Good morning readers! In this issue, we’ll talk about a new study on what stresses out online shoppers, will explore the advice that one CEO has for finding the best CMO for the job, will check in on how effectively your organization is using marketing automation tools and will give tips on talking to your customers in a way that’s personal without being too personal.  

Prevent stressful shopping

Are your online shoppers feeling stressed out instead of feeling inspired to browse and buy more? According to a new study by Clicktale as reported in MartechSeries, 12% of US and UK shoppers interviewed said they feel stressed when shopping online and 15% admit to having “lost their temper” when shopping via a mobile app or on a website. What leads to the most stressful shopping experiences? Voucher/coupon codes that don’t work at the checkout (88%), freezes that occur right at the point of payment in mobile apps (75%) and slow loading times (83%) were named the top triggers.

Clicktale’s CMO points to the research as proof that the while online shopping offers consumers the convenience of shopping from home, the industry can’t assume our job is done; there is still work to do to create a compelling customer experience. Smart brands will pay attention to their customers’ digital body language and will gather insights that empower them to create seamless digital experiences. Read more about the study’s findings here.

Why CEOs struggle with the CMO role

Data has shown that the CMO has the shortest tenure of any of the the executives in the C-suite. But what is is that makes it so difficult for CEOs to identify and hire a CMO who will be a good fit for their business for more than 44 months? According to Cision CEO Kevin Akeroyd as interviewed in Forbes, the scope and breadth of the CMO’s role is so now so vast that they must be good at “acknowledging their knowledge gaps, developing those areas, and reinforcing them with strong subordinates.”

For the CEO, this means being keenly aware of what you’re focused on and hiring a CMO who has the experience and desire to take on that role. For example, if as a CEO you see your CMO filling a more narrow “brochure-maker” role versus having a much broader impact, it wouldn’t make sense to hire a CMO with extensive GM experience. Akeroyd also advises that to find the right candidates, CEOs should tap into your professional networks, as well as the expertise that executive recruiters can bring to the table. Read all of Akeroyd’s interview here.

How effectively do you use marketing automation tools?

Would you consider your team’s use of marketing automation tools to be highly effective? If so, you’re in the minority. According to a recent survey by GetResponse and SmartInsights reported in Marketing Tech, less than 8% of marketers rated themselves as highly effective with marketing automation software, while 28% said their knowledge level was ‘basic.’ One of the bigger surprises uncovered by the survey of these 585 marketers across 19 B2B and B2C industries? Almost one-fifth of respondents (19%) indicated that they aren’t using any kind of marketing automation software at all.

One finding that wasn’t surprising, however, was that email leads the technology pack when it comes to marketing automation tools, with 64% of pro-automation marketers putting email marketing front and center. Clearly, if you’re taking advantage of the full power that your marketing automation tools can provide, you’re positioned to keep (or gain) a competitive advantage over your competition. And if your company is slower to become proficient in your marketing automation tools or to explore all your automation platform has to offer? There’s no time like the present to get going.

Communicate without creepiness

You know how weird it feels when someone outside of your close circle of family and friends calls you by your nickname? That’s the feeling that you get when a brand communicates with you in a way that’s “too” personal—and something that we as marketers should avoid. So with all kinds of customer data at your fingertips, how do you draw the line between what’s fair game and what crosses the line? According to Maria Flores Portillo in AdWeek, your best bet is to treat your prospects like an acquaintance you don’t want to make uncomfortable.

One of Portillo’s suggestions is to develop a communication profile for users to track signals on how people like to be spoken to. Just because two users share similar purchasing behavior, Portillo asserts, doesn’t mean that they want to be addressed in the same way. Even their social signals may give you a hint as to their preferences. Read all of Portillo’s tips here.