For next-gen CMOs, it is vital to comprehend how the customer decides more than their needs

As businesses work to reinvent their product, channel, and demand strategies amid quarantines, shutdowns, and shifting consumer needs, CMOs must be ready to deliver growth and resilience more than ever before. The next-generation CMOs will need to comprehend the nuances and power of the brand, the evolving competencies of technology, and the hyper-speed shifts in culture and consumer behaviour.

The role of the chief marketing officer (CMO) has endured a 360-degree transformation over the years. Once the leader of all things creative and brand, many of today’s CMOs are accountable for every aspect of the customer experience (CX), spanning technology, customer data and analytics, prevailing account growth, and, eventually, impact on the bottom line.

The next-generation CMOs will need to comprehend the nuances and power of the brand, the evolving competencies of technology, and the hyper-speed shifts in culture and consumer behavior.
During the 5th edition of The Economic Times Iconic Brands of India 2022, a CMO-focused panel discussion on “Laws of attracting Brand nomads – Turning prospects into customers”, the eminent panelist steered a brain-storming and deliberate discussion on how leading marketers set themselves apart from the competition by creatively utilizing digital technologies, data, and analytics to tailor the brand experience throughout all phases of the customer journey.

Pallab Roy, Partner, Customer and Operations, Business Consulting, KPMG opened the discussion with a view on the changing face of marketing in the new-normal world and how CMOs are driving this change, supported by new-age technology and the need to embrace the changing dynamics and accustomed to evolving consumer preference.

Lalatendu Panda, Chief Marketing Officer, Reliance Retail-Grocery said “It is important to understand the customers, the pain points, and the barriers. For the marketing team, the need is to understand what triggers customer adaption, and being focused will help you to get the edge and build that brand.”

As pricing strategy, product offering, communication approach, and several programs are subject to changes, it is important to keep up with them periodically, he added.

Supratik Sengupta- Head of Marketing-consumer health, Lupin said “Speaking about Gen Z, they are nomads, and their choices keep changing. Brand nomads exist and there is no certain way to attract them. The only way you can is by attaching a good cause to your brand. You need to know what the consumer needs to know when he/she wants to buy a product. We need to know how a consumer would navigate their way through a competitive market. A brand needs to know what the consumer decides more than what the consumer needs.”

Wilson Purty, Chief of Marketing – Branded Products, Tata Steel said “It is important that we create a shared destination with our customers. Like in B2C, there are segments, and every customer is a segment in B2B, also we are moving into micro-segments and each customer has a unique segment.

Vishal Subharwal, CMO, Head E-commerce & Digital Business, HDFC Life said “To create a brand identity and grow the brand, part of the process includes product innovation and the other part includes marketing. Staying true to the roots of the brand is important. While bearing in mind, customers always have 2 sets of brands, 1 is the traditional set and the other is the modern or the younger set of brands. In business performance, there are some elements such as the claim settlement ratio which are important. The process of short-circuiting a brand works very well.”

Somasree Bose Awasthi, Chief Marketing Officer, Godrej Consumer Products said “There is a lot of data that is available from various channels, so the need is to look and analyze this available data. It is also important to decide where the brand receives the maximum ROI. We make similar choices in terms of communication. We must ensure that communication is customised to the channels without losing consistency. Capitalise on what the channels offer and what your consumer needs in those channels, you can make your brand a premium brand and sell the finest variables.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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