Commentary

Optimizing Digital Marketing Performance To Drive Business Performance

Digital transformation isn’t a buzz phrase. It’s here. And it’s helping companies create better customer experiences -- and ultimately driving revenue growth.

According to Gartner, within the next five years, companies will see CMOs spending more on new digital technology than CIOs. And a recent Economist study showed that 86% of CMOs and senior marketing executives believe they will own the full end-to-end customer experience by 2020.

Yet 22% of marketers cite their absence of the right tools or technology as a concern, and 61% say they struggle to access or integrate the data they need -- even if they do have tools and technology at their disposal.

Where’s the disconnect?

Drowning In Marketing Tools And Data

Marketing has become reliant on an ever-expanding landscape of new technologies to enable customer acquisition and retention, driving everything from prospect awareness to nurture programs.

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Ongoing innovation has delivered a staggering number of marketing-related tools, including CRM and marketing automation products, as well as personalization and segmentation technologies that help micro-target customers with relevant, timely and appropriate messages. We’re now able to connect with customers across paid, earned and owned media, as well as social channels.

These customers all have one thing in common: they all demand high-quality and high-performance Web and mobile applications. But how do we define “high quality” and “high performance?” And who owns this responsibility? Increasingly, these definitions and objectives fall under the marketer’s umbrella.

Connecting The Dots Between Marketing Programs, Customer Experience And IT

CMOs and other marketing executives are constantly striving to deliver a customer experience (CX) that can be benchmarked and improved. This important responsibility makes marketing a tightly integrated partner with IT, operations teams and lines of business.

The new marketing imperative is to understand the empirical relationship between customer experience and marketing programs. No longer a cost center, marketing has become a responsible party when it comes to top-line revenue.

That’s why leadership needs an integrated and actionable view of how their multitude of marketing campaigns, programs and channels are performing and how they drive engagement and conversions. CMOs need the ability to see precisely what customers are doing in real time and just how they are interacting with an organization’s digital assets.

Marketing’s mission-critical role in terms of revenue and customer experience sets the stage for processes such as Digital Performance Management (DPM), which combines customer experience and IT metrics to drive business performance.

How Digital Performance Management (DPM) Works

DPM (which is also sometimes referred to as Digital Experience Management) is a data-centric approach in which Web and mobile applications are continuously measured, optimized and tested to deliver the best possible user experience and business outcome.

DPM is designed to address the proliferation of systems, customer channels and touchpoints in a typical enterprise. The challenge is that each system can generate its own unique streams of data that need to be harvested, processed and analyzed. While IT is focused on building a high-performance technology stack, marketers need a parallel understanding of what’s happening with digital marketing across the enterprise.

To be proactive and efficient managers, marketing needs to understand performance and functionality issues, why they occur, how that impacts CX, and then -- what can be done about it.

The foundation of DPM is performance analytics, consisting of:

  • Measurement – collecting every real user experience and viewing system performance end-to-end to identify problems quickly
  • Testing – creating continuous, flexible tests at scale to deliver solid, high-performing mobile and Web applications
  • Optimization – seeing the complete performance picture to prioritize improvements that impact the bottom line most

Digital performance management gives marketers and IT pros a single source of knowledge when it comes to the multiple streams of data and multiple platforms found in a typical enterprise. This integrated view of marketing performance drives digital transformation efforts and enables rapid understanding and resolution of revenue-impacting performance issues.

Real user insights, along with the ability to predict and prevent performance and functionality issues before they occur, means that DPM can help drive revenue and preserve brand by facilitating a positive and frictionless user experience. DPM increases visibility and helps deliver a unified whole that enables enterprises to achieve the ultimate goal of making people hit the “buy” button. Informational siloes are removed, and continuous delivery of peak performance is ensured.

Who Uses DPM Today?

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of global enterprises will have strategically implemented digital performance management technologies or services, up from fewer than 5% today. Among the 5% that are leading the charge are retail powerhouses like Amazon and Walmart.

For ecommerce at scale, Web site improvements via DPM can make a big difference in revenues. Studies have shown that a one-second Web site delay means a 2% drop in conversions. For omnichannel retailers such as Walmart.com, that can mean leaving as much as $244 million in annual revenues on the table. Simply put, pages must load, shopping carts must work properly and SLA compliance must be met -- and if key systems aren’t working properly, even the most compelling, artfully crafted marketing message can’t get through, with damaging effects to a company’s brand.

Creating a company-wide "culture of performance"

The DPM process, combined with DPM-centric best practices, enables organizational alignment such that every person in the enterprise becomes an active member in a “culture of performance.” Teams can leverage DPM and a suite of tools that speak to one another, as well as adopt a shared performance vocabulary, and gain visibility into how important departmental metrics can affect the health of the overall business.

Ultimately, the holistic view provided by DPM delivers better user experiences and higher levels of customer satisfaction, innovation and customization and helps elevate performance to the next level.

 

1 comment about "Optimizing Digital Marketing Performance To Drive Business Performance ".
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  1. Cathy Rector from The IoT Collective, March 13, 2017 at 1:47 p.m.

    I find it such a curious thing that Marketing Professionals in 2017 still refer to IT Professionals as if they're from an entirely different planet.  As a seasoned Digital Transformation expert, I appreciate both sides of the table but also understand that most companies haven't learned how to value both disciplines in a way that creates the best experience for the end customers/clients.  

    My challenge to CMO teams is to create better synergies with your technology colleagues so you can collaborate more effectively.  Regardless of aspirations of becoming totally self sufficient in digital, you still need some deep geeks to get the heavy lifting done.

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