In today's uber-connected online world, every customer is just one click away from the competition. So, how can you win? Oracle President Mark Hurd says the answer lies in using what he calls a "customer-obsessed" marketing strategy.
Hurd starts with the premise that marketers need to focus on the fact that customers can easily click away to a competitor. Recognition of that simple fact, he explains, can make the difference between being a market leader and going out of business.
The good news, he writes in his column, is that as marketing executives strive to develop new customer-engagement models and optimize multiple channels, "they now have access to world-class marketing-automation tools, which have the potential to keep more prospects from making that one-click jump to a competitor."
Of course, Oracle produces plenty of marketing-automation and CRM software to aid the process. But that's not his point, in this case. Instead, Hurd's point is that the winners in the new "connected-consumer" era will need to embrace this new concept of customer-obsessed marketing. Oh, and there's another key ingredient in Hurd's recipe for success.
"As marketing morphs into the front-line force tracking and engaging consumers' changing behaviors, CEOs must give it the enhanced support it deserves," he said. "And you, as CMO, need to be able to demonstrate to the CEO why this is a strategic necessity."
With that in mind, Hurd divulged his five key tenets marketers must embrace to not only stand out but also succeed in a world where businesses face the danger of becoming overwhelmed by the relentless impact of consumerization.
1. A Greater Responsibility
As Hurd sees it, marketing has a greater responsibility for the customer relationship than ever before. He points to a recent survey by Forrester and the Business Market Association that reveals 76 percent of marketing leaders are doing things today that no one thought they'd be responsible for three or four years ago.
"What it comes down to is, marketing must own every digital interaction across all touch points from initial interest through sales, service and support. But it's important to understand exactly what it means to be customer obsessed, so that you can use those communications wisely," Hurd said.
"It's not so much about pitching and influencing anymore as it is about supporting a great customer experience. Make customers want to connect with you not as a vendor of products, but as a source of intelligent information that will help them succeed. Do right by your customers, and they'll do right by you." (continued...)