Trends For The B2C CMo To Watch in 2013


Trends For The B2C CMo To Watch in 2013

For CMo & Marketing Leadership proFessionaLs

Why Read This RepoRT

Trends For The B2C CMo To Watch in 2013

embrace digital innovation to deliver Compelling Brand experiences

by Corinne Munchbach

with Luca s. paderni, tracy stokes, david M. Cooperstein, and alex hayes

2013 will be a unique year for CMOs of consumer-focused companies. They will have to drive their

brands to deliver cohesive brand experiences that use digital to augment and extend their engagement

with consumers in other channels and media. Most importantly, CMOs will have to overcome the current

divide between digital marketing and brand marketing to successfully develop and implement compelling

brand experiences. 2013 will also be the year CMOs will have to master investments in marketing

technology and marketing innovation as well as merge content marketing with social marketing to

maximize the benefit of both.

CMos’ Challenge FoR 2013: innovaTing FoR a posT-digiTal eRa


Forrester Research, Inc., 60 Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge, MA, 02140 USA

Tel: +1 617.613.6000 • Fax: +1 617.613.5000 •

January 9, 2013

In a recent Forbes blog post, Forrester made the point that new eras are ushered in as a hybrid of the

old and the new and that “we are entering a world where digital innovation is merging with traditional

marketing fundamentals to create new approaches, new brand leaders, and new models for success.” 1

In 2013, CMOs at consumer-focused organizations must adapt to a post-digital era, in which they use

the richness of digital tools at their disposal to drive innovation around brand experience — even in

nondigital outputs.

Forrester identified the top three trends that CMOs must be prepared for in 2013. Each requires

stronger leadership as an officer of the business to propel innovation forward and build up a sustainable

competitive advantage with a richer brand experience. In the next 12 months, CMOs will 1) embrace

digital disruption; 2) place greater emphasis on brand and consumer experience as a competitive asset;

and 3) use social principles to develop and deliver content marketing.

all Marketing and all experiences are inherently digital

Since 2010, marketers have invested heavily in digital platforms: New devices, channels, and media have

augmented the traditional marketing toolbox. In 2013, we expect interactive marketing budgets to grow

to 20% of all marketing and account for nearly $50 billion in investments. 2 But what is different about

2013 and beyond is that digital marketing will lose the “digital” prefix and become an integrated part of

marketing; all marketing activities and programs will be inherently digital because:

■ Digital disruption’s momentum will continue to grow. The power of digital disruption is that it

moves faster with more power at less cost than any force before it, tearing down boundaries to meet

consumers’ needs more fully than we could have ever imagined five years ago. Healthcare providers

are challenged by the Jawbone UP and FitBit personal tracking devices; media companies are

For CMo & Marketing Leadership proFessionaLs

trends For the B2C CMo to Watch in 2013 2

threatened by Hulu and YouTube; and financial services firms worry about alternative payment

and banking platforms, like Square and Simple. Disruptors will challenge every business if

CMOs don’t focus on expanding the utility and value of the experience that their brands deliver.

Organizations that harness the power of digitally empowered consumers, innovate the adjacent

possible, and embrace digital to extend the benefits of the product or service will be well

positioned for success in 2013. 3

What it means: CMOs must work across departments and with executive peers to assess their

digital readiness and identify areas where any element of the brand experience — messages,

actions, and products — can be improved with digital to give consumers more of what they

want and need. Use surplus budget at the end of the fiscal year, or tie funding for new projects to

positive business results to ensure real funding commitments to innovation projects. 4 And make

innovation a business priority, including stakeholders beyond marketing and outside the firm in

the process.

■ Digital must underlie all aspects of the brand experience, not just media decisions. Digital

disruption doesn’t just affect marketing but draws in the entire business. Senior marketers need

to stop thinking just about digital media buying and instead focus on how digital can deliver

the brand experience in a more relevant and richer way. In an interview, Leontyne Green Sykes,

CMO of Ikea Systems US, noted, “The ability to work cross-functionally is extremely important.

