The marketing challenges CMOs face today stem from the fact that their strategies must be approached holistically. Marketing is no longer a silo: it’s deeply intertwined with product development, sales, data and tech, and company philosophy. It informs these areas and they inform it.
So with that in mind, what is the biggest challenge of marketing a luxury brand in 2020? How are companies and marketers responding to the new challenges of today?
More importantly, how are you responding?
Let’s take a look at some of the challenges and opportunities that exist for CMOs right now, and three of the major gaps that need to be bridged in 2020 to keep your brand relevant and thriving.
The gap between channels
Omnichannel marketing isn’t just an empty buzzword that will be gone as fast as it appeared. We’ve now reached a point where the majority of consumers (75%, according to research by SalesForce) not only desire but expect to be provided with a consistent experience and brand message across all touchpoints.
What’s more, encouraging customers to move seamlessly between channels is good for business. A study of 46,000 shoppers by Harvard Business Review found that the more channels customers use, the more money they spend and the more loyal they are.
This presents an obvious marketing challenge for CMOs: how to successfully make the shift from marketing on multiple channels to being truly omnichannel in their approach.
To be omnichannel requires that the customer is fully at the center of the marketing strategy. It requires that marketing messages aren’t only consistently on point with the brand, but also tailored to each specific customer as they move throughout their sales journey.
For CMOs to bridge the channel gap, the first step is gaining a more complete understanding of how your customers move between channels and, from there, testing and measuring to find out how you can direct that movement for maximum value.
The HBR study above, for example, found that omnichannel shoppers who did research online first spent an average of 13% more in store later – so driving customers between physical and digital should go both ways.
Similarly, meeting your customers where they are is important – do you have apps, in-store tech, social shopping? – but so is delivering channel-specific content and personally customized marketing messages.
Nordstrom presents a great example of successful omnichannel marketing. Digitally, clients can create wishlists, make purchases, access personalized content and more – while in-store they can pick up orders, access styling services, and attend special events. Importantly, customers are driven between channels seamlessly throughout their purchasing journey, and marketing messages adapt to the customer based on their interactions.
That’s the kind of outcome all CMOs should be aiming for in 2020.
The gap between brand values and customer values
How clearly defined are your company’s values? And how well do they align with the values of your target audience
These two questions are central to another of the marketing challenges faced by CMOs in 2020: how to bridge the gap that exists between your brand values, your audience’s values, and your marketing messages.
Why is this important?
An alignment of values strengthens the emotional connection between the customer and your brand. And that emotional connection will foster brand loyalty and, ultimately, drive sales.
What’s needed here is to gain a deeper understanding of your customer. What are their passions? What do they care about?
You can dig deeper into your customer profile and gain this understanding through better brand positioning analysis. The more insights you have about the communities of consumers engaged with your brand – including who and what is influencing them and what other brands they align themselves with – the better you’ll be able to identify and promote your shared values.
This is also a powerful way to turn followers into customers.
One thing to note is that incorporating your values must be done in an authentic and sincere way, otherwise you risk facing a backlash from your audience.
Take Tiffany & Co. as an example of a brand that has strong values, reaches a customer base that shares those values, and implements a marketing strategy that strengthens the connection between the two. Their focus on sustainability and responsible sourcing not only appeals to their audience, it’s reflected across their content and marketing materials.
The gap between data and strategy
Beyond a doubt, we’re living in a data-driven world. For CMOs of today, this presents marketing strategy challenges as well as opportunities.
While data exists in abundance thanks to digitization, too often we see a gap between the data a brand has access to and the strategic decisions they make. To put it another way: if you’re not turning data into insights, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity for growth.
How to bridge the gap? On top of collecting the right data, you need the tools to interpret that data and transform it into meaningful insights that can inform your marketing strategy.
Secondly, you need to make sure your whole marketing team is on board with your strategy and is equipped with what they need to support you in executing it.
That means giving every team member access to the right data and insights as well so that they’re empowered to create a better experience for your customers.
As CMO you may set the example and lead the pack, but ultimately things will work better if you work together. Data is crucial – but what’s even more crucial is how you use it.
Work to bridge these three gaps, and you’ll be well ahead on your marketing strategy in 2020.