CMOs Challenged to Innovate in Changing Digital Landscape

In today's rapidly changing business landscape, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) face a host of challenges, according to Suzanne Kounkel, the CMO of Deloitte.

According to the 2023 Global Marketing Trends report by Deloitte, CMOs are responding to the challenges of the modern workplace by focusing on four key strategies. First, instead of trimming spending in the face of economic instability, many brands are responding with an investment mindset to boost long-term organizational resilience. Kounkel tells the Wall Street Journal that CMOs need to prioritize accelerating the shift to new digital platforms and technologies, expanding into new markets, and implementing systems that deliver a more personalized customer experience.

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Next, the report says, brands should try to make an authentic impact by improving their own sustainability practices. This builds trust with both internal and external audiences, and from an ethical standpoint, Kounkel says that being environmentally conscious is a positive step. She adds that marketers should also maintain a sense of long-term perspective regarding internal sustainability efforts to unify the organization around the common goal of a shared, sustainable future.

Third, years of focus on analytical capabilities may have produced a creativity gap in C-suite leadership. But Kounkel adds that it has also created an opportunity for companies that can rise above the competition by leaning into innovation. CMOs may be uniquely poised to demonstrate the value of creative thinking by shaping how systems are designed, converting challenges into opportunities, and discovering untapped sources of creativity. The combination of individual and cross-functional collaboration, she says, can lead to the type of transformative change that drives growth.

Finally, with continued advances in Web3 technologies, such as the Metaverse and blockchain, brands may be feeling pressure to be first to adopt new back-end tools to create more immersive customer experiences. Kounkel says that CMOs who fail to set a strategy and experiment early may find themselves playing catch-up for years to come. Ultimately, industries will likely need to adopt localized approaches to these technologies and related marketing strategies that carefully prioritize customers' needs with existing resources.