Marketing is evolving from a role of brand promotion to a role of actively working to deliver extraordinary, unforgettable customer experiences. As this evolution occurs, the functions of marketers are also changing. The CMO can no longer simply lead an organization’s marketing efforts – he/she must develop skills in collaboration to meet the increasing demands for exceptional customer service.
A recent study from Forrester Research and Accenture Interactive found that organizations overwhelmingly (88%) believe that the responsibilities of the CMO have changed over the past couple of years. In addition, they believe that CMO responsibilities will continue to shift as the role’s function expands and changes to keep pace with expectations for customer experience.
The study also found that among the CMOs who already consider themselves to be collaborators, 96% believe that customer service is crucial for their organizations, while only 77% of CMOs who consider themselves to be more traditional marketers believe this. Also from the study, where the CMO is positioned within an organization’s culture will be an important determinant in the success of creating a customer-centric experience.
To create an excellent customer experience, there must be collaboration among all entities within an organization that affect customer experience. Silos – sales, marketing, service, etc. – must be leveled to foster collaboration. Most organizations see the CMO as the person best situated to bring the disparate business units together.
There is work to be done, however, to achieve the necessary collaboration within an organization to bring about a “culture of customer obsession.” The study found that only about one-third (34%) have been successful in establishing such a customer focus. The C-suite will have to foster collaboration and partnerships among its leaders. One of the most important partnerships is that between the CMO and the CIO. Organizations with a strong CMO-CIO relationship have fewer systems challenges.