One of the reasons we have been successful is that we are partnering with other parts of the

business. The ability to influence someone, less with marketing speak but in terms of how we are

contributing to the business, is a critical skill.” 5

What it means: CMOs should move marketing budgets out of channel silos and into new

cross-platform teams organized around consumer segments, with experts on the relevant

media, channels, and devices for that particular segment. Maintain a shared center of excellence

for broader campaigns to help achieve scale for overlapping initiatives, and establish a

multifunctional group from marketing, research and development, IT, and operations to track

how digital elevates their parts of the business to improve the brand experience.

only Brand experiences drive sustainable differentiation in The age of The Consumer

If the enthusiasm about Forrester’s latest book, Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the

Center of Your Business, was any indication, 2012 shined a light on the importance of experience as

a competitive differentiator. 6 And in 2013, we expect that spotlight to grow even brighter. As one of

the authors put it, “Marketers are now creating relevant experiences to organically align brands with

consumers” — what he calls “branding in the cracks: the art of telling the brand story not as a linear

narrative but as an environmental thread that weaves through the consumer experience.” 7 To build

lasting differentiation for their brands, we predict that in 2013, marketers will:

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■ Place a greater emphasis on how to deliver visible value to consumers. In 2013, brands that

are able to deliver incremental and visible value will earn the loyalty of their target consumers. 8

Brands that consistently deliver visible value to customers outperform their competitors,

like USAA that is the leading bank, credit card provider, and insurance provider according

to Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CXi). 9 CMOs must select and prioritize with

their teams what the visible value is and at what relevant touchpoint it’s worth activating to

consistently deliver against the brand promise and generate lasting preference.

What it means: Every brand must have a North Star to guide everything the organization

does, ensuring consistency while being aspirational to keep the brand and all employees

moving forward. As the voice of the consumer and the brand steward, the CMO has to lead

the organization, embracing the North Star as a guide. Follow the lead of Mercedes-Benz USA,

which seeks to bring the Mercedes-Benz brand promise of “the best or nothing” closer to the

company’s overall customer satisfaction ratings by making significant investments in customer

experience, many with digital enhancements. 10

■ Strive to regain control of the brand experience at the retail level. In 2012, Burberry opened a

flagship store in London to great fanfare. The store is loaded with technology and was designed

to look like the brand’s website, thus delivering a uniquely blurred experience between online

and offline. 11 The keen investment by brands in flagship stores reveals a concerted effort to

showcase their full product offer in a richer context, highlighting the shopping experience’s

importance in driving preference and earning loyalty. Other brands that have decided to make a

priority of regaining a tighter grip on their shopper experiences include Sephora and Lego.

What it means: Not every brand needs to or can have a multithousand-square-foot space to

enhance consumers’ brand experience at the retail level. But the idea of the flagship store —

with its all-encompassing, visually consistent brand storytelling experience — is one that all

CMOs should always consider. Pop-up stores are a popular lower-cost alternative. Marketers

will strive to make every physical interaction saturated with the brand promise and delivered

in a way that aligns with how consumers look to engage, empowering frontline employees with

mobile technologies and investing in logistic technology to give full visibility to online and

offline product inventory.

Content Marketing and social strategies Will Merge

According to a recent study, 86% of business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers say that they’re using

some form of content marketing, from social media to in-person events as well as from videos to

blogs. 12 Content marketing is the logical extension of existing social strategies, creating a more

robust set of brand experiences for people to engage with. To take full advantage of content

marketing potential, marketers should:

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■ Use branded content to make their brand remarkable. One of the four pillars of successful

21st century brand building is to be remarkable — a brand worth talking about and sharing. In a

guest post to Advertising Age, Contently’s chief creative officer highlighted seven brands that set

themselves apart with content marketing, including beverage and media company Red Bull. 13 In

addition to its magazine and video series, Red Bull’s sponsorship of the Stratos jump earned the

brand tens of millions of online impressions, as video of the free-fall jump reached 50 million

views in four days and became the most-watched YouTube live stream ever, with more than 8

million concurrent views. 14

What it means: Brands with successful content marketing strategies have developed their

content around themes on which they are credible and relevant for their target audience. CMOs

must use the brand’s North Star — its guiding principle — as a foundation for what content will

resonate with consumers and reinforce the brand, either implicitly or explicitly. In 2013, rich

content that engages consumers, outside of product benefits or promotions, will prove to be

more efficient than traditional campaign messaging.

