Chief Growth Officer (CGO) | The New C-Suite Role

The Chief Growth Officer or CGO is the latest role that is making headlines in the business world. As the title suggests CGO is responsible and accountable for growing the business. However, this is not the first time this C-suite role has been heard. In this blog, you will read about Chief Growth Officer and some essential skills for this particular role.

What is the Chief Growth Officer?

In layman’s terms, the chief growth officer, or CGO, is more than a marketing specialist with blended expertise in marketing, technology, sales, product development, and finance. The CGO is visionary, a natural leader charged with ensuring all departments of the organization are on the same page for achieving strategic objectives. With a vision to keep the entire business forward, a CGO is ideally placed to break or improve the business processes to derive change to benefit the business. Growth is a main responsibility for a CGO, and the right person will find the right path to success.

Essential Skills for CGO

A Chief growth officer should have this basic set of well-honed skills to find innovative ways of advancing a business towards strategic objectives.

Understand the Customer

In the current competitive market conditions, a business needs to enhance customer experience and satisfaction to get an edge over its competitors. Trust building, understanding their expectations, and listening to their needs are vital skills for a CGO. A CGO needs to analyze whether the business is capable of matching customer needs and if not, adjust business strategies accordingly. All these efforts help a business to retain and add new customers for the long-term.

Analyze and Understand Market Trends

One of the critical skills for a chief growth officer is understanding today’s market and future market conditions. The success of their role depends upon finding innovative ways to extract these insights. A CGO needs to understand the emerging market trends and keep customer needs at the center of business activities by optimizing internal processes and reducing costs. Analyzing the market conditions and carrying research to know their business strengths, weaknesses, future business opportunities, and future growth threats. All these business activities help analyze the chief growth officer to plan long-term business growth.

Communicate the Vision

For a CGO, having a great vision of the business is not enough. Without every person working together to achieve a particular goal, it will be hard to be successful. It is no exception every person is dedicated to achieving a goal with a common vision, resulting in better output and performance. CGO must be able to share and communicate his vision to each individual in the organization. It will help everyone understand the value of their work and work in harmony to achieve business growth.

Harness Technology

The advancement in technology has put artificial intelligence at the center of all business success. A CGO needs to work closely with the technology team, analysts and work to evaluate potential partners. It is one of the important skills for a CGO to understand the technology and its limitations. This vital information helps in making smart investments to utilize business growth opportunities effectively.

Improve the Internal Business Processes

The next important skill for a CGO is to simplify the internal processes to serve customers better and increase customer satisfaction. While doing so, it is important to keep in mind the employee’s needs and create a space to improve their productivity. Addressing customer and also employee needs is essential while evaluating and improving the internal processes. They were empowering employees to create innovative solutions and develop an internal process to serve customers better. Improvement in internal processes will help in the long-term retention of employees and customers.

Creating New Opportunities

There is no denying that customer taste and needs change with time, and a product needs to evolve accordingly to cater to them well. It is an important skill for a CGO to conduct market research to analyze the market requirements and change customer needs. A CGO must stay on top of all development processes and improve products or services to create new growth opportunities.

Final Words

There is no doubt that a CGO is a hybrid position designed to get the most out of investments and guide businesses towards sustainable growth as time passes. Even if a CEO in an organization devotes time and energy to grow revenue, there is always a scope to utilize more firepower. The right person in the position of CGO is similar to a second “CEO” focusing on growing business and revenue. For businesses looking to remain successful and innovative, it is time to hire CGO to support CEO efforts and vision, expand the company’s direction to capitalize on new growth opportunities and get those missing growth drivers much needed for the business.

Data Life Cycle in Customer Journey

Data Life Cycle in Customer Experience Journey

When enterprises work on the customer experience, they focus on touchpoints – the single transactional points where a customer interacts with different facets of the business and its various offerings. And it is quite logical as well. These touchpoints represent critical points in the customer life cycle that must be understood and served very well. Data and Technology are the Key enablers to delivering the right and just-in-time experience. Unfortunately, most of our enterprises struggle with disconnected data and not-so-well integrated technology stacks. Even companies that have well-integrated MarTech stacks often struggle with silos of data. As we solve these silos, it is critical that we also understand this concept of Data Life Cycle in Customer Experience Journey. Yes data has it’s own lifecycle!

