Marketing’s Role as a Revenue Engine: Lessons from the Front Line

By John Nash, Chief Marketing Officer, RedPoint Global

No business function is spared the impact from digital transformation’s widening use of data and analytics. Marketing, however, stands alone in terms of the breadth and depth of those impacts, both strategically and operationally.

Technology advancements allow marketers to completely re-imagine how we engage with customers and prospects, which elevates marketing into a mission-critical, revenue-driving engine.

Are You Managing the Customer or Are They Managing You?

As RedPoint Global’s Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer with more than two decades of experience helping companies adopt customer engagement technologies for profitable revenue growth, I’ve experienced the evolution of marketing up-close. One observation I have from a career that started in business integration services, transitioned to product strategy, and eventually to the full CMO charter is that customer relationship management (CRM) – as an activity – is no longer an accurate descriptor of the marketing mission.

A better description would be to reorder CRM to CMR – customer managed relationships – which acknowledges that the customer is ultimately in control of the journey.

When I was with Accenture helping to found and grow their CRM practice from scratch, customer engagement was largely an outbound, batch-oriented process, with brands creating and driving the customer’s brand experience. The concept of the brand guiding the journey was still an entrenched mindset when I transitioned to lead product strategy at FICO, whose products incorporate advanced analytics to not only help companies grow, but to do so while also minimizing risk. Consistent across all of my experiences is using advanced technology to re-imagine the use of data, analytics and business processes to fuel that profitable growth.

New Channels and Technology Put the Customer in Control

I’m excited that in my role with RedPoint, our team is on the leading edge with helping clients transform their customer experiences to be more personalized, real-time and omnichannel. The time is right to “flip the script”, if you will, to use technology to drive profitable growth in ways that acknowledges that the customer, not the brand, is leading the experience. In a broad sense, today’s customer engagement technology now allows marketers to focus on the dynamic experiences for narrow segments of one rather than batch processes for coarsely grained segments.

A modern customer journey is a multi-touch, multi-channel, non-linear and non-sequential experience. Although the customer ultimately drives how, where, and when a journey unfolds, a brand must proactively help shape the general contour of the journey. The way to do this is through a hyper-personalized customer experience that lets a customer know that the brand understands them as an individual throughout a complete customer journey.

Customer engagement technology delivers the data, analytics, and orchestration capabilities that give marketers a single point of control to deliver a personalized customer experience that is consistent and comprehensive across touchpoints.  This type of experience delivers highly relevant offers and messages that increase customer responses and revenue. With a single point of control, marketers are empowered to test, tune, and optimize the customer experience – and ultimately turn technology investments into revenue.

Marketing Transformation Drives Revenue

With this degree of command, it is marketing’s responsibility across the enterprise to connect the dots between data and revenue. A customer-centered data approach can lift response rates by 20 percent and higher. If marketing fails to measure and improve that lift, or the resulting impact on revenue, or the relative contribution of key capabilities, they are falling short of their potential.  And the enterprise will fall short of its potential for profitable revenue growth.

Marketing’s transformation to a revenue and profit optimizer is ongoing. The truth is, there will be many refinements in the years to come for how we deliver a personalized customer experience to individuals. This truth recognizes that today’s dynamic customer journeys are also evolving – at a blistering pace. New channels emerge, preferences change, and the customer will become an even more powerful owner of their unique customer journey. True segment of one marketing that treats each customer as a unique individual at any stage of an omnichannel journey is the next frontier, and I’m excited to be involved in any capacity to help organizations use data and analytics in new ways to accomplish their customer experience goals.

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