Amit Sarna, Vice President - Client Success & Partnerships, Kenscio Digital Marketing Pvt. Ltd
More over the past few years, than ever before, the role of CMO has been through significant change and the last year or so is shaping up to be no less transformative. In-fact Gartner in a report predicts that the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO in 2017. Marketing professionals will be pressured to deliver measurable business outcomes, driving the need to formalize the customers’ path from digital marketing engagement to purchase. The role of the CMO is changing significantly and how!
The 5 key trends predicted to drive the role of CMO to take you through to the business end of this decade.
1. Get Even More Tech-savvy or Make the CTO Your BFF
Experts agree that technical and analytical skills top the most highly needed specializations for the CMO. If you can’t do it yourself, make the CTO / CIO you’re most trusted ally! A marketing tech officer or specialist will be someone in high demand as CMOs realize the power of tech and how it can play a part in driving forward. One would need to see how to build those technical skills internally within the organization or recruit them.
"CMOs need to focus on harnessing technology & channels, knowledge & information to deliver innovation"
The CMO is an important member of the executive board and has to work closely with the CFO, CTO, and CEO. For traditional CMOs, it’s indispensable to prepare to get on top of topics such as performance marketing, business intelligence, marketing automation, and at times even be able to perform basic SQL queries.
2. Focus on Customer-obsessed Growth via a Personalized Approach
The next 12 months will see the CMO working more closely with the Data & Analytics, BI, UX & UI teams together as predictions point to a widening in the customer obsession gap, according to Forrester. Leaders will graduate toward a customer-obsessed operating model, while laggards will aimlessly push forward with flawed digital priorities and disjointed operations.
In the analyst firm’s 2016 marketing predictions report, it claimed CIOs, CMOs and customer experience leaders will rally to achieve customer -obsessed growth by adopting human-centered design and data analytics to deliver exceptional experiences. The marketer’s nirvana is being able to personalize. Being able to market exactly to the target customer. This would require the unification of data - both demographic and activity level - around the customer, including social media, transaction activity, website clicks, downloads and more.
3. Growth of Mobile and Social Channels
While Traditional Digital Channels (yes there are some !) continue to evolve alternate channels viz. mobile & social will be far more significant now. Mobile innovations continue to fuel opportunities for greater reach and better customer experiences - mobile first services & solutions are expected to continue as customers demand a more seamless fully digital experience. In the face of this fresh mobile wave CMOs need to have a mobile-first mindset in order to be nimbler and more agile moving forward.
Infact - it is advisable to create a communication strategy to be able to optimise conversion across the board and to not treat social networks, emails, SMS, calls, and other channels in an isolated manner. CMOs must get their teams to understand - Cross Device Behaviour, Unify consistent communication across touch points and measure performance as well as efficacy of each channel for each customer thereby aim to communicate with each customer in the way that they would most like to hear from the brand !
4. Evaluate a Mixed Click & Brick Approach
Access anywhere - anytime is what the customer expects and the CMO has to think on those lines. Marketers in the retail space will need to embrace omni-channel strategies if they want to face the challenges of these new behaviours. As expectations evolve when it comes to delivery - for example, the increasingly popular ‘click and collect’ option, could be an option. Some delivery examples like Tube / Underground Metro routes have been tested and worked very well in the past. Using omni-channel strategy - to meet the demands of the modern consumer - enables the design of ultra-personalized and effective loyalty, as well as targeted promotions that will increase sales.
5. Innovate to Differentiate
It’s the same target customer that every brand is targeting. How then would the CMO get his dollar to go a longer distance? Not just that! This dollar needs to work harder than and before the other guys’ does. With all things being equal the only differentiator available is Innovation. The approach could be Disruptive, Tactical, Technical, Immersive, Omni Channel, Multi Channel, Traditional + Digital, Global + Local - regardless! The vital ingredient that will differentiate winners from laggards will be Innovation. CMOs need to focus on harnessing technology & channels, knowledge & information to deliver innovation. While the technology is there to complement and support existing marketing efforts, we are seeing the rate at which technology is evolving is also pushing CMOs to think, plan, engage and most importantly innovate with customers in new ways.