- Customers continue to have high expectations from brands
- With empathy, inclusivity, security, and convenience as core themes – some senior marketing roles will be tasked with embodying these into brands’ market practices
- CFA Institute’s CMO, Michael Collins mentions five key roles that will maximize brand success
Marketing leaders, it’s time to get ready for another exciting year filled with new trends, opportunities, and challenges! Last month I focused on predictions for the coming year. This month I want to focus on the marketing roles that will be highly instrumental in securing success for your brand.
As I’ve written before, marketing hinges on versatility—the ability to wear multiple hats and juggle multiple responsibilities. The most successful marketing leaders know how to move the needle while remaining flexible in an ever-evolving climate. Within the broader marketing world, there are key senior marketing roles that will become increasingly important in the year to come. Some are well-defined, others are roles I’d like to create. Here’s a closer look at my top five list:
1. Digital marketing director
In today’s digital-first world, someone well versed in digital marketing trends and industry movements is essential to brand success. The digital economy is embedded in every corner of our lives, and it’s not going anywhere. Interestingly, 93 percent of online activity starts with a search engine and ensures the continued effectiveness of SEO as a superior marketing strategy. While about 263 million American consumers make an online purchase—some 80 percent of the population, the number is projected to climb to 291.2 million by 2025.
A critical part of digital marketing is video marketing. Video content is a quick and effective way to communicate your message and is proving to have staying power beyond the early days of the pandemic. In fact, Cisco’s ‘Annual Internet Report’ reported that video content is predicted to amount to 82 percent of all internet traffic. Just make sure that your digital marketing specialist uses a variety of video formats that fit your brand, industry, and niche. Having a video content plan that complements and optimizes every step of the customer journey.
2. Data strategist
I maintain that personalization will remain one of the key ingredients to overall marketing success. The more personalized you can make the experience, the better. A marketing professional focused on maximizing data to personalize the customer journey will help brands create the customized experiences modern consumers expect and demand. This goes well beyond just addressing your customer by their name in emails. Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) will make data analysis more efficient and effective, allowing you to achieve hyper-personalized communication and deliver what customers are seeking. As we’ve seen in the past, data will continue to serve as the lifeblood of any marketing success, so make sure you have someone dedicated to maximizing it to its fullest potential.
Data strategists will be custodians of brands’ data governance and data privacy practices. They will also be the bridge between marketing, sales, the consumers, business intelligence, and last but not the least, brand reputation.
3. Content strategist
Creating relevant and consistent content is an invaluable part of brand success. High-quality content helps to build brand reputation and trust, attracting new customers while engaging existing ones. Excellent content output has also been linked to increased customer conversion, greater connection with brand ambassadors, and improved brand visibility. In fact, when it comes to finding information about brands, approximately 80 percent of them find it through their content.
Having a content strategist laser-focused on leveraging different types of content, from digital to social to video, will help ensure that your customers are reading, hearing, and seeing content that is truly reflective of your brand story and their experiences.
4. Customer experience director
Today’s marketers understand that the customer experience is a competitive differentiator and must focus on ensuring a positive customer experience across the entire journey. There’s no doubt that providing exceptional customer experiences is mission-critical to brand success. Whether it’s through social media, in-person interaction, or digital touchpoints, customers have high expectations for brand experiences. Being able to leverage the many channels customers use to engage with brands can significantly improve the overall user experience. This, coupled with user-generated content (UGC) can help brands foster more connectivity with their customers. Having a marketer focused on the overall customer experience and making needed adjustments to strengthen the brand-customer connection can play an essential role in building enduring relationships.
5. Chief empathy officer
While the role of Chief empathy officer may not officially exist in most companies, it should. Empathetic marketing is more than just being compassionate. It requires leading genuine conversations, being a unique problem-solver, and being willing to adapt based on customer feedback. Marketing with empathy helps brands create meaningful and authentic connections with their customers. How customers feel about your brand can have a significant impact on brand reputation and loyalty. In fact, according to ‘The Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report’, consumers surveyed said that a good reputation may get them to buy a product, but unless they trust the company behind the product they would soon stop buying it.
Having a senior marketing role designed for and dedicated to infusing empathy while keeping customers at the core of all marketing practices will help ensure that brands meet the full spectrum of customers’ needs. This requires a thorough examination of your brand’s interactions with consumers at every point of the buying journey to determine where more empathy is needed while proving to customers that they are front and center.
As 2022 begins, take a good look at your marketing team and make sure you have professionals who can execute against digital, content data, and customer experience strategies to maximize brand success. And ask yourselves, who can leverage relevant data and infuse empathy every step of the way? When you can accomplish all of those things, you know you’re in a prime position to bring your brand to new heights.
Michael Collins is CMO and Managing Director of CFA Institute.
He has led marketing teams in multimillion- and billion-dollar organizations, driving steady growth and profit through visionary marketing strategy and disciplined execution.
Michael’s worldwide team of 125 people aligns centralized global strategy with regional marketing execution.
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