As technology has progressed companies have always taken advantage of it to evolve how they engage with their customers. But today, something different, more fundamental is happening. How shoppers and buyers want to interact and transact with companies is changing dramatically, driven by the fusion of physical and digital channels.
The role of the CMO is amidst a major transformation especially with the pandemic pushing towards a digital-first focus. The role of the CMO isn’t easy, to begin with however this past year has made it increasingly difficult. On average, CMOs are the shortest-tenured members of the C-suite. Companies all around the world are dealing with growing customer expectations, smaller budgets, adjusted customer priorities, and the CMO is set to take responsibility for how well their company deals with those pressures.
Customer drives Digital Transformation
CMOs have many responsibilities, but chief among them are sales management and customer service. These are both customer-facing responsibilities, and customers—with their demands for enhanced quality and efficiency—are the ones driving the need for digital transformation.
The CMO’s role in Customer Management
CMOs must understand consumers— from marketing to different audiences to creating a loyal customer base. In the past, this meant CMOs focused on traditional communications and marketing practices. But today, big data and technology play a huge role in understanding consumers, so digital transformations fall squarely on the shoulders of the CMO. It makes sense, because more than any other C-suite executive, the CMO has a solid understanding of customers’ needs and expectations and can apply that understanding to digital transformation, leveraging data and advanced technology for increased success.
Shedding light on the types of technology
CMOs understand their organizations’ customers better than nearly any other C-suite executive. When CMOs incorporate digital transformation into that understanding, they ensure their organization is using new technology to drive the personalization of the customer experience in innovative ways. CMOs can help introduce new advertising, UX, and mobile technologies, among others, that will enhance the corporate-customer relationship.
Leaders of digital transformation
CMOs can work with other C-suite positions to make sure that everyone is on the same page about new initiatives and innovations. The CMO understands the organization’s priorities at the highest level and can shed light on mid-level departments’ systems and processes as senior leadership takes on decision-making in the digital transformation.
One of the CMO’s major priorities has always been customer loyalty and retention
As customers seek technological innovation and digital solutions with increasing frequency, the CMO needs to be able to respond effectively to customer demands. In our technology-driven age, consumers are loyal to the digital innovations that work for them.
The message for the CMO is clear:
- Understand, use and enable social and digital technology to keep up pace with your customers and ecosystems.
- Foster strong partnerships with innovative and service-oriented CIOs to facilitate a people-oriented digital transformation with clear goals and involvement of all stakeholders.
- Understand that integrated marketing is about customer experiences and the customer in general but also about integrating marketing within the broader business context of other departments, connected systems, aligned processes, etc.
- Start preparing yourself to enable and ‘manage’ the – increasingly – digital, social, mobile and ubiquitous customer experience. Because the customer experience in the broadest sense is what this digital transformation is all about to start with.