A lot can happen in the marketing world in six years. MediaCom USA CEO Sasha Savic posed three questions to client Dell’s Jennifer Statham, executive director of global marketing technology and agency strategy, about how the role of marketing will evolve by 2020. Below are the questions and answers.
Savic: How do you think the CMO job will have changed by 2020?
Statham: By 2020, the successful CMO will keep a maniacal focus on the customer, but have a greater focus on business value, digital experience and financial efficiency. Customers are re-defining how they engage with brands. The “CMO of tomorrow” will master the emotional connection with customers by using data and technology to strengthen the brand and truly understand and anticipate customer needs at every stage of the customer lifecycle and at all customer touch points.
Digital channels will become increasingly important. With this, the data we are able to capture about our customers will continue to grow exponentially. With an understanding of the power of analytics and technology, CMOs will be able to know their customers like never before and must be agile to adjust to customer feedback in real time. Close CMO partnership with the CIO and CTO will be commonplace, as successful CMOs will be using technology to garner customer insights for competitive advantage.
Finally, the CMO will share responsibility with the CFO and CEO for delivering business results and steering the company to financial success.
Savic: What will the marketing organization structure look like in 2020?
Statham: Marketing will become the “Office of the Brand,” inclusive of customer experience and a number of vital “non-traditional” functions. Analytics/business insights will inform all sales and marketing go-to-market initiatives. A technology office will set strategy, scale innovation and drive an integrated marketing technology solution that embraces data quality management.
Also, a content creation and curation suite will enable high-quality content to be effectively leveraged by employees and customers through the channels of their choice. Content will be generated as much by users as by company experts; library scientists will be employed to help manage and bring the content to life. And Social will be more than a communications function but rather a part of every marketer’s job description. Innovation will permeate across the marketing organization and every team will test and pilot new ideas – with a focus on agility and with permission to fail.
Savic: What are the key things you believe advertisers must think about and begin acting upon to be ready for 2020?
Statham: Be the champion of customer experience. Help educate all functions that every touch point feeds into a holistic, integrated yet individualized level of engagement with every customer. Marketers must create an ecosystem for delivering content that is consumable by both employees and customers, agnostic to marketing vehicle and able to be easily packaged for individual needs.
Also critical will be developing an engine of high-quality customer data that serves as the organization’s single source of truth, and an analytics environment that can turn that data into insight and revenue. And you must develop your strategy based on customer insights and relationships, but be flexible to adapt and change your plans in real time.