What’s Keeping CIOs Up at Night? New Customer Channels

By The Intersect Group

Steve Bates, principal and global leader at KPMG’s CIO Center of Excellence said that chief executive officers everywhere are facing an incredible amount of pressure brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic:  the crisis has CIOs “stuck in a whack-a-mole environment,” one that’s proven incredibly hard to emerge from.

Still, the pandemic has shown it’s critical that companies change and even make profound and even existential changes to their operating models and business priorities so that they can emerge not only stronger from the crisis but thrive in a world that will be different from before.

And one major thing that’s changed – and was changing even before COVID-19 – is the emergence of new customer channels.


Particularly as they apply to application portfolios

As you manage your applications, especially your marketing, sales, and customer engagement applications, you want to make sure they continue to provide the best business value to your company.

In addition, as your marketing team will tell you, your company’s customers want to be marketed to in far different ways than they did not only five years ago but even just 15 months or so ago, before the pandemic started.

No longer can you “shout” at them and expect sales. Instead, marketing has become highly customer-centric: it is ALL about THEM!


The applications associated with this new marketing focus entail very different architecture, infrastructure, and delivery models

A CIO’s main concern has grown far beyond traditional IT and has moved to a greater focus on innovative and transformative solutions that help their companies win market share and grow their bottom lines. A CIO then has to create a strategic pathway that makes that transformation and growth a reality.

For example, communicating with customers where and when they want and how they want is critical.

Often called multi-channel or omnichannel marketing, these customer attraction and retention strategies – while exceptionally effective – also are extraordinarily sophisticated and complicated.

Omnichannel marketing explained briefly:  prospects and customers have come to expect that when they want to buy something, it should be available where they want it, when they want it. They should be able to buy it online or in-store. Have it mailed to them or picked up in person.

In short, they want to buy what they want easily, quickly and intuitively, via mobile or web. And their purchase experience must be immersive and conversational.


MXP platforms to the rescue!

Your company will need an MXP platform kitted out with relevant sensors and channels.  It should support immersive experiences such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and virtual reality (VR). You’ll also need conversational UIs such as digital assistants/virtual assistants and chatbots.

The focus of your efforts more than likely will change from “traditional” IT to implementing headless architecture so that your marketers can innovate and add new technology as needed – quickly.

What’s more, multimodal engagement and purchase touchpoints will require bringing the needed data, technology, and data together within multi-disciplinary teams.


Speed will equal growth

The faster your IT team can develop, test, improve, and then launch these new marketing technologies is critical to company growth. And, as you know, speed is based on efficiency: your tech processes need to be lean and relatively “simple.”


If your digital acceleration isn’t now underway, you’re already behind

The need to efficiently manage multi-channel marketing applications is here to stay. The pandemic appears to be on its way out. Business survival is so 2020; moving toward building a growing business quickly is the focus for 2021.

This requires CIOs optimizing applications as well as the teams that manage them so that your business can quickly use the digital products and services prospects and customers demand today – and tomorrow.

In other words, multi-channels and a team savvy enough to manage them is the path forward.


Build that savvy team with The Intersect Group

We specialize in sourcing and recruiting talented information technology professionals. If you need to bring talent on board for temporary projects, contract-to-hire, or direct hire opportunities – we hope you’ll talk to us.

Reach out to learn more about how we can support your digital acceleration.