5 Reasons CMO’s are driving Marketing Change

Alex Allwood Customer Experience

About every 10 years or so marketing transforms and evolves into a better version of itself. This is a period of rapid transformation; on the horizon are the relentless march of competitors that are disrupting the status quo and the constant advent of new technologies. Marketers are now finding their roles broadening from traditional marketing and advertising communications to being the ‘custodian of the customer’.

According to the latest research from the Economist Intelligence Unit’s survey of 478 senior marketers globally, ‘more than 80% said they need to restructure marketing to better support the business. And 29% believe the need for change is urgent.’

The research nominated five areas of change that today’s Chief Marketing Officer will face over the next 3-5 years. To deliver these, senior marketing practitioners will increasingly need to discover their brand purpose, align people and process across the business, design and deliver their promise seamlessly across every touchpoint and turn engagement into advocacy.

1. Marketing is increasingly being seen by organisations as a revenue centre and less as a cost centre: With greater emphasis on providing e-commerce solutions for customers, the digitally-centric marketer’s responsibilities are shifting from a siloed marketing function to the inclusion of sales with their own P&L, accountable for growing revenue.

2. Marketing will take the lead in Customer Experience: Researcher Forrester said, “Over the next decades, literally every company will compete on the basis of customer experience. In fact, they already do—most just don’t realise what that really means, what’s at stake, or how to do it well.” In this research paper from the Economist Intelligence Unit, marketers report in the next 3-5 years they will be responsible for end-to-end customer experiences. Marketers face a new frontier; a super connected, empowered and always on customer. Their central focus in the not too distant future will be understanding their customer needs and creating experiences that satisfy and engage at every step of the purchase journey. This will require cross-function collaboration to share customer data to ensure there is a company-wide, closed-loop sharing of customer intelligence to deliver consistent and personalised experiences at each touch point in the customer journey.

3. Engagement will become paramount: Whilst many marketers recognise the impact of engagement, they are now becoming aware of just how powerful it really is. Brands that create emotionally positive experiences at every moment in the customer journey drive engagement, satisfaction and positive customer behaviour that leads to brand advocacy. In the report, more than 63% of the marketers polled agreed, “engagement is best reflected in customer renewals, retention and repeat purchases.” Research from Nielsen also shows that word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers has a multiplier effect – that is, people are four times more likely to purchase when that brand is recommended by a peer. Defining engagement in economic terms, word-of-mouth enables marketers to realise higher returns on their marketing investments.

4. Today’s marketer requires both operational and data skill sets: The research asked, “What are the top three areas in which you need to develop skills in your marketing operation?” Generally, survey recipients believed that marketing needs to better support the business and requires new skills.

This is a time where innovation is disrupting the marketing status quo. Where marketing and technology are intertwined and the pace of change gets faster every day. Modern marketers need to adapt quickly, evolving from communications expert to the custodian of the customer experience to ensure that what their brands’ promise gets delivered across every touchpoint in the customer journey. Because at the end of the day, what the customer experiences gets talked about in both real world and online conversations.

First Published: https://goo.gl/eNPf9Z

About the Author

Alex Allwood

Alex Allwood’s focus is connecting customer and culture to empower customer-centric growth. Working with B2B2C, Alex helps improve experiences that enhance customer value and distinctively differentiate. With a 20 year track record in leadership, operations and marketing, Alex’s strength is developing customer experience strategy: customer understanding and empathy, experience vision and guiding principles and the customer narrative to enable collaboration and alignment. Alex is principal of the customer experience consultancy, All Work Together; has authored the book Customer Experience is the Brand, regularly facilitates Customer Journey Mapping workshops and is a speaker on customer-centric transformation.