SUMMARY: The elimination of the CMO position at dozens of high-profile brands, including Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Netflix, and Walmart is indicative of a problem with marketers. Too many marketers haven’t adopted the mindset change and a realization that the customers are in control — the customer is the marketing department.
Forrester stated “following the elimination of the CMO role at a number of large organizations this year, the remaining marketing chiefs will find themselves in a “desperate fight for survival,” in 2020, Forrester forecasts in a new report shared with Marketing Dive. The key to survival will be establishing control over the customer experience in order to provide value, per the report titled “Predictions 2020: CMO.”
Successful CMOs will no longer be exclusively focused on marketing but will be centrally responsible for “customer obsession” by expanding their control to also include customer experience, company values, brand innovation, and employee experience.
DTC and Private Label
More shoppers will buy from direct-to-consumer brands. Purchases are expected to grow in the next few years as Americans cut down on traditional retail in favor of DTC companies—especially in health, wellness, and beauty (35%). Diffusion’s annual Direct-to-Consumer Purchase Intent Index revealed consumers are still committed to buying from DTC brands, but maintaining their attention is more competitive than ever.
While DTC still represents only 9.4 percent of the retail economy. That’s out of a 5.3 trillion dollar pie. There are plenty of companies who want to get (or hang onto) their slice of that $498 billion.
Private label is causing disruption in CPG brands in a big way too. U.S. private label CPG sales jumped from 2.2% in 2015 to 5.8% in 2018, according to IRI. Private label sales grew in value four times faster year over year than national brands.
Reinforcing the need for differentiation, trust does not seem to be a constraint for private label. Over half of U.S. shoppers, Daymon research showed, visit a particular retailer specifically to buy its own brands—and 85% trust private brands as much as national brands.
IRI’s Q3 2019 “Consumer Connect” reported that 99.9% of shoppers buy store brands today, flowing into more than 124 million households throughout 2019. The research found that private label is particularly strong among younger shoppers and mid- to lower-income shoppers.
Brands aren’t reacting quick enough and that’s on the CMO
Too many brands continue with their vanilla marketing and act like throwing more money into digital is going to save their brands. This is myopic. They fail to understand that consumers are smarter when it comes to spending their money and feel good saving money while a lot of national brands have raised prices.
The biggest reason, however, for the failure of CMO’s is that they aren’t making the connection with consumers who are brand loyal and they’re not turning customers into brand advocates. Too much money on wasted advertising not enough on customer retention and customer service.
Finally, too many CMO’s are just too much into themselves. They need publicity to pad their resumes and act like they are king of the hill while their agencies give them false praise.
It’s about time they started being held accountable.