Without interdepartmental alignment, organizations are going to have a tough time becoming experience-led businesses. Indeed, key stakeholders from all departments must join forces to develop a strategic, holistic vision and roadmap, according to attendees at Adobe Symposium Stockholm this week.
While there, I spoke to a host of executives for their take on how relationships in the C-suite are transforming in the name of experience. Read on for their responses, many of which singled out the marketing-IT connection.
Helena Fuchs, Business Group Lead, Microsoft Dynamics:
Intelligent business applications will be core to deliver the right data insights for personalizing your customer experience. A marketing strategy, together with IT, should therefore consider all contextual engagement regardless of how and when the customer chooses to connect with the company across sales, customer service, marketing, field service, finance, or more.
Bjarke Mads Sejersen, E-Commerce Manager, Saint-Gobain:
The customers’ increasing expectations for a true one-to-one dialogue makes it a necessity to have clear and united goals on how to ensure a good customer experience across all channels. This require IT and marketing to works closely together. At Saint Gobain Distribution, Denmark, we saw this as an opportunity to sit down together and create a mapping of our customer journeys, figure out the pain points and opportunities, and, hence, create common goals for how to deliver a unique and innovative customer experience. It is here that our CDO’s horizontal responsibilities come into play—aligning goals and making sure we always have a constant focus on customer-centric development in the company.
Peter Mackhé, Head of KIA-Index:
The modern digital customer expects that the companies have information about them so they can create customer-built journeys. You have to create smooth, one-to-one, custom-built communication based on the data gathered. The companies that succeed in this transformation are data-driven and connect all touch points, even before they have started the customer journey. Companies need collaboration with the IT department and marketing. The marketing team has to act upon data, and the digital team needs a bigger understanding of marketing strategies in order to create smart customer journeys.
Kristin Wastenson, Head Of CRM, TV4:
We are in the middle of a digital transformation, shifting to a user-first perspective. To make this happen, it is crucial for us to work cross-functionally between business owners, product and UX, marketing, and analytics. We are on the right track, but we need to put more emphasis on understanding each other’s objectives and make sure that we are working with the same targets, connecting the customer journey throughout the whole company. It’s also a challenge to bring out the best of data and smartness in technology yet not lose our editiorial excellence of having provided engaging TV entertainment for over 25 years.
Jerry Silfwer, Digital Marketing Blogger, Doctor Spin:
The importance of providing customers with meaningful online experiences is driving marketing, communications, and IT closer together, for sure. When it comes to the relationship between marketing and communications, on the one hand, and IT on the other hand, I’m more often than not positively surprised about their openness towards cross-departmental collaborations. However, I find the main challenge to be about language: They don’t speak the same one! Marketing and communications must learn to speak tech, and IT must learn to speak human.
Jeff Gothelf, Author, Harvard Business Review:
Every business of scale or that seeks to scale in the 21st century is first and foremost a software business. It’s the only way to compete on a global level. Many companies, grappling with this new reality, haven’t fully committed to the broad integration of tech across the organization—from HR, to finance, to marketing. We can no longer afford to silo technology with the IT department. Those skills, tools, and capabilities empower our marketing organizations to sense how well their efforts are meeting business needs and to respond in real time.
Jamie Brighton, Strategic Marketing Manager, Adobe:
Customer experience is key in 2017. Generally, marketing owns the experience and needs the tools and systems to deliver great CX that differentiates the brand from the competition. IT has been a great provider of large-scale systems but not so good at reacting to the more rapid demands of modern, agile marketing campaigns and CX initiatives. This has led some marketing teams to seek external agencies and developers to provide the flexibility required. The consumerization of technology and the elevated demands of the modern customer are causing IT to wake up and marketing to be up-front about their requirements, leading to a common understanding of the customer and better dialogue and co-operation between the different parts of the organization.
Marcus Hasselblad, Regional Managing Director and Vice President, Nordics, Sapient Razorfish:
Bringing different disciplines together to work as one team to provide great customer experience is absolutely essential. Putting marketing, IT, product teams, and service teams together to discuss, brainstorm, and work through the issues that customers might be facing, as well as figuring best ways for internal workflows, delivers this unified customer focused approach that results in a great experience to the customer.