Understanding every aspect of customer experience and the end-to-end customer journey over a period is vital for businesses. Opting for a data-driven, outside-the-box approach toward customer experience journey helps to put customers at the core of business strategy, thus driving loyalty and revenue. The data generated and sourced from various touchpoints and its analysis can be of different forms. It can be descriptive analytics based on operational data to deducing customer sentiment and behavior from real-time data feeds from all channels and applications. Powered by a range of data analytics tools for operational, streaming, and processing unstructured data, businesses can connect the dots among the key touchpoints to optimize the customer experience journey.

The 4 main types of data that make the Data Life Cycle in Customer Experience Journey are:

  • Intent Data: Collection of behavioral signals from Deep Web that help interpret purchase or renewal intent.
  • Behavioral Data: Data that reveals new insights into the behavior of customers on the web, eCommerce platforms, online games, mobile applications, and IoT.
  • Customer Data: Wide variety of data like demographic, personal information collected by businesses to understand, communicate and engage with customers.
  • Product Usage Data: Data that helps to understand how how-often users interact with your product and their behavior while using the product

Here is a highly recommended article to read about the various technical systems like DMP, CDP and Data Lake to identify what your enterprise needs to connect and use these data types.

Data Life Cycle in Customer Journey

Phase 1: Discovery

Also known as the ‘Reach’ or ‘Awareness’ phase, this phase marks the official beginning of the customer lifecycle. Though it is tough to pinpoint the customer’s exact first contact with the business, it is vital to track the initial touchpoints as accurately as possible to design further marketing and advertising strategies. The data that can be collected during this phase includes the typical search terms, which are bringing people to the business website, the number of new visitors on the website, the point of return of visitors to a website, online reviews, new followers on social media business page, customers’ interaction on social media, data from AdWords and pay-per-click, and the usual prospects and current customer surveys.

Key data from Data Life Cycle in Customer Experience Journey at this stage are:

  • Intent Data is available mostly as anonymous data that is stitched together to make a best guess on the intent of that account or customer. ABM Tools are a very good example in B2B marketing space.
  • Behavioral Data is also available as anonymous data which can be stitched together to a specific anonymous profile.
  • Customer Data is available in case this is an existing customer trying to buy a new product.

Phase 2: Acquisition (Learn/Educate)

The contact initiating phase begins when the company comes on the radar of the prospect. The sole purpose of this phase is to convert the marketing contacts into leads or potential sales contacts. During this phase, it is vital to know the audience and develop messaging strategies according to specific buyers’ persona. The acquisition phase can provide factual data that is easy to analyze. Now, here there are two types of data involved: what and who. What data includes the view sources and referrals, traffic, event, and goal-related data. Who data consists of the business website’s viewers, their landing point after signing up or registering, and how the business website or app is utilized.

Key data from Data Life Cycle in Customer Experience Journey at this stage are:

  • Intent Data is available mostly as known data that is stitched together with behavioral data to make more targeted and personalized experience.
  • Behavioral Data is the best data available at this stage. As the prospect has clearly identified themselves, hence all their web history can be stitched together to understand their journey on your owned media to be more targeted and useful in their journey.

Phase 3: Conversion (Register/Sign up for Trial)

Conversion is the phase where the rubber meets the road. Here the company completes a qualification event when the sale is completed and a prospect is turned into a customer. The pillar on which this phase’s success lies in selling not just the products or services but the relationship. For instance, customers interested in B2B SaaS solutions aren’t merely looking for suppliers but businesses that can become their partners. Here the most critical data is conversion rate, which showcases the percentage of leads that turned into customers. Conversion rate can be tracked in respect to other metrics as well, such as website traffic. Now all prospects will not convert and will abandon the journey. It is the point where the customer lifecycles of such prospects will come to an end. Analyzing the data and finding out what went wrong with these prospects can help tweak the future marketing and strategies.

Key data from Data Life Cycle in Customer Experience Journey at this stage are:

  • Behavioral Data changes from a prospect and marketing behavior to behavior within the product and other customer-facing digital media.
  • Customer Data is officially in play at this stage as we start collecting and processing that data
  • Product Usage Data may be minimally available to inform any recommendations

Phase 4: Support

Once the customer onboarding process is complete and the product utilization is started, it becomes vital to keep all communication lines open if the customer has any issue or query. This is especially critical during the first 90 days because if the customer fails to see or leverage the product or business service’s value, he will likely leave the association. This is what is called churn. In other words, the churn rate is the percentage of existing customers a business is losing and the speed of this loss. To make a customer experience journey rich and seamless, a proactive approach toward support is the need of the hour. This phase involves different data types such as total volume by channel, the average response time, first contact resolution rate, help delay and abandonment rates, and moments of delight. The complete analysis of this consolidated data can help businesses provide their customers the best support experience possible. At this stage product data becomes a major player especially product onboarding and usage data is a critical indicator.

