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Three reasons why a CMO's roles and responsibilities make it a technology job

Published: Jan 23, 2019

The role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is undergoing fundamental changes. Customer experience (CX) is becoming an important brand differentiator and revenue generator—and data and technology are key to delivering it. 

As a CMO or marketing leader, your mandate was once about advertising and brand management, but your list of objectives is rapidly expanding.  A CMO's  role is increasingly about driving CX to generate customer loyalty and engagement, with the end goal of increasing revenue. But to deliver outstanding CX you need the latest technology—and that means you’re more reliant on the IT department’s support.

Here are three reasons why the role of the CMO is now a technology job—and how you can work with IT to drive better CX across your entire organization.

1. CX is becoming essential

Many customers still love brands, but the reason for their loyalty is changing. They’re not just thinking about product, design or price—they’re also judging you on their overall experience. And they’re listening to what others are saying. It only takes a few seconds for them to look up your company online. No matter what image you’re putting out there, negative reviews could be enough to send them running to your competitors. 

That means your brand is increasingly reliant on CX. Traditional marketing won’t be enough to thrive and increase revenue—your customers are tech-savvy and looking for the next cutting-edge, exciting experience. To achieve this, you’re going to have to expand on traditional CMO responsibilities and  work closely with IT. Gather data on what channels your competitors are using and which ones your customers prefer to engage through—then pilot these new technologies on a regular basis.

2. Digital identities are key

CX technologies are accelerating at such a rapid pace, it can be tempting to throw everything into the mix and hope it works—whether it’s new social channels, the latest gaming apps, camera filters or augmented reality shopping. But customers won’t just embrace the latest fad because it’s new—they only want services that genuinely make their journey more convenient and enjoyable. That means data is your biggest asset when it comes to identifying which technologies to deploy. 

Digital identities can give you a better understanding of your customers, enabling you to deliver more personalized services and outstanding CX. This involves gathering data from every touchpoint—from social media and web browsing to conversations with chatbots and service agents. With support from IT and artificial intelligence (AI) driven analytics platforms, you can make sense of this data and identify quick wins. This can help you prioritize and deploy the most crucial channels first, while gradually building towards a 360-degree view of your customers.

3. You need to manage data carefully

CMOs and marketing leaders can’t afford to turn a blind eye to data privacy. In recent years, media headlines about data breaches and privacy abuses have made customers guard their information more closely. If you break their trust, you risk permanent brand damage, or even fines due to tightening data privacy regulations. You need to be completely transparent about what data you’re gathering on customers and what you’re using it for.

To achieve this, you’ll need to work closely with IT to develop robust data segregation and management policies, as all teams need to be aware of best practices when handling and storing data. And you’ll need data storage systems that make it easy for employees to delete customers’ information upon request. Strategies to manage cyber risk should also be built into your marketing, IT platforms and data management platforms from the start.

You can’t do it alone 

If you think that’s a lot of responsibility for CMOs and marketing leaders to shoulder, you’re right. The CMO's role is now focused on using technology to deliver the best CX and increase revenue. But that doesn’t mean you’re taking over the Chief Information Officer’s role—they’re still the specialists when it comes to deploying AI, the cloud and other tools effectively. That means you need to work together on a regular, ongoing and collaborative basis. Your teams should be speaking the same CX language, sharing data and striving towards the same KPIs—keeping the customer at the heart of everything. 

Learn more about how technology can help you drive better CX, engage customers and increase your department’s bottom line. Read the full report.