CIOs and CMOs must partner on 'insight teams'

Customer insights are the new currency in today's digital world, yet too many companies can't seem to produce them quickly enough.

Arms flailing in an ocean of customer data, panicky marketers need the CIO to throw them a life line. That is, they need to know what to do with the data.

Before this can happen, though, the CIO must partner with the CMO to create an "insights team" and architect an "insights fabric" technology stack that can extract marketing insights, enable marketers to act on them, and test and analyze results in a feedback loop, says a Forrester report.

"Despite their investment in big data practices and technologies, many firms still paddle in a sea of data without the ability to prioritize results and find insights they can use," write Forrester analysts Brian Hopkins and Ted Schadler in the report. "One global bank told us, 'We are a company with so much data but very little insight, even with all the tools and capabilities in place. We are literally drowning in data and starving for insight.'"

Customer insights are the new currency in today's digital world, yet too many companies can't seem to produce them quickly enough. A big part of the problem is that everyone seems to be operating in silos and buying up technology independently of each other. At times, IT holds customer data hostage while marketing goes behind IT's back. The result: disconnected data and systems.

Few seem to understand what's at stake.

What customer insight means

A well-designed insights engine and process can change a company's fortunes. For instance, a Sephora customer can receive a promotional message over her mobile device as soon as she steps into a store. A large commercial bank found that new credit-card customers had a painful on-boarding experience and fixed it. Salespeople at Constellation Brands leverage insights to assist customer retailers in maximizing results of end-cap displays. Tesla Motor's insights gleaned from data in its connected cars will go into the design of a new autopilot system.

"After years of flailing, we now know that Facebook 'likes' don't drive sales -- only loyalty and referrals do," Hopkins and Schadler say. "An insights-to-execution process would have discovered this much sooner."

Forrester figures setting up a system that delivers customer insights will cost anywhere from $2 million to $10 million over two years, depending on how much data infrastructure already in place. Companies will have to hire data scientists and engineers, in order to create data insights teams of five to 15 people.

At the base of the technology stack is the "insights fabric" layer, which consists of data warehouses, data marts, OLAP, data hubs and cloud data sources and services. In the middle layer, there's data science workbench and agile BI, execution engines, data feed management, collaboration and governance tools. At the top of the stack are insights-driven applications.

CIOs have the tools

The good news is that CIOs already possess much of the technology needed to build the insights engine, from vendors such as Microsoft, SAS, Appian, Hadoop, IBM, Oracle, SAP, to name a few

"CIOs have a responsibility to implement and manage the business technology their firms need to understand and serve powerful customers," Hopkins and Schadler say. "Systems of insight play a vital role in transforming technology systems into this engine of business growth."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

To DMP or not to DMP?

There are plenty of brands that can benefit from plugging into a data management platform. But should you engage an agency to run one or bring it in-house?

Ben Willee and Richard Taylor

Spinach Advertising

Innovations in retail will bring creative and technology closer than ever

While approaching a customer in a shop and asking what you can help them with is Retail 101, how many of us actually enjoy being approached? Generally, you have to give the forced, fake smile and say, “Just browsing, thanks,” while screaming on the inside, “just leave me alone!” Maybe it’s just me?

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

There’s a brand in my digital soup

Not a day passes by in the life of business executives where digital innovation or the prospect of disruption is not front of mind. This in turn, drives an unrelenting flow of questioning, discussion and strategy papers.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

I need to be reborn before i can grow up & become a contestent.

Kaye Peterkin

Channel Nine's content now streamed digitally on 9Now

Read more

I hope The Block, will continue for many many more seasons.When i die, & grow up, I want yo come back as a contestent.

Kaye Peterkin

Channel Nine's content now streamed digitally on 9Now

Read more

Sounds a bit confusing, but also like there're quite a few benefits. So, it's a good idea to link it with crm and marketing automation? D...

Kirsten

To DMP or not to DMP? - Marketing automation - CMO Australia

Read more

cc

Marjorie Campbell

Talk to me, Facebook! Social net buys speech recognition company

Read more

This would have the be the worst company to ever use. They never get back to you, they over promise and under deliver and when you questi...

Samantha Colbert

Aussie entrepreneur Nick Bell sells WME Group to Melbourne IT

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in