In the midst of buyer complexity marketers are getting the message that it’s time to change their role in the business. A report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, The Path to 2020: Marketers Seize the Customer Experience, explains exactly how much.
The report is based on a global survey of 499 CMOs and senior marketing executives plus in-depth interviews. The research explores which technologies and customer trends are likely to change marketing organizations the most over the next five years.
This research reveals that 86 percent of marketers say they will own the end-to-end customer experience by 2020. But to accomplish this, marketing leaders have to have a single view of the customer that allows them to engage in two-way, personalized conversations across technologies, locations and physical objects.
How do we do that?
These leading CMOs point out that they must now develop a new marketing structure that blends a deep understanding of a customer’s situation with the timely, tailored delivery of contextually relevant content and marketing assets. It’s the only way that marketers will be able to deal with the complexity of customers, technologies and experiences.
In our book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, Robert Rose and I talk about the need for brands to put strategy before structure. By doing exactly that, marketing departments will see that it’s impossible to continue to try and force new functions and responsibilities into a restrictive, legacy marketing structure. The CMOs in this survey agree. In fact, the data and interviews revealed that between 2016 and 2020, CMOs will reorganize their departments around personalized customer experiences as a core strategy for creating and growing the value of brands.
This doesn’t mean that every marketing organization will look the same in order to create stellar customer experiences. It means that every marketing organization must look different than it does today in order to create strategic experiences that continually deliver value to their organization.
Marketers, our time has arrived. It’s not just different skills that we need to bring to the table. It’s different thinking altogether.