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2019 predictions: Over 50% of CMOs will bring back brand as a priority

More than 50% of CMOs will bring brand back as their top priority, according to a Forrester 2019 predictions report. Currently companies have been focusing on customer experience and digital in responses to severe and constant external change. However, Forrester states that the “fading” connection among purpose, brand equity and brand promise around customer experience, puts the focus back on brand.

As such, in 2019, Forrester predicts that CMOs will move more budget and attention to remaking or revitalising the brand. It added that some marketers will take the added step of reaffirming and honing purpose as an internal engine to re-establish the connection among their firm’s purpose, brand, and experience. On the other hand, CMOs might return to basics as they build the foundation from which to deliver on the firm’s customer experience vision.

“But this could be a double-edged sword, as some CMOs could be perceived as retreating to their comfort zone of brand building and avoiding the hard task of driving and orchestrating strategic and operational change,” the report said.

Meanwhile, customer experience performance has remained constant for the third year in a row. According to a survey by Forrester, 89% of surveyed CX professionals state that the ROI of CX is not well established in their companies. The report also explained that the CX results show a “dangerous gap” in customers’ sense of emotional engagement and loyalty. Across Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™), only few businesses made “real gains”. Due to this, Forrester predicts that 20% of brands will give up on strategic CX initiatives and resort to price reduction for short-term gains.

Furthermore, Forrester predicts that 75% of B2C CMOs will be tempted to jump into the social fray, but 50% of those efforts will fail. This year Nike faced kerfuffle over selecting former National Football League player Colin Kaepernick to be the face of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. However, Forrester said that the brand understood the overriding sentiments of its customer base with its campaign. As such, in  2019, more brands will be tempted to jump into market-baiting, taking sides to score points.

But without analytics or instincts to get the timing and tone right, firms might misjudge the moment and mechanics to do this well and to make an impact, Forrester added in the report.

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