The CMO's new role – Optimizing the customer experience

In today’s data-driven marketplace, ROI depends upon the chief marketing officer fostering a customer-centric organization.

The new battleground for companies is the customer experience, and within two years, 81 percent of companies expect to be competing mostly or completely on customer experience. Success will rely upon the chief marketing officer (CMO) being able to transform the business into a customer-centric enterprise, combining art and science to create brand loyalty. This agenda requires the CMO to embrace an expanded role that covers all aspects of the customer experience to meet internal and external expectations.

The CMO’s job will no longer be limited to defining what a customer experience should be but also will include ensuring the customer experience is a positive one. This requires the CMO stepping into a new role as the customer advocate.

“CMOs might have a great brand and brand perception. They can control that. But in terms of actual customer experience, they’re going to have to be advocates for the customer throughout the organization. That needs to be their job.”
—Jason D. Galloway, Advisory Managing Director, Customer Solutions, KPMG LLP

By creating a “connected enterprise,” the CMO will be able to control all aspects of the customer experience—brand, products, services and customer interactions—to ensure the customer receives an enhanced experience. This may include speaking to the Chief Sales Officer about supply chain issues or the head of HR about consumer-facing employees who embody the brand.

The CMO also must work closely with the Chief Information Officer to implement market automation and other software. Organizations are expected to increase their spending on marketing technology, including automation, advertising technology, and data and analytics, from $27 billion in 2017 to $46 billion in 2022.

Justifying the increased spend on marketing technology requires the CMO to produce clear financial results. From uncovering the company’s value proposition to studying marketplace trends to drilling down to micro-segments of customer data, marketing teams can leverage meaningful and actionable insights to create hyper-personalized experiences for customers. Through thoughtful interactions—albeit trigger emails and communications—marketing can achieve the desired result of driving profitability through customer loyalty.

However, while CMO’s responsibilities should expand beyond the traditional marketing role, the CMO must cannot forget its goal to maintain an emotional connection with the customer.

“Emotional connections still play a role in consumer buying behavior. I don’t want anyone to think that marketing now is only about science. Creativity and emotion are still important, it’s just that you need to have both. You need to have the science—and the art.”
—Julio J. Hernandez, Principal, Customer Advisory Leader, KPMG LLP

By expanding the CMO’s role to incorporate all facets of the customer experience, the CMO can connect with the customer on a more personal level and ensure customer interactions with the company are engaging, positive and most importantly, frequent.

Learn the challenges a CMO must face becoming a customer advocate and how to define success in a customer-centric organization by reading “The Chief Marketing Officer, reinvented.