#10things marketers can do to deal with disruption – Retailing Africa


Existing data and analytics systems that rely solely on historical trends are no longer good enough at helping marketers predict and prepare for such disruptions. Marketers now know they need powerful customer-intuitive data/analytics/insights systems to get ahead of the next disruption. That’s a lot to unpack, warns the CMO Council.

Adding to the urgency, there’s a lot of revenue on the line for marketers who get it right. Practically every marketing leader says customer behaviour has been seriously affected by the pandemic. This has levelled the playing field in customer acquisition. Nearly 80% of marketing leaders say data, analytics and insights are very important to winning and retaining customers, according to a recent pulse poll of a select group of CMO Council marketing executives conducted by the CMO Council and GfK.

“Over the next 12 months, marketing leaders will be prioritising market insights, content response and engagement insights, and brand health and engagement metrics, our pulse poll found. These top marketing data insights are all elements of customer behaviour. Marketers constantly seek the latest insights into customer behaviour because of the mutable nature of today’s consumer. Disruptions have caused dramatic shifts in customer behaviour, ranging from the rapid migration to digital channels spurred by the pandemic; to the demand for purpose-driven marketing, underscored by hundreds of global brands pulling out of Russia.”

These are the 10 things marketing leaders the world over will be doing to deal with our changed world, where market disruptions can occur literally overnight – as we have all experienced over the past couple of years:

1. Investing in new data and analytics systems: Marketers now know they need powerful customer-intuitive data/analytics/insights systems to get ahead of the next disruption, as existing data and analytics systems that rely solely on historical trends are no longer good enough at helping marketers predict and prepare for such disruptions.

2. Prioritising winning and retaining customers: Practically every marketing leader says customer behaviour has been seriously affected by the pandemic. This has levelled the playing field in customer acquisition. Nearly 80% of marketing leaders say data, analytics and insights are very important to winning and retaining customers, according to a recent pulse poll of a select group of CMO Council marketing executives conducted by the CMO Council and GfK.

3. Chasing a better ROI on data investments: There’s a lot of revenue on the line for marketers who get it right. But only one out of three marketing leaders is very confident in their existing data sources and systems, despite companies spending millions every year trying to shore them up.

4. Revaluate data sources: There’s a big opportunity for marketers to advance their data, analytics and insights capabilities. It’s going to take some chutzpah. Marketers will have to revaluate data sources. A CMO Council survey in early 2020 found that nearly 60% of marketers had inconsistencies with the depth and granularity of customer insights. A shocking 36% admitted they didn’t have the data to know their consumers, let alone anticipate needs.

5. Aggressively adopt AI/machine learning technology and skills: Marketers need to identify and plan for data-driven marketing insights that matter most in the days ahead. The goal, of course, is to unleash the predictive power of data in an age of sudden disruption and to act on data insights in a customer’s moment of need.

6. Recognise that buyer intent data is the most relevant marketing data signal: Buyer intent data has risen to the top of the list of most relevant marketing data signals, according to our pulse poll. It’s even higher than purchase data and online behaviour data; and far more valuable than social media sentiment data. In a rapidly digitalised customer journey, consumers are researching online and making buying decisions at the top of the funnel. It’s more important than ever for marketers to understand and track buyer intent data signals in order to take action at the apex of the purchasing decision.

7. Work hard at converting online consumers by analysing their behaviour intently: Buyer intent data signals can come from multiple sources, including website and CRM, social media, content consumption, third-party data, search, etc. By truly understanding buyer intent data signals, marketers will be able to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time. They’ll be able to differentiate real prospects from window shoppers and bots, remove them from the picture, and raise return on ad spend and revenue per lead.

8. Don’t forget about purchase data: Purchase data, in particular, has become increasingly important as companies aggressively mine first-party data. It’s all part of the preparation for a cookie-less future. Deloitte found that 61% of high-growth companies are shifting to first-party data, while only 40% of negative-growth companies say the same.

9. Upskill in AI and data marketing skills: Revenue marketing consultancy Demand Spring released a report earlier this year showing that 41% of B2B marketers plan to use AI tools this year, a leap from 18% last year. Demand Spring’s findings echo a McKinsey 2021 study showing a steady rise in AI adoption across the enterprise. McKinsey found that 56% of companies reported adopting AI in at least one function last year, up from 50% in 2020.

10. Become true data connoisseurs: For marketers who want to be true data connoisseurs, AI needs to play a key role. Data must look beyond the present (and recent past) and into the future. Through AI, marketers can predict tomorrow with a high degree of confidence. There’s no question AI will have a profound impact on marketing, especially in predicting customer behaviour and market shifts, enabling hyper-relevant personalisation, and driving revenue growth.

 

*Download the full report from the CMO Council.

 

 

Main image credit: Unsplash.com.

 

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