Five As to get A+ in leaving the pandemic behind: Garrett Ilg

Uncertainty and not knowing how the world will evolve creates a huge opportunity for marketers to re-define their companies, writes IIg.


The pandemic has forced the CMOs to scramble as they are trying to understand the vastly changed consumer behavior. Though consumer behavior still changing, the CEOs are pressuring the CMOs to find the best ways for recovery.

That calls for a deeper understanding of customers so that the businesses can pivot new business models by re-touching their sales approach, finding new revenue streams, and introducing new products and services. Technology plays a role, of course, but it must be used intentionally, with a new paradigm in mind.

Myntra is leveraging technology to orchestrate workflows between customer service agents and its nearly 20 million active monthly customer users. This enables the fashion e-tailer to have a systematic and streamlined approach to deliver an end-to-end customer experience. Furthermore, in the wake of the country’s lockdown, Myntra uses existing data in different ways to help it deliver personalised content to customers based on their browsing history and shopping preferences – taking customer engagement to greater heights. What helped Myntra and will help any other company in the same situations are the “five As” that CMOs must establish in their companies while leveraging – with intention – critical emerging technologies to modernize their interactions.

The five As are:

· Adaptability: The world has changed but businesses still need to keep going, whether through finding new ways to reach cash-strapped households or helping customers visualize products from the comfort and safety of their homes. Marketing organizations must be agile to adapt to any change anytime.

· Accountability: Businesses expect marketers to help deliver quantifiable business impact with the help of modern technology. As the measurement of campaigns has become more sophisticated, CMOs must embrace accountability.

· Authenticity: Modern marketers need to know and use data they collect from customers to engage them in highly personalized communications across their devices, print, and broadcast media while understanding the context in which those messages are consumed.

· Action: Customers expect companies they do business with to respond quickly and at all hours. Meeting them on their terms helps foster brand relationships.

· Alignment: This does not just mean coordination between sales and marketing; it also means aligning the organization so that customers’ needs dictate the businesses’ activities.

Experiences often are more important than the product or service we are delivering. Uncertainty and not knowing how the world will evolve creates a huge opportunity for marketers to re-define their companies.

Eighty-three percent of 260 global CEOs surveyed by management consultancy McKinsey last year said they expect marketing to be a major driver for their companies’ growth. To do so, marketing departments need to move faster, collaborate better, and focus more sharply on customers. Yet McKinsey estimates making such changes can cut 10 percent to 30 percent of marketing costs while adding 5 percent to 15 percent to sales growth. And about 23 percent of CEOs say marketing isn’t delivering on the growth agenda. Often, executives pour time into a few initiatives, “then grow frustrated when the promised value doesn’t appear,” according to the study.

Concepcion Industrial Corporation (CIC), the leading provider of air conditioning solutions and refrigerators in the Philippines, is using customer experience software to support the need for business to make decisions more nimbly. CIC has been incredibly successful at striking the right balance, especially during this challenging year. The Philippines-based appliance distributor has managed to give customers what they need when they need it while creating new opportunities for business.

CIC is leveraging technology to get a better understanding of its customers and consolidate sales, customer service, and e-commerce systems with its back-office software. That is helping the air conditioning and refrigeration company simplify online ordering, sell directly to consumers, and forge new business models, such as renting cool airtime “as a service,” rather than selling an appliance outright.

The Philippines-based appliance distributor had no place to sell its products for 90 days, as stores were closed nationwide. Manufacturing, distribution, and most e-commerce stopped for three months during the pandemic’s height this year. CIC adapted by emphasizing products for kitchens tailored to people staying and cooking at home and developing new ones for those who wanted a cool environment without the upfront cost.

These are just a few fresh ideas that can be brought to life using the five As and modern cloud technology to take a smarter approach to customer experience management, adopt new ways to overcome business challenges, and invent new business models.

(The article is contributed by Garrett Ilg, President, Japan and Asia Pacific, Oracle Corporation)

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