Gartner analyst Laura McLellan recently predicted that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs!
There is a major shift from mass-marketed, single-channel, one-way, company-driven campaigns to multi-channel, two-way, personalized, interaction-driven campaigns that can be measured. A cross channel strategy crafted by a smart CMO will mean the ability to increase the velocity of sales and transactions, understand customers better, build closer relationships with consumers and even reshape products and markets, thereby winning the loyalty of tomorrow's Digital Natives. In addition to social, interactive and gamification techniques is becoming part of the campaign management – recent Coca Cola Super Bowl Ad is a good example. Another example is M&M's introduction of a 99-cent Chocolate Factory game application, available through the Apple store, that lets users guide M&M characters through a digital candy factory.
This means a brand must essentially be present across channels – as they emerge and get adopted by consumers - ensuring a unified, consistent and seamless customer experience and service across channels. Continuous communication across multiple channels provides an opportunity to the CMO to keep track of change in customer demands, needs and sentiment in real time. Marketers are beginning to create campaigns that combine television and mobile elements. For example, Fox and NBCUniversal are piloting systems that let television-watchers use their mobile devices to make purchases related to the shows they are watching.
The CMO's big challenge, however, is to funnel the communication across the multiple channels like voice, data, mobile, online, social, CRM, physical and virtual touch points, loyalty, promotions, deals, offers, discounts, supply-chain data etc. through a sense-making analytical engine for rapid and accurate decision-making. Once done, this can help achieve optimum convergence of messaging and services across channels.
CMO's role as the custodian of a brand is growing since they provide the constant link between the brand owners and their consumers. A Digital Platform can provide CMOs the right tools in this multi-channel dialogue to communicate with consumers, create the right brand perception, increase brand loyalty and grow revenue. CMO, thus, will soon become the biggest evangelist of Technology, in his effort to build stronger brands and contribute organization's success.