■ Use social presence as a distribution channel for content. Forrester surveyed 34 marketers

in Q2 2012 and found that 88% said that they use a branded social media site for their content

marketing initiatives, the most common type among the 12 we asked about. 15 Despite the

popularity of social media as a channel, the value really comes in when social channels deliver

much richer content and engagement on a few relevant themes. In 2013, we will see brands

move beyond basic likes or retweets to spur conversation among users and actually focus on

how to activate their branded content asset via their social presence. Ford Motor’s CMO Jim

Farley thinks Facebook is “rich” as a content distribution medium and says, “In social, we

learned how important content generation is. We didn’t understand how much content we need

to produce. That’s the currency of the social experience.” 16

What it means: Senior marketers will see that bringing together their content marketing and

social marketing initiatives is the best way to support branding goals and ultimately positive

business outcomes. Social media should be used to strategically achieve three brand building

objectives: relationship building, differentiating through an emotional connection by delivering

visible value, and nurturing loyal fans. 17 In 2013, content aligned to these objectives and

delivered through social platforms will further support brand marketing goals.

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how forrester can help

geT Ready To innovaTe in The yeaR oF BRand expeRienCe

Consistently delivering the kind of experience consumers seek across interaction points will be no

small task for CMOs and their teams in 2013. Forrester can help prepare the brand team and the

whole organization to innovate in response to digital disruption, improve the brand experience to

deliver unique visible value, and recast social media as the delivery channel for branded content. Get

started by:

■ Assessing your digital readiness and appetite for innovation. Our research shows a major

gap between the enthusiasm for the opportunities digital presents and the organization’s

readiness to capitalize on those opportunities. Use our digital readiness scorecard to evaluate

your organization and identify where you have strengths on which to capitalize and areas of

weakness on which to focus improving. Then, apply the principles of innovating the adjacent

possible to the brand experience, and strategically evaluate areas in which you can broaden

your offering for consumers. 18 Bring in a Forrester analyst to brainstorm with marketing

peers and the management team in a workshop setting.

■ Getting to know your consumers to deliver the best brand experience for them.

Ultimately, your brand is what consumers understand it to be, which means all of the

possible ways in which they can interact must meet higher-than-ever standards. Delivering

the right type of content via the right channel for the right person is a complex feat many

CMOs struggle to really understand. Use Forrester’s Technographics® data to learn about

your consumers’ attitudes, motivations, technology use and adoption, as well as brand

engagement preferences to build a tailored brand experience for each segment, grounded in

a common brand platform. 19

■ Taking inventory of your existing social and content marketing assets and capabilities.

In most organizations, content marketing is a relatively new function and not likely tied to

the social media marketing teams. In 2013, CMOs must bring those two groups together to

maximize the audience and impact of the content with platforms that promote engagement

and sharing. Get the leadership from both functional groups together, inventory what each

is doing, and map what overlaps, what complements, and where there is white space for your

brand to play. Forrester can act as an external auditor to assess these capabilities as well as

provide one-on-one analyst coaching sessions to prepare CMOs and their teams for this

effort. 20

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1 Source: David Cooperstein, “Is 2013 The Year We Welcome ‘Post-Digital’ Marketing? I Vote Yes,” Forbes,

December 18, 2012 (

2 By 2016, advertisers will spend $77 billion on interactive marketing — as much as they do on television

today. Search marketing, display advertising, mobile marketing, email marketing, and social media will

grow to 26% of all advertising spend as they are embedded in the marketing mix. We expect this growth to

help firms become adaptive, kill off daily deals, re-emphasize marketing’s P’s, and turn consumer electronics

into audience-targeting tools. See the August 24, 2011, “US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 To 2016”


3 Digital disruption is about to tear down and rebuild every product in every industry. Thanks to digital

platforms, your consumers live in a world of heightened expectations and abundant options; they can get

more of what they want in more places at more times than ever before. Seizing this opportunity, digital

disruptors threaten to make you irrelevant by delivering a more compelling product and service experience

than you can and at a lower cost, often without even knowing that they’re upending you. To beat them, you

must join them. See the October 27, 2011, “The Disruptor’s Handbook” report.

