Forrester: CMOs must think about strategic innovation

Chief marketing officers should concentrate on influencing the strategic direction of their company and not just managing advertising, according to a report by Forrester’s marketing and strategy research panel.

The Define Your Marketing Innovation Strategy report says marketers are not taking advantage of the changes in consumer behaviour and the possibilities offered by new technology.

It warns that CMOs must “redefine how their company will interact and engage with consumers and customers in the future” by adapting their marketing methods to accommodate future customer engagement methods.

Mary Beth Kemp, report author and vice-president and principal analyst at Forrester, says marketers need to take a more holistic view of innovation.

According to the report, less than 30% of CMOs see themselves as agents of change, and do not consider innovation as an important part of their jobs. However, customers are increasingly seeking interaction and expect brands to communicate with them at every possible opportunity.

Forrester recommends that CMOs rethink their company’s vision for future customer engagement across the marketing mix by “building a marketing innovation road map to chart how they will adapt their methods and then formalising near-term opportunities for testing and learning”.

Brands credited with a good innovation strategy include Lego and Starbucks, which offer online fan communities and idea boards.