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Driving shareholder value through marketing

Doubling-down on intangible assets

In recent blogs I’ve talked about the importance of proving the value of marketing and my predictions for marketing trends in 2020. But what does this mean for the CMO and the marketing organization? It all ultimately comes down to creating and driving greater shareholder value.

Delight your customers

It should be no surprise that 89% of organizations are now prioritizing the customer experience as the focal point of the branding, design, delivery and differentiation of their products and services.

This requires a focus on the total customer experience, beyond a transactional or product level. Companies need to think of themselves as a service-based organization and drive a personalized level of engagement at the customer level. You need to know who your customers are; who the target audience is; and when, how and where they want to engage with you. It’s a data-driven, 360-degree view of the customer.

Customer experience today encompasses everything to do with your brand. It’s about where you engage with a customer, not just at the front end of a deal but all the way through the customer journey. Everyone across the enterprise is responsible for delighting customers, nurturing the relationship and making sure they engage with the brand and want to come back.

Brand is also inextricably linked to the customer experience – and therefore, by default, the value of an organization. It’s the perception of a company and what it stands for. Millennials in particular are strongly influenced by this.

What you do matters

A key element of brand perception is corporate social responsibility (CSR). You can’t separate the two. It affects how people perceive your brand, what you stand for and the impact the organization is making at a societal level.

This perception of your brand impacts what people say about you. For example, a UK study by the London School of Economics found that companies with higher levels of word-of-mouth advocacy grew faster than their competitors. The research also revealed that every one-point increase in word-of-mouth advocacy correlated to an £8.82 million increase in sales, while a 1% reduction in negative word-of-mouth led to £24.4 million in additional revenue.

And there are different spectrums of CSR activism. Outdoor and climbing clothing company Patagonia has the simple mission statement: “We’re in business to save our home planet.” The company famously ran an anti-consumerism “Black Friday” campaign with an ad in the New York Times titled ‘Don’t buy this jacket’. The company’s return and repair policy promises to repair any piece of Patagonia clothing, no matter how old. And it has embraced political activism by donating the $10 million it gained from what it called “irresponsible” tax cuts to environmental causes.

Here at OpenText™ our mission is the use of data for good. That drives how we engage with our customers. It’s in our DNA. And you have to build that sort of culture across the enterprise and into everyday interactions with the customer.

Own your brand

Today, the value of your company is increasingly linked to intangible assets, such as brand value and external perception. According to the Forbes CMO Marketing Accountability report, these intangible assets now make up over 80% of shareholder value and increasingly drive a company’s stock price. Brand equity contributes 19% of enterprise value in consumer businesses and 10% in B2B organizations.

So when I get asked what the key metrics and KPIs are for marketing and CMOs today, it’s about demand and brand to revenue. And it’s customer engagement. What kinds of customer satisfaction levels are you achieving in your engagement and interactions with them?

Marketing’s role is only going to increase and the CMO must be a good steward of the company. This isn’t a one-person or a one-discipline job. It’s got to be a cultural impact that the CMO navigates throughout the entire organization across brand and customer experience.


OpenText is the leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM). Our EIM products enable businesses to grow faster, lower operational costs, and reduce information governance and security risks by improving business insight, impact and process speed.

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