The CMO Challenge: Personalized Conversations at Scale

CMO Conversations

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Posted: March 6, 2015 | Engagement Marketing

The challenge executives face is clear. How do you have personalized conversations at scale?

At the Argyle CMO Executive Forum, 35% of the attending executives agreed that delivering personalized content as their greatest marketing challenge—the highest rated selection by far. It was a theme that was reinforced presentation after presentation. So how do we address this issue?

It’s Difficult

The executives at the event were honest about how segmentation and personalization are some of the most difficult challenges they currently face. How do you truly capture intent because behavior is not enough? The VP of Client Strategy of the DAC group said “No one is in the perfect nirvana state”.

Content in Context

Despite not having fully solved the challenges of personalization, they did agree that a first step for marketers is to understand content in context. This theme was best illustrated by Jon Busman, Global Marketing, CMO Initiative Lead at IBM. He discussed two customer journeys that were exactly the same, but the context was incredibly different. He used the example of buying flowers for someone. Regardless of the reason for purchase, the transactions and the behaviors are the same—go online, choose a bouquet, enter an address, and purchase the flowers.

If marketers were to segment or personalize messages purely based on the transaction, they may write messages of congratulations when the flowers were for someone who experienced a loss. Creating personalized messages is not enough; the messages must work within the context of customer experience.

Shape Experiences

Once we understand the context, as marketers we should focus on shaping experiences. Scott Moore, SVP of Best Buy, discussed auditing people’s experiences before, during, and after purchase. While doing this at Best Buy, they realized that as a company, they focused primarily on the customer experience before and during purchase and that they often forgot about shaping experiences after a purchase. This evaluation helped them adjust their focus and work to create an ‘after’ experience that would help get a customer to come into a Best Buy store again.

ABCDE of Engagement

Our CMO at Marketo, Sanjay Dholakia, shared a framework for marketers to use when engaging with consumers. These 5 principles of engagement help marketers drive engagement over the entire customer journey and shape their experience of a brand.

The principles suggest that you, as a marketer, engage your customers:

  • As individuals
  • Based on behavior
  • Continuously over time
  • Directed towards an outcome
  • Everywhere they are

As you start to incorporate these 5 principles, evaluate software to help you to put these principles in action and at scale.

There was plenty of great information shared and discussed at this event. While it is clear that no one has the perfect answer to all of today’s marketing challenges, we are making strides toward a solution with advancements in the marketing software space and how we think about engaging with our customers throughout their entire journey.

Phillip Chen is Sr. Enterprise Marketing Manager at Marketo, where he runs field events generating pipeline within the Enterprise. Phillip previously launched nurture at Marketo and managed demand generations programs for the B2C audience. Phillip graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada with a Bachelor of Commerce.

Read Phillip's Blogs

35% of CMOs from @argyleexecforum agree that delivering personalized content is their greatest marketing challenge:

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