Peter Fogelsanger

Wanted: Chief Customer Officer!

Blog Post created by Peter Fogelsanger on Feb 16, 2017

Last week, another post by Mayur Gupta caught my attention...

The Omni-Channel Paradox, not much has changed in 3 years - marketing is still fragmented #converge @adexchanger

I highly recommend you take a minute to read the article from 2014. But what really stands out from last week is his point that things haven't changed much... in 3 years!!

 

It is 2017 after all. You can't open your browser or news-feed without seeing some headline about AI, customer engagement, big data, or some other marketing technology that promises to nail the Omni-channel dilemma.

 

So why is marketing, and by extension customer engagement, still so fragmented? Obviously Mayur hit on many of the main reasons already in his post. Frankly...its hard! Well intentioned marketers, sales execs, customer service managers and other stakeholders are busy... doing their jobs with excellence. But the systems they use were built for those LOB or department specific jobs. They don't connect with the other department's systems or processes. So when executive management raises the bar on KPIs, what choice do they have but to do more of the same.

 

(Counter) Case Study

Case in point: last April I posted about our favorite pizza chain in How to use creative marketing to really annoy your customers... In the 9 months since, I have been doing a little unscientific experiment. In that time, we have ordered from them about 3 times. I haven't clicked through a single email and all of our orders have been online or on mobile app. So they know who I am, what, and when we order.

 

They continue to be very creative with their reasons to send a promo (team x won or team y scored 100 pts). BUT... they haven't gotten any better at their segmentation, targeting, or spamming tendencies. How do I know? 139 messages in 9 months. That's an average of 4 / week. With spot checks, I've actually seen 5 or 6 on some weeks.

 

Clearly somebody in marketing at this brand thinks that spending more money on creative email offers, and sending me a hailstorm of messages, should somehow increase conversions in our household. Total failure!

 

Wanted: Chief Customer Officer

So my thoughts on how to fix this... Just about every company has a 'chief' of key internal organizational responsibilities. Some have even morphed traditional line roles into things like chief people officer, chief digital officer, and CMO to start focusing on the customer and cross organizational topics.

 

There is also a more common understanding of the need for marketing technologists who can bridge technology organizations, processes, and language with marketing programs, processes, and priorities.

 

Similarly, we need more organizations with Chief Customer Officer or similar roles. Unfortunately a 2014 study indicates only 10% of Fortune 500 companies have an official CCO! Even with out the official title, organizations need to designate someone who can look for islands of customer data, competing or conflicting customer oriented processes, hard barriers between customer facing systems... and has the authority to correct them.

 

I've observed many projects and initiatives which could have produced better results more quickly if they were founded on a "Customer First" principal with an authority in the organization who can hold everyone's feet to that fire. Take Digital Transformation as an example. I love digital and many organizations need major work in that area... but why are we limiting or defining a transformational program to just digital? What about sales, CRM, stores or point of sale, offline processes that support digital, etc.

Shouldn't it be more about Customer Engagement transformation?

 

Final Thoughts

I'll wrap up with a small plug for the ONE Engagement Hub. If you are carrying a CCO or customer-obsessed banner in your organization, we can provide you with technology to help. It won't solve all your people / process challenges, but ONE can definitely bridge your technology islands in Customer Engagement. Drop me  a note or visit www.thunderhead.com to explore.

First appeared on LinkedIn February 6, 2017

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