Forrester: CMOs will use societal controversy to spark consumer energy in 2019
- CMOs will capitalize on divisions in society to disrupt the market by exploiting weaknesses or unresolved problems within an ecosystem to create value, and use technology, culture, media, creativity and economics as a mode of disruption, according to Forrester’s Predictions 2019: CMO provided to Marketing Dive. Brands will look for ways to use societal controversy to spark consumer energy.
- Another prediction is that CMOs will be more proactive and champion customer data privacy and use it to differentiate their brands. CMOs will promote the care they take with customer data as part of their business model or as a selling point to drive consumer energy.
- CMOs will show their company’s C-suite how to act as a collective to deliver on brand promises for consumers and employees. A brand’s purpose and promise will drive a companywide vision and break down organizational barriers and energize customers. Brands will also re-evaluate their marketing tech to emphasize customer experience and customer technology adoption.
The predictions for CMOs revolve around customer experience and innovation in building brand value. Being too campaign-specific can be a hindrance, according to the Forrester report, and CMOs that will thrive in the new year will identify ways to grab ahold of customer energy and motivate them to engage with brands.
Suggesting that CMOs should use the divisive political and social climate to energize customers aligns with a growing expectation among consumers that the brands they support take a public stance on important social and political issues. While this can be a risk, some brands have successfully executed cause-driven initiatives that channel the kind of divisive social issues marketers might have avoided in the past. Nike’s controversial campaign with free agent football player Colin Kaepernick is an example of a brand successfully leveraging controversy and societal divisions to motivate consumers. Nike’s online sales grew 31% in the weekend following the launch of the 30th anniversary iteration of the brand's “Just Do It” campaign, according to an Edison Trends analysis.
Following the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and data privacy scandals like Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica controversy, marketers have some work to do in regaining customer trust when it comes to data privacy. Seventy-one percent of U.S. consumers worry about how brands collect and use their personal data, 34% don’t trust tech companies with their digital privacy, and nine out of 10 Americans worry about online privacy and data security, according to ExpressVPN. CMOs that focus on becoming advocates for data privacy could find an opportunity to stand apart from the competition.
Customer experience will be an area where marketers will work to differentiate their brands. Previous Forrester research found that most U.S. brands are “mediocre” when it comes to the quality of their customer experience. Most marketers are realizing a new approach is needed to drive customer experience. Eighty-seven percent of marketers are realizing that traditional experiences are no longer enough to satisfy consumers, according to Accenture Interactive. This marks an opportunity for CMOs to embrace the role of “CMO Collaborator” to work across the company and create a culture of collaboration that crosses business lines and aligns brand vision with customer experience.