Marketers' Roles Expanding to Bridge CX Disconnect: Report

Around 83% of C-suite leaders prioritise marketing and view it as a critical business driver to orchestrate CX strategies. B2B marketers predicted CLV to become an essential KPI, surging 21 percentage points to usurp even revenue as top KPI. The report sheds light on the complexities and the changing mindsets.

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  • As consumers increasingly seek hyper-personalised experiences, mastering data and analytics is becoming essential for an effective marketing strategy. However, a significant shift in marketing metrics and KPIs is adding complexity for global marketers. The key question is: are they prepared to to convey their brand story to the right audiences without a CX disconnect?

    Recently, The Australian Marketing Institute (AMI), Qualtrics, and Tumbleturn surveyed 105 global marketers responsible for $3bn-plus of budgets in an emergent three-speed marketing economy, upending KPIs and priorities for the FY25 and beyond.   

    How are marketers segmenting their budgets for FY25? 

    The survey revealed a three-ways even split between brands who were holding (34%), increasing (31%) or decreasing (34%) their marketing budgets. 

    Some companies see an opportunity to move on competitive retreats by lifting marketing investment in a tightening consumer economy. An elite set of marketers, i.e. 5% of the total, believed that budgets for the coming 12 months are up 20% or more. 

    For instance, more than 40% of companies in the telco, retail, QSR, and wholesale industries are ramping up their marketing budget by up to 20% for FY25. However, there was a surprise decline in the travel sector, where almost half (43%) of companies are likewise looking to decrease expenditures. 

    All these changes in the investment around the marketing budget were due to the transformed mindsets of C-suite leaders across industries. AMI’s Bronwyn Heys, Tumbleturn’s Jen Davidson, Qualtrics’ Ivana Sekanic, and Akcelo’s Aden Hepburn highlighted the implications of the survey. 

    How are C-suite leaders’ mindsets shifting and the order of KPI changing?

    The report revealed that 83% of C-suite leaders prioritise marketing and view it as a critical business driver. Supporting the results, Ivana Sekanic, Head of Customer Experience Solution Strategy at Qualtrics, said,  “We went through a wave of having a traditional chief customer role occurring in the organisations who were custodians of customer experience. But I think more and more – as the report is pointing to – the marketing function has a really big role to play in how customer experience is being delivered, their roles are expanding.”

    The survey also suggested a wholesale swing to customer and customer lifetime value (CLV) accountability across the market, ushering in a change of KPI world order and accelerating marketers’ remit to either own customer experience or partner more closely with those that do. 

    B2B marketers predicted CLV to become an essential KPI, surging 21 percentage points to usurp even revenue as the top KPI. B2C marketers also forecasted CLV to climb 20 points, but it remains behind brand equity and revenue KPIs in consumer marketing by some margin. According to Australian Marketing Institute’s CEO, Bronwyn Heys, Brand equity is very much a foundational piece in terms of predicting the future success of the brand. 

    Qualtrics’ Ivana Sekanic thinks brand equity’s upward KPI trajectory suggests a much closer link between brand promise and customer experience – and measuring it, regardless of who ‘owns’ the customer.

    Also Read: Consistency is Key to Building Customer Trust

    What are the complexities that lead to CX disconnect? 

    One of the major reasons that continue to remain a hurdle for brands in creating a result-driven marketing strategy is achieving personalisation at scale. According to Benchmark report, 42% of companies expressed doubts about the effectiveness of their CX strategies being well orchestrated or personalised. 

    According to Akcelo’s Aden Hepburn, personalisation remains under-served, because too many brands are failing to map out what can and should be done.Explaining the true meaning of personalisation and challenges associated in achieving it, Aden Hepburn, added, “Saying ‘happy birthday’ or ‘welcome back’, isn’t true personalisation. Customers genuinely expect you to know more about them and as you build your experiences, you’re collecting really meaningful data. There is an expectation of the end consumer, or the end customer, to have a brand leverage that data and help make their experience better across the board – and not everyone’s truly doing that.”

    Which approaches are brands using to achieve personalisation at scale?

    Moving ahead, Hepburn explained how McDonald’s is leveraging customer data to keep the CX wheels turning with tailored offerings. According to Hepburn, McDonald’s is one brand that is getting closer to the grail of genuine personalisation at scale and in turn continuously greasing its CX data grill.

    Hepburn, added, “When we look at the whole McDonald’s restaurant experience, we’re thinking about everything from the mobile ordering app and it remembering your favourite order to going through the drive-thru and that welcoming you back and allowing you to log in to the loyalty program so you can redeem points for products, through to being in a known state in the actual kiosk experience. That means you are able to collect or redeem at that point [of sale] – which is very atypical to what brands and retailers can typically do.” 

    “McDonald’s has spent a lot of money investing in their tech stack and they’re now really starting to see the benefits of how you can design incredible customer experience across all of those touch points where they’re all connected,” he added. 

    Qualtrics’ Sekanic underlined that personalisation at scale does not mean thinking about customers at an individual level. She used another global burger chain, Shake Shack, with circa 500 locations globally, as an example.

    “Through better consumer listening and really tailoring their message and their research, and stacking the three together, they’ve identified ways in which they can personalise taste for different customers at a regional level,” Sekanic added. 

    “So they’ve got consumers they know that like to be told that it’s 100% Angus beef, for example. In other regions, consumers want to know that they don’t use any antibiotics. That is an example of personalisation at a very large scale that appeals to that particular consumer set,” she concluded. 


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