Following the release of the CMO Barometer report, UNLIMITED brought together a star-studded panel to discuss what will be key differentiators for businesses in 2023, how agency relationships will continue to evolve and the importance of creativity.
More than 450 CMOs across eight European countries were interviewed about their key priorities as we head into 2023.
Whilst the term ‘digital’ is quite ubiquitous and has been thrown around pretty nonchalantly for a number of years, many businesses are still finding difficulty in understanding how to prioritise their efforts.
Most modern customers – whether consumers or businesses – are digital natives. In order to succeed in a digital world, your team’s ability to unearth creative solutions is vital as the demand for online attention only increases.
Hosted by TMW’s very own Chris Mellish, the panel featured insights from:
- Tony Miller, CMO / VP of Growth & Performance Marketing at WW (formerly Weight Watchers)
- Natalie Sylvester, Head of Marketing Communications and Base Engagement at Vodafone
- Jeremy Hipkiss, Group Customer and Change Director at Barratt Developments
PRIORITY: Continued understanding of target audience and individual channel value
Given the current economic climate, many marketing teams might be expecting a budget cut in the new year. This makes applying the right performance analytics to effectively understand where your customer acquisition is taking place even more crucial.
“We use MTA (multi touch attribution) models to really get under the skin of what is that right mix for us,” said Tony Miller.
“Budgets can change from month to month or quarter to quarter in terms of how much we have available to us to spend and we’re constantly having to rebalance channel attribution and performance accordingly.”
By taking into account an entire user journey, including user-level data and cookies, Miller said his team is better positioned to measure the cross-channel impact of advertising.
WW takes data analysis a step further by using multi touch attribution (MTA) models to better quantify its customer lifetime value and acquisition costs in order to optimise its overall spend.
“If we were to see a cut in budgets for whatever reason, having that clear understanding of what are the best channels to cut is invaluable so we can bring the right audiences in that will ultimately stay with us the longest,” Miller concluded.
Over at Vodafone, self-serve is viewed as a highly cost-efficient way of gaining data on customers and ensuring a clean user experience.
With the numerous potential avenues for cross-selling and upselling, the telecommunications giant has to balance their end objective with not being too demanding and risk harming its reputation or losing a customer.
Natalie Sylvester explained: “It’s one of our main focuses at the moment to see how can we improve that journey more. I think the biggest challenge that we probably face certainly with our base of customers is that we have a lot of older customers.”
“For us, understanding what channels are best to encourage that older audience on why digital is the best format to engage with us is pivotal to success. Making that journey as simple as possible after that is just as important.”
PRIORITY: The creative conundrum
The CMO Barometer report supports the agenda around the importance of creativity in order to see considerable success with 92% of those interviewed highlighting creativity as ‘essential’.
Despite this, only 40% of CMOs reported creativity was felt to be a lever for delivering our ROI so building a case for creative-first campaigns can be difficult.
“We need to continually understand all digital channels, how people respond to the content within them and evolve with this in mind,” said Jeremy Hipkiss.
“To give an example from our own creative perspective, the most important factor is that someone is interested in buying a home. So the quality of that imagery and how emotionally people are going to respond to one image versus another image can be the difference between a successful campaign and a disappointing one.”
Insight into the impact of different outputs allows businesses to optimise their processes and enable more precise use of creativity, ultimately leading to a better ROI.
Creativity often requires a willingness to make mistakes and be wrong however it’s in every organisation’s best interests to keep any failures to a minimum.
Miller believes if a business has a culture around creativity and the right tools in place to be able to measure success, creativity can be a game changer in establishing that emotional connection with consumers.
“I think creativity and emotional storytelling is so important for any brand these days as consumers are so savvy now. They’re really scrutinising what brands and partners they want to connect with and stay loyal to and looking way beyond just the functionality of the product that you’re serving or the service that you’re offering,” commented Miller.
“Creativity is what is going to unlock that emotional connection. People’s ideas will change continuously but investing in creative outputs, the right imagery and messaging allow you to learn more about both your business and potential customers.”
To learn more about the study and see the facts and figures behind the report as well as what brands should be taking stock of in 2023 and beyond, click here.