Marketing

For CMOs who want to keep their jobs, customer experience is job one: Report

For CMOs who want to keep their jobs, customer experience is job one: Report

Chief marketing officers take note: If there’s one thing you want to excel at in your next annual performance review, it’s customer experience. 

Recent research released by the CMO Council found that increasing customer empowerment is “heightening the job security risks of chief marketing officers (CMOs), who are struggling to keep up with new digitally driven ways to engage, satisfy and enrich the experience of more mobile, savvy and fickle consumers.”

And most CMOs are aware they’re at risk. The State of Engagement Report found three quarters of those surveyed believe their jobs are on the line if their customer experience (CX) strategies are unsuccessful, while almost half of respondents believe it’s possible their jobs are at risk if their technology investments fail. But knowing there’s a problem is the first step to finding a solution, and CMOs are well aware of the areas they need to improve upon.

CMOs know there’s CX leadership gap

Many brands are not delivering a great experience to customers, so it’s not helping CMOs win the engagement game.

The State of Engagement: Bridging the Customer Journey Across Every Last Mile found that nearly half—47%—of organizations were deemed “not very good” in the CX department. Thirty-seven percent were rated “good,” and only 9% were “very good.” Exceptional was the exception at 5%.

The good news is the CMO Council stats suggest it’s possible to improve CX, and some companies have done it well. But most organizations have a lot of work to do, and other research, including one from Forrester, indicates growth in (CX) innovation has flatlined.

CMOs need to make sure they’re not on the wrong side of the widening gap outlined by Forrester last year. Its Customer Experience Index report, which measures how well a brand’s CX strengthens the loyalty of its customers, found the CX leadership gap is the result of either stagnant or declining CX improvements between 2016 and 2017 as, generally speaking, CX quality worsened.

CMOs still don’t have a single view of the customer

CX is about tapping into emotions, and you can’t do that without an organization-wide, single view of the customer to ensure uniform and consistent engagement. According to the CMO Council study, CMOs who understand this reality are taking advantage of the tools they have and appointing themselves “chief silo-buster.” They’re picking up the mantle of owning the development and execution of the CX strategy with the full awareness their jobs depend on the success of these initiatives, said Liz Miller, senior vice president of marketing for the CMO Council in a recent interview with media update.


“Organizations now expect CMOs to lead CX efforts—initiatives that require being insight-driven.”


The CMO Council report found that 51% of respondents are hopeful that new technology and new talent will provide a single view of the customer. More than a quarter of CMOs (26%) admitted having trouble seeing a path forward and are questioning if creating a single view of the customer is a realistic, attainable goal.

“Marketers want to get going, connecting systems and busting silos to put the customer’s expectations above the drama being caused by fragmented tools that fail to deliver results for the business,” said Miller.

CMOs need to be more than data-aware

This CMO Council study is a new reminder of the expanding responsibilities of marketing leaders. Organizations now expect CMOs to lead CX efforts—initiatives that require being insight-driven.

To rise to this challenge, CMOs need to understand the competencies of insight-driven businesses, master those competencies and lead business transformation. By eliminating the insight-driven competency gap, CMOs are in a better position to improve customer engagement and close the CX gap in the process.



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