How digital technologies are shaping the new age Chief Marketing Officer!

Marketing is changing and how ! And that’s because the consumers are changing.

Did I say ‘changing’? Disrupting is a rather apt word for it. Consumers are showing disruption in the way they choose,access, consume and talk about a brand. Consumers now lay more importance on what their peers recommend as compared to a brand ad, they now have the capability to tear apart a brand’s image and have a massive negative PR generated in minutes if they are not happy with a brand’s service or promise, they would rather interact with the brand on social platforms rather than consume a one-way monologue enveloped ad and they would want to be serviced and informed in real time, on-demand.

This is surely not our grandfather’s business anymore.

Today’s consumers spend more time on digital platforms like Ipads, mobiles and desktop web, rather than TV and print mediums. All this is leading to a growing importance of Digital Led Marketing in today’s business parlance and young executives need to be ready with the knowledge and experience of digital marketing techniques lest they become obsolete before they realize.

Look at how in 2010 internet advertising spend surpassed the Print advertising spend in US.

This is a testimony to the fact that readership of print media is declining. TV also shows the same trend.

A 2011 Accenture survey across 10 countries including India shows that consumers who watch broadcast or cable television in a typical week plunged to 48% in 2011 from 71% in 2009. This trend continues in other surveys in 2012-13 as well.

One of the reasons is the growing popularity of Mobile devices like tablets and smartphones- which enable today’s generation to catch TV while on the move as well as displays the fact that users are more interested in on-demand consumption of content than ‘appointment-viewing’ or push content.

One of the reasons is the growing popularity of Mobile devices like tablets and smartphones- which enable today’s generation to catch TV while on the move as well as displays the fact that users are more interested in on-demand consumption of content than ‘appointment-viewing’ or push content.

Look at this amazing trend below:



Clearly marketing has to lay more emphasis not just on web or internet but also on Mobile web. Let’s understand how the new age Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and his team can leverage digital platforms today.

But before that have a look at another interesting data:

What digital marketing techniques and platforms are being used now by CMOs, given the changing landscape of users:

  1. CMOs need to track user perception and reaction: Dell, a few years back ignored a disgruntled user’s complaints and the user started a blog about his experiences with dell and coined the term ‘DellHell’. His experiences in the blog became a global rage and the blog was covered across TV and newspapers in USA. So much so that eventually the then CEO resigned, dell share prices declined and it’s ratings fell south and Dell had to invest huge time, effort and money to regain it’s lost sheen.
  2. CMOs need to leverage digital platforms like blogs, forums and social media and invest in Online reputation management processes to be more sensitive to users and save themselves from embarrassment

  3. CMOs need to react in real-time-digital platforms twitter, facebook and forums allow CMOs to react in real time and contain a negative experience into turning viral. At the same time consumers can also push a positive wave of appreciation if companies react in real time. Old spice reacted with 2-3 minute duration personalized video responses to questions on twitter, and was able to attract millions of views via a positive viral effect. (Also showed 107% growth in sales quarter on quarter)
  4. CMOs need to take quick decisions backed by real time BIG Data: The data that a CMO & team look at every day is at a much larger scale today. This is because devices are getting internet enabled now- ACs, Fridge, Cars, Mobile phones, ebooks, watches etc. are now internet enabled and throw data at the businesses 24x7. A website owner can look at how many people are on the website, where have they come from and what content are they using and what time have they spent on the current page-all in real time! The marketing team here can take real time action based on real time analytics.
  5. CMOs need to have a one view on all the data- Big data also throws the challenge of relevance. How much and what data to be digested? So CMOs today can invest in CRM systems that are integrated with social channels and have functional views. For e.g. Salesforce CRM can give us a one view of a customer in terms of how was the customer acquired, who is working on the customer, what is the level of engagement and business, who are the influencers in his team, who are common friends on the decision makers in our team, what are the topics of interest for him and how does he consume information and data sent by our team. All this in real time.
  6. A CMO today has to be responsible for the overall happiness of the customer and to make a customer happy the CMO needs to have control and accessibility on Sales, Marketing, Technology, Product and Customer care functions. A real time CRM system can actually give the CMO a one –view of all the above.

  7. CMOs need to invest in engaging consumers: Today’s consumers buy a product or service largely because of the brand’s personalized attention to the user. A Pepsi’s campaign ‘ Everything Now’ resonates the new generation’s philosophy and lifestyle. The young generation wants be everything, and that’s why Pepsi’s Facebook page has various contests and games around being everything or on demand music and games. E.g. Player Kabhi, Boss Kabhi. Or Meeting Kabhi. Dating Kahi. SabkuchAbhi. Music Abhi.
  8. Platforms like Facebook and twitter are important to engage users and create a synchronous brand image. Any brand that does not do so cannot hope to strike a chord with the new generation of users. (Remember there are over 100m users of internet in India today).
    Enterprises like Oracle, or SAP or IBM today need to go one step further and leverage digital platforms like YouTube or Slideshare to create thought-leadership. Their buyers buy from them because of their thought-leadership. No wonder companies like Infosys IBM and Accenture have a very well-crafted strategy to use Facebook, YouTube and Search marketing to create thought leadership and be found by most relevant buyers & influencers.

  9. CMOs need to track RoI: Advanced analytics and tracking mechanisms can now allow CMOs to track RoI transparently. A CMO can use digital techniques to decide things like:
    1. a. How many times a particular communication needs to be seen by a specific set of audience
    2. b. What communication needs to be shown to people who did window shopping on a particular page of the website and then exited without buying anything (Yes we have the technology to track and follow users who come but don’t buy anything)
    3. c. What time of the day, and days of the week should a communication be switched off or on.
    4. d. Capturing purchase intent actions
    5. e. What is the best cost per acquisition and hence what should be the budget and daily spend required.

Gone are the days when the CMOs would invest millions of dollars on TV and Newspaper and then hope for a miracle. Today CMOs need to leverage digital technologies to plan and track with a RoI perspective-for each penny!

In a nutshell digital marketing today allows the CMO & team to understand user behavior much clearer and helps take calls in real time based on advanced analytics and allows attributing the conversion success to specific media channels.

Without doubt, with consumers adopting digital media like never before and the relatively easier access of the CMO and team to digital technologies that can help them engage, influence, track, convert and re-win the consumers-is making digital marketing a compulsory practice, without which any new manager will find herself handicapped.

Author: Saurabh Pandey.

Saurabh is Faculty for Digital Marketing at WLCI. He has 16 years of experience in companies like Google, Bharti Airtel and Ibibo.com He has over a decade of experience in digital marketing domain and last worked as the Chief Operating Officer at OLX .com and is currently the CEO of dotConverse, a cutting edge Social Media & Online Marketing consulting firm.