The balance of power is shifting. We’ve already uncovered that marketing has to be BFFs with Sales. The CMO also has to play nice with the CIO. There is a call to action for improved collaboration between CMOs and CIOs. Marketing has to be able to manage huge amounts of unstructured data and generate insights that are not only historical, but predictive too—all on a massive scale. This is where their strong relationship with CIOs comes in handy.

Traditionally, marketing is a brand steward, responsible for large creative campaigns that generate excitement for the company’s products and services. The CIO focuses on a combination of business-process improvements and “keeping the lights on” by managing core transaction systems, ensuring cyber security, supporting end-users and reducing costs. The CMO and CIO hold two completely different sets of responsibilities, which can create both a challenging and strategic relationship.

These foundational changes happening at organizations are a result of ongoing digital transformation.

  • Pervasive use of digital technologies.
  • Shift to social business.
  • Mission critical requirement to make sense of mountains of unstructured data and look at customers as individuals.

CMOs and CIOs should be compelled by these new opportunities to move beyond being professional acquaintances and become true allies. If both the CMO and CIO are clear on decision governance, build the right teams and ensure transparency, the road to profits and growth is a lot easier to travel.

Technology now enables almost all customer interactions and generates extraordinary volumes of both data and content. The ability to analyze all that information and apply it to ongoing campaigns designed to engage customers across sales, service and loyalty is becoming a hallmark of marketing success.

CRM systems can already record customer interactions in a highly structured way. CRM platforms use pre-defined fields as way of capturing and translating data for us. This data helps the customer-facing team to gear up and deliver the best possible service. However, this data only accounts for 20% of the overall data gathered. What about the other 80%– that unstructured data that the CRM doesn’t capture? This refers to everything else. It’s all of the behaviors that can be captured in a marketing automation platform such as landing pages visited; whitepapers downloaded; amount of click-throughs on a particular email and all the text-based information such as email, social media, interactions, etc. These are often isolated and not accounted for. Although this unstructured data is vast and requires a lot of time and resource to process, it holds vital information about the customer journey. When it is used to create a digital persona that can be targeted with specific messaging, you have a winning combination.

Although the structured data can tell us a lot about what is happening, the unstructured data, if viewed as a measurable source, can tell us even more about why and understanding it can be the key to influencing the way processes are handled. Ways to do this include reviewing conversations on social media and analyzing call center transcripts to identify patterns, trends and areas in need of improvement. Tapping into this qualitative data can also help make connections between various data sources, including the structured data within the CRM. By processing and categorizing all available information about the customer experience, organizations can use the findings to create intuitive and actionable insights.

To begin to harness your unstructured data, Digital Marketing Magazine suggests a few tips for analyzing unstructured data:

  • Set up an automated process to capture the data as it happens, such a social media monitoring tool (we use Hootsuite), or an internal RSS feed.
  • Identify areas of interest to customers and consolidate the information into relevant categories.
  • Feed all consolidated data into the CRM system and compare with traditional structured data.
  • Identify trends and patterns within the collected data.

Analyzing all this data seems a tedious task, but by pulling all information sources together and translating it into a more analytics-friendly format for marketing, sales, and service, organizations can gain a clearer picture of the customer experience.

Through this insight, companies can begin to fully understand and better respond to customer needs. Using Oracle CX Cloud, for example, you can create strategic bonds across several departments, enabling a collaborative approach to guiding customers along their unique path.

Are you ready to make a new BFF?