LoyaltyOne President Bryan Pearson invoked Charles Dickens and the first two classic lines from “A Tale of Two Cities” – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – when asked if this is a good time to be a CMO.
“It’s a good time to be a CMO,” Pearson said. “With the technological applications and
the data available, but on the other side there are a lot of pressures of privacy concerns, costs, and organizational changes which are real issues.”
With all of the available customer information, CMOs can help create meaningful value for customers by expanding that data and segregating it, Pearson said.
“It’s all about relevance,” Pearson said. “There is nothing technologically today that stops you from creating a personalized experience. The fact is that technology laziness is preventing marketers from capitalizing on that today.”
With an abundance of information and the promise of more – Pearson cited research that says 2/3 of customers would share more information in exchange for a relevant experience – brands have no reason for providing their customers with a vanilla experience.
“At the end of the day, it’s proving real value for your customers,” Pearson said. “We as marketers have to make it interesting. Can marketers put these things together and do it in a thoughtful manner?
Being a CMO today is both challenging, but presents a major opportunity to connect with customers in an “always on” environment. Customer information has never been more readily accessible, Pearson said, and it really comes down to possessing the talent to use that knowledge in a cohesive and compelling brand strategy.
Pearson offered some advice for new CMOs in today’s rapidly changing omnichannel environment.
Find a way to make and maintain an investment in customer insights. Manage and create value with your customer infrastructure.
Think about the architecture of your company and how you’re going to create internal harmony. “It gets marginalized if there’s no Big Culture,” Pearson said.
Create small experiments and create big success stories. Then use that as a platform to grow by using key leverage points.