As champions of the customer, CMOs are pulled in all sorts of directions. Knowing that they can’t go it alone, we asked what areas they foresee needing the most external help with in 2024. We provided a list of 30 items in Forrester’s Q4 2023 B2C Marketing CMO Pulse Survey, from which 171 US marketing executive respondents selected the most relevant ones. The top five most commonly selected were:
1. Generative (And Predictive) AI
No surprise here. If 2023 was the year of generative AI exploration, 2024 will be the year of generative AI experimentation with an eye toward eventual integration. CMOs will increasingly see generative AI show up as features in vendor tools and in the capabilities of their agency partners. But being in the passenger’s seat of this transformative tech isn’t enough to unleash its creative potential. CMOs are expected to lead. Read: Leap Now, Not Later, Into A Responsible Generative AI Strategy For Marketing (client access only).
2. Aligning Marketing/Brand Strategy With Employee Experience
Eighteen months ago, a focus on employer branding emerged as one of the top CMO priorities. And now? They want help to connect employee experience (EX) to brand experience (BX) and customer experience (CX). This is an opportunity for CMOs to stave off Forrester’s prediction that an “EX winter” will freeze EX investments in 2024 — requiring them to collaborate with their HR counterparts to improve EX outcomes. Read: Employer Branding Is Marketing’s New Frontier
3. Customer Acquisition Strategies
While driving profitable growth is a staple of the CMO’s remit, 2024 portends a challenge to protect long-term value amid a backdrop of a more divided and activist consumer base. But CMOs who only rely on branding and promotion are at a disadvantage. A focus on foundational growth frameworks and other marketing activities such as customer experience and product development will be key to growing and retaining customers. Read: Always Be Acquiring: Remove Acquisition Blockers For Brand Growth
4. Marketing Personalization
CMOs have been chasing the holy grail of personalization for years. Thanks to generative AI, we’re one step closer to the promise of dynamically relevant and individualized brand experiences. But there’s still a ways to go. Data privacy issues, disjointed marketing moments, and siloed technologies are just a few of the roadblocks that CMOs need help to overcome — let alone to even know where to start. Read: Align Your Consumer Personalization Strategy To The Customer Lifecycle With Forrester’s Scenario Quick Start Cards and Attend: CX North America 2024
5. The CMO Role — “The Future Of” & Best Practices
Truth be told, the modern CMO role is ambiguous. With constant change in the marketing, media, and tech landscape, it’s nearly impossible for CMOs to keep up with what the job demands. And let’s add the inherent misalignment between the CEO and CMO around customer obsession to the list of stressors. The good news? CMOs who show up as strategic business leaders don’t just drive results but are viable CEO successors. Read: Untuck The CMO (if you’re not a Forrester client, listen to our podcast on this topic).
Each of these areas (in addition to others from our survey and Forrester client feedback) informed our 2024 Forrester Decisions for B2C Marketing Executives service content and solutions plan. We’ve got lots of great stuff in store for the new year, including our annual CX North America event.
Forrester clients: Let’s chat more about this via a Forrester guidance session.