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MindStream exec: Mobile has profound impact on CMO, CIO relationship

NEW YORK ? A MindStream executive at the fifth annual Mobile Marketing Day conference said chief marketing officers and chief information officers are coming together like never before in response to the significant changes brought about by mobile. 

CMOs are seeing their profession being changed by forces many are not familiar with, including technology, social and mobile. That sense of being unprepared is not improving, which was made evident by an IBM survey last year, per the executive.

?When IBM had those global events [for CMOs and CIOs], they could not count how many times attendees would come up and say they had finally met the CIO or the CMO in their own company at the event,? said Robert Dayton, executive vice president of business analytics and optimization at MindStream Analytics, Boston.

?That social and mobile can bridge this relationship is very powerful,? he said. ?It just has not happened to this degree before.?

Changing behavior
Mr. Dayton pointed to research with CMOs conducted by IBM both three years ago and last year, with these executives feeling even more unprepared in last year?s survey.

The phenomenon is the same whether CMOs are heading up marketing for business-to-business or business-to-consumer companies, with consumer and customer behavior changing because of mobile and social.

Many consumers are checking their mobile devices as soon as they wake up and are engaging with their devices for a variety of activities throughout their day.

From a standpoint of marketing, what is significant is that consumers are now being influenced by their networks that consist of people they know but also people they are never going to meet, per Mr. Dayton.

Under these circumstances, it is essential that the speed inside a corporation has to change dramatically as they engage with customers in these new ways.

Personalized communications
It is also important to understand that consumers are willing to share information about themselves, such as what they are shopping for or what is happening in their lives, because they understand the dynamic between the information they posses and the value they expect in return.

Increasingly, consumers expect personalized and customized communications in return for sharing their information.

The danger for companies is that if they misuse the information, lose it or allow it to be stolen, they will lose customers, as Target recently found out following its data breach.

?When you put together mobile and social, security outweighs everything,? Mr. Dayton said. ?There is a pronounced impact if we don?t build in security from the beginning.?

Data integration
CMOs are investing in a number of areas to be able to provide customers with more value once they share their information.

One of the top areas of investment is in understanding each customer as an individual as opposed to marketing to segments.

The key to making this happen is integrating data. In many cases, the customer data within a company is located in many different places.

For example, a large telecommunications company was looking to engage with its customers on a more individual basis but it had to first integrate location data, purchase history data, demographic and other data.

Once that was done, the company could send more personalized offers based on its knowledge of them.

Predictive analytics
Other marketers are investing in predictive analytics, which takes what is known about a customer?s buying pattern to predict what they will do next.

For example, a luxury wine distributor was challenged with how to make its marketing more efficient as there is a limited supply of some wines and it did not want to be reaching out to customers about wines that they might now want. It was able to significantly drive up transaction rates by using predictive analytics to ensure it is marketing the right wines to the right customers.

Prescriptive analytics is being used by a large airline to recommend an action to customers experiencing flight delays or other issues by integrating flight change data and loyalty information. The result is higher customer satisfaction.

Another area of investment is omnichannel marketing, or providing a single view of the customer and as well as a single view of the company to the customer.

Some marketers are leveraging data to optimize pricing across multiple locations. For example, a hardware chain knows that one critical aspect to its success is the ability to set prices at the local level.

?The heavy lifting is in the integration of it all, pulling it together and then you can push it out,? Mr. Dayton said.

Final Take
Robert Dayton is executive vice president at MindStream Analytics, Boston