"Marketer's Note" is a weekly column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem. It is written by Joanna O'Connell, Director of Research, AdExchanger Research.
I had a really interesting conversation with a Director of Digital Marketing at a financial services company recently as part of my “customer lifecycle management” research (which I’ll be presenting during day one of Industry Preview on Jan 21st), that got me thinking about the balance marketers are increasingly being asked to strike between, a) pushing their brand’s ideas to consumers versus, b) delivering what consumers are asking for based on two way conversation.
This rumination was born out of a seemingly simple question – Do you think your company needs a “Chief Customer Officer“? Her response was interesting: “I don’t think of it as a Chief Customer Officer. I think of it as more of a Chief Content Officer – how do we disseminate our assets?”
As we talked more, a loose definition on what each of these roles would entail surfaced. Someone geared toward Content logically focuses on pushing content out, where someone focused on Customers is charged with getting the right things (content, advertising, products) into the hands of current and future customers*.
That led this marketer to say to me, “It’s a fair distinction that can be made about a Chief Customer Officer versus a Chief Content Officer. For me, it’s about relevance at the right time and in the right format -I was hung up on the thought of content, but it’s really more about customer experience.” By the way, it’s worth noting that her company’s current efforts to maximize value at each stage of the customer journey are, in her words, “creating customer-centricity as a byproduct.”What struck me about this conversation with this seasoned, digitally savvy marketer is that it gets to the heart of one of the big challenges organizations face today – how to balance the needs and wants of the company with the needs and wants of the consumer?
It really made this recent piece about Vail Resorts jump out at me. Long and short: Vail built a consumer-facing app that backfired, and used the lessons learned during round 1 to iterate its way into something better. It’s a great example of how a brand tested its way (with an ever increasing reliance on data) into an offering that was both valuable to consumers and maximized value for Vail Resorts as a company.
Let’s be frank: the basic reality is, television is a “push” medium. Digital has the capacity to be both push and pull, but there’s still an awful lot of pushing going on, if all those one-banner media campaigns are to be used as evidence.
With all this said – I’d love to know from you, how is your organization managing this balancing act? Are you pushers? Pullers? Or both?
*Did you know there’s a Chief Customer Officer Council? (I didn’t!) They define a Chief Customer Officer as “an executive that provides the comprehensive and authoritative view of the customer and creates corporate and customer strategy at the highest levels of the company to maximize customer acquisition, retention, and profitability.”