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Digital Experience Innovators: How Leading CMOs and CDOs are Modernizing Experiences and Brands for Digital-First Customers by Brian Solis


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Disruptive technologies are accelerating and reshaping the evolution of markets while also influencing customer behaviors and expectations. These events have ushered in an era of digital Darwinism, where the most adaptable and resilient brands survive and thrive.

According to some leading chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief digital officers (CDOs), rapidly evolving technology and the shifting roles of CX and digital marketing are opening the doors for experience innovation and ultimately brand relevance.

In this report, Brian Solis and Altimeter shares insights from interviews with progressive CMOs and CDOs who are blazing the trail.

Download the report here:

Published in: Business
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Digital Experience Innovators: How Leading CMOs and CDOs are Modernizing Experiences and Brands for Digital-First Customers by Brian Solis

  2. 2. 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Disruptive technologies are accelerating and reshaping the evolution of markets while also influencing customer behaviors and expectations. These events have ushered in an era of digital Darwinism, where the most adaptable and resilient brands survive and thrive. According to some leading chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief digital officers (CDOs), rapidly evolving technology and the shifting roles of CX and digital marketing are opening the doors for experience innovation and ultimately brand relevance. In this report, Altimeter shares insights from interviews with progressive CMOs and CDOs who are blazing the trail. They report that the same disruptive technologies defining digital Darwinism have also positively impacted how leading brands can compete. A shift to a modern digital customer journey means brands have access to a massive amount of real-time customer data. Innovative brands invest heavily in collecting, interpreting, and understanding it to invest in experience innovation to become highly relevant and on-demand for always-on customers. Empowered with real-time customer insights, they embrace disruptive technologies—from AI and machine learning to best- in-class mobile platforms—to completely innovate dated and fragmented customer journeys of yesterday; make brands more available, deliver more personalized customer experiences; and drive customer loyalty and business growth. Modernizing experiences to such an extent requires a new approach to CX, marketing and leadership. Innovative brands are transforming conventional organizational models around customer data and experience, bringing together the disparate parts of the organization that touch the customer journey to share data, collaborate, and build capabilities to rapidly test and learn. A new breed of marketers are increasingly taking the lead in these efforts to modernize the entire customer journey and deliver seamless customer experiences. In the process they are evolving the role of marketing within the organization to help brands compete in an era of digital Darwinism. This sets the stage for next-level experience-led innovation where the value proposition, brand and the customer’s experience are all one by design and execution. 1
  3. 3. 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary.............................................................................................................................................. Introduction............................................................................................................................................................ Innovative Brands Invest in Real-Time Customer Data and Place It at the Center of Business Transformation............................................................................ Smart Brands Focus on Digital Discoverability to Become the “Mentally Available” Brand to Customers............................................................................................. Experience Innovators Leverage Customer Insights and Technology Innovation to Deliver Personalized Experiences and Stay Relevant.......................................................................... Next Steps............................................................................................................................................................. Methodology......................................................................................................................................................... About Us................................................................................................................................................................ 2 1 3 5 9 11 16 17 18
  4. 4. 3 INTRODUCTION At the core of digital Darwinism are the evolving digital customers. Until recently, much of the customer journey was dated and fragmented, often leaving consumers frustrated. Today, consumers are more connected, informed, and empowered than ever before. They expect information and services on-demand, and they increasingly expect personalized engagement regardless of channel. These now-pervasive, always- on, real-time customers value modern experiences that are seamless, efficient, and assistive across their devices. And many times, this is the deciding factor of which brand or product to purchase. As customers are exposed to convenient, instant, and personalized experiences, their standards for excellence are pushed beyond yesterday’s metrics of success. Any experience that strays from their current expectations for what’s extraordinary is suddenly sub par. As such, yesterday’s services and value propositions, customer journeys, and mechanisms for engagement seem basic and ordinary for them. This sets the stage for brand disruption. For innovative brands, going digital places the spotlight on all things customer-related. It gives them unprecedented access to data and insights around customer intent, behaviors, and expectations, and it exposes roadblocks and weaknesses in the customer journey. It also reveals previously overlooked or untouched aspects of the journey, opening the door for new opportunities to engage with customers. Our research shows that, to stay ahead of the competition, today’s most innovative brands are making significant technology and operational investments to improve and modernize this customer journey and deliver truly effective CX—the representation of the total experience customers maintain throughout their entire journey and lifecycle. More specifically: 1. Innovative brands invest in collecting and interpreting real-time data to better understand their customers—and they also deploy new technologies like AI and machine learning to quickly analyze and respond to it instantly and automatically. 2. They focus on discoverability. Getting to customers first matters more than ever.
