Five aces to overcoming the pandemic for CMOs

By Garrett Ilg,President, Japan and Asia Pacific, Oracle Corporation,

The global pandemic has changed nearly everything for CMOs, forcing them to scramble as consumers shift even more to online shopping. Meanwhile, CEOs are pressuring their marketing chiefs to find strategies for recovery.

Deeper understanding of customers enables organizations to successfully pivot new business models by recalibrating sales approaches, finding new revenue streams, and introducing new products and services.

Technology plays a role, of course, but it has to be used intentionally, with a new paradigm in mind.

Oracle has also worked with different brands to set great examples on how they can navigate through this new environment with a responsive strategy.

The largest e-commerce fashion company in Southeast Asia, ZALORA, shows how businesses can pivot to remain relevant in the environment in which it is operating in. At a time when customer needs have pivoted towards essentials and other items, ZALORA successfully enhanced its platform to support this sudden shift in demand during the pandemic. 

With the right back-end system, ZALORA has been able to respond in real-time to each personalized interaction with the customer, extracting the data that matters in customer interactions and providing great customer experience.

Together with Oracle Cloud Customer Experience (CX) Marketing, ZALORA has become an orchestrator of personalized conversations, where they are able to speak to customers in a relevant and tailored manner. The flexibility and adaptability of the tools have been instrumental to enabling ZALORA’s quick response, driving continuous growth amidst uncertain times.  

There are “five aces” that CMOs must establish in their companies while leveraging – with intention – critical emerging technologies to modernize their interactions. 

The five aces are:

  • Adaptability: The world has changed but businesses still need to keep going, whether through finding new ways to reach cash-strapped households or helping customers visualize products from the comfort and safety of their homes. Marketing organizations must become comfortable with change.
  • Accountability: Businesses expect marketers to help deliver quantifiable business impact with the help of modern technology. As measurement of campaigns has become more sophisticated, CMOs must embrace accountability.
  • Authenticity: Modern marketers need to know and use data they collect from customers to engage them in highly personalized communications across their devices, print, and broadcast media, while understanding the context in which those messages are consumed.
  • Action: Customers expect companies they do business with to respond quickly and at all hours. Meeting them on their terms helps foster brand relationships. 
  • Alignment: This doesn’t just mean coordination between sales and marketing; it also means aligning the organization so that customers’ needs dictate the businesses’ activities.

Experiences are everything – we know they’re often more important than the product or service we’re delivering. Uncertainty and not knowing how the world will evolve creates a huge opportunity for marketers to define their companies.

There’s hard evidence behind the proscriptions. Eighty-three percent of 260 global CEOs surveyed by management consultancy McKinsey last year said they expect marketing to be a major driver for their companies’ growth. To do so, marketing departments need to move faster, collaborate better, and focus more sharply on customers.

Yet McKinsey estimates making such changes can cut 10 percent to 30 percent of marketing costs, while adding 5 percent to 15 percent to sales growth. And about 23 percent of CEOs say marketing isn’t delivering on the growth agenda. Often, executives pour time into a few initiatives, “then grow frustrated when the promised value doesn’t appear,” according to the study.

Another great example of a business leveraging cloud for successful navigation during the pandemic would be MonotaRO, a Japanese e-Commerce company for industrial supply products that operates in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Australia. By leveraging Oracle Cloud Customer Experience (CX), the e-commerce site could seamlessly help its customers navigate its website effortlessly with self-service recommendation functions and online chat. The company has also implemented Oracle Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) to manage its group wide financial data on a single platform and be able to make better informed decisions.

These are just a few fresh ideas that can be brought to life using the five aces and modern cloud technology to take a smarter approach to customer experience management, adopt new ways to overcome business challenges and invent new business models.

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