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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

Should the CMO Oversee the Whole Customer Experience?

Steve Olenski
Director of CMO Content & Strategy

The opening of the Executive Summary from the aptly-titled research report Should the Chief Marketing Officer Oversee the Whole Customer Experience? says it all: "The shift to digital marketing, electronic commerce, and social media and mobile interactions continues to bring a massive transformation to how brands and organizations engage prospects and customers." 

Authored by Natalie L. Petouhoff, Vice President and Principal Analyst for Constellation Research, the report examines the need for businesses to have a senior executive lead the end-to-end customer experience. However, as Petouhoff explains, the world has changed in a dramatically digital way and as such "changes in how customers communicate with each other and with companies, the need for a fundamental transformation of the CMO role is critical if the CMO is to lead the overall customer experience."

One of the CMOs Petouhoff interviewed for the report was Denny Post, CMO of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers who identified five key factors for the successful implementation and maintenance of customer experience.

1. Alignment at the top to drive priority focus

2. Metrics and methods to measure progress

3. Training tools and emphasis led by general managers who LOVE to coach

4. Celebrating and elevating great guest experiences

5. CMOs making the connection through to the guest

The Door Is Open Yet Not Many Walking In

According to Petouhoff CMOs now have the opportunity to step into orchestrating the whole customer experience across many different functional departments, but few are ready to take advantage. She says brands and CMOs need to eliminate any "breaks in coverage" if you will. 

"With customers able to talk to other customers so easily online, companies need to reconsider how to ensure end-to-end customer experiences don’t have any gaps in quality, where customers get less than satisfactory results."

As for those CMOs who are ready to take control and ownership of the customer experience, Petouhoff says these are the five things to watch out for. 

1. Jealously and politics among colleagues.

2. Lack of organizational readiness.

3. Lack of skill sets in functional departments.

4. The amount of change the organization has to go through.

5. CEOs and board members who do not understand the importance of customer experience.

Both Sides of the Marketing Aisle

Make no mistake about it, Customer Experience Management is a major pillar in many B2C and B2B organizations’ efforts to engage and retain customers. 

Download Should the Chief Marketing Officer Oversee the Whole Customer Experience? and see for yourself how marketing leaders can create a basic blueprint to embark on a discussion about customer experience and how best to lead this key strategic initiative in their organization. 

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