Here are five themes for the future which resonated across multiple surveys and form the basis for these predictions. Remember, they are made specifically for large and extra-large companies.
1. Customer Experience Will Be the Battleground Marketers Are Fighting Over
In 2016 customer experience will garner the highest level of marketing investment; it is one of three areas in which CEO’s expectations of CMOs will increase the most; and bleeding-edge technologies to improve it will be the top innovation project marketers undertake.
2. How Marketers Use Customer Data Will Determine their Level of Success
Managing, collecting and making use of internal and external data was the second highest area of CEO’s increased expectations for CMOs. Marketers will analyze data less and synthesize it more, leading to better and more actionable conclusions. Distribution of the data to decentralized groups such as brands or business units will occur to allow for informed recommendations/decisions about what action to take.
3. Digital Commerce Will be Inextricably Linked with Marketing
We found that in 25% of organizations, marketing has total responsibility for digital commerce, and in 46% of companies, marketing owns a digital commerce P&L now. Whether you lead or support your company’s digital commerce efforts, plan for higher investment and a greater role in crafting compelling commerce experiences.
4. Marketing Will Set the Strategy for Not Just Marketing Technology, But for All Customer-facing Technology
Marketing will be intensely involved in all technology that touches the customer as it works on improving the customer experience with customer service, sales and operations. It already sets the strategy and develops the roadmap for marketing technology in over 90% of companies. In a growing number of companies it is moving into different elements of revenue management, including former sales systems. By the end of 2016, customer-facing technology strategy and roadmaps will be led by marketing in at least one quarter of companies.
5. Marketing Innovation Will Come Out of the Closet
For the second year in a row we found that marketers are setting aside more than 9% of their budget for innovation. Leading a culture of change and company-wide innovation was the third highest ranked increased CEO expectation of CMOs. More marketing executives have innovation in their title. An increasing number of CMOs manage product development as well as product management. Digital business transformation is causing many industries to shift their business model and offerings to digital vs. physical; putting marketing squarely in the middle of such innovation.
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