Mass marketing is a relic of the past, relegated to the dustbin of marketing history by digital technologies
The remit of chief marketing officers (CMOs) is broadening as they become chief customer officers, taking on roles that look after the customer from attraction through to retaining their revenue. The How Leading CMOs Captivate and Convert Customers for Lifereport by technology services giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) looked right across the CMO landscape, in all vertical markets, but the trends identified by the TCS analysts ring true for technology marketing leaders.
In its research TCS found that CMOs are "being held to a higher standard" and in particular the need to "show tangible and high returns on their marketing investments". As a result the global report finds that CMOs have the shortest tenure of the C-suite with job tenure averaging four years. For technology marketing leaders this puts their tenure below that of the CIO, a role previously famed for short tenure.
"Gone are the days of competing just on the "four Ps": product, price, place and placement," the TCS report states as it reveals that leading CMOs have become customer experience executives.
"Companies now must serve as partners to their customers, helping them achieve their objectives….These marketers are playing a much bigger and more effective role in attracting, satisfying and retaining customers, thereby adding value across the business.
"The digital marketing leaders surveyed understand this well. They are more likely to establish long-term relationships with customers by making sure they are satisfied, even after the invoices have been paid. They do this by paying closer attention to how their products perform, by seeking to fulfill future needs, and effectively communicating with customers about these matters throughout the duration of the brand experience."
No matter the vertical market, driving this change in the CMO's role is technology. Digital technologies have changed the relationship consumers have with services of all types.
"Mass marketing is a relic of the past, relegated to the dustbin of marketing history by digital technologies that let companies personalize communications to each and every customer, even if there are millions of them," the report states.
As technology marketing leaders move into a wider customer focused remit so they are taking on a greater number of tasks across the organisation. TCS found in its survey that CMOs are driving digital transformation across their organisations.
The increased use of technology by CMOs is at the heart of their changing role, the survey finds. CMOs in all vertical markets are using automation, analytics, content management systems and IoT sensors.
"Most marketing departments use customer analytics software to understand why customers buy, not why they leave or stay loyal," the report warns of how CMOs still need to do more with technology. It is positive about the rising use of automation as it frees CMOs up for what it describes as "strategic creativity".
TCS also find that as new technologies become available to CMOs they must also focus on simplifying and rationalising the technology they use.
"Most marketing departments are tangled in tech complexity. They are working with a wide variety of tools—including SaaS, shrink-wrapped software and legacy systems—that take countless hours to master and manage, and that rarely speak with one another. Rather than supporting a grand vision or strategy, the stack frequently reflects piecemeal tactical needs that have evolved over time."
TCS finds that CMOs are operating an unhealthy level of legacy marketing technology. The report found that over 50% of CMOs have on-premise marketing technology. This focus on technology means that marketing departments are searching for and recruiting a rising number of technologists to its ranks. CMOs told the report they are looking for skills in artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and personalisation. "The chief marketing officer's role is evolving into a chief experience officer (CXO). The CXO will be responsible for deploying rich data, AI and robust analytics to add personalized value across all four stages of the brand experience," TCS state.
Against the backdrop of greater responsibility, technology marketing leaders are witnessing a decrease in their budgets. TCS believes this means CMOs are transforming "their marketing organizations into brand experience at every stage of the customer journey".
The survey finds an increase in marketing metrics "connected to revenue" and says that leading CMOs include "lifetime value of a customer" and customer retention in their metrics alongside typical measures such as return on investment, sales and revenue. But TCS finds that too few CMOs are using personalisation.
"Marketers can now know more about their prospects and customers than ever before, by harnessing the enormous quantities of data that have become available in recent years through a proliferating range of sources, particularly from mobile devices," the report says.
2020 will see an increased use of technology by CMOs according to the survey with increased use of automation and cloud, which in turn will increase the focus on data usage by CMOs, something the report finds lacking in many CMOs.
"Of 139 B2B respondents surveyed, only one reported using geolocation data for awareness, one for conversion, 10 for customer support, and none for retention. In contrast, at least 53% of B2C companies use geolocation data to personalize their communications at some stage of the brand experience," the TCS report states.
"We found it surprising that nearly half of companies are not using buying-behavior data from existing customers," TCS report, adding that CMOs are not using digital media and tools to understand customers. "Companies with high-value products and services are more likely to use social media data. Given the power of viral social media, we believe this represents a missed opportunity.
"The failure of many marketers to leverage analytics in the support and retention phases is a missed opportunity. Not using analytics software to build loyalty can be costly, particularly for B2B companies that serve a limited pool of high-value customers."
For technology marketing leaders in consumer tech the report highlights another concern. "Only about a quarter of companies (26%) advertise on e-commerce sites in the awareness stage, while 27% do so in the conversion stage," it states of missing the advertising opportunities on the likes of Amazon.