Gartner Keynote: Mastering the Marketer’s Journey

May 17, 2016
Contributor: Chris Pemberton

The new marketing journey requires an analytical mindset and innovation to build customer love.

Marketers now have a seat at the executive table and with that seat comes significant accountability for growing the business. 73% of marketers own or share a P&L, according to the Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2015-16. To succeed, marketers must embark on a hero’s journey to master customer experience and drive growth.

“Marketers are sitting at the epicenter of growth between the organization and the customer,” noted Yvonne Genovese, group vice president, Gartner for Marketing Leaders, as she opened the 2016 Gartner Digital Marketing Conference. “You have the 360 degree view of the customer that no one else has,” she told the audience of digital marketing leaders.

Leverage data and analytics

Martin Kihn, research vice president, grounded the marketer’s journey by declaring that the era of “going from the gut is finally over.” More than two-thirds of the marketers in Gartner’s recent data-driven marketing survey said that “most” of their marketing decisions are going to be based on hard data and advanced analytics by next year.

Martin Kihn Research Vice President

Martin Kihn shares why data is the DNA of modern marketing.

Data is the DNA of modern marketing. Mr. Kihn noted that “The amount of data available to marketers roughly doubles every year.” One way marketers are getting a handle on data is through the emerging field of digital marketing hubs.

Love the customer experience

Augie Ray, research director, discussed that while data is the foundation of the journey, every journey needs characters. And the central character in the new marketing journey is not the marketer, but the customer. Understanding the customer journey and the customer experience is key to delivering the results the business needs.

“For too many brands, the journey ends short of loyalty.”

Mr. Ray took the audience through a Buy/Own/Advocate cycle and noted that for too many brands, the journey ends short of loyalty. If they do gain customer loyalty, brands must strive for advocates who “love” the brand and share their love across their networks.

Augie Ray

Augie Ray tells the audience of digital marketers why they should foster brand love.

“Some say that love is a strong term for a brand relationship,” Mr. Ray said. He suggested that the audience look to their own lives for evidence of brand love and referenced Zappos, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, Square and others as examples. These brands inspired customer love less with messaging and content and more with powerful differentiated customer experiences.

“It’s the marketer’s job to lead customer experience,” he said.

Embrace innovation

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, research director, described the role of innovation in powering marketing growth by adding that 41% of CMOs ranked innovation as one of their top three challenges in the recent Gartner CMO Spend Survey, making it top of mind as a growth driver of the business.

“Consumer expectations and behaviors have changed more in the last 10 years than in the last 50 years,” she said. Brands can innovate with new technologies to shift from defining the right message to the right person at the right time to anticipating the right offer for the right person at the right time.

“Consumer expectations and behaviors have changed more in the last 10 years than in the last 50 years,

Ms. Newbold-Knipp cited examples of augmented reality (AR) by Ikea and Sephora, virtual reality (VR) by Lowe’s and Ocean Spray, and the Internet of Things (IoT) by Amazon and Fitbit to note that marketers need to harness innovation to move from being “stewards of customer data to the champions of customer insight.”

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp

Kirsten Newbold-Knipp highlights how innovation helps marketers’ anticipate customers’ needs.

How does a marketer get started on the journey? By exploiting the role that data, customer experience and innovation play to enable marketing to deliver business growth.

Or, as Ms. Genovese stated earlier in the session, “The hero assembles a team and encounters perils along the way. In order to survive, heroes innovate. In the end, they are successful.

“You are on a similar journey.”

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