Lately there has been a lot of talk about customer experience, or CX. Its value and importance within a given brand is at or near the top of the priority list for many companies the world over.
At least it should be.
But as important and as talked-about as CX is, there is a debate as to who should lead the charge—drive the CX bus, if you will. In my not-so-humble opinion, it should unequivocally be the CMO.
I use the phrase “not-so-humble” because in my experience contributing to Forbes for over eight years, specifically their CMO Network, I have gotten to speak with and understand many a CMO.
Paging Rodney Dangerfield
I realize I am dating myself here—there will be some out there who won’t have any idea who Rodney Dangerfield is, or why I am referencing him. For the uneducated, he was a famous stand up comedian whose legendary lament was, “I don’t get any respect.”
As Gartner analyst Jake Sorofman recently wrote in the aptly-titled post “CMOs Finally Get Some Respect,” the narrative has shifted. According to Sorofman, “the CMO’s currency is the customer—customer voice, value, valence, and often, the experience itself… (and) the customer experience is the sum of every branded interaction, pre- and post-sales.”
For a CMO to lead the overall CX of a given brand, there are some principles they need to consider first.
1. Balance the Brand View and the Business View
This may be the most important principle in an era of digital business. Creating top-flight customer experiences that tie together web, commerce, and mobile technologies is key. Do this, and your role as CMO will become very clear to the CEO, especially in how it affects revenue, profit, and margin.
2. Show Your Passion, Drive Collaboration, and Lead Organizational Change
Passion cannot be faked. It must be real, or you shouldn’t bother. Moreover, a CMO must bring that passion when breaking down silos that more than likely exist to create true cross-team collaboration and change.
3. Be Technologically Savvy
The sheer number of technology marketing vendors in the world today is staggering. One look at the latest version of the now-infamous Scott Brinker Marketing Technology Landscape chart will tell you all need to know—with no shortage of options.
A CMO needs to be able to weed through all these options and know specifically what is required to meet their particular needs.
There are many points along the customer experience journey where an organization can miss the mark and not even come close to meeting customer expectations. With customers able to talk to other customers so easily online, companies need to reconsider how to ensure end-to-end customer experiences don’t have any gaps in quality, where customers get less than satisfactory results.
And the best person qualified to handle all of this is the CMO.
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