This is article originally appeared in the July issue of AdNews magazine. It's part of the The Future of Customer Experience series in partnership with Accenture Interactive. You can download a digital version of AdNews. You can also subscribe to the premium print edition here.
Accenture Interactive is rapidly expanding. Managing director Michael Buckley heads up the division that aims to provide an end-to-end solution that suits the new wave of marketers emerging, and the challenges they face, to build seamless customer experiences.
The newly emerging marketing landscape requires a new kind of marketer. One that has all the traditional skills and capabilities associated with the discipline, and a whole lot more besides.
It’s a complex blend of marketing and technology skills that allows a marketer to think in terms of building a customer experience, not just a marketing campaign, says Accenture Interactive managing director Michael Buckley.
“Marketers don't have to be designers, they don't have to be coders - but they have to understand what those two things mean, what the platforms are, and how they work together.”
There are three things Accenture Interactive is consistently working on with clients to build better customer experiences: the architecture of marketing platforms; managing the costs of creating content; and media.
“Not many companies understand how to bring all those together so we're architecting the platforms to enable the marketer to deliver the technology,” Buckley says.
“When we talk about architecture of platforms, it’s around customer experience. If the customer wants a better experience, it's usually leaning towards personalisation. So, how do platforms like Adobe, Salesforce and analytics platforms work together?”
The need for greater volumes of content, whether it's video, social, digital, or anything in between, means many marketers find the production costs hugely expensive. Accenture Interactive works with them to automate or offshore that process, to bring down costs at the same time as managing the process.
“I don't mean the big creative idea or the strategy,” Buckley explains. “I mean the production of creative content. You might have an amazing TVC made locally, but you want a snippet of that in a banner ad, or you need it in all sorts of formats. If you can offshore or automate that, it decouples the production of content and the cost instantly comes down.”
The third element, he says, are the media components. While Accenture Interactive doesn't buy media, it is able to run DMPs, DSPs and personalisation engines within a client's marketing organisation.
“When you look at the platform architecting, the content decoupling, and the media orchestration, these skills are all now sitting under the CMO and that’s a long way from what a CMO did five years ago,” Buckley says.
“What we do is help the CMO deliver on that. Internally we call it ‘marketing as a service’. When a brand gets the customer experience right, the upside is enormous.”
It's not just new marketing capabilities that have to be addressed – it’s an organisational mindset around what marketing is. And how closely they work with technology and digital teams to deliver a customer experience.
“Often silos have been built up around digital teams, but organisations really need to realise that this is one whole team, and the sooner digital and marketing get closer, the better,” he says.
“If you can get the CIO and CMO in the room, you can pretty much solve anything.”
It’s most successful when digital teams and marketing teams work seamlessly and think as an organisation, but there is still a need for specialist digital teams.
“There's still a reason for those digital teams to exist because there are so many new technologies emerging, you need a team that understands what benefits they can bring to the marketing team,” Buckley explains.
Marketing teams that have traditionally focused on brand awareness and traditional metrics - enabled by new technologies get the benefit of both.”
Also in this series, The Future of Customer Experience: Architects of the new marketing - an interview with Irwin Lim, Accenture Interactive Marketing Services Lead for Australia and New Zealand. Find out more about Accenture Interactive here.
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