– By Neeraj Pratap Sangani, CEO, Hansa Cequity
The idea of leading with creativity and not technology coming from a professional who is offering Martech solutions as one of his key services might sound blasphemous. But meeting after meeting (and there are too many of them), I hear senior professionals dive straight into executional and tactical stuff. Almost always when my team presents strategic approach slides everybody wants to fast forward to the execution. ‘Don’t give me gyaan’ the team is told. Sometimes I do find the state of marketing maturity frustrating.
What I am stating is that the CEOs need to redesign their marketing teams. I use the term redesign and not restructure with a purpose. The purpose is that customers have evolved a great deal and in an accelerated manner over the last ten years, products and services need to tailor their experiences keeping in mind this new reality. A lot of marketers think of a new product as a brand launch project, and it is not. It is not just about a new positioning statement, a new logo, a new campaign, a new CRM or CX strategy. In my opinion, it is not something that one team can do or more importantly should be allowed to do. It actually is a cultural, companywide transformation. One must influence every department and every person in the organisation. Everyone needs to understand what the new product/brand is, and they need to feel like it is theirs and own it. Because if they do not, it will show.
Organisations will need to become design-led enterprises espousing a culture of ideation, problem solving and driving differentiated customer experiences. A lot has been spoken about customer experience and I see so many ‘experts’ on the subject hosting webinars and giving talks. But the fact remains that most of them approach from a very narrow lens of either Martech, Adtech, Social, etc. Almost none of them have an enterprise level vision. A CMO Survey done with 341 Marketing heads has thrown up the following top challenges that Organisations are facing:
Developing the necessary capabilities inside the organisation to design, deliver and monitor the CX – this further strengthens my argument that CX can only be driven organisation wide and must be led by the CEO or at least must have his oversight.
Coordinating disparate aspects of the organisation to design, manage, deliver, and monitor the CX – this must be shared, organisation wide responsibility. It requires a cross-functional approach and shared goals and KPIs.
Determining the contribution of each touchpoint to the overall CX and identifying critical touch points – how to arrive and agree on attribution is a key point and most often a cause of disagreement. A CEO had last year confided in me that when the sales, marketing, service, and financing teams made their quarterly presentations each of them had claimed that they had helped grow their share by an average 30%! He said – “If those numbers were true, the company should have almost doubled in size! But the fact is that the real growth rate is in single digit!” The way forward is developing common metrics across the organisation.
If you look at the above, you will understand that not many challenges are attributable to technology or the lack of it. And that is why I keep saying the answer lies in what problem you are trying to solve. All the pieces in the jig saw can fall into place with a little imagination and dollops of creativity. If you identify with these challenges, you are not alone. Most organisations are sailing in this boat. The current situation has only brought the above issues centre stage. In a market where sales and revenues have taken a huge hit, it would be prudent for organisations to relook at the entire customer journey and customer experience and inculcate the habit of design led creative thinking. This and only this will ensure that they not only survive the current situation but also thrive in the future.