Having spent literally decades anticipating and implementing new marketing strategies based on industry trends and developments, we know all too well that the CMO role is continually evolving. It’s also a challenge to stay ahead of the curve when you already have a multitude of responsibilities, but don’t worry—we’re here to run through the top trends to keep on your radar.
Build your brand and content strategies around your organization’s values and employee wellbeing
In 2021, eMarketer conducted a survey of attitudes of US adults towards company’s involvement in social and political issues. The results revealed that although values are important to consumers, they are just one of many influencing factors. It has become apparent that older consumers prioritize price over value when deciding to purchase a product or service. However, many respondents from younger generations showed a higher awareness and opinion of a company’s values when making a purchase decision.
When asked about their expectations of a company, consumers were most concerned about the treatment of employees, specifically a business’s efforts to ensure fairness, safety, and equity.
When exploring how to best engage their value-driven consumers, companies should be clear about their values and work culture. This can be achieved in various ways but should always include transparency with employees and investors alike.
Personalized communication remains one of the top trends
In May 2022, Salesforce conducted a survey about what consumers expect when it comes to a business’s communication strategies. The results showed that 73% of respondents expect brands to understand their differing expectations and needs, and 62% think that companies should anticipate their needs based on their behaviors with the brand. This is a growing trend with consumers. In 2020, the same survey was conducted about personalization and customer experience, and in 2022 consumers’ expectations and beliefs increased by at least 10% for each survey question.
Consumers understand that companies use data to tailor messages and communications. In fact, 9 out of 10 respondents said they enjoy receiving personalized offers based on their history with the brand. Additionally, they are more likely to share personal information with companies if the content they are receiving is tailored to their interests. Personalization also drives performance: businesses that customize their messaging can improve conversions by up to 50%.
The future of the CMO role: Growing mandates include technology and data analytics
The role of the CMO has transitioned to something deeper than marketing, evolving into a job where strategy is a key component to drive business growth. Traditionally, it was not assumed that marketers would work closely with product design or corporate strategy. CMOs were instead briefed on the product and told to market it without having the duty to provide any input into the design or strategy behind it.
Today, the role of the CMO has expanded beyond simply communicating with an audience to include things like Demand Generation. At the same time, tenure in the position can be short. In many cases, the company is no longer the right fit or the CMO has grown, searching for more specialized career opportunities.
Ultimately, it is important for CMOs to have well-rounded traditional marketing skills, such as storytelling and branding, as well as proficiency in technical disciplines—working closely with Chief Data Officers and Chief Technology Officers to achieve data-driven success.
Rumors about the demise of the CMO may be exaggerated. This is an extraordinarily complex role that continues to evolve; CMOs should not let these headlines distract them from doing their job.
Invest in AI or risk getting left behind
Artificial intelligence has made its way into the customer experience. In the 2021 Harris Poll, nearly half of US marketers increased customer experience (CX) related AI investments in the preceding year. Uses for AI include predictive recommendations (being tested by Spotify and Tripadvisor) and customer privacy. If consumers know that their data is being held privately, they are more likely to share more information, ultimately enabling businesses to provide customization.
AI is becoming increasingly prevalent in businesses, and companies need to experiment with different forms of AI to reveal which methods are the most successful and effective. Customer privacy, of course, remains paramount. The main area where companies have been investing more is in data quality, with 63% of companies spending more money in 2021 than 2022.
B2B customer journeys are increasingly critical
The B2B customer journey can be influenced through strategic content that goes beyond the upper funnel. According to eMarketer, the majority of B2B companies use digital content marketing, and some of the frontrunners have plans to further invest in this aspect.
To develop a strong content strategy, companies must focus on their relevance to their audiences. This can be achieved through audience and customer lifecycle research, with a particular emphasis on where a given prospect is in their customer journey. Such journey mapping, according to eMarketer, should be structured around five key elements:
- Cross-function collaboration
- Defining buyers and customers
- Research into audience behavior
- Identifying customer touch points
- Focusing on a specific to establish a consensus
Content needs to be created for specific cases that fall within the lifecycle, for example, content should always be developing and becoming more personalized based on users’ history and interactions with the messages.
There is no doubt about it: CMOs have their work cut out in the months and years ahead. In such a fast-changing environment, it’s crucial to not only get ahead of incoming trends but connect with the right agency partner. Let’s talk.