  5. 5. 4 3. They engage with customers in more personalized ways, delivering relevant and on-trend customer experiences that drive business growth. By delivering relevance and usefulness to customers in important “moments of truth,” brands become a valuable companion in their journey. 4. They bring previously disparate and siloed functions together in an effort to deliver a cohesive and seamless customer journey and CX that foster customer loyalty and become the standard by which customers judge all other experiences. 5. Regardless of their industry, they become “tech companies” in their own way. They embrace technology innovation to deliver faster, intuitive, and best-in-class customer experiences. In a market where many brands are investing in digital to compete for attention at scale, CX can become a significant competitive advantage. By focusing on experience as a driver for customer value and business growth, marketers at these innovative brands are earning the ability to gain more influence beyond conventional marketing. As a result, they are in unique positions to lead cross-functional marketing initiatives that prioritize customer innovation while directly contributing to the bottom line. 4
  6. 6. 5 INNOVATIVE BRANDS INVEST IN REAL-TIME CUSTOMER DATA AND PLACE IT AT THE CENTER OF BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION Most organizations are not innovative by design. Legacy business models, complicated executive hierarchies, and a dated perspective of customers make it a challenge to break new ground. But if they aim to survive, thrive, and compete for the future, they must innovate. So, how can traditional companies do so? The answers we heard in our interviews lie in data. As customer journeys have become overwhelmingly digital, brands have access to extraordinary levels of real-time customer data. By studying this customer data, they are able to discover new opportunities to deeply engage their customers at the right time, in the right place, in the right way. This, in turn, has allowed marketers to shift away from conventional marketing efforts and instead work with (and often lead) others in the organization to create more relevant customer experiences and business growth. At Hyundai Motor America, for example, marketing has evolved from what its CMO, Dean Evans, described as a “creative exercise and crossing your fingers” to becoming “data driven” and “performance based.” Like other automotive brands, Hyundai has had to face the stark reality that visits to dealerships have dramatically decreased from five down to two1 as digital radically reshaped the car- buying customer journey. While in the past, consumers did their research about which car to buy and why right at the dealership, today they are doing so online before ever setting foot on the lot. Evans—who was ranked one of the world’s most influential CMOs by Forbes2 in 2018— explains: “In auto, it used to be the sales chief who was the revenue generator. But what we’re finding today is that sales teams [still] can affect conversion at retail by getting retailers to close those leads better, and that’s important. But it takes data and a progressive marketing department to get the person in the dealership to begin with.” Like Hyundai, the digital interactive entertainment company Electronic Arts (EA) also made a bold move to ignite customer- centered growth.3 In 2018, the company placed its marketing, publishing (product and sales), and analytics groups under the leadership of CMO Chris Bruzzo. “Our game analysts are sitting shoulder to shoulder with the game developers, Bruzzo explains. “It’s a central function, so they get the expertise of data science, and analytics, and research. They get the benefit of proximity to the men and women who are making the games. That has [allowed] us to move much faster, collect insights, turn them back over to the product teams, and take action,” Bruzzo explained. By integrating marketing, publishing (entertainment products), and analytics, EA hopes they will deliver incredible customer experiences throughout the entire lifecycle, accelerate business growth and, in the process, future-proof the brand. The bridge connecting these groups is data, which Bruzzo refers to as “data-fueled creativity” and which serve as the foundation to foster innovation. Most organizations are not innovative by design. Legacy business models, complicated executive hierarchies, and a dated perspective of customers make it a challenge to break new ground.
