As unbelievable as it sounds after the past decade, this year, CMOs are facing more change than ever. The following three trends will have the most impact on the success for CMOs for the next five years:
- Customer experience (CX): The CMO role is shifting to include broader responsibility for customer experience. That means CMOs and marketers must find ways to connect customer touch points across not only channels in marketing but also functions in the enterprise. This presents several challenges because in many cases, especially in B2B and B2C considered purchase models, the CMO may not be the CX lead and or even have a formal companywide role in CX. Artificial intelligence (AI) will be an essential tool as will connected infrastructure, common data models, and a community of data stewardship.
- Artificial intelligence: New technologies incorporating AI are already redefining jobs and the practice of marketing. IDC predicts that some jobs in both marketing and sales will disappear while others will change significantly as highly manual, repetitive tasks are automated by increasingly capable AI solutions. CMOs will have to make skills development a major component of team culture in terms of both higher value-add capabilities within roles and broader competencies across roles by way of cross-training.
- Buyer-side technologies and changing norms: Meanwhile, AI, bots, conversational interfaces, and a global awakening about privacy and consent are radically changing buying behavior. The days of marketing practices based on persistent opt-in and free-ranging data collection have come to an end. Consumers are painfully aware and sensitive to brand “ownership” of their data. They are likely to have access to services and technology that will give them even more control over how marketers collect and use their data. This increased buyer power will require marketers to evolve from messaging to mentorship, from data exploitation to data stewardship, and to master the radical changes required to build creative for bots (hint: it’s data as a service).
These trends translate into the 10 predictions that will drive the evolution of the CMO role, the marketing organization, and the very nature of customer relationships:
- Prediction 1: Buyer bots. By 2022, consumers will use AI-powered bots to programmatically control 12% of online purchases, leading to increased brand loyalty and market share for brands with the best bot marketing.
- Prediction 2: GDPR backlash. By 2021, consumer backlash against the hassle of managing consent on a brand-to-brand basis will give rise to dozens of consent management platforms that will disrupt the digital ad duopoly.
- Prediction 3: AI-driven CX. In reaction to growth in the number of customer channels, by 2020, 15% of companies will use AI to provide a consistent and differentiated customer experience across channels and the customer journey.
- Prediction 4: Influencer marketing. Driven by an erosion of trust in business voices and social platforms, regulations and customer preferences will have forced CMOs by 2021 to increase their investments in influencer marketing by 200%.
- Prediction 5: CX role changes. Driven by the importance of communication and choice architecture, by 2019, the number of tech-centric CMOs with a formal role in companywide customer experience leadership will have doubled to 12%.
- Prediction 6: Pervasive privacy. By 2020, 35 U.S. states and 5 non-European countries will have passed GDPR-like laws, making privacy a global requirement and driving growth in outsourced privacy risk and third-party data services.
- Prediction 7: Marketing and blockchain. By 2023, more than 35% of all video advertising sales worldwide will be based on blockchain technology to combat fraud and arbitrage.
- Prediction 8: Devolution of sales. By 2023, 50% of inside sales, telesales, and telemarketing jobs will have been displaced by artificial intelligence.
- Prediction 9: Inside AI jobs. AI adoption and the automation of mid-level marketing tasks will have shifted 20% of marketing jobs by 2022 from traditional marketing to more creative roles, such as content creation and strategy.
- Prediction 10: The voice of content. By 2023, half of all marketing interactions will be via voice-based assistants, thus initiating the transformation of advertising into sought-after content.
This IDC study provides IDC’s top 10 predictions for CMOs and their organizations for 2019.
As CMOs face another tsunami of change, they have more tools, talent, and insight available to them than ever. Success will hinge on their ability to change the tenor of marketing and educate themselves and other functions about how each role, each team, and each department can enhance the ability of every other to continuously improve customer experience.
For context around these predictions, including the IT impact and guidance on how to integrate each prediction in the digital strategy of the enterprise, view the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CMO 2019 Predictions web conference on-demand.