Gerry Brown
Gerry Brown (CX Research Director)

Last week IDC hosted, 22 tech industry marketing leaders at our annual CMO Advisory council dinner in London.  The topics up for discussion were IDC’s latest research and thought-leadership ideas in the areas of content marketing, customer experience, and customer data management.

So what are on the minds and to-do lists of technology marketing leaders in Europe right now? Well the impact of GDPR is right up there. Marketing mailing lists for the most part have been decimated. But that may not be a bad thing. Many marketing lists had elements of vanity about them, with bragging rights available for those with most contacts. Many of these lists had nothing to do with the relevance of products and services to customer needs. GDPR provides a ‘clean sheet’ opportunity to market to only those who have a genuine interest in your products and services – which can only be a good thing.

Each of our four dinner tables produced fascinating insights about the challenges of content marketing. Getting hold of great quality content is a simple first challenge. Having digital technology tools that provide easy access to content assets for marketers is another. Collaborating and sharing content is another – breaking down regional, country, and business unit boundaries is a tough challenge. Some like to keep their content to themselves. Others are unaware of the value of the content they possess to other parts of their organisation.

Then there is content marketing execution. Providing relevant content at each stage of the customer journey was ‘opportunistic’ in nature for 46% of marketers in a recent IDC survey of 300 marketing leaders in Europe. Also providing the availability of content across all (omni) channels in practice is a tough ‘ask’. Some digital channels are showing declining results – and some marketers are reverting to ‘old school’ marketing techniques such as print promotions. Indeed, in IDC’s recent survey OOH (Out of Home) promotions was the 3rd most popular content marketing technique after Blogs and Online Advertising.

So what to do? One CMO had just employed a VP of Content Marketing in the US to provide a dedicated focus to their content marketing efforts. All agreed that they needed to put more thought into their content marketing methods. Treating content marketing as ‘business as usual’ is suicide in the fast-changing world of digital marketing. A policy, a strategy, and an implementation plan are required – along with the right investments in digital tools and skilled marketing staff to make to happen.

In summary, we had a great dinner with lively debates and lots of laughter. The CMOs from start-ups, mid-size and legacy enterprise applications vendors, multi-functional printer vendors, IT / digital services providers, and networking companies had much in common when it came to their content marketing, CX and customer data management challenges. They all shared the need to improve their strategies and execution of modern digital marketing.

So IDC’s expertise in content marketing, CX and customer data management was much in demand, which was a good thing! Maybe you should also look at what IDC can do for your customer-facing operations too?

If you want to learn more about this topic or have any questions, please contact Gerry Brown.

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