As a chief marketing officer (CMO), you have a lot on your plate. The number of things you need to do right is increasing while the number of resources and time available to do them is decreasing.
Today, you’re concerned with more than managing the marketing effort. You’re expected to be the first defender of your company’s brand.
For that reason, you’ll have to focus on strengthening your brand in 2023 (and beyond). If you don’t, staying relevant in a shifting, competitive market will become increasingly difficult.
In this article, we look at the importance of brand building and why CMOs need to make it their priority in the coming years.
Consumer Expectations Have Changed
As consumers, we’ve become more demanding. We expect brands to be transparent and accountable for their actions. We want them to be authentic; we want them to engage with us on a personal level.
A recent study by McKinsey found that 71% of consumers feel conversing with a brand is as important as interacting with people. In that respect, people have never been closer to brands.
We no longer view brands as unreachable entities that exist in another dimension – we’re right there with them.
What’s more, change doesn’t intimidate us like it used to — it’s exciting! And because change is so easy now (thanks to technology), we’re constantly looking for new ways in which brands can meet our evolving needs and desires.
As a CMO, you’ll need to get used to this new wave of customers demanding more authenticity, transparency, and personalization from your brand.
Consumers Are No Longer Loyal to Their Favorite Brands
Unfortunately, loyalty is no longer a goal in itself. Instead, consumers are looking for experiences that are unique and personalized for them.
They want to be surprised and delighted by the brands they choose to support. They expect to be part of the story.
They want to be able to visualize themselves using your products or services. If they can’t, they’ll look elsewhere. Indeed, in a competitive landscape, brand loyalty is no longer a consumer’s priority.
You must revisit your brand’s narrative and focus on making the consumers the hero of the story.
The Shift From Products to Experiences
As the product-to-experience shift continues to change the way brands sell, you must ensure that every aspect of your company feels like an experience.
From co-branding with other companies and influencers to improving internal culture and employee satisfaction, it’s no longer enough to have a good product. Your brand must also provide a great experience.
As a CMO, you must ensure that your company delivers a holistic experience. But it doesn’t start and end with your customers. Think about how your work affects investors, stakeholders, and employees.
The most successful CMOs will be able to think across all these areas. They’ll have to use their data-driven insights to ensure that their companies provide an excellent experience throughout the company’s structure.
Ready or Not, Disruptive Market Entrants Are Coming
Long gone are the days of in-the-dark consumers. Today, consumers are smart, informed, and demanding. They will not hesitate to turn and run from your brand if you can’t meet their expectations. And that means they will not hesitate to choose a market entrant over you.
To succeed in 2023, you must be more strategic than ever. You’ll have to find ways to outwit disruptors, meet customer expectations, and build a connection with your audience.
And while it looks like a total nightmare at first glance, you should view it as an opportunity to reinvent your strategy. It’s the perfect moment for you to use your marketing expertise and creativity.
It’s time to realign with your brand’s mission, purpose, and values. It’s an opportunity to simplify your message and reevaluate your target personas.
If Content is King, Branding is the Whole Deck of Cards
In the past, your main job as a CMO was creating and implementing marketing strategies to help your company achieve its goals. But in an era when brands are becoming more powerful, you must become a branding expert.
You need to understand how your company’s story fits into the larger narrative that consumers are creating for themselves. Learn how to use the power of storytelling to build a brand that can stand the test of time.
Brands are no longer just logos, slogans, or jingles that companies use to sell their products. They’re stories that consumers tell themselves about those products.
If you want to build a strong brand, you need to craft a story that resonates with your audience and motivates them to buy into it.
How Can Chief Marketing Officers Prepare?
And you must be ready to invest in the future.
When you begin to look at your brand through this lens, you’ll realize that you have a lot of work ahead of you—and that it will take time, energy, and money.
But by taking these steps now, you can ensure that your company keeps up with changing consumer behavior in 2023 and beyond.
Brands are at the forefront of marketing strategies. They provide a way for companies to express their values and connect with consumers in a way that products can’t.
CMOs must adapt as consumer expectations continue to evolve and new technology emerges. The good news is that there’s still plenty of time for CMOs who want to get ahead of these changes. All they need is to stay focused on what matters. And that’s to build loyalty through strategic branding and engaging experiences.