As CMOs Struggle With Customer Experience Strategies, Advice Is To Add ‘Chief Silo-Buster’ To The Role

"Marketers want to get going on connecting systems and busting silos to put the customer’s expectations above the drama being caused by fragmented tools that fail to deliver results for the business," says The CMO Council's Liz Miller.

Aside from the perennial question about turning “Big Data” into actionable, “Smart Data,” the other big issue pressing down on CMOs is organizing the myriad — and often walled-off — marketing touchpoints that influence consumers’ brand choices.

A survey by the The CMO Council, The State of Engagement: Bridging the Customer Journey Across Every Last Mile, finds that businesses will measure the success of customer experience initiatives on bottom-line improvements like overall revenue growth and increases in individual sales.

However, only 10 percent of marketers are able to tie customer experiences back to these business goals in real time.

The vast majority of respondents (80 percent) say they’re regularly unable to  connect channels of engagement back to business impact while an additional 10 percent are only able to measure against business goals using time-consuming, manual processes that only involve select channels. (The survey was based on interviews with 211 senior marketing executives — 70 percent of whom are CMOs — across retail, consumer products, food and beverage, retail banking, consumer insurance, and travel and hospitality.)

Marketers have a glass-half-empty view of the present state of customer engagement, the report shows. About 47 percent admit they are failing to deliver on the customer expectation of personalization and contextual engagements across the “customer journey.”

Some 41 percent say that systems that fail to connect or deliver a unified view of the customer experience across all touchpoints have done the most to threaten the execution of the CX strategy. Because of that demand for personalized services by “connected consumers,” most marketing have adopted a new outlook of advancing with the tools on hand while taking on the role of “chief silo-buster.”

“CMOs have picked up the mantle of owning the development and execution of the customer experience strategy and are fully aware that their jobs depend on the success of these initiatives,” says Liz Miller, SVP of Marketing for the CMO Council. “But many are rightfully questioning the patchwork assembly of point solutions that have been amassed in the marketing technology stack. Marketers want to get going on connecting systems and busting silos to put the customer’s expectations above the drama being caused by fragmented tools that fail to deliver results for the business.”

Among the topline findings of the report:

  • Marketers believe they need systems that leverage real-time data to deliver relevant, contextual experiences, ranking this as the No. 1 requirement for customer experience success.
  • The second most critical requirement is an organization-wide single view of the customer to ensure uniform and consistent engagement.
  • 51 percent hope that with new technology and/or talent, a single view of the customer could be possible; 26 percent struggle to see a path forward, questioning whether a single view is realistic and attainable for the organization.

“The key to being able to deliver great customer experiences starts with having the Golden Record, which provides brands with a deep understanding of each customer by building a complete, single view of that customer,” says John Nash, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at RedPoint Global. “CMOs who prioritize capabilities that provide a single point of control over their data and engagement flows are able to deliver relevant and personalized customer experiences that drive higher revenue, coupled with lower interaction costs. These CMOs will be those who meet and exceed the business goals by which they are measured.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.