When what was once regarded as an operational matter becomes a boardroom matter, you know that somewhere along the way, it’s become of fundamental importance.
A recent issue of Boardroom magazine said it all: we’re in an age of digital disruption and convergence, and Boards of Directors need people around the table equipped to address its ramifications. What once lived in the realm of the IT and marketing departments has found its way to the top floor.
Disruption will do that
Now here’s a related point: Just as Boards of directors need digitally equipped people at the table, so too do organisations need external partners who are similarly equipped. None more so than consumer-facing companies: retailers, utilities, banks, et al.
It’s hard to overstate the impact of marketing automation on such businesses. A recent IBM article stated: “Markets are in flux due to technological advances. The world is truly experiencing a continuous evolution as marketplace categories fuse, new segments emerge and the competitive landscape for entire industries is redefined.”
If you feel a chill wind in those words, you’re right. Businesses that fail to adapt are under threat.
The greatest competitive advantage digital innovators enjoy is the ability to reduce churn while simultaneously reducing the cost of retaining customers. How? By using technology to gain deep insights into individual customers’ behaviours, motivations, wants, opinions and circumstances at any given moment. And tailoring their actions towards each customer accordingly.
The days of campaign-driven marketing are numbered; in its stead is customer-driven marketing, with data at its core. Companies who thrive will be those who are good with data, and whose partners are the same.
What does that look like? First, it means embracing technology, particularly that which can enable engagement and mining of data.
Second, it means having people who know how to use technology to gain relevant insights and create new opportunities. Such people will be knowledgeable, entrepreneurial and creative. They’ll also be agile – always ready to adapt as technology develops, and new opportunities (or threats) emerge.
That’s seeing the growth of companies like Marketing Impact – smart local people with a passion for data-driven communication, backed up by powerful technology partners (in our case, globally respected Salesforce Marketing Cloud).
The winners will be those who use insights to drive action. My advice: find a powerful, digitally aware partner who can help you connect with your customers.
And the best time to do that? As ever when the ground is shifting under your feet, now’s good.
Supplied courtesy of Alan Hard, managing director of Marketing Impact.