Where Executives Are Placing Their Biggest Bets In 2020

We reached out to the industry and asked: What are your team’s big bets in 2020? Here’s what they told us.

Where Executives Are Placing Their Biggest Bets In 2020

by CMO by Adobe Staff

Posted on 12-14-2019

Change is constant, but guess what? The same can be said about choice. Amid a rapidly transforming business landscape, company leaders have to continually assess their strategic options—and then decide their best paths forward.

That means making plenty of tough calls, yet judging by the global executives who CMO by Adobe reached out to for our annual “Predictions” round-up, they’re not backing down for a second.

The open-ended question we posed this year: What are your team’s big bets for 2020?

The range of answers are as interesting as ever.

“Pushing our brand to live ‘in culture’ by embracing a publisher mindset is absolutely at the heart of what we need to do. We are shifting from interruption to entertainment by sparking conversation in ways that are relevant for landing our brand message. We will aim to drive a deeper connection with our consumers.”

—Steve Arkley, Global VP of Marketing, Budweiser

“It’ll no longer be good enough for companies to claim hyper-personalization. Consumers will increasingly demand unique brand interactions customized and seamlessly delivered.”

—Jim Lyski, CMO, CarMax

At Zulily, we try to always make informed ‘bets,’ but in 2020 we’re all in on predictive modeling to forecast engagement with the right message on the right channel at the right time.

“We want to pivot away from just transforming or digitizing our process and move toward an evolution of what we call ‘digital business.’ For us that means we’re intently aware of our processes, how we sell, how we market, and how our customers are going to buy from us to create the best experience so that we aren’t just digitizing something, but we’re actually evolving as a company.”

—Gabie Boko, Global Vice President of Digital, HPE

“The biggest bet for us continues to be savings and understanding the customer life cycle more. Acquisitions is no longer a focus—we have the people—so we’re looking at how to add more value into their lives.”

—Greg Lull, CMO, Credit Karma

“With Gen Z graduating into the largest consumer population, we’ll see the return of brand-building in a more traditional sense to balance out the immense investment in purely conversion practices.”

—Raig Adolfo, Chief Strategy Officer, 360i

“One of the most important things I am thinking about is how I can tap into all the data that I’m not aware of that is available within the organization. How can we, as an organization, use that data to continue to deepen customer intimacy? That’s very important to me.”

Diana Lee Caplinger, Head of Marketing Technology, SunTrust Bank

“Customer experience is absolutely pivotal. It’s at the top of the food chain. We’ll spend a lot of time in 2020 measuring whether the things we’re doing and testing are working. We’ve moved away from having people talk about whether they think something is good or not good. To us it’s all about whether the fan thinks it’s good.”

—Travis Trembath, VP, Fan Engagement Marketing, PGA Tour

“We spent 2019 aligning the WPP organization around a model of distributed innovation supported by scaled global partnerships. 2020 will see that coming to life in an open data and technology platform that will transform the way we develop and share that innovation and apply it to our clients’ benefit.”

—Stephan Pretorius, CTO, WPP

“Companies will have to differentiate themselves beyond traditional products or services by unleashing the customer profile data they have to create unique experiences in real time.”

—Max Long, Senior Vice President, Adobe Customer Solutions

“My most important bet for 2020 is to embed analytical capabilities into content across our channels in an even more structured fashion. When analytics are built into the client experience systematically, we can extract meaningful insights and deliver more targeted content and services to the benefit of our clients.”

—Liv Brahin, Head of Group Marketing and Communication Services, UBS

The velocity of AI adoption in the UK will only increase in 2020. Our research reports that 56% of UK organisations are now using AI and are outperforming their competitors by 11.5%. I expect these numbers to rise and brands who embrace the AI opportunity to thrive in 2020.

—Cindy Rose, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft UK

“With the continued focus on consumer identity and media accountability, we can expect ‘addressability’ to accelerate in 2020. And watch for ‘clean supply’ initiatives related to addressable inventory in response to ongoing brand safety and transparency concerns.”

—Doug Ray, Chairman, Media, Dentsu Aegis Network

“Personalization that reduces pain points to connect people with content through an ‘intelligent,’ real-time understanding of people and behaviours. Despite/because of all the data, creativity will be a key differentiator to cut through.”

—Leisa Bacon, CMO, ABC Australia

“Bring us closer to our consumers and customers, providing smarter and deeper personalized connections using technologies to drive greater profitability into our business.”

—Francesca Saule, Global Digital & CRM/Digital Transformation Director, illycaffè

“Our 2020 will continue to serve client engagement and customer-centricity through a proactive use of data and full digital marketing attribution, helping us better align marketing and sales.”

—Kevin Charef, Group Head of Digital Marketing, CRM & Acquisition, Euler Hermes

“A successful formula for growth starts with your own personal growth combined with your positive team growth to foster customer growth and accelerate company growth.”

—Dr. Ralf Belusa, Managing Director Digital Business & Transformation, Hapag-Lloyd

“No matter the device, data-driven communications will allow us to scale and deliver McLaren’s sense of belonging throughout the customer journey.”

—David Mattingly, Global Customer Experience, Digital, and CRM Manager, McLaren Automotive

“Open, cloud-based platforms will help in shaping a smarter market for CPG manufacturers and retailers. Trust and transparency, 5G, and time to purchase will dictate success in 2020.”

—Arun Ramaswamy, Chief Technology Officer, Nielsen Global Connect

“Marketers today must have a digital sense, a purpose sense, and, most critically, a business sense to ensure that their companies and institutions are balancing shareholders and stakeholders, profits, and our planet.”

—Mitchell Mackey, Marketing Director, Ansell

“In 2020, we plan to bring frictionless customer journeys to life. This involves solving for diverse customer pain points in their varied financial lives with thoughtful application of tomorrow’s technology today.”

—Deepak Oram, DVP, Marketing Technology & Automation, HDFC Bank

“At Etiko we’re betting on consciousness growing regarding consumer impact on the environment, fellow human beings and animals, in Australia and beyond.”

—Nick Savaidis, Founder & Director, Etiko

“My 2020 hope is that marketers will finally deliver on the promise of true personalization by moving beyond simplistic implicit/inferential data and complementing that with the power of explicit/opt-in preference data.”

—Ernan Roman, President, ERDM Corp, author of “Voice of the Customer Marketing”

“Furthering our digital transformation to enable customers to have more control over their service experience while also expanding our reach by launching highly relevant on-demand services.”

—Douglas Stein, Executive Vice President, Cinch Home Services

“The trend: inclusive creativity. A recent study shows ‘progressive ads’ are 25% more effective, which is why brands will wake up to the benefit of engaging with all audiences (particularly older demographics) and work alongside authentic authors to create truly groundbreaking creative.”

—Ali Hanan, CEO, Creative Equals

Click here to read retail technology predictions on our Magento sister site.

Click here to read B2B companies’ priorities in 2020 on our Marketo sister site.

Topics: Experience Cloud, Commerce, Digital Transformation, Customer Stories, Experience-Driven Commerce, Future of Work, Marketing, Insights & Inspiration, Partner Story, Advertising, Information Technology, Customer Acquisition, CMO by Adobe

Products: Experience Manager, Experience Cloud, Experience Platform