CMO-CIO Alignment Essential In The Age Of The Customer
Forrester’s new report, “A Customer-Obsessed Operating Model Demands A Close Partnership With Your CIO,” dives into the actions you must take to accelerate your journey to customer obsession.
The digital revolution has forever changed the balance of power between organizations and their customers, shifting in favor of customers and their needs. Whether in B2C or B2B industries, empowered customers have an unprecedented ability to make rapid decisions, weigh and review products with peers, and provide feedback in social channels from anywhere in the world.
As CMO, you understand that you must adjust the way you think about and implement your go-to-market strategies. But in our digital world, where technology is embedded into just about everything we do, can you afford to go it alone? Or do you need to step up to finally partner with your CIO?
At Forrester, we believe that success in the age of the customer requires a fundamental reset of day-to-day operations. It requires a new operating model that aligns to a customer-obsessed approach, one that is put in place with collaboration across the C-suite. That’s where our newest research, for which we spoke with customer-obsessed CIOs and CMOs to identify their top priorities, can help.
We discovered that CMOs and CIOs are the C-suite power couple, best-positioned to lead the alignment of the six operational levers that make up a customer-obsessed operating model: structure, culture, talent, metrics, processes, and technologies.
Our new report, “A Customer-Obsessed Operating Model Demands A Close Partnership With Your CIO,” dives into the actions you must take to accelerate your journey to customer obsession. Your peers identified people, process, technology, and metrics as the most critical levers within their span of control. Here’s why:
● People: Leading CMOs and CIOs drive business growth by combining forces to build differentiated customer experiences. These executives share a sense of urgency to build and act on a business technology (BT) agenda that delivers exceptional customer value. Given the rate of technology change, the only thing that is certain about your customers’ expectations next year is that they will be different from today.
● Process: Your business must shift from a hierarchical command-and-control model that revolves around annual budgets to a continuous evolution model that empowers dynamic teams to deliver customer outcomes. To begin your journey, adopt a business capability focus, mapping today’s capabilities to the overall customer life cycle. Then prioritize investments that best address the outcomes your customers most value.
● Technology: Customer-obsessed organizations approach digital technologies in a very different way. They focus on investing in a BT agenda—the technology, systems, and processes to win, serve, and retain customers. These leaders look at customer value from the outside-in—first understanding the outcomes the customer desires, and then building the technology that the business needs to continuously meet those evolving needs.
● Metrics: Sharing KPIs that measure the outcomes you deliver to your customers focuses everyone on the right things. Forrester research shows that customer-obsessed firms set goals for every employee—not just the leadership team—involving the aspects of their jobs that are most important to the overall customer experience.
To make your organization stand out from your competition, it’s time to put your customer in the center, working in close alignment with your CIO to put the right technology in place. Those CMOs who understand the importance of the CMO/CIO collaboration will win in the age of the customer.
See what the Twitterverse is saying about customer experience: