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The CMO Guide to: How IT Changed the Way We Manage Teams, Departments, and Organizations

Wojciech Idzikowski - 12 December 2017 - 0 comments

Contemporary business is all about the customer.

The primary goal of modern organizations is solving customer problems. And we all know that customer problems change at an increasing pace. That’s why the most important skill for a company is agility – being able to quickly identify and respond to customer needs.

Thanks to IT innovations, it’s possible to monitor customer behavior like never before. That type of virtual environment is used by companies to identify the needs of customers and detect

changing behaviors or trends in their segments.

Needless to say, revolution is taking place not only at the product level, but also in the business organization itself.

In this article, I will explain:

  • key IT applications in marketing (especially related to customer analytics),
  • how IT changed  the way in which we manage our teams, departments and entire organizations,
  • Why agility is a critical feature on the contemporary business scene.

How to develop marketing strategies and verify customer behavior with IT tools?

On a market where most of customer-company interactions happen in the virtual world, marketers can benefit from a range of new IT tools that aggregate data about customers’ behaviors, preferences, and needs.

Here’s the structure of a sales funnel that where three critical concepts reflect that new reality:

Lead – a client who has very little awareness of their problem and has not yet made the decision to seek a solution. Building marketing activities for such early segmental awareness allows for a very broad market penetration. To exclude the competition, many marketers make it their goal to occupy that lower stage of the funnel.

Prospects – at this stage, the customer is already aware of their problem and in search for a solution. That’s where the main competition takes place on the market. Marketers basically try to provide the prospect with the answer to why they should choose their and not another offer.

Customer – that’s someone who has already determined their problem and makes a purchase decision.

Now, let’s translate these three steps in our sales funnel into actual marketing activities that appear on the market today.

IT in Marketing

SEO has never been more important to marketers. The site rank basically translates to brand discoverability. So if you expect a potential customer to search for specific keywords on Google, Google AdWords is a useful tool. That type of investment will bring more customers to the company website. Advertising on social media is a great idea as well. Ads on Facebook can be displayed to and given segment of customers depending on their age, place of residence, or interest.

Email marketing is another popular method of virtual marketing. Together with landing or product pages, email marketing helps to verify customer behavior thanks specialized analytics tools.

As the potential customer is carried through all the phases and the sales funnel, marketers can quantitatively monitor the number of customers located at every particular stage. Marketers use that type of funnel analysis to learn more about their marketing strategy and direct their future investment into the right stages of the sales funnel.

A/B Testing and Other Analytics Tools

One of the simplest, and yet most effective methods for verifying customer behavior is A/B testing. That method produces fast and unitary results. For example, marketers can configure to an email newsletter in two different versions, testing one specific element – for instance, the title.

All that’s left is sending out these two versions and measuring which of these titles is more attractive to customers and translates into higher open rates.

If the test proves that sending the first message to 1000 people generated an open rate of 2.5% and the second message boosts the open rate to 7% in the same segment, the result is clear. That’s how marketers get a solid foundation for assuming that customers will respond more positively to the second title variation.

The advantage of this solution is the relatively low cost of implementation. Tools such as MailChimp or Freshmail allow marketers to get the results on the same day. A/B testing is easy to implement in email campaigns, but it also works perfectly for analyzing landing pages, blog posts, or other types of branded content.

Managing Teams in Virtual Environments

All these developments changed not only how we market products to customers, but also how we organize our teams, departments and entire organizations.

In the world where marketers can learn about the changing customer needs practically in real-time, organizations are expected to instantly respond to these new requirements by applying changes to their product or service.

In my experience as CMO, I can tell you with full certainty the traditional organization methods for teams and departments will fail to do that.

Setting a five-year marketing plan is no longer an option in the environment where customers can interact with brands directly and give them feedback through so many different channels.

Marketers who use analytics tools and marketing channels I described above can’t ignore the changing customer trends and stick to a strategy they developed months or years ago.

For a marketing strategy to succeed today, it simply needs to be agile.

And the best tool for implementing agility in a marketing team is the right team management software. I found that Jira is the best solution of that type on the market.

Have a look at this beginner’s guide to Jira I wrote a while ago to learn more about how Jira improved the productivity of my team and improved the agility of my department in responding to constantly changing consumer needs.

Got any questions about Jira? Get in touch with one of our consultants, they’ll be able to offer you substantial answers and show what Jira can do for your team, department, and organization.