Focus of Our New CMO Study: Keeping the Customer Mesmerized through Digitally Personalized Brand Experiences

Keeping the customer satisfied is so last century. Even so last decade. Merely “satisfied” won’t be enough to keep competitors from picking off your customers through better marketing and marketing technologies – technologies that identify when those customers are unhappy and open to something different and seemingly better.

The focus for marketers for the foreseeable future is different now: it’s how to keep the customer mesmerized throughout the personalized brand experiences. Merely meeting customer expectations is no longer enough – not in a world in which it’s so easy for a company’s competitors to identify your customers through social media and other websites, lure them with offers, and steal them away, maybe permanently.

Earlier this week, Krishnan Ramanujam – President and Global Head of Business & Technology Services here at TCS, described the extensive study we have conducted this year with chief marketing officers at large global companies. He explained why we surveyed 516 CMOs in large North American and European companies in 11 global industries: to understand how they’re digitally personalizing the brand experience they provide to customers and prospective customers.

We wanted to know what channels they’re using, what data they’re leveraging, what content their personalizing, and other key facets that is increasingly making the marketing pitch to me very different than one that goes to you for the very same product or service.

Since Krishnan gave you the overall contours of our research, I’ll provide a few specifics. In this post, I’ll discuss the research reports we have published so far, and what’s to come.

The TCS 2019 CMO Study Framework

First, let me explain the core framework through which we looked at this issue – of where and how marketers are getting involved in personalizing their companies’ communications to prospects and customers.

We surveyed marketers about what they were doing by breaking down their activities in a four-stage brand experience process that can fit any B2C or B2B company:

  • Awareness
  • Conversion
  • Support
  • Retention

Our initial findings report came out in April, and it was a broad-brush look at some of the findings. Read that report here. In it, we presented findings on what communications channels marketers are using in each of the four stages, among other things.

Then earlier this month, we published findings on what marketers are doing to digitally personalize communications in Stage 1. We went much deeper on this than we did in the initial findings report, telling you what digital data they used to personalize marketing content and how they personalized such content. What’s more, we showed the differences on what’s happening in Stage 1 by country and by B2C vs. B2B company. Just as important, we began to show you what “marketing leaders” (i.e. companies getting solid returns on marketing) do differently in Stage 1 of the brand experience than “marketing followers” (the opposite of the leaders).

You can read more about this in our Stage 1 report (“Attracting the Digitally Distracted Prospect”). We found some significant trends including:

  • The most popular marketing channels are digital, but non-digital channels aren’t at all dead.
  • Marketing leaders are far more likely to market through emerging e-commerce channels (such as Amazon and Walmart.com)
    More than half of consumer marketers are tailoring pitches to prospects using their geo-location data.
  • Personalization is predicted to become a bigger marketing priority in 2020

In the weeks that follow, we will publish additional reports that explain what marketers are doing in Stage 2, 3 and 4. Sign up to receive each report as they are released here. And then we will publish a master report that ties all of this together and explains what marketers are doing across and outside all four stages of the brand experience – particularly in how they use analytics, automate marketing activities, use cloud resources, conduct technology innovation, and adjust their communications campaigns (i.e., how “agile” they are in marketing).

Most of all, we’ll tell you what marketing leaders are uniquely doing – or doing more often – than the rest of the companies we have studied, and what that could mean for your company. We greatly look forward to sharing those lessons, and shedding light on what the digital marketing revolution of today and the next few years means for every marketer.


About the author(s)

Akhilesh Tiwari

Akhilesh Tiwari

Vice President, Global Head, Enterprise Application Services
Akhilesh Tiwari is Vice President & Global Head, Enterprise Application Services (EAS) at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). In this role, Akhilesh oversees strategy, growth, and customer success, lending direction to a portfolio of cross-industry and pan-enterprise business applications.

Akhilesh and his team of technology experts and business consultants help global enterprises build on their foundational enterprise applications to integrate new and emerging technologies such as analytics, automation and artificial intelligence. By bridging IT and business together, he helps companies create new business models and fuel opportunities with customer experience, finance and HR transformations and strategic IT initiatives.

With over 25 years of international and multi-faceted leadership experience, Akhilesh focuses on identifying strategic opportunities to truly build and grow businesses. He has forged and deepened partnerships with many of the world’s leading software companies, including SAP, Oracle, Salesforce and Adobe. Under his leadership, the practice was awarded a variety of SAP Pinnacle Awards including SAP Partner of the Year and Run SAP Partner of the Year.

As the technology landscape evolves, he identifies and creates partnerships with future-leading companies that address his customers’ business needs with emerging technologies.

Akhilesh has a Master’s in Business Administration from MIT Sloan School of Management, as well as a Master’s in Materials Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology. He currently resides in the Greater New York City area with his wife and two children.

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