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.
At our recent CX Virtual Summit for Asia, I had an insightful conversation with Jojo Concepcion, CEO of our customer Concepcion Industrial Corporation (CIC), about the intersection of customer experience software and the need for businesses to make decisions more nimbly.
CIC has been incredibly successful at striking the right balance, especially during a very challenging year. The Philippines-based appliance distributor has managed to give customers what they need when they need it while creating new business opportunities.
What’s helped CIC are the “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 the 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.
- 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.
Jojo and I agreed that 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. 83% 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% to 30% of marketing costs while adding 5% to 15% to sales growth. And about 23% 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.
CIC is consolidating sales, customer service, and e-commerce systems with its back-office software to understand its customers better. That’s helping the air conditioning, and refrigeration company simplify online ordering, sell directly to consumers, and forge new business models — such as renting cool air time “as a service,” rather than selling an appliance outright, Jojo said.
“For 90 days, we had no place to sell our products – stores were closed nationwide,” he said. “Manufacturing, distribution, and most e-commerce stopped for three months during the pandemic’s height this year. CIC adapted by emphasizing products for kitchens tailored to people staying and cooking at home and developing new ones for those who wanted a cool environment without the upfront cost”.
Vince Abejo, chief sales and marketing officer at property developer Filinvest Land, spoke during our conference about capturing data points during and after the sale of a house or condo so the company can retain buyers it sells to over time. Filinvest is holding online house tours, inspecting properties by drone aircraft, and courting prospects to ensure the pipeline stays stocked after the pandemic ends.
Not only is the company attuned to its customers’ needs, but it has also adopted its behavior to stay authentic. “Booked sales are now back to pre-Covid levels,” Abejo said.
These are just a few fresh ideas that can be brought to life using the five aces and modern cloud technology. I’d love to hear directly from you about other ideas you might have, so be sure to reach out to me in the comments to let me know how I can help.
To learn more about the trends impacting marketing leadership today, visit the CMO Corner.