How CMOs are personalizing customer experiences using cloud technology

Jim Lambe / September 2020

Jim Lambe, Managing Director of Google Cloud Canada, shares how CMOs are personalizing consumer journeys and driving their organizations forward using data-driven, automated strategies.

For years, CMOs have been on the front lines of digital transformation within their companies, championing innovation while under pressure to prove its ROI and full-funnel. Then in a matter of months, the pandemic accelerated digital adoption more than it had in years.

Suddenly, entire organizations are aligning on digital’s importance. CEOs and CFOs are looking to CMOs for answers, hoping their insights around consumer behaviour and demand can inform everything from the supply chain to customer service strategies.

It’s never been more important for marketers to provide a relevant, personalized customer experience — yet it comes at a time when consumer behaviour is almost impossible to predict.

Over the next year, companies will be laser-focused on revenue. It’s never been more important for marketers to provide a relevant, personalized customer experience — yet it comes at a time when consumer behaviour is almost impossible to predict.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), both powered by cloud technology, rely on strong data at the foundation, of which marketers have a large amount to work with, in order to generate insights. AI and ML can analyze vast amounts of datasets to find patterns in customer behaviours, predict trends, flag when campaigns aren’t performing, and shift dollars to better optimize. Plans can stay agile and strategies can follow trends.

For example, global home and body cosmetics business Rituals turned to Google Cloud to bring together its first-party data from Google Marketing Platform, CRM systems, email, and point-of-sale to find new valuable marketing insights. Using Google Cloud’s ML technologies, Rituals can now predict which visitors are most likely to make a purchase on the website. It has resulted in an 85% increase in sales, a 15% decrease in cost-per-acquisition, and overall company growth of 50-60% annually.

There has never been a more important time for companies to scale AI — and CMOs are best positioned to lead the way. With the entire organization’s data consolidated in the cloud, marketers can use a range of insights to inform their campaigns and personalize the customer experience in unique ways.

Data has quickly gone from being a source of inspiration to a critical partner in optimization and revenue.

CMOs use cloud technology to stay agile

Data has quickly gone from being a source of inspiration to a critical partner in optimization and revenue. But marketers still need to effectively capture and sort data to inform decision making quickly. In April 2020, nearly two in five marketers said they had insufficient access to the right data to fully understand how the current pandemic is affecting customers and their business.1

Insights like analytics, campaign metrics, subscribers, traffic sources, and keywords can tell a lot about who customers are, what they are looking for, and why campaigns are working — or not. These insights allow companies to anticipate needs and make decisions that provide a better customer experience, and in turn, drive revenue.

But these insights need to be informed by other parts of the company from the start. Supply chain data from warehouse to storefront can help demand and supply forecast and capacity planning, but also plays a critical role in feeding marketers with real-time market pulse and consumer behaviours. By implementing a unified data strategy accessible across the organization through the cloud, marketing and sales teams close the loop in the data cycle across the organizations.

Agility does not need to come with risk

During challenging times, CMOs can use their unique position in the centre of the company to bring the rest of the C-suite together. This will save their teams time and improve the customer experience, which will ultimately impact revenue. Automation saves marketing teams time and dollars, and allows CMOs to then reinvest into initiatives that can better meet customer needs.

Global research from Accenture has shown that “innovation leaders” see more than double the revenue growth of “laggards” (those slower to adopt digital technology).2

Agility does not need to come with risk. The importance of simply being in the cloud is now obvious — getting the most out of the cloud is what leaders need to think about now. CMOs can drive their organizations forward — not just by intent, but with an actionable vision, powered by cloud.

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