4 CMOs continue to fall short in marketing innovation. Most marketers experiment instead, putting the

lion’s share of their investment into testing one P of the marketing mix: promotion. While new media

channels are important, they are only a path to better alignment of marketing to the strategic priorities

of the executive team. Senior marketers will only be able to innovate when they both accept a marketing

innovation remit and have a marketing innovation budget that is distinct from other investment. A first

step to marketing innovation is to innovate how these efforts are funded. See the March 24, 2011, “Breaking

Down The Financial Barriers To Marketing Innovation” report.

5 Source: “Outside looking in: The CMO struggles to get in sync with the C-suite,” Economist Intelligence

Unit (


6 Source: Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine, Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of

Your Business, New Harvest, 2012.

7 Source: Dan Pappalardo, “The New Brand Experience,” The Future Of Media Blog, September 24, 2012


8 Consumers want brand experiences that match their expectations. We asked consumers which aspects

of the brand experience help them differentiate between similar brands and ultimately make them loyal

customers. While consumers, especially those with the highest incomes, have high expectations, there isn’t

a single silver bullet to deliver a great brand experience. Marketing leaders can add visible value to their

brand experience by effectively orchestrating relevant offers, rich interaction, and brand content. See the

November 30, 2011, “Visible Value Differentiates Brands And Drives Loyalty” report.

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9 Source: Harley Manning, “Engaged Employees Do The Right Thing Because It’s The Right Thing To Do,”

Harley Manning’s Blog, December 7, 2012 (


10 Source: “Outside looking in: The CMO struggles to get in sync with the C-suite,” Economist Intelligence Unit


11 Source: Jess Cartner-Morley, “Burberry designs flagship London shop to resemble its website,” The

Guardian, September 12, 2012 (

12 Source: “B2C Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends–North America,” Content

Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, and Pace, 2013 (


13 Source: Shane Snow, “7 Branded Content Campaigns That Got It Right In 2012,” Advertising Age,

December 27, 2012 (

14 Source: Mallory Russell, “Fearless Felix Baumgartner Is Second-Fastest to 50 Million Views,” Advertising

Age, October 19, 2012 (


15 Source: May 2012 Global Marketing Leadership Online Survey.

16 Source: Brian Morrissey, “Why Ford’s CMO Has Content on His Mind,” Digiday, September 19, 2012


17 The key is in social engagement. Brands . . . are starting to see the positive impact of social engagement

on brand building, in particular with consumers who are already predisposed to like the brand. While

social’s impact on brands and brand building is still hard to measure, Forrester has identified three strategic

roles for social to play as part of an integrated brand building effort to make your brand more trusted,

remarkable, unmistakable, and essential. See the May 7, 2012, “How Social Media Is Changing Brand

Building” report.

18 Most product strategists proceed in an entirely reasonable fashion: They set proximate goals and move

toward them in a linear mode, tweaking a product or service to fulfill the well-understood goals of the

organization and hopefully the needs of the end customer. While this has been a fine way to approach a

business for as long as commerce has existed, it is not enough to power the big product innovations that

will dominate the future of any industry touched by digital technology. Instead, Forrester proposes the

innovating the adjacent possible” approach, and if product strategists dare to adopt it and adhere to the

three principles it reveals, it will give them what they need to generate the next big product idea for even

the most analog industries. See the August 4, 2011, “Innovating The Adjacent Possible” report.

19 Empowered consumers threaten the traditional building blocks of brand equity, as they have greater

influence than ever over brand preference, recommendation, and pricing power. In February 2012,

Forrester fielded a survey to determine the attitudes of today’s customer as they relate to key brand

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characteristics and how they affect referral, preference, and pricing power. See the July 19, 2012,

“Consumers Demand More From 21st Century Brands” report, and see the November 30, 2011, “Visible

Value Differentiates Brands And Drives Loyalty” report.

20 Marketers’ traditional advertising tactics face a new disruption: paid content. Why? Because the number

of consumers buying online content in Western European countries will continue to swell over the next

five years, and the services they’re buying from are pushing ad-free content models. As a result, the

opportunities for you to reach consumers are splintering. Digital marketers must respond by developing

content capabilities: Own content properties, establish sponsorships, and craft content marketing strategies.

See the October 31, 2012, “Develop Content Capabilities Now” report.

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