Digital Reinvention

CMOs Blaze a Trail for Digital Reinvention in Marketing

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Is your company starting to focus more on experiences than products? If so, it’s a sign that the C-suite executives are striving to develop innovative business models to succeed in the experience-led era. Chief marketing officers (CMOs) in particular play a critically important role in helping their organizations better compete amidst disruption by new technologies.

As a CMO today, you must reimagine your role to drive growth and change, not only across the marketing organization but across the enterprise. And as someone intently focused on creating exceptional, personalized customer experiences, you’ll set the new standards for how marketing gets done. How? By embracing cognitive computing and AI-powered marketing strategies that will help increase value in new markets.

The Foundation of the Modern Marketing Organization

Last month at a peer-to-peer gathering in Manhattan, my colleague, Melissa Tatoris, from the Watson™ Customer Engagement team, and I had the privilege of speaking to nearly 100 CMOs on the topic of Creating Personalized AI-powered Marketing Strategies to support the modern marketing organization. In our morning keynote, we presented key findings from two 2018 IBM Institute for Business Value surveys and studies of CMOs from around the world:

While I discuss some of those findings here, I encourage you to download the studies to discover firsthand how today’s most strategic marketers are all about deepening customer connections, growing brand value and fueling strategic growth. Successful CMOs harness the power of actionable data and deliver personalized and consistent customer experiences — no matter where their customers are and what channels they use — and are transforming every touchpoint into an opportunity.

The CMOs That Will Reinvent Marketing

Whether you’re already using AI-powered marketing strategies or simply have interest in them puts you at some stage in a larger digital transformation journey that IBM calls Digital ReinventionTM. To determine the next step in your journey, you must understand where you stand as a CMO. See if you can identify yourself within these three CMO archetypes: the reinventors, the practitioners and the aspirationals.

Reinventors are the standout CMOs. They lead in innovation and outperform their peers in revenue growth and profitability. Their organizations are exceptionally well aligned: their IT strategy is in sync with their business strategy, and they’ve optimized their business processes to support their strategic intentions. Moreover, they have a well-defined strategy to manage disruption.

Practitioners are ambitious, but they haven’t yet developed the capabilities to match their ambitions. Many practitioners plan to launch new business models in the next few years, while some are ready to leap ahead by taking on more risk.

Aspirationals, as their name implies, still have some ways to go in their digital transformation and ability to move quickly to seize new opportunities. Their organizations lack the capabilities required to excel in this changing business landscape.

All CMOs within these three archetypes are exploring the tremendous opportunity — and complexity — of AI and cognitive systems, with 74 percent of surveyed executives indicating that AI will fundamentally change how they approach customer experiences. These executives are the people helping to transform their corporate culture by getting people to think and operate in truly customer-centric ways inside and outside of the marketing organization.

The Strategy for Succeeding in Digital Transformation

IBM has partnered with many enterprises to successfully leverage AI as a core part of a digital strategy. From our work on several case studies, my colleagues and I have defined four pillars for a successful digital transformation strategy.

  • Make room for AI in your Digital Reinvention strategy.
  • Enhance your customer interactions through real-time personalized and contextual insights.
  • Make AI your golden opportunity for collaboration and innovation.
  • Start small, if necessary — but do start.

By including AI in your strategy, you’ll be able to use actionable insights to create and deliver exceptional experiences that engage and build customer relationships.

I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss how these pillars might help you become a “Reinventor CMO” and how IBM can help lead your organization to digitally reinvent for success in the customer-led era.

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