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article imageCustomer engagement has completely transformed: Microsoft CMO

By Jack Derricourt     Dec 12, 2017 in Business
“Digital transformation has totally reframed the way customers are engaging,” said Katia Houbiguian, CMO of Microsoft Canada at Microsoft’s recent Connected Sales and Marketing event.
Houbiguian described how marketers need to come to grips with the technology at their disposal.
Marketing is no longer a question of building one-and-done relationships with customers, said Houbiguian. It’s about building a longer term relationship, inspired by data and encouraged by meaningful dialogue with the customer.
The new face of marketing relies heavily on data analytics. Humanity is creating an insane amount of data every day, and marketers are harnessing this information to predict and understand the behaviour and needs of the newly empowered customer.
Putting the empowered customer at the centre
Throughout the entire process of marketing to a customer, from nurturing an ongoing dialogue, all the way to creating a high quality lead for the sales department, the customer should be the centre of the process, according to Houbiguian.
“Our job has become really tough,” she said, referring to the amount of effort marketers need to put into attracting and keeping the attention of the customer. This new level of difficulty has necessitated a shift from the older model of marketing, towards a digitally savvy, more integrated model.
New face of marketing
Data analysis allows marketers to monitor and nurture customers engagement throughout the entire process of their interactions with the company. It also allows them to develop healthier strategies.
“It doesn’t mean marketers are becoming technologists,” said Houbiguian, but it has become crucial for them to understand the technology that is shaping the industry.
Technologies like the Internet of Things and cloud computing have opened up new opportunities for marketers. The kinds of insights created by these technologies can be actioned fast and can lead to greater efficiency.
Houbiguian also pointed to AI as a valuable tool for marketers. While its most visible currently as a customer interface through the use of chatbots, Houbiguian noted that the technology could also lead to better integration of data between marketing and other departments. Functional silos remain a major pain point for CMOs, and if AI can help bring about greater communication, it would be a boon for businesses.
The automated sharing of insights across departments will help businesses to better leverage data and collaborate on a number of daily tasks.
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