From political and social unrest sparking controversial ad campaigns to the complexities of GDPR, 2018 has been a wild ride for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs). With all that turmoil, marketing chiefs may very well be looking forward to what the New Year has to offer.
Forrester, a research firm yesterday presented a preview of what to expect, yesterday released its CMO predictions for 2019, its version of a crystal ball for brands looking to better connect with consumers.
The report explains that organizations are continuing to shift toward customer-centric practices and that 2019 will be the year CMOs prioritize strategies that harness their customers’ energy and then use that collective vivacity to reinvigorate their brand.
Keith Johnston, Forrester vice president, and research director serving CMOs, and co-author of the report, disclosed that with the ubiquity of digital technologies, there needs to more differentiation in the marketplace, and that starts with branding.
CMOs will capitalize on societal divisions to disrupt part of any marketer’s job is to cut through all the noise and clutter. Forrester believes this will involve CMOs “treating societal divisions as a mechanism to tap into their customers’ energy.”
Nike did just that with its Colin Kaepernick campaign as it exploited “short-term gains by animating a large enough segment of its customer base” to hopefully pave paths to new long-term growth.
Johnston said this approach can galvanize a company’s customers and internal employees, but not every organization can afford to do this.
“You need to be the right brand for sure, but [being] the right brand is contingent on who your consumer is,” said Johnston. “It’s not really about launching a campaign; it’s about setting an overture in the market and letting consumers respond to it. That’s when this stuff is most effective, and not all brands do that.”
Nike has a large enough consumer base to launch such a campaign without risk of total alienation and with speed.
Johnston said exploiting cultural, political, or societal tensions is about being opportunistic and fast, so the timing of press events or content creation is crucial.
Forrester predicts that 2019 is the year marketing “gets sexy again.”
The report claims that CMOs are the executives most responsible for customer experience, which has stagnated year after year. Forrester expects that, to combat this, companies will undergo brand transformations.