I talk to lots of marketing and customer experience (CX) professionals as part of my job. I keep hearing over and over about how both groups are struggling to secure buy-in, differentiate, and win over customers.

I also hear story after story of marketing and CX pros at odds with each other — they are working in opposite directions, ignoring each other, or squabbling over territory. Ironically, in the fracas, they missed a golden opportunity: Many of the skills that one group lacked, the other had in spades.

To help firms align their talent, determine a unified vision, and make moves that really matter to customers and the C-suite, we made a big call: The central theme for CX North America 2020 will be customer experience + marketing collaboration. That’s right, on June 16–18, we’ll gather more than 1,500 pros from both disciplines and demonstrate how to build better by building together.

I wanted to illustrate my thinking, so I sat down with a member of Forrester’s marketing team for a Q&A on the event:

Why did Forrester choose customer experience + marketing collaboration as the central theme for CX North America 2020?

There are two reasons we decided to go this route: First, the question of which department “owns” customer experience refuses to be put to rest, even in companies that have a dedicated CX team. Second, over the last few years, we’ve seen marketers pushing their customers away with crappy experiences and CX pros struggling to show how their efforts impact the bottom line. It seems to us like both sides have a lot to learn from each other.

Why is it important for CX and marketing pros to be together at one event?

The ever-present CX vs. marketing rivalry is getting in the way of the great work that companies could produce. When CX and marketing pros come together, they’ll see that they have much more in common than they think — and they’ll see how much they can learn from each other.

What do these groups gain from working closer together?

​Marketers will get even closer to their customers in ways that aren’t creepy; CX pros will make a demonstrable impact on financial results. But more importantly: They’ll be at the forefront of delivering fantastic experiences at every stage of the customer lifecycle, and that makes the whole firm successful.

Which topics are you most looking forward to seeing covered at CX North America?

The research we’re doing into the customer of the future is fascinating. I think a lot of people will be surprised by some of the things we’re finding in the data, and it may drastically change how some attendees think about their mid- and long-term plans. I’m looking forward to the meaningful measurement track, too. One thing that marketers and CX pros have in common is that they’re pretty good at measuring lots of stuff . . . whether it’s the right stuff at any given time is debatable.

What would you tell a marketer who is on the fence about attending?

​We’ve been told we have really good snacks at this event. Even better: You finally have one event to attend where you can meet all of Forrester’s marketing and CX analysts at once. This is the only event on Forrester’s roster where you’ll find advertising and martech topics mingling with journey mapping and customer research methodologies, so it’s a one-stop shop.

Register for CX North America, June 16–18, 2020 at the Hilton Midtown New York.