CMO's 19 most-read articles in 2019

We take a look at the most popular articles across the CMO site during 2019 according to our readership statistics

Change, disruption, uncertainty and engagement on the customer’s terms – looking at this year’s list of most-read stories on CMO, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d actively sought out these topics as areas to focus on.

Yet it’s clear the transformation of marketing from broadcast to two-way engagement, thanks to the ongoing disruptive impact of digital and connectivity, has continued to dominate marketing industry discussions and thinking in 2019.

From the big martech mergers and acquisitions of 2019, to the growing importance of data in how marketing is undertaken, the changing skills mix required and the brand narrative that must accompany it, this year’s most-read articles again highlight the changing marketing lot. And they’re also a reflection of the way the entire consumer and societal landscape is changing in the face of digitisation and new technology frontiers.

Salesforce CMO: The age of the marketing campaign is over

According to Salesforce global CMO, Stephanie Buscemi, there’s no way around it anymore: The age of marketing campaign is over as marketers shift to continuous, always-on engagement.

“I’ve been at this for 25 years now. It used to be a definite campaign season, or planning season, then it’s in market and you’re waiting retrospective reporting and review. That’s gone,” she told CMO. “Now, it must be a continuous process and getting teams to be more nimble about changing content on the fly and being OK with that. We’re not going to get it right every time. But if we do it in a transparent and authentic way, customers are cool with it and they get it.”

Read more from Stephanie Buscemi here.

Barack Obama: How to be a leader of leaders

Being a leader is not a matter of having your name up in lights, making speeches or corralling power at the top. It’s identifying the power in other people and unleashing it, former US president, Barack Obama, believes.

“If you’re good at identifying that power, you will inevitably have influence because a lot of people will want to work with you and collaborate,” Obama told attendees at the Dreamforce conference in November. “You’ll build a culture that is all about mission and getting things done.”  

Yet the inspiring leader also raised concerns about the information age and how disruptive technologies potentially represent “a dangerous moment” for society.

“Part of what happens is people don’t know what’s true and what’s not, what to believe and not to believe,” he said. “They’re suddenly confronted with things they didn’t have to deal with before as they were operating in isolation. The big challenge right now is how to get a common conversation and culture going.”

Read more from Barack Obama here.  

Predictions: 9 digital marketing trends for 2019

With voice, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, virtual reality, augmented reality, natural language processing and facial recognition all becoming mainstream, it can feel as if marketers are always chasing their tails as they strive to keep up. Add to this the constant, and very ad-hoc, data privacy protections going up almost by postcode, and the marketing path is a difficult, and volatile, one to be treading.

So what does 2019 hold for digital marketers, and marketing generally? We asked a raft of industry experts from the marketing technology and industry community to share their thoughts on 2019 and beyond, and what marketers needed to know.

Read more digital marketing predictions here.

Report: Australian ad spend to tip $17 billion in 2019

As we entered 2019, GroupM’s biannual ad spend forecast report predicted Australia’s ad spend would grow by 4.4 per cent to $17.2 billion in 2019 off the back of strong display advertising investments and as TV records its first growth in six years.

The report also stated Australia’s ad spend in 2018 is on track to reach $16.5 billion, an increase of 5.6 per cent year-on-year. 

This was against worldwide figures suggesting global advertising investment growth in 2018 was 4.3 per cent, down from mid-year prediction of 4.5 per cent. In 2019, global predictions were pitched at 3.6 per cent global growth, or $19 billion, again a 0.3 per cent forecast downgrade on figures reported earlier in 2018. 

Read more about the ad spend predictions here.

Predictions: 9 AI trends in marketing for 2019

You can’t talk about marketing today without the conversation steering to AI or machine learning. Once touted as a silver bullet for data collation, analysis, as well as customer service, AI and ML have grown past the original hype and smart marketers are using them as a way to amplify human intelligence, rather than as a replacement for it.

CMO spoke to various experts in the marketing field about what difference AI will really make to marketing in 2019.

Read more about AI in marketing trends here

Woolworths launches Cartology to tackle the changing retail landscape

During 2019, ASX-listed Woolworths Group launched a retail media business, Cartology, and began rolling out a national digital screen network across Woolworths Supermarkets and new performance tracking modelling.

The new initiatives aim to assess campaign effectiveness and forge a better connection with consumers. Cartology MD, Mike Tyquin, said the supermarket group was excited to officially launch Cartology and be in a position to further innovate retail media in Australia to better connect customers to brands.