Key data from Data Life Cycle in Customer Experience Journey at this stage are:

  • Behavioral Data and
  • Product Usage Data In product customer behavior data becomes one of the most important but mostly under utilized data at this stage. In most companies, this data lives in silo behind the walls of product teams.
  • Customer Data continues to become mature and can be used to stitch together the best experience to wow a customer.

Phase 5: Expansion

For several companies, upselling and cross-selling are a way of drawing out as much revenue as possible from every client and customer. But this approach can backfire negatively. Instead, the company’s expansion approach should have the goal to help their customers draw out the maximum value of the purchased product or services. This value optimization can be done by creating a customer experience that delivers growing value over a while, developing a natural increase in base-product utilization, a sensible expansion into the additional features and functionalities, and adoption of logical and suitable other products or services of the company. This is the phase where data generated and gathered in the first four stages is consolidated and analyzed to launch an intelligent, insights-driven expansion strategy, one that is designed to deliver the true value. Additional datasets like product data and customer data is of great use at this stage as you identify what is the next best product can offer.

Key data from Data Life Cycle in Customer Experience Journey at this stage are:

  • Behavioral Data
  • Customer Data
  • Product Usage Data

Phase 6: Renew

It would be a bit unfair to call the renewal phase as an individual phase as it is the resultant of a robust customer lifecycle management. Renewals don’t lead a great customer success; rather they are the outcome. If an organization is facing the challenge of lower renewal, it is due to the dissatisfaction in the lifecycle such as issues in onboarding, incomplete adoption of the product, failure of utilizing the complete features that would have brought the desired value to the client, issues with ROI, etc. During this phase, a general customer consensus can be achieved by conducting surveys or through online reviews. Another key performance metric of this phase is churn rate. To sum it up, the data gathered in all the above-mentioned stages, its analysis, and utilization decide the success of the renewal phase. Most importantly, this activity should start few months before the renewal date and not few days before.

Key data from Data Life Cycle in Customer Experience Journey at this stage are:

  • Intent Data is available mostly as known data that is stitched together with behavioral data to make a targeted and personalized experience. Also, data from the deep web can be stitched together to understand if the customer is shopping around and should be offered appropriate offers or solutions to create stickiness.
  • Behavioral Data especially Product Usage Data come together to put together a very customized experience to ensure that the strong value proposition and ROI can be demonstrated to the customer so that they are motivated to renew the service. This data can be combined with Customer Data to offer the best promotions or renewals with no promotions.

Mapping the entire customer experience journey with the right type of data at each phase helps a business understand their customers’ experience and delivery an amazing experience at every touchpoint. To sum up, it is a CONNECTED and COMPREHENSIVE data-driven, outside-in approach to deliver an outstanding, seamless, and rich customer experience that wins both the game of customer experience and business growth. I hope this Data Life Cycle in Customer Experience Journey helps you enable great growth for your enterprise.

You can follow the discussion at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/data-life-cycle-customer-experience-journey-rohit-prabhakar/

We cannot be everything to everyone!

Learnt this wisdom from a serial entrepreneur today – “We cannot be everything to everyone!” When we try to do that, It is confusing not just for others but for ourselves too. We must prioritize what and where we should focus on. Clearly defining the “Why” behind what you we are doing is absolute must to define what we are focused on.

Know your why, define what you must focus on and then execute.

Power lies in Product Adoption

Power of system is realized when users adopts the system. Number of subscriptions or units sold is a great metric to calculate revenue and initial success of a product but the true to success of the product is based on how well it is adopted. Once a product is well adopted, it confirms all aspects of its success like product objectives, customer impact, profitability, market share etc. As product managers we must focus on adoption as the key goal/OKR besides the normal financial metrics.

Most importantly, adoption doesn’t means it has to be a fancy solution. On a product demo from a vendor, I learnt that the most adopted feature of their financial planning tool for CFOs and their financial teams; is the ability to generate data loaded cubes in excel. Who will believe that in today’s world, but that is what finance teams want. Providing the solution that the customers need and continuous improvement is the key to product adoption.

Top 5 Leadership Values and Principles Essential for Leaders

Skillful leadership is essential for the success of a business and achieving set goals. Some people are born leaders, while others develop the skills and abilities to lead business efficiently. A leader in an organization have specific day-to-day duties that bound them in a pattern and addresses only the pressing concerns. Many leaders have fallen into this trap, watching their next step and not being able to see what’s down the road.

