Kathleen Rohrecker, Senior Director, North American Marketing, Oracle, explored the "million dollar questions" that marketers face day after day in her presentation to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2016 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum: Fall Event in San Francisco on Nov. 10. In her presentation, "Million Dollar Questions, and Other Fun with Marketing," Rohrecker examined some of the key challenges that today's marketers face and how marketers can optimize the resources at their disposal.
According to Rohrecker, marketers face a tall task: they must help a company optimize its customer interactions as well as find ways to maximize the value of the resources that are available to them.
How a marketer approaches his or her goals is paramount. Ultimately, a marketer must keep the interests of a business and its consumers in mind in his or her everyday work. A marketer also must find ways to help a company bolster its reputation, grow its audience and boost its revenue without exceeding his or her budget.
"In reality, we're all trying to do the same thing. We're trying to satisfy customers," Rohrecker stated. "We're trying to do that by targeting and acquiring customers, engaging them somehow and then growing those relationships."
For marketers, it is paramount to maximize the resources that are available day after day.
"We're breaking down what our organizations do into these fundamental processes. At the same time, we're charged with optimizing the customer experience and optimizing our company's goals as well."
By doing so, marketers may be better equipped to think outside the box and discover innovative solutions to a wide range of challenges.
"We're breaking down what our organizations do into these fundamental processes," Rohrecker said. "At the same time, we're charged with optimizing the customer experience and optimizing our company's goals as well."
Furthermore, marketers must understand that obtaining additional time and resources to understand and resolve challenges rarely, if ever, is a viable option.
"Everything that we do – from advertising to content marketing – we're always looking for ways to get more for what we have," she noted. "We're all in the same boat. We don't have enough people, and we don't have enough budget."
Rohrecker offered several real world examples to highlight how marketers can optimize the resources that are available to them, including:
1. The Economist
The Economist remains a leading financial publication but recently struggled to foster long-lasting partnerships with readers. However, The Economist used "look-alike modeling" to extend its global reach using digital platforms.
With look-alike models, The Economist was able to learn about larger audiences based on smaller segments. The Economist also found unique ways to connect with audience members via digital platforms, ensuring it was able to expand globally.
2. Wealth Management Company
Many organizations will develop online landing pages that feature a single call to action and only one-to-two paragraphs of content. Conversely, Rohrecker stated a wealth management company took a different approach to its landing page to connect with an older target audience.
The wealth management company crafted a landing page that featured plenty of content and multiple calls-to-action. This landing page proved to be successful, providing the business' target audience with relevant and engaging information.
"How can we think differently about conventional wisdom and try some different things that might work for us? … Set up an adequate test environment, and you can learn from it."
Also, Rohrecker said the company's landing page helped the business make the most of its advertising budget and convert prospects to customers faster than ever before.
"You can optimize your ad spend by looking not just at what audience you're attracting but also how you are trying to convert [your audience]," she noted.
Staples represents a leading office supply retailer, but the company failed to develop a successful mobile app initially.
Rohrecker said Staples originally required smartphone and tablet users to complete a long form to add their credit card information to complete mobile purchases. The process was time-consuming, and Staples needed to find an alternative to ensure consumers can reap the benefits of a fast, simple process.
"Nobody's going to fill out a form on their mobile device," Rohrecker said. "It's not that we can't try to capture financial transactions on a mobile device … it's that we need to think differently about how we're going to do it."
Staples leveraged an "interrupted form" that enabled consumers to add a limited amount of information quickly and easily using the mobile app. Then, a consumer would receive an email that would allow him or her to finish the form at a desktop computer at his or her convenience.
How marketers approach challenges may dictate a business' short- and long-term success.
If marketers are willing to think outside the box and consider both the brand's and consumer's perspectives, these professionals may be able to develop innovative solutions to a broad array of problems. Comparatively, marketers who fail to brainstorm unique solutions and test and evaluate ideas may prevent a business from achieving its immediate and long-term goals.
"How can we think differently about conventional wisdom and try some different things that might work for us? … Set up an adequate test environment, and you can learn from it," Rohrecker pointed out.
Kathleen leads North America Marketing for Oracle Marketing Cloud. Prior to the company's acquisition by Oracle, she was VP of Marketing at Maxymiser, a website testing and optimization platform. Kathleen spent the majority of her career as a cross-functional B to B marketer at high-growth companies in the analytics and BI space. She loves to learn about how people see and overcome challenges in life and at work. Kathleen is an avid soccer fan and coach, and former player.