Marketing is now a data intensive and technology enabled function demanding new skill sets of CMOs. Many companies are becoming more customer centric than product centric. However, they still need to start breaking down their functional silos. It’s time for your business  to present a single view of the company to the customer.

As a result, there needs to be much more interaction between marketing and sales, between marketing and product, between marketing and customer service and so on. In a B2B company, this sometimes means combining marketing and sales under one chief. While in a B2C company, that might mean combining marketing and product (or technology) under one chief. 

All of which begs the question, how are companies planning for the changed expectations of customers and where do marketing, new technology and data sit within those plans? 


Breaking out of silos

According to Tien Tzuo, former chief marketing officer of Salesforce and founder of US-based subscription service provider Zuora, “It used to be that public relations, brand, product marketing, demand generation and field marketing could all do their own thing, but now it all blurs — the content that public relations drives is used by demand generation, and the messages are created by product marketing, and it all needs to be unified under one brand and one corporate identity.”

There are new driving forces emerging as businesses desire to become more in control of their data and ultimately become more ‘self service’.  As marketing teams change shape, so too does the role of the traditional agency. In a world in which marketers are trying to create a single customer view of prospects, does outsourcing social media or display advertising to external specialists still make sense?  

Amanda Rendle, Ex-CMO at HSBC explains what happens when an external partner loses their ability to adapt: “In my experience, most agencies are unable to fuse technology and creative. They still treat social as a campaign tool rather than customer opportunity. It’s because they don’t understand the full customer journey and I think it’s becoming a real problem. If agencies don’t come to us with wider solutions to encompass the whole customer journey, you will see advertising agencies scope become narrower.”

What we’re seeing in Salesforce is that CMOs and other marketing executives are increasing technology spend, driving cross-functional operational changes, and owning all-encompassing digital transformation initiatives. As our solutions enable them to place customers at the center of their business, there will be major shifts in how they lead their organisations. From overcoming channel complexity, unifying brand experience stakeholders, and reorienting the marketing ecosystem, the stakes are higher today for marketing leaders.


Maturity assessment

When we work with customers, one of the first exercises we complete is a maturity assessment. It’s an excellent way to benchmark yourself and really understand what your consumer experience is going to be, allowing all of the other things to fall into place: the architecture, the data, the people, the processes. Often customers are making the mistake of going to the technology and seeing what the technology does before trying to work out what they want to achieve.

So the recommendation is actually to think about what your utopian state is for your particular experience and then we can see how the technology can support that. Customer centricity is now equivalent to your basic operating system, it’s the base on which to build robust, enjoyable experiences for your customers.

Through the assessment we investigate your service offering, your consumer experience, your technology landscape and operations which allow us to make recommendations about which journeys and experiences you deliver.

After that it’s vital that your architecture can support those experiences and that your team is correctly enabled to execute, maintain and optimise those experiences.


Next step

If you enjoyed this post then you can listen to Success Cloud business transformation experts discuss how we've helped today's most successful and innovative companies make sense of the pervasive trends shaping the landscape.

To gain a deeper understanding of how customer behaviours are changing, and how you can get ahead of them - head over to our second edition of the State of the Connected Customer.