Today’s CMOs face a key leadership challenge as they shift their marketing organizations to take advantage of the data revolution. Social media, mobile devices, analytics and cloud computing are dramatically reshaping what is possible for the modern marketer. But getting your marketing team to take advantage of this new paradigm is not easy.
I recently had the chance to keynote and spend the day with several dozen CMOs and leaders from firms like Coca-Cola KO -0.46%, Caterpillar CAT -0.47%, Kimberly-Clark, Cisco, and WestJet at IBM’s Think Marketing summit in New York. Their diverse stories of data-driven marketing revealed a common set of challenges for CMOs.
Stitching the data together
The first challenge is to link together diverse sets of data in order to paint a complete picture of the customer. This is especially difficult for companies that don’t sell directly to the consumer. But marketers are putting the pieces together, by observing online behaviors (from website, email, and paid media), using social authentication (a Facebook login can be invaluable), purchasing demographic data from third parties, and sharing data with strategic partners. Caterpillar now requires its dealers to enter into valuable data-sharing agreements, but in return provides the dealers with benchmark and tools to improve their own sales efficiency.