Five Minutes With: Anna Convery, CMO and EVP Strategy at OpenSpan

What are your biggest opportunities & challenges in marketing tech for next 12-24 months?

The role of marketers has dramatically evolved over the last few years, and in the next 12-24 months we will see tremendous change in the technologies and business practices. The single most critical factor–regardless of industry– is data. Marketers must become scientists in many ways–analyzing data to drive business decisions and to better understand customer behaviors.

Because of the digital revolution, there is no shortage of analytics solutions in the marketplace, but the challenge is how to distill this intelligence and get insight that allows organizations to take action that invokes change. To get to this stage, the modern marketer must be equipped with the right tools that deliver objective, empirical statistics. Having this level of visibility enables marketers to more effectively understand and engage customers to drive greater loyalty and profitability.

What keeps your clients up at night? 

Our clients are large, global FORTUNE organizations and there are a number of challenges they face regardless of industry–increasing competitive pressures, changing regulations, disruptive technologies and business models and evolving customer behaviors, to name a few. Customer experience continues to dominate conversations at the board room table, as competition increases and companies strive to differentiate themselves in a ferocious market. Until recently, customer experience has typically been an initiative in the contact center, but today it’s enterprise-wide. To this point, organizations are laser-focused on leveraging data to better understand the customer journey and sharing this data with other parts of the enterprise.

What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about?

One of the greatest opportunities for our clients is the ability to drive increased employee engagement within the enterprise. Many of our clients are focused on leveraging Robotic Automation to address specific technology needs or business requirements. One of the most enlightening moments is when a client is able to connect the dots and understand the advantage of using Robotic Automation in the enterprise can directly impact the employee and the way she or he works. Using Robotic Automation to simplify key tasks and streamlining the way certain processes are performed can eliminate frustration and keep employees fully engaged in their tasks at hand, rather than navigating complex applications. 

To better understand how employees work and use the technologies on their desktops, employee desktop data is quickly becoming the go-to analytics source for innovation-driven companies. Using data from the desktop to understand how employees interact with the applications and systems, you can quickly identify ways to improve the employee experience related to their work day to drive engagement and increase productivity.

What are some unmet needs in marketing technology landscape?

As the marketing technology landscape continues to grow and new innovations are introduced, it is increasingly more difficult to manage the wealth of data that exists. Marketers have a vast selection of tools and solutions available to them, but quite often, these solutions don’t play well together. The key to maximizing the investment in these technologies is having a data mashup from all of the marketing technology solutions to be able to tell the complete story of how marketing initiatives are driving progress and performance for the enterprise. 

What social network do you anticipate accelerating growth in the next year?

Social media is completely transforming the way organizations engage with customers to drive loyalty and profitability. While I don’t have one particular social media channel that I think will be high growth, what’s interesting is the proliferation of social channels and the democratization of those based on the unique preferences. Each social media application is, in fact its own channel, and consumers determine how they want to communicate with your company.

As companies adopt social customer service within an omnichannel strategy, it’s important to evaluate how the addition of this channel connects into the overall customer experience. How are customers engaging with your company now? What are the goals for adding this channel? How can we use this channel to drive increased engagement or drive down the cost to serve? These are the factors an organization should consider before adding social customer service.

–Anna Convery is CMO and EVP for Strategy at OpenSpan

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