While catching up on my blog reader today, I came across a post by Paul Barsch, The New Role of the CIO?, that set my mind whirling. His premise is that the CIO is shifting to become a business facilitator to make business happen and will be asking business users (that's you) what they want and need to deliver on strategic objectives.
So, are you ready? What technology would you ask for to drive marketing success?
To help the thinking along, I'll start the list - please post comments and add to it.
- Integration of customer data so marketing and sales and service have access to complete profiles and activities of all customers.
- Integration of marketing channels so marketing can make sure the brand is consistent and get a better gauge on what's working.
- Integration with sales so we can make better hand-offs of qualified leads to sales, see what happens with the opportunities and take them back, if need be, for further nurturing. They're going to buy sooner or later, and it should be from us - so we need to keep track and keep in touch.
- Measurement and metrics tools that work for today's interactive campaigns. It's not just about click throughs. We need to see beyond the campaign to what else our prospects are doing - with our website content, our microsites, our downloads, where they come from and go to afterward, how much of a webinar they view, not just that they downloaded it from our archives.
We want to know navigation paths and whether or not one content resource led to another and how they fit together for different kinds of prospects to build the story that pulls that person forward in their buying cycle. And don't make us put forms up in front of every resource they want to collect that information. Help us remove barriers to gathering intelligence. Oh, and we want these insights in real time. I could go on, but you get the idea.
- Content Publishing that marketing can own and manage in real time to address the fast-moving pace of business conversations today. Not the corporate website - that's a political hot potato with too many "owners" - but we want to be able to create a microsite at the drop of a hat to address a strategic topic. I can give you a laundry list of what types of functionality we'd like that can be managed by business users, but that's a whole other blog post.
- Email tools that enable us to create and send emails to niche subsets of our marketing database, schedule campaigns and monitor metrics and view prospect profiles and activity at the microsites in #5 above.
- Blogs that we can launch to build community networks around strategic subjects. This is for thought leadership that initiates conversations and produces exchanges that add to our insights in how to improve customer experiences. Not just to spout expertise or dump product info.
- Sales Tools Portal that enables us to post and monitor content/resource usage and sales to rate and comment on the tools we're providing them with. This should include an advanced search capability that enables salespeople to select the prospect they're preparing to meet with and quickly display the relevant information they need. We want to know what they use, why they use it and if they don't, why isn't it working?
Whew! That should keep your CIO busy for a while, but that's my short list. What else should we add? Each of the above is broad and has subsets and expansion possibilities, but I was going for concept.