Traditionally, CIOs were primarily focused on the technical aspects of product development. That isn’t the case now. CIOs are increasingly encouraging their teams to take a customer-first approach to application development and design as IT becomes more of a revenue driver for businesses.
Customers can be bewildering – CIOs and their teams require assistance in developing applications that cater to customers at every stage of the purchasing process. Additionally, CIOs require assistance in establishing a truly customer-centric IT company.
The challenge here is what customers desire and how they receive it can swiftly change. For instance, a person’s purchasing habits around the holidays are likely to differ from those in the spring. They can even change how they buy throughout a single transaction — for instance, a customer may begin a purchase on their desktop PC but finish it on their mobile device.
There’s no one better to ask than the chief marketing officer for guidance on this. Modern CMOs have a deep expertise that can aid companies in developing better customer-centric software, as well as insights that can help them in becoming better marketers.
What CIOs can learn from CMOs
Marketing today is vastly different from what it was even a few years ago. Companies used to conduct periodic market intelligence projects to examine how customers engage with entire brands. Today’s marketing is far more targeted and takes place in real-time.
Customer journey maps and personas are created by transformational CMOs for each customer. The former is a visual representation of a customer’s interactions with the organization (especially throughout the purchasing process), whereas the latter gives a more in-depth view of a customer’s likes, dislikes, and interests. Both can be updated in real-time to provide businesses a real-time picture of a customer’s shifting preferences.
For a customer-centric IT organization, this information is priceless. These assets can be used to customize applications with features that will appeal to the company’s most important customer personas. That could mean creating numerous versions of an app to appeal to different types of customers, or it could mean assisting developers in making the appropriate adjustments and updates to apps depending on shifting consumer behavior and purchasing trends.
People are complex, and each individual can have numerous personas. The CMO can help CIOs decode these personalities and design applications that cater to a wide range of requirements.
They can use journey maps to focus their development efforts on platforms that provide the most value to customers.
The team will have a better understanding of how customers are likely to communicate with the business, allowing them to better target development efforts to maximize those interactions. CIOs can evolve into customer-focused chief innovation officers by employing analytics-based marketing research.
What CMOs can learn from CIOs
Sharing information is a two-way street. To that end, the CMO can learn a lot from CIOs and the development team in order to create more effective marketing campaigns.
When something isn’t working for customers, the team is in an excellent position to notice. Customers may not be using a particular feature, or they may be bouncing out of an application or off a web page after brief sessions, which CMOs will notice.
CIOs can push such feedback up to the CMO, assuming there are no technical difficulties. CIOs can let CMOs know that they have noticed some red flags that they should investigate. After making the necessary changes, they can keep an eye on how users engage with the app to see if things have improved. If they don’t, then they should notify the CMO once more. Marketing, like development, is all about making quick, frequent changes.
Now apply that approach to how IT interacts with marketing. CIOs can improve solutions based on what they learn from CMOs, but they can also supply that CMO with useful input that will help them attract additional customers. Everyone contributes their unique perspective, resulting in a virtuous loop that benefits all parties involved, including the CIOs, team, CMO and marketing department, and, most importantly, the customers.
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