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Milind Gurjar, Senior Director & General Manager, Cisco
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OmniChannel Marketing Redefined
By Amy Romero, CMO, Creative Drive
Approach to Marketing
My approach to marketing is very journalistic. The traditional way of thinking has been— “I’m a B2B company, so I should be using LinkedIn and white papers and thought leadership to connect with my target audience.” However, the marketing landscape has completely changed; you can’t identify where your lead audience is going to come from or what they are going to read.
Traditionally, marketers would try to engage these executives by posting content to LinkedIn or sending them case studies on ways to save. However, today's marketers recognize that CEOs are consumers who want to drive better results and connect with marketers through content experiences that are aligned with their interests and lifestyles.
Therefore, when talking about my approach, I focus on experience; the experiences that employees and clients have, and the experiences that we’re creating online, because people remember experiences...they won’t remember a whitepaper.
It’s crucial to invest in your brands. If you’re not investing in your brand story, you are just a commodity. The first step we took is to really understanding who we are, what we represent, and who our leaders are—basically, humanizing the brand. We are a global creative and content production company that has a 150 content creation studios around the globe. We believe in the creative class; we believe in being transparent; we are diverse- and all of these qualities are in our DNA and part of who we are. We describe ourselves as creators, makers, and doers. We make sure that our creators have the tools that they need and are continuously evolving and finding new sources of inspiration to avoid creative fatigue.
The Next Phase of Evolution for Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel is going to be a synonym of digital in the future thanks to AI. We can already see how the Internet of Things (IoT) is already creeping into our daily lives. From smart fridges to smart TVs to nearly fully automated smart homes, we are entering a world that is more and more omnichannel. We’re beginning to experience things through multiple channels via wearables, mobile devices, voice-activated assistants, and more. It’s as if we are surrounded in a bubble of content that is being fed by different channels at all times- and it’s only going to get bigger when you add business intelligence, AI, and more data into the mix.
What will be interesting is the next term that will be used to describe this phenomenon. It’s omnipresence, and goes beyond the confines of a linear experience to a holistic, spherical journey that focuses on the multifaceted experience of the user. If you are saying “we need to be omnichannel,” you are already many years behind.
Advice to CMOs
When it comes to content, you need to differentiate your brand and invest in it. Part of the way that you invest in your brand is the experiences that you create in real life and online. But most importantly, it’s the experience you create internally for all your employees because if you want to have loyalists and followers, then you have to make sure that the employees are behind you and believe in what you believe. The experiences you create have to reflect their own personal values which will lead to better results because happier people produce better work.