  7. 7. 6 But EA, Hyundai, and other innovative companies know that data is more than just numbers. Understanding what that data tells them about what customers are doing right now and will do in the future is critical to driving marketing decisions and business growth. To do so, the most innovative brands are increasingly focused on real-time data and employing scientist and AI tools to make sense of it. Innovative Brands Focus on Real-time Data To deliver meaningful customer experiences, progressive brands are seeking to understand what customers are doing right now, not what they did weeks or months ago. At HomeAway, a leading online marketplace for vacation rental, real-time data is used to improve not only customer experiences but also business performance. All of HomeAway’s segmentation, for example, is now based on up-to-the-moment data on how customers behave across multiple channels, including the company’s site, app, social media channels, and more. David Baekholm, SVP of Growth Marketing, and his team actively identify real-time customer signals to associate key behaviors with outcomes, such as likeliness to convert, either now or in the future. These insights drive HomeAway’s marketing decisions, creative strategy, and predictive bidding decisions. “Marketing is now a feedback loop,” Baekholm contended. “These signals help [us] understand in real-time what our customers want and how to give them a frictionless experience that helps them convert when they’re ready.” For example, if a customer visits, Baekholm’s team can use the real-time customer’s behavior data to identify whether that customer is merely researching and might convert several weeks in the future and to differentiate that customer from those whose behaviors identify them as being ready to book immediately. HomeAway then customizes content and messaging that’s useful to customers at different stages in their customer journey to keep them engaged until they’re ready to rent. Real-time data also helps HomeAway deliver what customers want by examining what they don’t want. 6
  8. 8. 7 “The reality many brands don’t realize is that your customers are already telling you what they like and what they don’t like.” Baekholm explains. “As marketers, it’s our job to get rid of all of the noise and all of the clutter that is actually confusing them.” For example, one of the first exercises his team engaged in was looking at the data to understand what customers don’t want from digital experiences. Their findings? Customers hated irrelevant landing pages, annoying ads, and cumbersome checkout processes. “Fixing [these] fundamentals is really what prepared us to drive future growth,” Baekholm affirms. This fast-paced, data-driven mindset has helped marketing at HomeAway become a strategic business partner in driving long-term growth. “One reason why [digital marketing is moving to the core of the organization] is that smart marketers measure and analyze every point in the customer journey, which enables us to invest exactly where we know we’re going to get the most short- and long-term returns,” Baekholm, shared. “That data is much more effective when it’s being applied quickly.” One form of proof may well be in their profits. According to parent company Expedia Group, gross bookings on the HomeAway platform amounted to $8.7 billion in 2017. That number continues to rise. 7
  9. 9. 8 Innovative Brands “Humanize” Data by Engaging Data Scientists As data becomes more pervasive, engaging experts who can translate that data becomes increasingly paramount. The story behind the data “humanizes” or makes sense of evolving customer behaviors and guides where investments in products, services, and customer engagement can be advantageous. Julie Rieger, president, chief data strategist, and head of media at 20th Century Fox Film, explains that to get beyond the numbers and to the heart of the story, the company employs data scientists and psychologists. “Numbers only tell you so much,” Rieger says. “We get the data, and we sort it and then translate and understand it. That has been one of the most valuable things to improving what we do and how we perform.” The centralized, holistic, and relevant data that Rieger’s group collects and “humanizes” with the help of data scientists supports every aspect of the business. “My job is to provide signals about what our consumers think, feel, and do,” Rieger explained. “I hand that off to production. I hand it off to marketing and let them own it. I’m here to give them more information.” Rieger’s work has become instrumental to the entire organization precisely because it empowers transformation and innovation throughout, contributing directly to business growth. “The vision that we set early on was to affect everything that we did at the company,” she revealed. “If you’re going to transform, you can’t just transform in one division. You must transform as a company.” HomeAway also leverages the expertise of data scientists to better understand their customers. “One thing that changed is our focus on how we handle data,” Baekholm shared. “We have a large, growing team of data scientists to build models and roll out machine-learning algorithms that better understand things in real time.” Their team is leveraging automation and machine learning while building a team of data scientists to move at the speed of the customer. Innovative Brands Invest in AI Tools to Understand and Act on Customer Data Like HomeAway, the forward-thinking brands we talked to are investing in machine learning to cluster data into meaningful buckets and identify actionable insights, especially when dealing with a constant influx of real-time signals. For example, HomeAway has shifted from the manual optimization of marketing insights toward the bold new world of AI to move from a reactive model to one that can assess real-time opportunities and also predict customer behavior. “Automation is crucial to real-time predictive marketing,” Baekholm said. “We can accurately predict whether a customer is going to convert tomorrow, two weeks from now, six weeks from now, or not at all.” The right data combined with the right tools are not only becoming better at finding the right customers, they’re also focused on not spending money on the wrong customers. HomeAway isn’t alone on this front. 20th Century Fox Film’s Rieger also shared intentions of building real-time and predictive capabilities: “Being able to not only understand your customer behaviors, but also predict it is what we’re building toward.”
