C should stand for customer: not just CEO, CMO and CFO

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 27 November 2014
A previous ADMA panel

Chief customer officer roles are gaining popularity as the emphasis within marketing shifts, but whether your role includes the word or not, all senior bosses in an organisation should be more focussed on the customer, not just marketers.

Nick Baker, outgoing Tourism Australia chief marketing officer, told the audience at the ADMA Engage conference in Sydney this week that if your title has a C in front of it, – whether you are CEO, CFO or CMO – and regardless of whether that C stands for customer or not, your role should be customer-focussed.

He also said that adding value to the customer journey is getting more and more difficult and that marketing has never required more skills.

“The job of the CMO is one that is a real advocate for the customer. Customer-centricity inside the organisation starts with the CMO; everything has to be brought back to that. Understanding the customer journey requires all different skills and all different layers within an organisation, it can’t just come from the CMO or the CCO – it has to come all the way through,” Baker said.

“With technology now enabling [the customer journey] and with data as a fuel to find out where those things are, it’s a really exciting phase that we’re going through now, and we need all those different skills.”

The CMO’s relationship with the CTO is key to that, he added, urging marketers to “go out and meet a geek” to make sure that marketing is the “interface between technology, creative and with the customer”.

Baker was joined on the panel by Stephen Nugent, chief customer officer for HCF, Paul Sainsbury, chief customer officer for AMP, and Brian Vella, marketing director for DT, with the topic of the panel centering around where the role of the customer experience sits within an organisation.

“The observation is that it’s often reflected by the maturity of the organisation – the bigger the business and the more it’s been around. Where, if [a business] were born in the last five years, I think it was 2011 that Forrester Research called it the
age of the customer, then the leaders of those organisations are thinking about nothing but the customer,” said Vella.

With the roles of marketing being so focused around data, Sainsbury warned that while data is king, businesses still need to marry data with real customer insights.

“The world is moving incredibly fast now. But it’s not just about data, it’s what you do with it and it’s about how you marry the data from customers with what’s actually important to them. If you can marry those two things up, you’ve got a recipe for success,” he said.

The story originally appeared in the 28 November issue of AdNews Magazine. You can subscribe to the print mag here or get it on iPad here.

For more news see below:

Pernod Ricard on why and how it’s taking creativity in-house
Content marketing: Most Australian marketers are ‘winging it’
Australian marketers on right data track but still barriers

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at sarahhomewood@yaffa.com.au

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