In partnership with Accenture, The CMO Club recently explored how data is helping marketers declutter on The CMO Clubcast. We’re excited to share this Clubcast recording featuring The CMO Club’s Jon Suarez-Davis (jsd), along with Akella Surya Kiran Experience and Digital Transformation Strategist at Accenture, and David Bernard, VP, Digital & Technology at General Mills. Deb Corrao, Salesforce Business Group Lead, Accenture recaps the conversation below.

By Deb Corrao, Salesforce Business Group Lead, Accenture

Customer data and insights are what fuels marketing in today’s digital age. And yet, more than half (57%) of marketing executives admit they don’t have the data they need to understand customers or anticipate their needs. The issue stems from marketing organizations’ being forced to rapidly evolve in a few short years. With new technologies and touchpoints emerging seemingly overnight, marketers have been left with a long list of endless tasks and data black holes. In fact, nearly 70% of marketing executives say that the past year has completely exhausted their employees.

However, Accenture has identified one group of marketing executives that have found a way to cut through the clutter—they’re known as Thrivers. Thrivers can help deliver superior revenue growth, profitability, and customer satisfaction and are invigorating their teams. By continually collecting data, extracting insights, and acting on them in a timely way, Thrivers are delivering innovative data-driven experiences. But following in their footsteps isn’t as easy as you’d hope.

To become Thrivers, marketers should do three things. First, they’ll want to shift their mindsets. This can be as simple as focusing more on customers’ experiences. Second, marketing organizations should consider adopting new ways of working, both within their functions and across the business. CMOs can lead the charge here by partnering with other C-suite leaders. Third, companies should adopt a technology platform that provides an omnichannel view of customers, as well as the ability to orchestrate experiences in a seamless fashion. This is where Salesforce can play a massive role in helping companies cut through the clutter and deliver greater, data-driven customer experiences.

New age. New mindset.

Marketing organizations have always struggled with customer data. Many don’t have a strategy for managing first-, second- and, third-party data points. However, analyzing both anonymous and known data can reveal hidden patterns that may drive better customer experiences. So, while 82% of marketers have data from more channels than they did two years ago, knowing what to do with it is key—it’s really no surprise, then, that more than half of marketers admit to a data gap.

This data gap can be a liability. It creates a clutter of ineffective marketing activities. Without insight into who customers are and what they want, marketers can’t truly satisfy them. To get reacquainted, marketers should find ways to gain access to rich customer data. It’s no longer enough to know a customer’s name, email and purchase history. Thrivers understand they’re operating at their best when they’re creating a comprehensive profile of their customers across multiple touchpoints. This is what allows them to truly connect with end-users. With Salesforce, organizations can gain a 360-degree view of customers across channels and hone their competitive edge in the marketplace. 

Most marketing organizations (85%) plan to or have invested significantly in new technologies to keep up with data volumes. However, that is just step one.

Experiences take a village

It’s one thing for marketers to declutter how data is managed within their department. Enriching customer experiences means unifying data across the organization to create a single source of “golden” truth that can serve marketing, sales, and service, as well as inform all their activities.

Companies across industries can be their own worst enemies here. Their customers have experiences via in-store, e-commerce, and social channels—and more. Yet silos, disparate systems, and internal politics can make customers’ experiences far from seamless. As go-to-market strategies evolve post-pandemic, this will become even more problematic. That’s why Thrivers are making a point to help thread data across the organization: so they can then tie in their organization’s brand purpose with its business objectives. By implementing Salesforce, many of these Thrivers are finding ways to help create a single location for shared customer insights, allowing marketers to turn insights into action.

Only 33% of marketing executives strongly agree that their marketing organization has successfully collected data from other functions to construct a holistic view of their customer. Even less have figured out how to unleash customer support experiences for their entire organization. Fortunately, we have the experience that can help you improve yours.

Discover. Execute. Measure. Repeat.

Getting more control of customer data can help marketing organizations transform marketing execution. Leaders can use data to prioritize where they direct time, money, and resources for innovation and business growth. They can also pinpoint the best ways to use automation and ecosystem partners to help work at speed and scale while keeping internal teams fresh and inspired.

Thrivers understand the importance of getting marketing execution right. They value standardized and consolidated execution capabilities and know the importance of thinking big and moving fast in a world where marketing execution is no longer about launching ten campaigns a month. Sure, speed is important, but Thrivers know it’s also about having tens of millions of conversations a year and using insights from those conversations to inform future strategies. That’s why many are turning to Salesforce as a platform to springboard new ideas and rethink marketing day-to-day.  It’s also why we have paired our SynOps solution with Salesforce.

93% of Thrivers are using technology to free up teams to focus on activities that differentiate the brand.

Steps marketers can take today

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to becoming a Thriver, there are certainly steps that marketing organizations can take today. Through Salesforce, marketers should focus their attention on these six areas:

  1. Educate the business about the value of data-driven marketing.
  2. Solidify the role of marketing in the new operating model.
  3. Make experience design a priority across the enterprise.
  4. Double down on digital by becoming a data evangelist.
  5. Create a culture of continuous learning about data.
  6. Become obsessive when it comes to data ROI.