Customer-centric view to define future CMOs: Forrester

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Forrester Research data released this month shows that just over one in 10 companies value data-driven customer intelligence at the C-level. However, analyst Dave Frankland, the report's author, expects that to improve.

Forrester found in its October 16 study, The Intelligent Approach to Customer Intelligence, that 12% of company executives embrace customer intelligence, defined as "the management and analysis of customer data from all sources, used to drive marketing performance and business strategy." 

In the study, the result of interviews over the past year with customer intelligence professionals, including a survey of 301 during the year's second quarter, Frankland noted marketing departments are likely to become "customer advocate[s]" as they try to reach savvier, advertising-skeptical consumers while demonstrating bottom-line results.

"In many organizations, the database was built solely to send direct mail," Frankland said. "Now, many companies are waking up to the fact that this isn't a contact opportunity, it's a knowledge opportunity." 

It's likely that CMOs will lead this charge toward more accountable marketing, he added.

"The traditional archetype of CMO is focused on the brand, and though that will never go away, I think the focus on the customer hasn't always been there as much as it should," Frankland said. "There is the opportunity for the CMO to become the change agent.”

"When we discuss this with direct marketers, we tell them this is an opportunity for them to enhance their role in the organization," he added.

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