Bill Hurley, CMO, Unify
Marketing Ecosystem by Software Companies
Software companies really need to understand the challenging and evolving role of marketing. Marketers have so much available technology now, and they need to see how it all weaves together to give them the best data and insights about their customers and campaigns. This means that software companies need to work together to create an ecosystem centered around marketers so that the burden isn’t on marketing people to make the technology work well together.
Software companies also need to understand that their technology should extend into marketing communications and collaboration systems. For marketers who are charged with creating an amazing customer experience, they must rely on software companies to help them be successful in all their communication with customers–whether it is on the phone with a call center, on a website or during an online collaboration. Most important, marketing software developers need to make their products easier to use and deploy.
Trends that Impact Marketing Initiatives
There are a number of technology trends that I see impacting marketing and business initiatives through 2014. The consumerization of IT is creating an expectation and demand for consumer-like applications at work, which is causing significant pressure for enterprise software companies, such as Unify, and for internal IT organizations. They must sort out how to manage all of the new cloud-based tools that are out there. These tools are changing the way my team needs to reach our enterprise customers, and it is altering the types of programs we use to engage with them as a result.
"It is important that software companies understand that their technology extends into marketing communications and collaboration systems"
Customers as the Prime Focus
In previous roles as chief information officer and chief technology officer, I experienced what it’s like to buy technology and deploy it in order for my companies to increase their productivity. From those roles, I learned one key aspect of which I remind my team of constantly: organizations consist of people not robots, and they have a voice. It is their choice whether they use the corporate tools, and technologies that are available.
I have a strong connection and empathy for our clients, which has evolved my thinking since coming onboard as CMO of Unify. My job is to ensure that the entire organization understands our customers’ needs and bring our customers into everything that we do. At the same time, we need to understand and account for the risks, costs and benefits to them from our offerings and services.
I serve somewhat as a proxy for our customers around the world. As a former CTO, I can talk about the challenges of technology in a business conversation–not just an IT conversation and as the CMO I can lead our strategy to be customer first.