Gartner Identifies Top Trends to Impact CMOs in 2023

Leading marketers must drive growth in a volatile environment as they start the new year. According to Gartner, Inc., three factors will have an impact on CMOs in 2023 as they face more pressure to promote efficient growth in disruptive times. These tendencies consist of:

  • Uncertainty is increased by changing customer habits.
  • Cross-functional collaboration that is burdensome leads to worse organizational results.
  • Market disruption dynamics conventional sources of brand value are declining

“As CMOs enter 2023, the current environment demands a relentless focus on customer value, purposeful evolution of the marketing function, and continual optimization of brand value”, “In order to meet the enterprise mandate of driving growth amid continued disruption, CMOs must act decisively to prioritize their investments and their strategy for the year ahead.”

Ewan McIntyre, chief of research in the Gartner Marketing practice.

1: Changes in customer behaviour make uncertainty worse

Customer demand and purchasing patterns will change erratically in an environment of inflation and economic instability. According to a September 2022 Gartner study of more than 1,500 consumers, inflation is driving cost-cutting habits, with 30% of consumers buying more store brands and roughly a fifth abandoning in-person shopping excursions in favour of online purchases. This will make it difficult for well-known companies to sustain consumer preference, premiums, and loyalty.

The majority of consumers and B2B purchasers will also withhold the personal information needed to accurately track demand or respond with multichannel interaction, which will make it more difficult for CMOs to manage their data. Proven digital marketing strategies are also becoming obsolete as a result of developing regulatory and technical safeguards for consumer data privacy, such as browser cookie deprecation and new privacy features in iOS and Android.

“Marketing leaders should create a digital customer value exchange to provide mutual value on digital channels throughout the full cross-channel journey”, “Enhance the effectiveness of digital marketing by seeking opportunities for personalized engagements that genuinely help customers throughout their end-to-end customer journeys.”

Ewan McIntyre, chief of research in the Gartner Marketing practice.

Trend 2: Cross-functional cooperation results in less desirable results

Innovation, customer experience (CX), and digital commerce are strategic marketing initiatives that have crossed functional boundaries to become enterprise-wide priorities with challenging cross-functional implementation. Shared priorities could tax already-strapped marketing teams and slash funding from marketing departments whose budgets haven’t yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels, lowering performance in relation to crucial marketing objectives.

Those who define their approach as “independent” surpass self-described “collaborators” on yearly revenue objectives by almost a quarter, according to a March 2022 Gartner study of 405 senior marketing leaders. Although marketing executives think they should work together to achieve their goals, those who really do so are less likely to succeed.

“CMOs must adapt team structures and skills to advance new cross-functional operating models. Streamline operations, establish common key performance indicators (KPIs), and orchestrate messaging throughout the customer experience for greater effectiveness of marketing, sales, and other customer-facing teams”

Ewan McIntyre, chief of research in the Gartner Marketing practice.

Trend 3: Traditional sources of brand value are being eroded by disruptive market dynamics.

Due to new dynamics like disruptive market entrants, raised audience expectations, and the simplicity of digital learning about unfamiliar businesses, traditional sources of brand value like brand reach, positive brand sentiment, or perceived differentiation are under attack. Every step of the conventionally linear path to brand value is fraught with disruption for audiences:

Awareness: Disruptive market entrants force existing brands to reinvent themselves in order to compete, posing a challenge to all businesses to increase and sustain awareness using cutting-edge channels and creative tactics.

Consideration: According to 1,999 employees, consumers, and B2B purchasers surveyed by Gartner in June and July 2022, choosing a well-known brand is currently less crucial than it was three years ago.

Brand Loyalty: According to the same survey, 75% of consumers have looked up information about previously unknown brands online while shopping, and only 15% of consumers say they are loyal to a specific, well-known brand. This undermines the value of having a strong brand at the point of decision.

“CMOs must redefine and quickly demonstrate the value of brand investments in a volatile environment”, “The strongest driver of brand commitment is a single meaningful brand experience, even with unfamiliar brands.”

Ewan McIntyre, chief of research in the Gartner Marketing practice.