It Takes More than A CMO To Deliver Customer Experience

Digital transformation is opening the way for fluid, real-time customer experiences across all channels and CMOs are ready to make it happen.

by Suzanne Steele

posted on 05-27-2019

If you’re like the vast majority of APAC business leaders in the middle of a digital transformation, you’re working tirelessly to plan, test, and implement new technologies, design new workflows, and create a new culture. This includes CMOs, whose role is expanding to guide employees across the organisation to make decisions that will help the company create and deliver relevant, timely, and personalised customer experiences.

CMOs are customer experience masters

Change-making CMOs understand first hand that customer experiences are the ultimate differentiator. And a customer’s most recent “best experience” — whether with your organisation or a competitive brand — raises the expectations for all future interactions. CMOs are also customers themselves and know the frustration of a purchase experience filled with friction.

As a result, CMOs have long been experience champions and now have a well-earned position of influence. They have a history of actively listening to customers, analyzing data, and working with business leaders. They develop strategies that put customers at the center of it all, and use their experience focus and customer centricity to effectively and efficiently build an experience-first business. What’s more, they understand how a customer experience management (CXM) platform can provide the technology tools needed to deliver customer experiences end-to-end — across every channel and in real time.

CMOs bring a collaborative perspective

CMOs also must be top-notch collaborators. Success with customer experiences requires breaking down divisions to share data, orchestrate outreach, and optimize interactions. CMOs can bring together stakeholders across teams, departments, and seniority to focus on delivering a singularly excellent customer experience. By bridging these gaps — and by bringing natural curiosity to the table — CMOs can impact meaningful transformation.

CMOs add the missing piece in an organization’s digital transformation process and have the opportunity to work closely with CIOs to integrate these tools. Data can be democratized and effectively interpreted and acted on — whether you’re a data scientist or not. And because there’s no guidebook, there are no boundaries when it comes to innovation and experimentation. Whether it’s artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), or something completely new, everything is up for consideration and can be an impetus for change.

No doubt, this can be challenging. Updating technology, while at the same time developing an organisational structure to match new processes, can be like changing a plane’s engine when you’re 30,000 feet in the air. But, CMOs are used to being agile. They make changes on the fly and adapt their approach to keep things moving forward — and moving towards success.

CMOs know the customer journey

Customer journey management is the top digital-related priority for large organisations. Granted, there’s always going to be a top-tier leader driving the C-suite charge. In the past it was a CEO or COO, with massive oversight and an ability to move every piece and pawn as desired. More recently, that innovative insider was the CTO or CIO, with a deep understanding of the digital landscape.

Given the nature of the digital transformation, that CTO and CIO are particularly suited for an even bigger, more game-changing leadership role. CMOs don’t take away from that, but they add to it. With their crucial customer understanding, knowledge of data and digital tools, and an ability to connect the dots and write the rules as they go, CMOs bring an unique understanding of the customer journey to the C-suite.

And as they bring that understanding, they’re constantly growing and evolving. CMOs are focused on training the next generation of marketers and cross-functional teams while, at the same time, upskilling themselves and other senior leaders. In a digital transformation, anyone and everyone can excel. They just have to roll up their sleeves, dig in, and follow the new organizational leaders.

CMOs bring the benefit of digital transformation to customer experiences

Ultimately, CMOs know that digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. Companies that are already on the journey will continue to progress, but those that have not begun to make the shift risk being left behind.

This can be challenging for executives who have grown up in legacy, structured, and hierarchical environments. It’s not easy to leave the past behind. However, there’s still time to create processes, frameworks, and operational rigor. Done right, you won’t have to constantly reinvent and reimagine. Instead, you can focus on delivering epic customer experiences, scaling your personal reach, and meeting each customer anywhere and everywhere they are.

At the end of the day, a successful digital transformation must include ways to better understand your customer and their journey, remove friction from digital touchpoints, and deliver surprising and delightful interactions.

CMOs, CTOs, CIOs and more will discuss the latest in customer experience management at Adobe Symposium in Sydney, 27–28 June 2019. See the speakers and register your attendance here.

Topics: Digital Transformation

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