The new CMO and the science of giving people what they want
With technology now infused into every aspect of commerce, the entire craft of marketing becomes more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. This leads to profound changes in ways the discipline is understood, led and practiced.
To understand what marketing will look like in the future, it's useful to consider its fundamental nature. At its core, marketing has always been based on basic principles: understanding customers, meeting their needs and doing so in a way that builds trust. Although marketers face the same questions now, they are answering them in new ways.
In this highly connected world of commerce and communication, you can no longer market broadly to a demographic. A consumer doesn’t want to be a "segment." She’s an individual. To capture and keep her business, she must be treated as one.
The onus of this evolution has landed on the doorstep of the Chief Marketing Officer. And that means that the mind-set, as well as the skill set, of a CMO has to evolve right along with it. IBM has identified the three mandates for the new CMO.
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From millions to one
Today’s abundance of data helps companies understand each customer in multiple dimensions. This leads to insights which, when combined, help build a clearer understanding of each customer as an individual. With that, marketers can make better decisions about the mix that will serve customers more completely—based on needs, desire, likely next action, opinions. Today’s marketing practice requires building this capability of understanding customers as individuals across millions of interactions. And sets the conditions for marketing to play new roles in driving business success.
The data of desire
CMOs have always been responsible for shaping what to market and how to market it. Because they know the customer as an individual, they can engage each as an individual. To do so, marketers face two distinct questions: First, if a deeper understanding of each customer creates more opportunities for value creation, what can marketing best offer that the customer will actually value? Second, what kind of "system of engagement" must be built to deliver it? This is about systematically selecting whom to market to, what to offer them, and how to serve them best. By individually tailoring content, solutions, promotions and delightful experiences at each touch, marketing becomes a service.
The branding of culture
Your brand is tested in every interaction. Today, the same transparency that allows you to understand each customer as an individual; conversely allows each customer to understand everything about your company. And gaps between what the brand promises and what it delivers are known―not just by those who experience them, but by others in their social network. Thus how authentically a culture lives its brand becomes the measure of success. This is the heart of becoming a social business. Marketing’s role is to close the gaps by building a system so that in every interaction brand and culture are one.
The new marketing profession creates a culture of customer obsession:
The new profession designs the full customer journey, creating value at every touch point:
The new profession defines a promise—then builds the system to live it authentically:
By radically rethinking their profession, marketers can understand customers as individuals, use predictive tools to get ahead of demand and design truly social businesses—to ensure that the brand and culture are one. These CMOs are proving that marketing can be less obtrusive and more personal, less of a pitch and more of a service to people than ever before.
What if everything you knew about marketing changed?
What if everything you knew about marketing changed? See what today’s CMO say about the data explosion and their day-to-day jobs. Watch the video (00:02:37)
Papers on the art and science of marketing
1. CMO Council 2011: State of Marketing. Amounts shown in US dollars.
2. Maverick Research: Marketing Is the New IT-Buying Powerhouse. Gartner, October 2011.
3. IBM Management Development Institute
4. Christine Moorman, “Spending on marketing analytics.” CMO Insights. March 2012.