time limit Marketing’s ability to convert customers. To start, let’s look at ACME Bank’s integrated system:

Chris, a coffee shop owner, signs into his merchant account with ACME Bank on Thursday night to pay bills. While signed in, he browses pages regarding loan products. The next day, he visits the bank in the middle of his busy workday to make a deposit, carrying his phone that contains the bank’s app. The app, which is connected seamlessly to the bank’s website, recognizes that he has walked into a branch. It also receives data from the website that he has carried low deposit balances and high credit card balances for the past 90 days, and that he was browsing loan products the night before. Based on this knowledge, the app is triggered to deliver a push notification: “Interested in a line of credit? Our branch personnel can initiate your application in just 15 minutes.” Chris knows that cash flow has been an issue lately, and he decides that 15 extra minutes at the bank to kick off the line-of-credit application process is worth it. Without this push, Chris might very well have postponed the decision for another three months.

This is just one example of how fully integrated systems can empower Marketing to predict behavior and deliver timely conversion opportunities.

Organization Silos Are Problematic Too

Historically, Marketing has been isolated from Customer Service/Support (and sometimes even away from Product Design and Sales) while leaders outside of Marketing own key components of the customer experience. Being able to appropriately personalize customer interactions — a key goal for most CMOs — requires having a comprehensive view of all interactions across multiple channels, which typically isn't the case because of disconnected systems. One business unit that touches all of these others, however, is Information Management.

Information Management Can Help Address These Pain Points

It’s no secret that Information Management, InfoSec and/or IT can frustrate marketers. We need to be able to react quickly, and we need data. Many of us have been forced by the technical organization to use cumbersome tools and to wait for critical data housed in systems we don’t own (if we can get it at all).

One way to break through the silos and begin to solve the issue of disconnected systems is to have a seat at the Information Management table. Partner with the CIO and his team to make sure they understand what you need. Make sure your business partners in the areas listed above are also involved in the conversation since their effectiveness is impacted by Information Management decisions as well. Work collaboratively with this team to decide on a vision that will help each of you meet your organization’s business goals.

When the Rubber Hits the Road, Support Your Information Management Partners

The easy part of all of this is starting the conversation, building the relationships and getting your seat at the Information Management table. When it’s time to get down to brass tacks though, there will be a significant amount of work and resources required to rationalize the system portfolio and decide on how to integrate the systems. For example, real-time system updates are ideal for marketers, but they can be costly if charged per API call. Which systems truly need real-time updates and which would be OK to update in batches?

While your team will be able to contribute work during the discovery phase, ultimately the responsibility for making changes will fall on Information Management and the IT organization. Make sure that you support your new partners in budgeting discussions so they get the resources they need to act on the roadmap you create.

If Alignment Proves Difficult, Get Help

Many organizations struggle to align leadership in Marketing and IT, in which case we can help. Doculabs is often hired to broker key internal partnerships and to serve as an unbiased external advisor. Let us know anytime you’d like to start a conversation.

Rich Medina
Amy Smith
I am the digital marketing diva for Doculabs, and a Nielsen Norman Group certified UX professional.