It’s a jungle out there. New competitors seem to sprout like weeds from unlikely corners. Old foes, like internal inefficiencies and legacy systems can bury all but the hardiest of CMOs. Thriving in this environment often takes courage and a willingness to introduce new technology and or test new marketing platforms. These initiatives act like rich fertilizer, not only producing immediate growth opportunities but also cultivating an air of innovation that can pervade the organization.
Martine Reardon, the CMO of Macy’s, notes that the success of their recent technologically enabled events, such as the Macy’s Parade and its corresponding app, are twofold: “The great thing about our events is that they reflect the very best of American popular culture. This allows us to keep evolving with audiences over time,” Reardon says. “Additionally, as innovations in technology or other cultural shifts occur, we look to incorporate those into our events.”
Here are 4 ways CMOs have used the latest tech to cleverly steer their marketing and engagement strategies, resulting in company growth.
#1: Grow Your Customer Experience—Loren Angelo, Audi:
“Staying true to our brand focus on technological innovations, in 2014 we leveraged a completely new social media voice in Snapchat and brought a new digital experience to our consumers in the purchase process. As mentioned, Snapchat has been very successful for connecting our brand to a new, burgeoning community in just the last nine months.
At retail, we have introduced a new digital, Progressive Retail Experience in our showrooms to assist our dealer partners and consumers in the greatest customer need—saving time. Using tablet devices, our dealer partners now have a sales assist solution that can demonstrate vehicle features, show dealer inventory and assist in vehicle configurations through a few simple hand gestures. In addition, we have brought this digitized experience to the consumer delivery process and the service experience for a more streamlined experience that works on the customer’s schedule.”
#2: Grow Your Partnerships—Raj Rao, 3M:
“We strive to create extended product experiences through digital channels. This has been evident in the cloud library service that we have successfully launched, in the custom car wrap business and in our health care brands. The digital channels play a key part in providing a differentiated user experience in all these businesses. Recently we unveiled an innovative partnership between our Post It brand and Evernote. We have an exciting pipeline of innovative solutions that exemplify the inherent technology strengths in diverse 3M markets and channels. Our marketing strategies are to promote user engagement and strengthen our insights so that we can drive focused commercialization programs.”
#3: Grow Your Story—Lee Applbaum, Patrón Spirits:
“The traditional approach for this brand and for the industry would have been to splash it out in magazines, maybe advertise a little on T.V. and you’re off to the races. But we quickly realized and understood that a majority of media is being consumed digitally, which presented a unique opportunity here.
One of the things that is very true within the spirits industry is the consumer’s interest in sharing stories and experiences. We latched onto the insight that consumers in the luxury space now feel that it’s not just enough to have a big bold logo. Consumers want to know the backstory. They want to know the history, they want to understand the authenticity and integrity of a brand. And maybe equally importantly, they want to share that backstory with others because it gives them inherent credibility.
To leverage this knowledge, we rebuilt all of our web assets, including building experiential microsites (all mobile optimized) for Roca Patrón to help consumers learn about the product. We explained the artisanal process that goes into making Roca Patrón through a series of vignettes and then allowed that content to be curated and shared. We also created a tool that allows both consumers and the trade to share and comment on cocktail recipes featuring Roca Patrón.”
#4: Grow Your Infrastructure—Mayur Gupta, Kimberly-Clark:
“We have spent the last 12-18 months to establish a marketing technology ecosystem at Kimberly-Clark that includes technologies in three broad buckets: 1. Enterprise capabilities that need to be globally scaled, 2. Tactical and localized capabilities that need agility and speed and pertain to local market and consumer needs, 3. Lastly technologies and start ups that we need to partner with to drive innovation. Underneath these buckets, there have been a number of new capabilities that have successfully been launched this year—but more importantly, we have focused on wiring these technologies, ensuring it’s a connected ecosystem and not isolated technologies.”