CMO, Jennifer Lacks Kaplan


The future of marketing: Thoughts from Jennifer Lacks Kaplan

Deloitte Consulting LLP principal Jennifer Lacks Kaplan discusses how the CMO position has evolved and how marketers can be equipped for success.

How has the role of the CMO changed?
The actual job that CMOs have to do—establish a clear marketing vision, stimulate demand, define customer experience, and build relationships with the brand—has not fundamentally changed. However, what has changed is the importance of the CMO at the epicenter of the business. Now more than ever, the CMO has to work alongside other key members of the organization such as human resources, finance, and technology to get the job done. CMOs also have to establish new capabilities and associated roles, particularly in the newer fields of marketing technology and analytics. Finally, CMOs of tomorrow must focus on innovation. They will be expected to tap into the ecosystem of innovation and determine which business partners to bring in, and where to use them for competitive advantage.

What is the most important thing an aspiring CMO needs to do?
Have a clear vision for the role of marketing in the organization, how the marketing function will be structured, and how it fits in with the rest of the business. The CMO should focus on the key capabilities needed to execute on their vision by working within marketing and cross-functionally.

What is the future of marketing?
In the past few years, marketing has experienced some profound shifts, led by technology, digital, and global changes in populations. The pace of acceleration and change is going to continue faster and faster. The future of marketing will be a digital-first world with the consumer at the center. Marketers will have to embrace personalization tools, data, analytics, and other technologies—not as end solutions, but as enablers. This is critical. Additionally, consumers will continue to have more and more power and increased expectations around their personal connections with companies’ brands. Marketers will have to move from creating differentiated products and services to differentiated experiences—not only during the purchase, but also during the course of the relationship with consumers.

Published on February 15, 2016.

Jennifer Lacks Kaplan
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