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Unlocking the power of search for CMOs - my Cannes Conversation

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There are more engagement points through technology between brands and customers than ever before and the purchase decision path has consequently become more complex. To make the most of this opportunity, the Chief Marketing Office (CMO) is taking responsibility for the end to end customer experience journey. This means they are harnessing more data than ever before, representative of a complete view of the customer across all channels.
CMOs are shaping a digitally centric business model with responsibilities reaching far beyond traditional marketing —technology, analytics, growth and, above all, measurable impact on revenue. The CMO is becoming increasingly responsible for making technology investments that rival that of the IT department. And this is set to continue. A Deloitte study showed that two thirds of CMOs use analytics to make key decisions but recognise they aren’t even close to realising the full potential of data.1
Search intelligence is critical to CMOs. It’s the world’s biggest, most candid focus group. It indicates emotion, intent, reception, and interpretation. But it doesn’t just provide insight that can be pulled through and turned into intelligence layered across the wider marketing mix, it’s the means to identifying and creating new relationships between brands and their audiences. Expanding outside the query box to become more personal, predictive, and pervasive, and making smart connections between online entities, search is a business engagement tactic that affects the entire consumer decision journey. 
Today’s customers aren’t predictable and go in and out of different stages of the buying process. The plethora of platforms they demand engagement on and the expectations for experiences to be intuitive and human in nature, are also growing.  Decisions to divert marketing budgets across omnichannel suites rapidly is key. Marketers need actionable insights and deeper customer understanding than ever before.
In Cannes this year I’m talking to customers and prospects about these observed pressures, and how CMOs – and broader marketing teams – can equip themselves for the future. As I see it, there are two fundamental changes to the role of the CMO – ownership of the entire customer experience journey and, the need to harness data insight invaluable to the wider business. CMOs are stepping up to lead through a time of transformation in redefining customer experience and search intelligence is empowering them in their quest.

1. Deloitte, The CMO Survey Results,  February 2017