CMO: This is Your Yellow Brick Road to Customer Centric Growth

 In Articles

When you scramble together the pace of innovative technologies, social media adoption, and the proliferation of online content, you’re left with a whirlwind of digital disruption. In the aftermath of these ongoing innovation twisters, businesses are left in a state of disarray. Some are trying to pick up any salvageable pieces, while others click their red heels and prepare to diversify and adopt the appropriate strategy to be transported into a sustainable, competitive future of digital commerce.

The unfolding of these events has been coined ‘The Retail Shakeout’ – and for good reason. Businesses that have resorted to price-cutting tactics to counteract the effects of a shifting landscape have fallen from grace and quickly been replaced by other businesses who have followed the Yellow Brick Road of consumer signals.

So, what is the strategy that paves the way for current and future success? According to a Forrester report, businesses can bewitch consumers by making customer obsession the foundation of organizational success in 2018. No Glinda necessary.

Why is customer-centric growth key for organizational success, today?

Customers want better brand experiences but few businesses are delivering on that promise.

Consumer behavior has shifted to be almost entirely digitally and experience focused. While a few flashy ad campaigns might do the trick in getting a few lone shoppers to purchase from you a first time, it certainly isn’t a compelling enough experience to keep shoppers coming back. Unlike the Scarecrow and Tin Man, consumers are well equipped with a heart and a mind and they want brands who can speak to both through a unique, emotion-driven experience.

Put plainly, consumers expect brands to create digital, fluid and compelling experiences that build on their previous history with a brand.

In an era where customer is king, businesses can’t afford to ignore these signals of shifting consumer expectations. Yet, some businesses are continuing to diagnose digital disruption as a soon-to-fade fetish and have treated the symptoms with short-term remedies. The outcome of which has caused many brands to settle into a complacent state of paralysis. To quote the Forrester report, “Companies were slow to invest in long-term customer centric growth plans and tackled low-hanging fruit to put early points on the board, and most CX initiative had too little clout to force meaningful operational change.”

As businesses continue to fight back with shortsighted action plans, the customer experience will only get worse.  A survey of 118,000 Americans for the customer experience index, found that 30% of companies “will see further declines in CX quality.”

Who is positioned to lead customer centric growth strategies?

Unfortunately for today’s marketers, the pressure falls on them to be the champions of customer centric growth. CMO’s must adapt to the shifted landscape by abolishing their rein of myopic campaigns and communication tactics – and those who don’t are positioned to be replaced.

As CEO’s feel the pressure to lead businesses through slow growth, ineffective marketers have started to be replaced by Chief Growth Officers (CGO’s). Coca-Cola was one of the first to take the initiative when they completely dissolved the CMO position in favor of a broad, strategic CGO role in March of this year.

And according to Forrester, Coca-Cola is just the beginning. “The emergence of this role is not new, with several CPG companies like Hershey’s and Kellogg’s having appointed CGOs in the past few years,” the report says. “Expect eight more Fortune 100 brands to do this in 2018 as high CMO attrition continues and CEOs use the change to create roles with a broader remit.”

Where can CMO’s find long-term, growth solutions?

Though this may seem like a dark cloud looming over the heads of C-Suite marketers, it also presents an opportunity for innovative, forward-thinking CMO’s to lead customer centric transformation.

First and foremost, tech-powered consumers are masters in the art of advertising combat. While this means advertising is far less effective, ad campaigns also do little to increase customer loyalty. Overtime as repeat customers are few and far between, these efforts end up putting more pressure on executives to use more expensive acquisition tactics to keep a steady flow of customers coming through their doors.

In light of this, marketers should be reallocating ad campaign resources to implement technology solutions that enable fluid, highly targeted and connected experiences with customers. Over time, these experiences will expand businesses loyal customer base and infuse stronger loyalty with existing customers. Ultimately, allowing businesses to reach sustainable customer centric growth.

4-Tell is key to achieving customer-obsessed growth

So, what the heck does this technology even look like? Look no further, marketers. 4-Tell has developed a platform to enable an entire workforce to drive customer loyalty through data-driven collaboration.

Our technology leverages machine learning to unify and derive critical insights from ecommerce platforms, POS, and CRM transaction data. Programmatically, we use these commerce insights to dynamically enhance the ecommerce experience through real-time product recommendations and site search. We then surface and organize these insights into customer profiles, segment analytics, and product data to give an entire workforce intelligence that can be executed digitally to collaborate with customers.

The result is a company-wide approach to retail that leverages intelligent insights to power collaboration and drive customer loyalty – ultimately, enabling a seamless, unified-brand experience that is anchored in customer centricity.

Becoming a catalyst of organizational, transformational digital change starts with 4-Tell technology. The Yellow Brick Road to success is paved with fluid customer experiences that continuously builds upon shopper loyalty and fuels company-wide sustainable growth. And we want to be your partner (side note: we are fully equipped with nerves, minds, and hearts) in helping you reach the Emerald City.

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