The Chief Information Officer and the Chief Marketing Officer are arguably the most important resources in a business seeing as they are tasked with the last mile that is critical to the survival of any enterprise which is consistently moving product or service. In my interactions with many of these executives from different big budget enterprises, I have noticed an inward facing focus that in my opinion is skewed leading to higher operating costs. At the core of this “misplaced” focus is the assumed ownership of the customer and many times an uneasy silence will meet the question, “Whose customer is it anyway?”
Data on the african consumer is scattered all over the place with everyone having different views of the same consumer. The lack of a reliable source of truth has both the CIO and CMO channeling resources in the millions of dollars aggregated annually trying to drive sales or engagement but hemorrhaging heavily with a lot of ill targeted initiatives.
Using the FMCG segment as an example, many companies do not know their consumers intimately as they are lost in the quarterly profit and loss or market share reports. Many executives cannot accurately track the return on investment from marketing communication programs and continue to pump the media channels with advertising erroneously believing that more is better. In this case, a smart CIO CMO gameplay would have a unified platform that plugs into retail data – down to loyalty programs, social media, in-house customer relationship management, automated lead generation, referral systems and a slew of direct to consumer channels that can be activated on demand.
At the start of any business day, the aim should be simple; to increase revenue inflows, drive customer interactions which will inadvertently drive consumption and loyalty. Using mobile and web channels underpinned by deployments around big data, cloud technology, and mobility solutions, the CIO and CMO can better profile their consumers and even predict or drive demand at much lower costs than is currently being realized.
Those that move swiftly with this thinking will create more profitable consumer relationships that will drive the next decade of bottom-line growth amid a very competitive market environment.