The Point: Why This Matters

  • Bold thinking. Bold leaders separate themselves from their peers by having strategic confidence, customer obsession, and the right martech stack.
  • Onboard with data, CMOs? A data-driven market strategy is the path forward in uncertain times, with the biggest challenge being the adoption of such a strategy by CMOs.
  • Three ways to get ahead with a data-driven market strategy. Double down on zero- and first-party data, break down silos and burn down legacy systems and nail down the right measurement plan.

We’re headed into another challenging year, and the media heads are full of the apocalyptic — from recessions, inflation, global conflict, layoffs and health crises — pick your poison.

The flip side of challenging is of course, opportunity. For the bold, opportunity presents itself in several ways, each compelling those bold leaders to charge ahead of their retreating peers.

What Separates Bold Leaders From Retreating Peers?

  1. Strategic confidence — bold leaders push purposefully through challenge to opportunity; they don’t bunker down to wait for the challenges — and their competitors — to pass them by. Failing to make a decision to move forward is a decision in and of itself.
  2. Customer obsession — bold leaders focus every decision, tactic and investment on creating better customer experiences. With customers at their center, they’re not distracted by shiny things. Take care of the customer, and the rest will ultimately take care of itself.
  3. The right martech stack and consultants — exceptional customer experiences are the result of putting the right technology and consulting partners in place to design, build, optimize and market for higher performance and satisfaction. The investment pays off — 46% of B2B buyers said digital experience is the channel where they have the MOST meaningful brand experiences, higher than any other channel.
  4. Last, the thread that ties every piece of this puzzle together? An evolving, learning, enterprise-wide, data maximization strategy to fuel every strategic decision, customer experience optimization and tech and consulting investment.

A Data-Driven Market Strategy Is the Path Forward 

In times of calm or turbulence, data is a beacon of light toward the most optimal path forward. Yet, the top challenge CMOs foresee in 2023 is adopting a data-driven marketing strategy. In another study, 43% of CMOs mimicked this fault line, stating the biggest hurdle in generating value from their marketing data is business culture.

Sound familiar? We’ve played this record before. Whether it’s not enough data, too much data, the wrong kind of data — in 2023, get your house in order and build a data powerhouse and legacy to safeguard your businesses from inefficiency, empower your leaders with confidence and better decision-making, and feed your customer experience engine into 2024 and beyond.

The more complicated our enterprises and uphill our battles, the more we need reliable, accessible and actionable data. Here’s three ways to get after it.

Related Article: How to Make CX Less ‘Squishy’ and More Data-Driven

Double Down on Zero- and First-Party Data

Every business in 2023 needs a holistic strategy to capture and retain zero-party and first-party data. As cookies depreciate and third-party platforms restrict access to user data, marketers need to capture and retain the necessary data to fuel personalization, segmentation, acquisition and growth strategies.

Luckily, marketers can get first- and zero-party data through core, marketing basics — delivering value and nurturing loyalty in exchange for personal data.

These acquisition and retention strategies need to be at the forefront in your 2023 planning. What value can you offer to get customers to take action and share insights about themselves?

Preference centers, quizzes, demo offers, webinars, content downloads, surveys, giveaways and more are vehicles to engage customers and entice them to tell a little bit more about themselves.

Figure out what data you have and maximize it. Identify gaps and focus on how to fill them through thoughtful, customer-centered data acquisition tactics. Know what you know, go after what you don’t.

Related Article: How to Prepare Data for Ingestion and Integration

Break Down Silos and Burn Down Legacy Systems

Table-stakes in any year, it shouldn’t even make the list in 2023. Yet, time and again, we see enterprises impaired by communication and data silos across their organization.

Without a unified view of customers, behaviors, interactions, performance and operational efficiency, your business is impaired. You’re limping along, right foot independent to the left.

Frequently, legacy technology and processes are the crux of this issue. Businesses invest in large-scale projects (like a new Salesforce implementation), but then end up using only a fraction of its capabilities.

Whether it’s an implementation, adoption or training issue, employees then continue to use other tools, systems and workarounds. Using multiple systems to complete tasks immediately secures a dark silo into operational visibility and reduces marketers’ ability to act on behavior, trigger personalized campaigns, understand their customers or effectively report on performance.

In fact, 43% of CMOs say their teams spend more time compiling data than actually using it to drive decisions. How many missed opportunities, inefficiencies, insight gaps, or user pain points could be avoided by using the right tech at maximum capacity?

Learning Opportunities

Businesses need to burn down legacy systems and extract value out of their invested systems. All platforms need to be integrated into a universal tool, whether that’s Salesforce CRM, a marketing automation tool, customer data platform or a business intelligence tool — but there can only be one universal truth.

Nail Down the Right Measurement Plan

Once businesses have the right, owned data, and systems and processes to integrate and access that data, they’re on safe ground to make bold decisions, find pain points and optimize customers’ experience.

Of course, this assumes they’re using the right data — relevant, contextual, meaningful and actionable.

Too many marketers put great weight in vanity metrics (an example might be: “likes,” “open rates,” or “follower count”) to justify their efforts. The problem is these metrics don’t tell why something is happening and might not reflect business goals.

Instead, businesses need to set firm and transparent goals — what are we trying to achieve? Then, they must identify the right mix of metrics that offer greater context into “why” tactics are working or not.

For example, “increasing sales” is a beautiful, optimistic metric. But, does it tell us anything to inform our next decision? Not really. If we combine increased sales with key performance indicators (KPIs), like:

  • Referring channel
  • Campaign metrics
  • Sales benchmarks
  • New/existing customers
  • Average order value
  • Product categories
  • Seasonality
  • Device
  • Location

… we understand the full context of how we’re increasing sales, to then refine or repeat in our next campaign.

By combining meaningful KPIs to measure a goal, we account for context, trends, user types, devices, channels, offline activity — we get a clearer and more complete picture. We can then securely make decisions, experiments and strategies to create greater impact.

Make 2023 Your Year to Become Data-Centric

When next December rolls around, do NOT let data maximization languish on your to-do list. That’s a huge, compounded waste of resources, efficiency and opportunity to make your business more profitable every day in 2023.

Focus on getting the data you need — first- and zero-party data. Audit your tech stack and optimize tools to work at maximum capacity so you can finally burn down those legacy systems and workarounds holding you back.

Finally, find your universal truth and a measurement plan reflecting the right mix of KPIs to guide your decisions and continually improve your customers’ experience.

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