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Q&A: Why now is the time for CMOs to partner with CIOs

We recently caught up with Elie Auvray, CEO, Jahia to discuss his predictions for the digital experience management market in 2016 and why now is the time for CMOs to partner with CIOs to focus on the entire customer journey and the entire customer experience.

1) What are your predictions for the digital experience management market in 2016?

We are at the dawn of a new wave in digital experience that is fundamentally changing everything. The explosion of big data and the Internet of Things means that brands have unprecedented amounts of data that they can analyse to get deep customer insights. However, a series of high-profile data breaches has started to reverse this trend. Today’s consumers are very aware of the information that is available about them and the threats that exist to their digital lives. As a result, brands need to understand that the customer is king. Over the next year, the digital experience management market will evolve to support brands in holding a successful conversation with customers by ensuring that each touchpoint is contextualised, integrated and respectful of customers' privacy .

2) How important will breaking down departmental silos be over the next year for technology, especially between CMOs and CIOs?

It has never been more critical for CMOs to partner with CIOs, in order for the entire customer journey and customer experience to be seamless. CMOs have mastered the art and science of data-driven, demand-generation marketing. But post-acquisition, it is combining customer interactions with all other parts of an organisation that determine success, long-term loyalty and advocacy. The customer now guides the entire business ecosystem and expects technology and operations to remain invisible throughout their experience. Behind the scenes, there are a million little processes that come together in seamless integrations for omni-channel access, personalised content, relevant offers and more - all provided in-the-moment, and this is the CIO’s remit.

3) In today’s digital economy, why is it important for marketing tools to be transparent and ethical?

Marketers must respect consumers and treat them as human beings, rather than as data points that can be monetised. One way to foster trust is to be exceptionally open around what information you have on consumers at all times. Each customer needs to remain in complete control of how their data is collected, what it’s used for and where it’s stored. Transparency around data collection practices is imperative as good customer service is all about brand credibility. Ultimately, you only have a ‘micro-moment’ of a buyer’s decision time so you must make sure that there are no distractions and build an environment of trust.

4) How can marketers tailor the digital experience to put the customer at the heart of the business?

For online marketers in 2016, great content is not enough. Customers want the best content in the right context. Do not try to cast a wide net hoping to snare as many people as possible — instead, tailor advertisements to individuals or specific groups of people with similar behaviours. Shift the focus from the brand image and internal workflow to the end-user experience. Do not present an entirely different company to each customer but, instead, highlight relevant products and services according to individual interest levels. The window of opportunity to target a potential customer’s needs can be very small and fleeting - in the moment. As a result, offers and promotions must be based on real-time intelligence. Analysing statistics from multiple data systems and cross-referencing them can cause key information to fall through the cracks. Data must be real-time, comprehensive and meaningful information. If not, you may risk missed sales opportunities but also losing ground to competitors who are quicker promoters that take advantage of more current information.

5) How can a business provide a consistent customer journey at all touch points?

Across all industries, businesses need to find better ways of interrupting the status quo to improve customer satisfaction.Consumers want to be recognised as a unique person. This means that throughout the entire customer journey, each touchpoint needs to be personalised and based on real-time intelligence. Delivering a consistently tailored service across all channels is also reliant on each employee being equipped with complete transparency about a customer’s previous interactions with the brand.

6) What impact will the EU-US Privacy Shield have on technology suppliers in Europe?

The new framework has been designed to protect the fundamental rights of Europeans when their data is transferred to the United States. However, ethics should always guide personal data collection regardless of government mandates. Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. With the rise of social media, mobile devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT), consumers have grown very conscious of the data floating around about them on the web, in the cloud, and in business databases. To many, this state of affairs is reaching a tipping point between convenient and creepy. Organisations need to strike a balance. Be transparent with consumers about what information you have about them, how you plan to use the data you’ve collected and give the customer the choice of opting out of any data collection. In addition, take advantage of open standards, such as The Unomi Project, that allows enterprises to collect and track user identities on websites in a way through a platform that is secure and compliant with data privacy standards and safeguards the value of customer data.

7) How would you define enterprise digital transformation, and why do you think it’s important to businesses?

In a digital economy, every company needs consistency, pace and ability to scale. In turn this means that no enterprise can afford to be held back by the complexities of multi-channel, multi-language or multi-product programmes. Instead, organisations need to transform their operations to ensure that human relationships are at the heart of the brand experience. Only the can enterprises be responsive to the pace of the market and its users.

Elie Auvray, CEO, Jahia