CMOs: It's time to lift our data-for decision making game

Constellation Research VP and analyst, Liz Miller, explains why marketing leaders need to explore both 'data for' as well as 'data from' datasets if they're to delivering growth

It’s by tapping into data for decision making, rather than concentrating on data from marketing actions, that will enable CMOs to identify new paths to growth and revenue, Constellation Research VP and analyst, Liz Miller, says.

Speaking at the recent CMO Momentum conference, Miller said one of the big lessons to come from 2020 is around marketing’s approach and thinking around data. She described it as a two-fold equation: Thinking about data as a ‘from’ or as a ‘for’.

“Are you thinking about data ‘from’ decisions, or are you starting to look at data ‘for’ decisions? Yes, there is a big difference,” Miller told attendees. “Think of them as doorways. Behind door one is all the data we collect from all the decisions we made – investments we made, campaigns we deployed, the technology to track how customers react to the experiences and engagements we are building.

“A lot of that data from decisions is used to prove, justify and optimise campaigns. This door is the critical door for our teams – these are the data systems, tools and technologies we want to be able to provide for our marketing teams so they can constantly prove and reach that point of effectiveness so the things we provide to customers and engagements we are looking to deliver, are landing where we expect them to.”

Yet data from decisions isn’t the only door to go through for a CMO. Miller challenged chief marketing officers to start going into the ‘data for decisions door’ more often.

“It’s the data for decisions, that comes from far beyond marketing’s walls and from across the enterprise, that the entire organisation is pulling together so we get that view of how a customer interacts and engages,” Miller said.

“This data for decisions allows us to interrogate our assumptions completely differently, and start to ask very different questions, not just about what the customer expects and how to meet those expectations, but how we can explore new markets, identify new paths to revenue, and how we can experiment in a way where we’re constantly succeeding forward.”

Rather than fail forward, Miller said data for decisions can enable the kind of experimentation where CMOs “can reach a level of decision velocity that allows us to succeed forward”.

“That’s where data gets truly exciting,” she said. “While both doors need to exist, as we go into 2021 my advice is to take a chance – go into the data for decisions door more often. That is where the new interrogation and exploration is going to lead to new paths to growth. That’s the missing ingredient for a lot of folks who only look at data as being the data from decisions.”

Ditching the 4Ps

Miller’s big second message during CMO Momentum was a rallying cry to ditch the traditional Ps of market: Product, price, place, promotion.

“Let’s be real, we lost product, price and probably place some time ago,” Miller said. “We have been clinging on to promotion too – it’s like the one P of marketing for a lot of folk. Then we created a few more Ps to include people, process and physical evidence.”

Besides ownership, the problem with talking about the Ps of marketing is they largely still rely on an enterprise looking at what it has – be it product, solutions and services - and taking that and pushing it out towards the customer.

“But what we all understand today is that’s not the age of experience we live in,” Miller said. “There is a new letter to focus on. What CMOs are actually doing is championing the three Rs – revenue, relationships and reputation.”

Miller described revenue as CMOs optimising growth and driving both top and bottom-line efficiencies, while relationships is about building durable and profitable relationships with customers. The third R, reputation, reflects the way marketers are constantly building their brand not only with their own crowds, but the crowd at large.

“Every consumer is starting to make active wallet decisions based on reputation. What do they believe the value is we’re driving? Do they see a common, core set of values that we the brand, and they the buyer, hold together?” Miller asked.

“When we focus on the three Rs, we stop getting distracted if someone wants to take price and promotion away from where we stand. Because we CMOs are the growth drivers of the modern enterprise, so we have to be focused on revenue, relationships and revenue.”  

These Rs are also inextricably tied to the area of brand security, something Miller saw becoming increasingly critical in 2021. With trust being one of the most popular words going into 2021, Miller said it was high time CMOs built a stronger relationship with both their CIO and chief information security officer (CISO).

“Brand security is not just keeping one thing safe… it’s a common language for the CMO, CIO and the CISO to start to speak,” Miller argued. “It’s about a unified tech framework and strategy that actively works to protect the promises every one of us make to our customers every day.

“There are promises being made in every engagement in the customer, and it’s up to the CMO, CIO and CISO to make sure brand security has a unified framework so we’re all moving towards the optimal goal of trust.”  

Miller positioned trust as an amalgamation of product promise as well as the promises brands keep, such as shipping times and protecting customer data. “Those incrementally add up and combine into the goodwill you get when your product is delivered,” she explained.  

“Unfortunately, they are also met with the promises that get broken including data breaches, the biggest broken promise you can make. All these can chip away goodwill. But for the modern buyer, it’s also about perception – are you a brand I want to do business with? Is my perception you are good people doing good things in a good way? That’s the amplifier.

“If all of this adds up into trust, we need to think about all the tech we amassed in a new way. This all has to link into and be seen as a holistic unit feeding into all the promises we make. These are the things we need to be having serious conversations with our CIO and CISO about.

“When we all start working as security champions, those promises we deliver to customers will be fulfilled and we will build up that equity.”  


Liz Miller's presentation, along with all the main stage sessions from CMO Momentum 2020, are now available for a short time on-demand. Visit our CMO Momentum on-demand offering here.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

 

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