By Heeje Cho
Concentrix Director of Digital Marketing Consulting
Digital technology is bringing rapid changes to all areas of doing business, but nowhere are the changes more dramatic than in digital marketing. Keeping pace with updates in digital marketing technology is critical for companies in the consumer packaged goods, consumer electronics and retail sectors. New technology creates new marketing platforms and fresh marketing activities that take advantage of them. The changes include the breakdown of the barrier between marketing and sales, growth for the digital marketing outsourcing business and an expanding role for everyone holding the title Chief Information Officer (CIO).
The new role of CIO has less to do with the technology behind the digital revolution, and more to do with the resulting changes in marketing. The first challenge is the explosion in digital content resulting from the increasing number of channels such as web, mobile and social media. Managing contents across multiple platforms is made more difficult by the need for global consumer companies to customize digital content for scores of countries.
Lifecycle management of digital content, including management of intellectual property rights, has become as important as customer relationship management (CRM), the strategies and technologies used to manage and analyze customer interactions and data. Some CIOs may consider a web content management system (WCMS) that provides web/mobile site authoring, collaboration and administration tools an adequate solution. But keeping pace with the market also requires digital asset management of all company content and requires changes in the marketing process, as well as IT support. CIOs must think of digital asset management as developing a companywide digital content infrastructure, not just as developing an IT system. The digital content infrastructure should be aligned with a long-term marketing strategy.
CIOs also need to focus on data-driven personalization and real time marketing. Enhancing the customer experience and promoting sales by developing customized content and campaign offers through analysis of a customer’s digital footprint is no longer used only by Amazon and other e-commerce companies. The problem is the dizzying number of digital marketing solutions, including recommendation engines, online surveys and social media analysis. Digital marketing platforms can become very complex in efforts to integrate these solutions and cost more than necessary if not carefully considered.
An effective digital marketing strategy requires the engagement of the CIO and technology experts from the start. This requires a CIO to collaborate better with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). A company must first develop the roadmap for technology solution deployment based on the digital marketing strategy—carefully evaluating technology maturity. This will guide the development of a more realistic and effective digital marketing plan, while preventing premature adoption of an ineffective technical solution. Second, build your team with deep IT experience and a good understanding of marketing. Otherwise, you may find IT and marketing staff using different languages and arriving at different solutions.