Retail & Distribution

Consumerism Meets the Modern CMO

25 October 2018

3 min

If you’re a retail Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) or Chief Digital Officer (CDO), chances are you have the voice of the consumer constantly reminding you: “I want what I want, where I want it, when I want it.” It’s a tall order these days, as customers move seamlessly between online and in-store shopping.

In fact, with a mobile device in hand, they can be doing both simultaneously. Amid it all, CMOs and CDOs realize words like “omnichannel” and “marketing mix” mean little to these consumers. The customer just wants to go shopping, after all.

That’s why achieving a clear omnichannel customer view and delivering personalized marketing — unobtrusively, ethically and practically — is an exciting and daunting challenge for every CMO/CDO. With a holistic view of their customers, these executives can better leverage marketing initiatives while avoiding brand fatigue. They can perfect their approach to content and product personalization, helping to maximize conversions, increase basket value and boost revenue.

As Johnson & Johnson’s global CMO Alison Lewis told CNBC, “When you think like a retailer, you have to think about the experience someone is getting and the totality of the journey… because that is going to make or break customer loyalty.”

Keep KPIs in Clear Sight

CMO/CDOs are increasingly looking for integrated reporting and analytics. They need an in-store omnichannel POS solution to provide a 360-degree view of the customer’s shopping journey, including both store and online activity to be able to answer questions such as:

  • What are our best-selling styles currently?
  • In what geographic areas are these products most popular?
  • What paths are customers taking to the point of purchase?
  • Are they browsing online and buying in-store?
  • Are they clicking through an email promotion to ultimately purchase on the web?
  • Are they bringing a personalized promotion on their phones into the store?

Omnichannel analytics must offer the retail CMO or CDO a granular, customizable view of the key performance indicators (KPI) most relevant to them. With these actionable insights in hand, these retail leaders can develop both short, medium, and long-term marketing strategies for continued growth online as well as in-store and determine the optimal distribution of their marketing budget.

Mobility Matters

While they are an integral part of the leadership team at headquarters, CMOs and CDOs are no strangers to the life of the stores. They feel keenly the challenge — and thrill — of bridging the divide between digital and physical shopping realities.

Increasingly, mobility is key in a store’s environment that delivers enhanced shopping experiences more than just products and recommendations. The customer is always on the go, and so must the retailer and its associates. To enable success, a modern POS platform has to be built for mobility, freeing associates to support special in-store events and enabling the store chain to flawlessly execute cross-store (and cross-channel) promotions.

Mobility is also essential to deliver instant gratification, and today’s more sophisticated consumer demands no less. From the marketing message to customer engagement to fulfillment, the experience must be fluid, fast and frictionless.

  • Does the online shopper want to schedule a session with an in-store stylist?
  • Does a customer in the store want a dress in a different size or color shipped to her home?
  • Can the store associate locate that perfect piece the customer liked on Facebook and bring it to the fitting room?

These are all very real scenarios happening in retail every day — and ones a mobile-enabled unified commerce solution can support. As former Staples CDO Faisal Masud told CDO Club, “Not everyone shops online, and not everybody shops offline.”


Are you ready to respond to the modern expectations of your customers, delivering the experience and products they want, where and when they want them? Discover how to capture new customers and build brand engagement by reconciling online and offline shopping journeys in our new guide for retail CDOs and CMOS.

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