Q&A: Marketing at full power

Emarsys CEO Joanna Milliken previews the company’s flagship Power to the Marketer Festival, celebrating the marketer’s skill and prowess. The event, taking place online and in-person on 4-6 October, will showcase how this multifaceted discipline is innovating and embracing the ever-changing omnichannel

Why is it such a critical time to celebrate the marketer and show what’s possible when it comes to the future of marketing?

We have been on a never-ending journey where channels and data keep being added into the mix, both generationally and regionally. There is a constant need to connect data and activate it across those channels – all while trying not to let it overwhelm us.

There are times when organisations think they need to have it all, the perfect 360-degree customer view. Certainly, it’s a mission, something to strive for, but there’s plenty to work on in the here and now. Nearly a third of marketers can’t reach their goals because they are unable to act on existing customer data, and 50% can’t deal with new customer data because it’s stuck in siloes. But marketers are the glue that holds the organisation together. They need this data to work for them to be able to deliver on customer demands.

You recently did some research to find out what the impact would be for businesses that fully commit to the idea of being ‘customer-obsessed’. What does this mean and what were the findings?

What is certain is that the customer is 100% in charge. We commissioned Forrester to speak to 622 senior marketers globally to find out where their businesses were on this journey to ‘customer obsession’. I like Forrester’s definition: it’s the ability to connect channels in a clear way that’s frictionless. We’ve seen additional research saying that customer obsession improves satisfaction by double digits, so focusing on it and creating unified goals to put it into action is a clear success strategy. Yet the Forrester research found that only 15% of businesses fell into the category of being fully customer-obsessed.

Customer obsession improves satisfaction by double digits, so focusing on it and creating unified goals to put it into action is a clear success strategy

What does the ideal customer-obsessed strategy look like and why are so few marketers succeeding?

It’s about making sure that you can leverage the data you have access to, looking at the channels you know are working but also trying out new things. But in today’s fast-moving world it’s also about doing them quickly. Many marketers have been hamstrung because they’re under a huge technological burden. One customer told me it took them 12 different systems to build a campaign.

Emarsys is in the business of breaking down the siloes between data and overcoming the multi-system maze marketers must navigate. For some brands I talk to, every time a marketer wants to add a new attribute or field, they have to start it as a new IT project. Marketers can’t function like that in today’s world.

Two recent additions to our platform really show how we can help marketers move into the future. One focuses on Conversational Channels – finding new ways to connect with customers across WhatsApp, and soon Facebook, Messenger, chatbots and more.

The second is really a recognition of marketers as that glue, that organisational connective tissue. It’s more important than ever that they work in collaboration with their colleagues across other departments, such as sales or sourcing. Our Account Engagement solution allows marketers to reach new audiences in collaboration with, or sometimes on behalf of, their sales partners, surfacing higher quality, sales ready leads. It gives vital whole-organisation visibility into marketing activities and their results, but in a privacy-first way.

What can attendees – both in-person and virtual – expect from Power to the Marketer 2022?

This is a multi-centre, multi-partner event that not only showcases the latest thought leadership but also features insights from top marketing talent and leading organisations. We’ve partnered with Vogue Business to shine a global spotlight on innovations that mean consumer needs are met in both physical and virtual environments. Some presentations will be a little more out-there and futuristic, and others will be best-in-class insights that you can take away and use today. We are celebrating the power of the marketer and all they have achieved, and all they will be able to achieve – with the right support and tools at hand.

For more information please visit Emarsys.com

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