Navigating the Digital Marketing Landscape: Six CMO Masters Tell Us How

December 13, 2014

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Digital marketing has a broad and ever-changing landscape. In order to successfully traverse such rocky terrain, CMOs must be relentlessly curious, constantly stay up-to-date, and prepare themselves for anything.

Case in point, Heather Newman, the CMO of ContentPanda, says that she checks Twitter and LinkedIn every day. “I love Gizmodo, TechCrunch, GeekWire, Entrepreneur and Fast Company,” Newman says. “I read all of those pretty regularly.”

Here are six CMOs who are master navigators of this increasingly challenging terrain.

1. The More Data You Harvest, the Better—Philip Granof, Black Duck Software:

“One great improvement we’ve seen has been a result of a tool called Demandbase. Demandbase is a real-time targeting and personalization platform offering marketers company-targeted display advertising, website engagement, and conversion modules for a consistent view of accounts from spend to revenue. We not only have a view into exactly who visits our website, a huge source of leads, but we have been able to reduce our form fields by nearly 50 percent and still collect all the data we need for targeting. Also, we send beautifully clean data into Salesforce, which our sales team appreciates. Our next step is to tailor the web experience based on a prospect’s company and role. Demandbase will allow us to do this.”

2. Use Your Customers as a Compass—Martine Reardon, Macy’s:

“Of course, we’re always testing newness in our omnichannel strategy and with technology – including our recent launch with ApplePay, rolling out shopkick nationally, launching Macy’s Wallet, enhancing our shopping apps, offering Macy’s Image Search, expanding buy online pickup in store, and testing same-day delivery.” “Our top priority at Macy’s is to serve the customer. With the customer at the center of every decision we make, it’s essential for us to quickly and effectively address their needs. This is why you’ve seen Macy’s at the forefront of testing new technologies and in some cases being early adopters of innovations that enhance our customer’s shopping experiences. Whether it’s more relevant, targeted marketing that cuts through the clutter and speaks to the needs and wants of that customer or a technology that speeds up the check-out process, we will look to test and adopt strategies and innovations that provide customer value and support.”

3. Make Smarter Decisions—Evan Greene, The GRAMMYs:

“Reading everything I can, and constantly auditing the market. I’m always trying to learn from others’ successes and failures. “I don’t think there is any one tool. I think our strategy has gotten smarter…and we are finding better, more effective ways to use data than before. I believe the ultimate winners and losers will be determined by who is best able to identify, understand and harness the data available to us as marketers.”

4. Go Native and Create Seamless Experiences—Tom Santora, Omni Hotels & Resorts:

“Our website, omnihotels.com, continues to be our strongest platform for hosting material and providing guests with useful information such as culinary recipes, special packages, photos and other details about our properties and destinations. To enhance that service, we recently rolled out a new website that has a complete new look and feel. We implemented response design which creates a seamless experience our guest regardless of the device they are using. Based on early customer feedback, it has been enthusiastically well received by travelers and we’ve seen traffic, booking and sales increase at a double-digit pace in just 90 days.”

5. Respond to Customers’ Birdcalls—Shannon Smith, J. Crew:

“For my world, it was absolutely our transition to the Responsys email marketing platform. The capabilities they provide in bringing vast amounts of customer online behavior into our segmentation has allowed us to significantly improve the productivity of our email campaigns through better segmentation of our customer base. We are able to incorporate products customers are interested in—indicated by browsing and email engagement—in addition to past purchases, which is incredibly powerful.”

6. Don’t Forget Survival Basics—Steve Fuller, LL Bean:

“In our case, it was better execution of the ‘basics.’ Our search programs—paid, natural, etc.—have been lacking in recent years and we definitely got those programs back on track in 2014. And after testing nearly every alternative available, it appears we might have finally beaten the in-house product recommendation engine that we built way back in 2005.”

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