Chris Cavanaugh, EVP & CMO, Freeman
Is today’s enterprise landscape evolves at a seemingly exponential rate, so too has the expected role and responsibility of the CIO within it. This comes as a surprise to no one who is reading this. A role once primarily focused on systems, processes and IT infrastructure now includes driving business value with specific, yet wide-reaching components of strategy, data, marketing automation and the need to keep the data secure always.
While this ever-expanding list of “to-dos” has elevated the CIO to one of the most important business partners in the organization, it also adds a new level of pressure to make informed strategic decisions around products, partnerships and services. Today’s CIOs have to continually deploy products and services that truly help to drive transformation for their business, and to help enable the same transformation for their customers. From driving revenues and efficiencies to reducing costs and generating new business opportunities, the more they change the greater the pressures become.
"Today’s CIOs have to continually deploy products and services that truly help to drive transformation for their business, and to help enable the same transformation for their customers"
There has also been a tremendous transformation in both the expansion and evolution of marketing’s role in the process, with new products, services, tools and channels that are available to assist and inform the decisions of today’s CIO. The walls between the CIO and the CMO are becoming more porous as the marketing channel has never been more fragmented and complex. It offers up an almost infinite number of possibilities and opportunities to attract and engage your customers, partners, investors and peers. The technology that drives mobile engagements, social interactions, customer experience and experiential marketing has become a ubiquitous ally to CIOs challenged with the purchase decision of product, solution and service that deliver business value.
The way customers interact with a brand–the experience that they have and the connections that are made with that brand– is today’s currency of choice. The experience that is created has become an invaluable and necessary platform to provide insights that can successfully inform business decisions. Additionally, the host of technological solutions within, and the experience marketing channel provides you with access to an entire world of information and engagement at your fingertips. However, knowing how, when and where to properly use technology to identify the data, insight and analytics you need is a key to unlock the answers.
Thankfully, there are a number of answers to these wants and needs.
Technology has opened doors of experience and information previously unknown and undiscovered. Any answer, any idea, any headline or score update is only a click away. And while there is nothing ground breaking in this observation, its application within a CIO’s world is what is truly impressive.
However, no matter how “digital” the landscape has become, it’s key to acknowledge that experiences continue to become more personal, targeted and more tactile. Creating connections and gaining insights through experiences like user conferences, road shows, product showcases, seminars and educational sessions offer numerous opportunities to touch, feel and experience products and solutions in meaningful ways. The combination of digital and experiential is powerful and informative for making decisions for their enterprise. Experiential marketing, in many cases, has become a de facto news channel, keeping many of us up-to-date on what’s new and what’s next.
Experiences are a valuable resource to help CIOs and their teams to stay connected, gain insight to guide decisions, and provide a deeper understand¬ing of what is possible and how those possibilities can benefit an organization. And as today’s CIO has to become a transformative leader, experiences create a platform to stand up and share your own experience and knowledge as a thought leader with peers.
Inside your company, the entire organization relies on your knowledge and understanding of the changing landscape and the technology that exists to power and strengthen your business, to make it perform better than your competition, and to enhance the experience that your customers have with your brand. The expectation to get it right the first time is always present. Employing tools that address needs, meet challenges and open up doors of opportunity is paramount not only to your success, but also to the success of your company. These are the decisions that drive business. Your recommendation on what to buy, what to implement and what to adopt will determine, in many cases, how well your company performs. The mantra to “fail often and quickly” in order to innovate is a popular mantra and has value,however there are new ways to help make informed decisions that can be a hedge against missteps.
The good news is that when you get it right, your decisions help employees work faster. They allow departments to work smarter. They make entire businesses run more efficiently. They enable everything from purchasing to procurement to operate more effectively.
You just have to know where to look.
There are moments of support and discovery everywhere. Experiences designed to make your decision-making process that much easier. Engagements meant to inspire action and, ultimately, help transform business from the inside out.
Throughout the event marketing landscape, technology and all of its wonder are put on display for leaders of organizations and often before anyone else. These experiences provide you early access to information around solutions relevant to your business or your challenges. There are advanced looks into capabilities, features and functions. Many times, chances present themselves to build relationships with suppliers who are creating these solutions. They are helpful with eager ears ready to support your needs. From solution-based tutorials to technology-led insights, event marketing presents a wealth of knowledge, experience, information and support that, if accessed effectively, can change the way you do business.
With CIOs facing increased challenges and raised expectations, it’s more important than ever to identify the marketing and technological cavalry that exists to support your organization’s needs. Staying in touch and in tune with an audience is no longer enough. Today, tools and services exist to help you stay connected with the right audience, while also demonstrating the value of networking and the opportunity to leverage the community for greater insights and value. Staying connected creates strong networks, and supports learning cycles that will help you make more informed decisions, increase your value to your organization and contribute to the profitability and ingenuity of your brand.
We work in exciting times. These are times that allow you to realize more opportunities, but also require you to wear more hats. While channels like experience marketing continue to evolve and innovate, it’s the access to the technological and marketing solutions that the experience channel provides that can truly help CIOs transform all aspects of their businesses today and prepare them for a more successful tomorrow.