A leader helps a business to make detailed plans with a vision in mind and set smart goals to achieve them. The leader’s role is to design a strategy and execute them to make the most of it. The key is to understand how to create a winning strategy and work collectively to reach the desired goal.

This article will read about guiding principles of leadership and values that help leaders shift their focus from single steps to the bigger picture.

core leadership values and principles

Assign Responsibility and Encourage Ownership

A leader has a lot to learn about core leadership values and principles from history. History remembers leaders like Napoleon and Genghis Khan for their strategic leadership as they shaped the world as we know it. It’s important to understand that none of the great leaders accomplished on their own. Both leaders had a loyal army at their back, who trusted their commander’s order and believed in their leaders’ great vision. There is a lot to learn about leadership qualities from history, although you may not be focusing on conquering nations. A leader’s role is to find the right people, assign them their responsibility and give them adequate resources and autonomy to do their job well.

While handling a new project, it is essential to make a plan first. Don’t start assigning responsibilities, duties and micromanage your team or soldiers. If there is a need for additional training or assistance for handling a particular task or entire project, make it your priority. Encourage team members to take ownership of their duties and be accountable for the task’s success or failure. Lastly, a leader needs to give commendation to the right person who did the work.

Take Strategic Risks

You can’t get a job unless you apply, you can’t get a date unless you ask, and you can’t paint a masterpiece without putting color on the canvas. In business and life, there is nothing that comes with 100 percent surety. As a strategic leader, you should not be afraid to take risks. However, there is a big difference between a “risk” and a “gamble.” Like a poker game, you evaluate all the possibilities for risk or failure and take strategic risks to mitigate losses and get the most out of the opportunities. Even though most people consider “Poker” as a gambling game, it is truly a game of skill. 

A leader, just like a poker player, needs to predict the success of a plan or decision with relative accuracy, even when the odds are not in favor. For a leader, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what you stand to gain and what you stand to lose. A leader should take the risk in business in the same way. Not to go all-in on something that has a marginal chance for success or where there are only meager returns. Examine your options and make prudent decisions, but don’t be shy to bet on the winning hand.

Encourage Collaboration

The rise of AI and digital technologies has changed how businesses used to operate earlier. To adapt to this changing environment, a leader needs to create a collaborative ecosystem to speed up the evolving process. Companies that struggle to keep up with the breakneck pace risk being shut down. There is always a risk that a business will isolate itself and fail to adapt to the changes happening around us.

Organizations are further divided into departments and individuals that often fail to meet the larger goal by not realizing how they as a team or individual can contribute to achieving goals. A leader’s role is to create a collaborative culture and ensure every employee knows how they can contribute to achieving the bigger goal with resources available. Encouraging a collaborative environment in an organization makes sense of inclusion, and team diversity can cultivate innovative ideas.

However, not every department needs collaboration. For example, there is no need for the manufacturing team to collaborate with the accounts team to keep records in the car manufacturing industry. Keeping the communication channels between the different departments of the organization is a great idea, especially when one team’s efforts impact the other team.

Vision

Having a vision is a vital leadership value for a leader. To reach a destination, you need to know where you are going and how to get there. A journey without a goal is just wandering, and a leader can’t afford to wander in this highly competitive environment. To be successful, it is crucial to explain to his team what success looks like for the organization, the team, and every individual that is part of the project. Describing the vision to everyone will give them an idea about what steps need to be taken to achieve that vision. A goal needs to be reasonable and well within reach, but something makes the team stretch a little while attaining it. A leader must set a goal after analyzing the relevant information and using strategic thinking skills. Before setting a goal, a leader should set standards on achieving a goal and measure its success and failure; otherwise, the vision will be flawed.

Drive Change

We have already explained how a leader should encourage collaboration among different organization departments to adopt advanced processes faster. A business and a leader need to drive change to keep up with the new technological trends and excel in the professional world.

Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg is a famous name that adapted to the change and brought a new revolution in the business world.

A leader needs to take strategic risks and be ready when presented with a good idea or an opportunity. Change is necessary, and at some point, organizations and individuals should realize that they can’t continue doing things the same way. Eventually, for survival, a business needs to change, and it’s better to change sooner for the more significant benefit of the business.

Final words

It’s not that easy to become a leader, and implementing these principles certainly requires some hard work. If you are worried about how to develop leadership principles and values, to become a leader – work on these leadership values until the hard work pays off. Leaders become the trendsetter and steer their organizations through dangerous waters while going through changes and innovation. If this is what you aspire to become, it’s time to start implementing these leadership values and principles.