This month the CMO Council came out with a new report suggesting that marketers are "struggling with amassing and strategically applying data and customer insights to effect substantive business growth and strategic gain."
In other words, they don't know their own customers well enough to keep them -- or make money from them.
(Those multi-syllable words sure make them sound a lot smarter, don't they?)
The report goes on to detail just how unhappy these executives are with their ability to collect data, to share data, to come up with actionable insights from the data they have and more.
It's a little depressing. These are supposed to be some pretty high-powered individuals -- and yet they come across as somewhat helpless.
There are a couple of ways to handle this enormous problem.
One approach is for the CMO to get the CIO on his or her team. The CIO controls the data. If they're focused on business results (as they should be), the CMO's request should be a priority. Many times the CIO and CMO just aren't connected -- so the CIO doesn't even know the CMO has a problem. What's more, the CMO could build a powerful alliance. It's an old saying, but a true one: You can accomplish just about anything if you don't care who gets the credit.
If that doesn't work, another idea is to completely circumvent the CIO. Start your own database with new customers -- the ones you bring in through your own marketing efforts. (Of course, I'm talking about direct marketing here. That's the only way you'll know who these folks are.) Make sure you track the data you need. Start building on the information and insights you gain with your own database, then extend it to the big group the CIO still controls.
Another truism, which applies in this case, is that it's easier to get forgiveness than permission.
If all this seems difficult, keep in mind . . . it's the CMO's job that's at stake. And that's why they call it work.