The way you do business today has changed, and continues to evolve constantly. It is difficult for CEOs to ignore there is a digital revolution happening, and fail to participate in it, the consequences can be financially detrimental.
Pre-digital, the sellers held all the cards, controlled the flow of data and pushed information out when they wanted to, and how they wanted to, to the poor customer at the end of stick who had no say in the matter, and they remained ‘voiceless.’
Post digital, the sales dynamics are completely overturned with the rise and rise of the empowered customer whose opinions are highly valued, and whose influence is so great, it is re-shaping the way CEOs digitise their organisations to cater to the needs and demands of a technology savvy ‘social’ customer who craves convenience, and virtually a 24/7 gateway to engage in online conversations.
Buyers are no longer voiceless. Their voices can be heard not by one person but by millions of people, and thanks to social networks, their opinions influence others purchasing decisions. It is the sellers who are now at the mercy of digitised customers who wield a lot of power and authority, and exert their new found digital empowerment with confidence and agility.
Why CEOs engage Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) to help drive digital change?
1. CEOs need CMOs who are digital visionaries, and strategic implementers
Empowered customers are demanding and forcing unprecedented changes in the way companies need to interact and connect with them. These highly mobile lovers of feedback and opinion, are seeking open and transparent two-way conversations 24/7. They are exerting significant influence over businesses, and CEOs are relying on CMOs more and more for strategic input (IBM Report: CMO Insights from the Global C-Suite Study) on how to become more customer interactive and connected, digitally. CEOs are also more open to sponsoring digital initiatives than they were in 2012, according to McKinsey.
A study conducted by Altimeter explains:
The first is they have someone leading the charge—a CMO—who can articulate what this transformation is and how it’s going to be different.
Companies need a digital leader.
CMOs are now taking on a more strategic role, and helping CEOs design a vision for digital transformation, and help to bring separate business units of an organisation together, and take everyone along the digital journey.
2. Digital re-invention based on research and customer insight to drive client engagement
According to McKinsey’s Global 2013 Survey, the trend that ranks highest is customer engagement, ‘56 percent (senior executives) say digital engagement of customers is at least a top-ten company priority.’
And who is more closely aligned to the customer? The CMO. It is the CMO who can use insight and data to forge stronger client intimacies to drive customer loyalty resulting in expanding growth opportunities.
As Brian Solis of Altimeter explains:
…… someone (the CMO) still needs to set a vision for how to compete in connected markets and how to create value for a digital customer.
3. Creating a team of social leaders or ‘centres of digital excellence*’
CMOs are unifying and bringing business functions together with a common goal of creating digital success. They are breaking down silos typically seen between sales and marketing teams, and forging closer working relationships across many different business functions to create great customer experiences and meaningful dialogues. And through this digital journey, organisations are wiser about customer expectations, and with this wisdom, they are better positioned to deliver personalised client experiences and value.
Where are you with digital transformation? Are you battling through this journey on your own, or are you consulting with marketing specialists like CMOs to help drive change?
(Source: IBM, Altimeter*, McKinsey)