According to a recent Forrester report entitled “Predictions 2017: The Post-Digital CMO Appears”, 2017 will bring with it a post-digital climate where customers are beginning to care more than ever before about product and brand experiences. This means brands will need to become even more customer-centric.

This shift in consumer attitudes will undoubtedly affect CMOs. The report says we should expect to see CMOs  invest in creating emotional connections with their consumers and brand experiences that serve a particular need, at a particular time. They’ll need to make strategic changes around brand and customer experiences, upskill their teams and relook their processes.

The report points out that neither traditional marketing methods nor digital alone will be enough in 2017’s landscape. As the delineation between the digital and physical worlds becomes less distinct, strategies must become more customer-centric.

It’s a series of trends that are sure to make life more complex for the CMO. To manage this environment, the report predicts that CMOs need to drive their brands to become more personalised and authentic, as well as able to solve their customer’s problems and respond rapidly to their changing needs, as well as work harder to forge emotional connections.

CMOs will need to focus on creating relationships with individuals and furthermore, ensure that the brand delivers on its promises. The report points out that “one to moment” marketing, “a post-digital marketing practice that focuses on servicing customers in their moments of need, will become key”.

The Forrester report maintains none of the changes CMOs make will have an effect without a corresponding shift in mindsets, skills sets and processes within organisations. Marketing and analytical skills combined will be necessary to stand out among the competition. CMOs who are committed to being successful in their roles will invest in their own training, as well as that of their team members. Close collaboration between marketing and IT is also critical to achieve this customer-centric focus.

According to the report a growing need for insights that link customer data with business data will drive CMOs to work better with the technical side of the business.

Finally, the report reveals that no matter how forward thinking a marketing strategy may be, it simply cannot work in organisations that continue to be structured around internal product or business silos.

The big take-out: A Forrester report on predictions for 2017 for the post-digital CMO says CMOs will need to make major changes in terms of a more personalised approach, humanising their brands and investing in training for both themselves and their teams.

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