Lydia Dishman from Adweek wrote a great article last month; in which she interviewed Kevin Akeroyd, SVP and GM from Oracle Marketing Cloud. In that interview, Kevin talks about the dilemma that CMOs all of publicly traded companies struggle with all the time. It's the balance of Wall Street and Main Street.
The gist of the article is that within publicly traded companies, CMOs are under great pressure from the CEO and board (Wall Street) to drive performance for the current quarter, while customers (Main Street) demand a continuous, consistent, customer-centric experience; which requires long-term vision and commitment.
Now, the article is a bit salesy (it's a sponsored article after all) but I found one point in particular that really hit home for me, especially in the financial services space where I spend the bulk of my time these days. One thing that Kevin says in this article made me yell (which I don't think the corporate guys in the office appreciated) out "amen brother! preach it!" here in my Denver Oracle office.
The point Kevin made that had me pumping my fist was this:
"You have a board that is pushing for profitable growth and predictable performance quarter over quarter. That can force a CMO to adopt a short-term mindset focused on financial measurements to prove value that translates to "batch-and-blast" marketing style tactics. On the other, you have customers who demand pervasive personalization, customized and dazzling digital experiences and one-to-one marketing at massive scale. CMOs have to play the long game here, building relationships that will captivate customers through the years."
The reason this statement had me fanboying over Kevin (again) is that it precisely outlines what companies in the financial services space are doing, and what they need to do to eventually succeed.
Every company in the space that I speak with, it's the same story. Whether it's an asset management company, a commercial bank or a money transfer/payment company, they all tend to adopt the short-term, batch-and-blast mentality in an attempt to show quick results. The problem, as outlined in the article is that this approach doesn't work. It's not modern marketing and more importantly it's not how customers and clients want to be communicated with.
The second part of Kevin's statement here is the step that the brave few CMOs in the financial services world need to take. It is indeed a long game. A commitment to an ongoing, continuous, valuable and interactive dialog with customers and clients. However, even though it is a long term play, it doesn't mean that CMOs have to miss out on the short term gains. That's where multichannel marketing automation comes in. With the right technologies and strategies in place, marketing can take care of the short term campaigns while focusing on the rewarding long term relationships with clients and customers.
Don't believe marketing leaders can do both? Go ask Meagan Eisenberg if it's possible. I mention Meagan because she has done it. She's leveraged her best practice expertise and the best marketing technologies to execute on both short term and long term gains with ridiculously impressive results.
So what about marketing leaders in the financial services space? Is their environment so different, so regulated that they can't do what Meagan has done. I'd say absolutely not. As Kevin mentioned in the interview, CMOs (even in the financial services space) already have the tools at their disposal to succeed. It's just a matter of bringing all of their resources together with a solid strategy for modern marketing and they'll see success.
Let me hear your opinion on it. Can they do it or is there an insurmountable obstacle in their way?