Accelent Consulting, in partnership with The CMO Club and Oracle Marketing Cloud, recently published a study, CMO Insights on the Journey to Digital Agility that provides a snapshot of where marketing leaders stand along this path today. 82 CMOs were surveyed and in-depth 1-1 interviews were conducted. The study showed that ‘world-class’ digitally agile enterprises are those with core digital skills, advanced maturity and a desire to proactively seek new digital approaches.
In compiling the report, it became clear that digital agility is not just about understanding what’s needed – it’s also about translating that understanding into action and accelerating adoption. The ROI is clear: reduced costs, increased sales, happier clients, enhanced competitiveness, deeper market understanding and (ultimately) increased revenue and profit.
With this in mind, the top recommendations are:
1. Prepare for Change, Always.
Invest in tools that make sense for your organization. Understand what data you need and work with IT to get it in a usable format, and continue to keep the data actionable and current. Place dedicated marketing technologists between marketing and IT. Leverage agile development principals to fully integrate with your IT function to build product and digital roadmaps. The marketing and IT functions can’t simply cooperate, they must actively collaborate.
2. Increase Focus on Customer Knowledge.
World-class digitally-agile organizations are leveraging technology to build an intimate understanding of customers and markets. If you don’t truly understand your customer, personas and vertical segments, you can’t speak the language they need to hear in order to understand the value of what you offer. Increase personalization and interaction (including behavior and psychological understanding) and deliver content that is relevant so that customers want to engage with you across multiple channels or platforms.
3. Staff Marketing with “Pi-shaped” People.
The profile of the marketing professional has changed substantially over the last few years. In addition to specialized marketing skills, marketers must now be conversant with digital and analytical techniques. Organizations should strive to move to a point where digital is naturally part of every marketing activity. It takes time to attract, develop and retain world-class marketing teams, so start today. To be truly agile, it makes sense to adopt a flexible staffing model using consultants, contractors and agencies to plug any capability gaps.
4. Don’t be Afraid to Fail, Keep Trying New Things.
Digital marketing is evolving quickly, and its impact can be nearly real-time. You must always start with a well-thought-out strategy for programs, campaigns, content and channels, and have clear goals and KPIs established, or else you are throwing darts to see what works. While effective planning is as important as it ever was, the need to move quickly has never been more acute. Experiment with digital tools and initiatives, try multiple approaches, fail fast, and then try something else. Be creative. Always.
5. Build Support at All Levels.
Support for digital marketing starts at the CEO level. Senior Leadership must not only “buy in” to digital marketing, they must be champions of it. Once they are on board, drive the strategy down the organization so that everybody feels a sense of ownership and responsibility. And don’t forget to bring in other departments like Sales, Finance, Customer Support, HR and of course, IT. They all have a role in delivering customer value even though as the CMO, you are the one in the driver’s seat.
There is much more detail in the free survey-baased report CMO Insights on the Journey to Digital Agility. In addition to doing research and analysis, we work with companies through a variety of custom consulting projects and offer growth acceleration, benchmarking and assessment services to help you succeed in your journey towards digital agility. Let’s talk.
About Accelent Consulting
Founded in 2001 by Barbara Angius Saxby, Accelent Consulting combines strategic Marketing & Sales leadership, with technology expertise and execution support to accelerate revenue growth and improve marketing effectiveness. We drive business results from the top of the funnel to the bottom line – while helping organizations become more digitally agile to better deliver customer value. Accelent serves a range of companies from startups to blue chips in several verticals with consultants based in the US and Europe. We work on a project, retainer, or interim management basis and serve as your outsourced team help you accelerate projects or programs and quickly scale your resources, up or down, as the business demands. For more information, visit our Website or email us.