Chief Marketing Officer

CSAA Insurance’s CMO on How to Use Data to Deliver Personalized Customer Experiences

Debora Tomlin, Chief Marketing Officer at CSAA Insurance Group, shared her thoughts on the use of data and analytics in marketing during her keynote presentation at the 2018 CMO Financial Services Forum: Marketing & Technology Innovation in San Francisco on October 30. In her presentation, “Grow Your Business & Improve the Customer Experience with Data & Analytics,” Tomlin offered tips to help marketers optimize the value of data and analytics.

At CSAA, the organization wanted to foster long-lasting customer partnerships. To accomplish its goal, the organization needed to revamp its marketing strategy and integrate data and analytics into its marketing operations.

“Our mission is to create customers for life … and fulfill on our promise to be there when [our customers] need us,” Tomlin stated. “When we were honest with ourselves, we realized there was nothing we could do to fulfill on that mission.”

Data and analytics are difference-makers for marketers at all organizations, across all industries. If marketers incorporate data management and analytics technologies into their everyday operations, they can gain unprecedented insights into the customer experience (CX). Best of all, marketers can use data management and analytics technologies to stay ahead of customer requests – something that could help their respective organizations stand out from the competition.

“With technology, [consumers] expect brands to be proactive and not just reactive,” Tomlin indicated.

Delivering personalized customer experiences is a top priority for many marketers worldwide. Yet determining the best ways to provide customers with personalized support often proves to be challenging.

For instance, the sheer volume of data management and analytics technologies available to marketers can be overwhelming. But if marketers learn about their respective organizations’ target audience, they could optimize the value of their data management and analytics investments.

“We need to make personalized experiences more relevant in consumers’ lives [by using] data and technology,” Tomlin pointed out. “What customers think has not changed … but what has changed is the way that customers interact with us.”

Understanding the value of digital technologies is crucial for marketers, too.

In some organizations, marketers lack a clear understanding of digital technologies and their potential impact. Conversely, if marketers learn about digital technologies, they then can determine the best ways to use these technologies day after day. These marketers also can make digital technology investments that prove to be exceedingly valuable both now and in the future.

“We’re all trying to figure out what [digital] means,” Tomlin said. “[Digital] really means what we want to interact with our customers’ lives and get all the benefits that technology can provide to us.”

Digital technologies empower marketers to drive growth and innovation as well. These technologies enable marketers to understand customer and industry patterns and trends, as well as streamline their everyday operations. Furthermore, digital technologies help marketers keep pace with rapidly evolving customer expectations.

“In order to protect and grow our core business … we need to innovate and grow for our future,” Tomlin noted.

For marketers, it is important to use digital technologies to contribute to all aspects of an organization’s success.

No longer are marketers expected to focus exclusively on building and launching campaigns to generate customer interest. Instead, marketers can play key roles in helping an organization make informed, data-driven decisions across all departments.

“[Marketers] are integral to the business in delivering outcomes,” Tomlin said. “We drive business value across the enterprise … and that’s how [marketing teams] need to position themselves.”

With digital technologies, marketers also can help eliminate silos across an organization. Marketers can leverage digital technologies to empower different departments with the data and insights they need to succeed. That way, marketers can collaborate with myriad departments to help an organizations accomplish its immediate and long-term goals.

“We have silos and are trying to break them down … and when you bring people together to try to drive toward a joint goal, you get a lot of different results,” Tomlin noted.

Going forward, marketers can use digital technologies to assess the customer journey like never before.

The customer journey is changing, as consumers can connect with brands on mobile and social platforms. Meanwhile, marketers must find ways to incorporate digital technologies into the customer journey to make it simple for consumers to engage with their respective organizations from any location, on any device and at any time.

“Customer journeys are not sufficient,” Tomlin pointed out. “Our customer journeys work alongside all of our marketing and business processes.”

If marketers remain committed to innovation and digital transformation, they could help their respective organizations thrive. Marketers can provide meaningful data and insights to help an organization find unique ways to engage with its target audience. Thus, marketers can simultaneously drive ongoing improvement across an organization and consistently provide consumers with unparalleled experiences.

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