MediaCom posed three questions to two seasoned marketing executives from highly competitive sectors. How will the role of marketing have evolved by 2020? Here's what they had to say.

Christian Godske, Group Media Director, Carlsberg Worldwide

How do you think the CMO job will have changed by 2020?

The CMO of 2020 will have to be extremely agile in order to cope with massive amounts of information, which will have to be used to refine and improve communication activities on the fly.But even with the assistance of systems and tools that can model different scenarios, deciding how to act in the moment will still be in the hands of the pressured CMO. The CMO will be a Space Mission “Flight Director” of communication! However, even with new channels and data and analytics, experience, wisdom and intimate consumer knowledge will still be at the heart of the job, along with a bottomless passion for connecting with consumers and creating tangible results.

What will the marketing organization structure look like in 2020?

Keeping with the NASA analogy, the marketing organization will be made up of an increasing number of “Flight Controllers” – specialists in their respective fields. They will no longer necessarily be gathered in the same physical location, but will all contribute their expertise to an increasingly complicated equation. The link between marketing and content and PR will be stronger than it is now, because both can be so effective in facilitating storytelling and to getting closer to consumers. Product development and point-of-sale, off- and on-line, may also become part of the marketing world as the CMO becomes responsible for forging and managing the end-to-end consumer experience. IT and data management will become the backbone of the marketing organization, delivering data and intelligence vital to the decision-making process.

What are the key things you believe advertisers must think about and beginning acting upon to be ready for 2020?

Advertisers – indeed, entire organizations – need to get far more sophisticated in their ability to draw actionable insights and commercial meaning from reams of data, chatter and research. Marketing is not just about emotions and feelings: it’s a two-way street, fueled by quantifiable intelligence that exists to solve one on the most complex challenges of our time: what to sell, to whom and how. To succeed, CMOs need to begin viewing their organizations as structures as fluid as the consumer marketplaces they serve: dynamic and responsive… not tied to an antiquated org chart. But that doesn’t mean being everywhere and nowhere at once. Focus on what’s important and simply view the marketing functions, teams and talent as a living ecosystem that can move and change to suit those priorities. At Carlsberg, we call this “Fluid and Focused.” It works. It’s not easy, but it works.

Jennifer Statham, Executive Director, Global Marketing Technology and Agency Strategy, Dell

How do you think the CMO job will have changed by 2020?

By 2020, the successful CMO will keep a maniacal focus on the customer, but have a greater focus on business value, digital experience and financial efficiency. Customers are re-defining how they engage with brands. The “CMO of tomorrow” will master the emotional connection with customers by using data and technology to strengthen the brand and truly understand and anticipate customer needs at every stage of the customer lifecycle (all customer touch points). Digital channels will become increasingly important. With this, the data we are able to capture about our customers will continue to grow exponentially. With an understanding of the power of analytics and technology, CMOs will be able to know their customers like never before and must be agile to adjust to customer feedback in real time. Close CMO partnership with the CIO/CTO will be commonplace, as successful CMOs will be using technology to garner customer insights for competitive advantage.

Finally, the CMO will share responsibility with the CFO and CEO for delivering business results and steering the company to financial success.

What will the marketing organization structure look like in 2020?

Marketing will become the “Office of the Brand,” inclusive of customer experience and a number of vital “non-traditional” functions:

  • Analytics/business insights will inform all sales and marketing go-to-market initiatives.
  • A technology office that sets strategy, scales innovation and drives an integrated marketing technology solution that embraces data quality management.
  • A content creation and curation suite that enables high-quality content to be effectively leveraged by employees and customers through the channels of their choice. Content will be generated as much by users as by company experts; library scientists will be employed to help manage and bring the content to life.
  • Social is more than a communications function but rather a part of every marketer’s job description.
  • Innovation permeates across the marketing organization and every team will test and pilot new ideas – with a focus on agility and with permission to fail.

What are the key things you believe advertisers must think about and beginning acting upon to be ready for 2020?

  • Be the champion of customer experience. Help educate all functions that every touch point feeds into a holistic, integrated yet individualized level of engagement with every customer.
  • Create an ecosystem for delivering content that is consumable by both employees and customers, agnostic to marketing vehicle and able to be easily packaged for individual needs.
  • Develop an engine of high-quality customer data that serves as the organization’s single source of truth, and an analytics environment that can turn that data into insight and revenue.
  • Develop your strategy based on customer insights and relationships, but be flexible to adapt and change your plans in real time.
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