“Cartology is a response to the changing retail and media landscape that both us and our supplier partners are trying to navigate. We have the ability to reach customers everyday with personally relevant messages via our unique programs and our owned in-store, digital and social media channels,” he said. “With insight gleaned from over a billion transactions, we can help further support a better shopping experience for our customers across their retail journey at Woolworths Supermarkets and BWS.”

Read more about Cartology here.

Gillette’s latest ad proves why brands standing for positive change is vital

It was arguably one of the most talked about campaigns of 2019: Gillette’s ‘Best men can be’, a nod to the #metoo movement and a response to increasing pressure on  brands to take a more definitive social stance on culture and societal trends.

The campaign struck a chord with many and immediately went viral with more than four million views on YouTube in 48 hours, and more than 13 million views three days in. But equally, it divided the industry and consumers both in terms of creative and execution, as well as strategy.

Amid the flurry of controversy after its launch, including paradoxical criticism that only proved just how vital taking on toxic masculinity is, is the acknowledgement by the P&G powerhouse that brands do, in fact, influence culture and have a role to play in encouraging society to do better.

Read more about Gillette's campaign and industry feedback here

Zero party data: What on earth is it and why do marketers need it?

If you’ve been around the marketing traps for the last year or two, you may have heard of ‘Zero Party Data’.

However, you may be unclear as to what it actually is. It is a fancy way of saying first-party data? Is it is different kind of data altogether? Are we not already inundated with too much data? How many more data categories do we really need as marketers?

CMO took on the challenge and investigated what exactly zero party data is, and why its value relates to the two key terms on every marketer’s lips: Privacy and value.

Read more on zero party data here.

20-year ANZ senior marketer exits business

In amid the tumult of marketing leaders choosing or being forced to leave their roles in 2019, one announcement appeared to stand out among the pack for CMO readers: That of ANZ’s Carolyn Bendall exiting the banking group.

Bendall left the banking group in August after a 20-year career encompassing a host of senior marketing and divisional positions. In a comment to CMO, she said it was a hard to leave ANZ, especially given the amazing team and partners she’s built there over the years.

“But the time was right for me to make the move and I’m excited about doing something new with my skills and experience,” she said.

Read more on Carolyn Bendall's departure here.

Industry weighs up IBM offloading marketing and commerce technology stack

Every year since Scott Brinker put together his first martech lumascape, the industry has seen significant, seismic shifts in the volume and value of marketing and advertising technology offerings.

In amid the mergers, acquisitions, integrations and consolidations of 2019, one of the most high-profile martech stories was of IBM’s decision to offload its marketing and commerce technologies to private equity firm, Centerbridge.

In a blog post, IBM general manager, Inhi C Suh, said the move was taken so IBM can better focus on its supply chain innovations, including blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things. It’s also arguably about giving the marketing the scope outside of IBM to opportunity to gain more focus rather than be lost in the mix. Yet analysts were unconvinced the move would give the tech stack the focus it needed to win in the increasingly competitive martech landscape.

Read more about IBM's martech decision here.

Up next: More most-read articles on CMO in 2019

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What the 5G revolution will do to mobile marketing

It’s taken just a decade for mobile advertising to rise from relative obscurity to represent a billion dollars of ad expenditure in Australia (according to the IAB), and account for 62 per cent of general digital display spending.

When you add in dollars spent on other marketing activities such as mobile sites, messaging channels, apps development and the number of other ways in which devices are used to deliver messages to consumers, the true value of mobile marketing grows much larger still.

With Australia poised for the launch of the first wide-scale 5G network roll outs in the latter half of 2019, marketers began questioning what new leap forward in mobile marketing this next-generation technology will unleash. CMO explored how this next-generation network technology will change the way mobile apps, advertising, experiences and event industries interact.

Read more about 5G's impact here.

Telstra officially debuts new customer loyalty program

It was arguably the biggest customer loyalty program launch of the year. First heralded in 2018, Telstra officially took the wrappers off a new-look loyalty program in 2019, part of its wider T22 strategy aimed at simplifying products and services, removing legacy systems and upping the ante on digitisation.

The new tiered Telstra Plus offering kicks off officially from 14 May and will see customers accumulating points they can exchange for discounts on devices and accessories. Consumers also gained access to benefits like sport and movie ticket discounts, complimentary extras and VIP services; offerings which were previously available via the ‘Telstra thanks’ loyalty initiative.

