CMOs Take Responsibility For Customer Experience

Two-thirds of CMOs are now responsible for customer experience -- keeping consumers happy, satisfied and connected with the brands, not just driving them to products and services, according to a report from Forrester Research released this week.

Sheryl Pattek, VP, CMO executive partner at Forrester Research, said organizations no longer own their brands. "Customers define their brands," she said. "Every touchpoint makes a difference in how the brand is described and whether customers believe in the company's promise."

The findings from the study — The Evolved CMO In 2016 — based on 275 respondents analyzes data on the goals and behaviors of the evolving CMO role.

"CMOs are also taking responsibility for engagement across the entire life cycle," she said.



Some are taking partial responsibility for customer service, but not "owning the entire channel." They have, however, become more involved in making sure the customer-service experience aligns with the brand and its promises.

Pattek doesn't see the customer-service delivery budget moving under the watch of CMOs, but she does see a line item for software as a service-based technologies that relies on customer engagement, previously in the domain of CIOs.

"We also see that budget for customer engagement shifting from traditional to digital," she said.

Goals and objectives are changing as well. The study finds that more than one-third of CMOs report their performance goals are tied to their customers' overall satisfaction. Improvements in customer experience also rank high, with 23% of B2B CMOs and 32% of B2C CMOs calling it one of their top three business drivers.

As CMOs become much more accountable for business results, it sheds the stigma of marketing draining profits, rather than producing revenue. More are partnering with the company's CFOs to take responsibility for profit and loss.

"Supporting their desire to run marketing with financial accountability," 37% of CMOs view the CFO as a top relationship to develop," per the study.

More CMOs now take responsibility for profit and loss. Previously, CMOs were responsible for "softer measures," such as brand awareness and marketing execution metrics to think about results.

Pattek said CMOs are now being treated more as revenue generators than as an expense. CMOs focus on balancing the scorecards. Some 82% said their goals align with revenue targets; 41%, profit targets; 37%, brand health; and 27%, customer satisfaction.

In addition to working more closely with CFOs and CIOs, CMOs now build closer relationships with the company's research and development teams to make sure product innovation is in line with what consumers want.

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