Read more on Telstra's program here.

DMP versus CDP: Which tech platform will win the marketing war?

In June 2019, Salesforce unveiled its first customer data platform (CDP). The move followed in the footsteps of other enterprise martech players including Adobe, IBM and Oracle, who all also debuted ‘CDP’ versions of their own.

Initially a category full of pivoting tag management vendors and best-of-breed upstarts, the fact enterprise martech players are now seriously adopting the CDP approach suggested its one that is here to stay.

Which raised a big question: What does it mean for the longer-standing data management platform (DMP)? Will these platforms will continue to co-exist, or will CDPs in fact replace DMPs? We delved into the DMP versus CDP battle.

Read more on CDP versus DMP here

Why channel-based marketing is becoming obsolete

The proliferation of digital ways of engagement, from chatbots to social and messenger apps, has been transforming the way consumers interact with brands and leading to the demise of the owned website.

Yet while the tools have changed, many marketing programs are still structured on a channel-based model with origins dating back to the 1960s. So as organisations strive to meet customers on any channel, on any device, at any time and anywhere, the question CMO asked was: How can brands best organise themselves to deliver that customer-centric vision?

Read more here

How 7-Eleven’s CMO is responding to digital-fuelled customer convenience

The proposition for convenience stores is pretty straightforward. But how does that translate in a world where convenience is now more often associated with digital experiences rather than those in the real world?

This is one of the challenges facing Julie Laycock, head of marketing for 7-Eleven Stores in Australia. Her general management role sees her heading a blended marketing and commercial function that includes teams for insights, marketing communication, brand, digital marketing and loyalty.

At 700 stores and growing, 7-Eleven’s value has always been connected to attributes of location and availability. But the rise of home delivery services such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Drive Yello is starting to change consumers’ definition of what convenience means to one where the things they want come to them.

Read more about 7-Eleven's marketing strategy here

Former Uber CMO joins fintech upstart as chief customer officer

Still glowing from being named number one in the 2019 edition of our CMO50, Steve Brennen’s departure from Uber was sure to gain a lot of attention.

So his decision to switch the digital disruptor for a fintech upstart was not surprisingly one of CMO’s most read articles in 2019. Taking up the newly created role of chief customer officer, the well-known Australian marketing leader told CMO he was excited by the opportunity to disrupt the lucrative payments space.

Read more here.

Forget customer experience, human experience is marketing’s next frontier

Customer experience (CX) is being superseded by human experience (HX) and it is those companies who recognise this that will have an advantage. Or so says Amelia Dunlop, US head of customer strategy and applied design for Deloitte Digital. 

In an interview with CMO, the leader explained the consulting giant’s new approach to CX, its decision to embrace human-centred design, and the considerations businesses of all shapes and sizes should be factoring in as humans and robotics increasingly pervade the way we engage as individuals and as brands.

Read more from Deloitte Digital here.

New product aims to empower marketers to do more in-house

Another big trend CMO has documented in recent years is the rise in in-sourcing marketing capability. So it was no surprise to see one of our most popular news stories in 2019 being a new product aiming to enable marketers successfully do more about CX in-house. 

CX Lavender launched a separate technology pure play company, CXTX, to empower marketers to create a better customer experience by simplifying the technology they need. 

The company’s first product to market was no_code, a software tool aiming to enable marketers to produce agency-quality digital marketing in-house, in less time than it takes when engaging agencies or offshore suppliers. 

Read more about CXTX here.

What NAB’s marketing and CX chief is doing to build customer culture

“All the things that make our careers are the things that are a little hard. In fact, in every area of our personal lives, the areas you grow the most are those where it’s that little bit harder and you have to face into challenges.”

So says NAB’s executive GM of marketing and customer experience, Suzana Ristevski, who caught up with CMO in September to talk about how she’s helping steer NAB out of the lows of the Australian Royal Commission into the banking service, and ensure customer is front and centre in everything the organisation does.

“CX, marketing, digital, personal growth – it’s fascinating all the discussions about the identity crisis we’re having as chief marketing officers,” Ristevski said in response to what her modern role entails. “In a way, I’m disappointed we’re still having these conversations. It doesn’t matter where things sit – one of our jobs is to be integrators on behalf of the customer.”

It’s for this reason Ristevski is ultimately trying to help NAB land at a place where no one and everyone ‘owns’ the customer.

Read more from Suzana Ristevski here.

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