  10. 10. 9 SMART BRANDS FOCUS ON DIGITAL DISCOVERABILITY TO BECOME THE “MENTALLY AVAILABLE” BRAND TO CUSTOMERS There’s an old adage in marketing: “Out of sight, out of mind.” This is truer today in an increasingly noisy and distracted digital world. Consumers aren’t just looking for the best product or price in the early stages of their journey; they’re also seeking relevant, meaningful, and immediate assistance to help them make important purchasing decisions. To stay top of mind, smart brands are investing heavily in innovating the earliest stages of the customer journey— search and discoverability. As many leaders we talked to observed, digital—and increasingly mobile—search creates an abundance of new engagement opportunities online and offline. Brands that study customer data to understand what those opportunities are—and for what customers—increase the likelihood that customers will be aware of relevant offerings at the right moments in the customer journey. Brands that don’t, however, are taking an extraordinary and unnecessary risk by hoping they will show up in searches when consumers seek product information and solutions online. Nestlé Waters North America is one of those brands that focuses extensively on the early stages of the customer journey. Antonio Sciuto, its former CMO, believes marketers ought to think of digital search as shopping in a store or through a printed catalog. When customers visit a physical store, they look for a specific product or consider various brands within a specific category. As they decide which offering is best for them in that moment, they can only decide among the products available to them right there and then. The same is true when customers shop online. “If you are not there, if you are not on the first page, consumers will not find you,” Sciuto expressed. Consumers are likely to find someone else who is, leaving brands vulnerable as they are not even part of customers’ consideration—even if they might be the best option for them. This is especially dangerous since, in an era of mobile and pervasive connectedness, consumers now research even the smallest of everyday decisions. 9
  11. 11. 10 To compete, Nestlé Waters’ team is treating search with the same enthusiasm that it does retail shelf space. “Search is the most important touchpoint,” Sciuto exclaimed. “We need to think about search with the same obsession that we think about our store shelving.” he explains. “If you’re not immediately present, you’re not part of the decision." Carnival Cruise Corporation, like Nestlé Waters, understands that to be part of customers’ decisions, it must be at the top of their minds. But that’s easier said than done. According to the company, only 25 percent of consumers in the U.S. have taken a cruise. At first blush, it would appear that, to drive untapped growth, the cruise industry needs to simply target the 75 percent who’ve never taken a cruise. The reality is that cruises compete against a growing number of travel and cultural experiences and most consumers simply don’t consider them an option. “We actually don’t need all of the world to be cruisers,” explained Kathy Mayor, former chief digital officer at Carnival Cruise Corporation. “We need to find those who are in vacation mode right now and who we can predict are most likely to be a cruiser.” To win those customers early in their vacation planning, Carnival, like other cruise brands, hyper-focus on those consumers who are open to cruising. They do so by studying customer data to understand how, when, and where to compete. To find these customers, Carnival starts by analyzing their customer data. Over the years, the company has assembled customer segmentations across and within their cruise brands, including, Princess, Holland America, and Costa. The company also tracks customer data across those brands to predict people who are most likely to cruise and with whom. Then Carnival combines its data with signals it picks up from search to predict customer needs and deliver a personal experience at any touchpoint. “When it comes time to decide on a cruise vacation,” according to Mayor, the goal is for Carnival to be consumers’ first “mentally available option.” Carnival does so through “transitivity law.” It suggests that if you like “A” and “A” is associated with “B”, then you will probably like “B”. The “A” in Carnival’s case is cultural relevance. “We’ve associated ourselves with the passion points of music, with comedy, with food,” Mayor shared. “Carnival brand has worked with Lip Sync Battle with Paramount Networks, Comedy Central, with Guy Fieri, and because of that, we now become mentally available as the brand-salient option when it comes time to plan your vacation,” Mayor explained. Carnival believes that by combining real- time data with cultural relevance, they are more likely to establish meaningful and productive engagement with customers early in their journey. For example, her team developed five-second videos that highlight different, targeted passion points like “outdoor adventure or family fun or live entertainment or culinary delights,” Mayor shared. “If you’re in a food site, then you actually get the five-second ad that is about food. But if you’re in a mood music site, then you get the five-second ad about live entertainment.” The campaign was a big success, driving brand recall (+37 percent) and interest (+42 percent). We actually don't need all of the world to be cruisers...We need to find those who are in vacation mode right now and who we can predict are most likely to be a cruiser..
  12. 12. 11 EXPERIENCEINNOVATORS LEVERAGE CUSTOMER INSIGHTS AND TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION TO DELIVER PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCES AND STAY RELEVANT Innovative brands understand that it’s not enough to win customers in the earliest part of the customer journey. They launch focused innovation programs that aim to expand opportunities and reach new markets by being highly relevant at every touchpoint. Doing so introduces new value to customers. Over time, this added value becomes standard, making previous experiences seem outdated and eventually obsolete. But earning relevance among an increasingly connected, mobile customer is no easy task. The key is to understand what is meaningful to customers at critical moments in the ever- evolving customer journey and to deliver personalized experiences based on that data. Dan Wegiel, Panera Bread’s Chief Growth and Strategy Officer, shared that the company aims to maintain and earn relevance with all the experiences the brand offers via digital, mobile, and even analog. “Before we even get to digital, the core of [maintaining relevance] is actually what we sell: It’s the food, which has to be special, has to be differentiated, and for us, increasingly rooted in wellness,” Wegiel stressed. In order to make its great products even better, Panera empowers consumers to customize their experiences. “We’re allowing you as a customer the power to control what you eat,” Wegiel explained. “[That customization is] built on our transparency.… You can see all the ingredients in your food; you can then modify that.… You can literally deconstruct and reconstruct an entrée item.” Panera views this personalization and the data it creates as an instrumental factor in driving loyalty and growth. “With our loyalty program, you can save your favorites and customize an order from that,” he explained. This in turn provides Panera Bread with a treasure trove of information about customers’ individual food preferences, from menu items down to specific ingredients. “What that’s allowing us to do is…deliver the types of items that they’re specifically interested in,” Wegiel explains. “If you love spicy food and we know some of the ingredients in the foods that you like, when we introduce a new item that fits that profile, we want to talk to you about it,” Wegiel exclaimed. “It all increases the stickiness that customers have with us and the relevance of our communication with them.” 11
  13. 13. 12 Developing a great product, being fully transparent, and personalizing the experience serves as a strong customer-centric foundation at Panera. Like other experience innovators, the company understands its future lies in innovation through mass personalization. “If I know all these things that you like to eat, I could go down the path of customizing a menu just for you,” he shared. Wegiel noted that while Panera sets out to increase the relevance of the brand for the long term with its loyal customers, it is also expanding its reach. “What we’re finding is that by translating signals into insights, we’re learning what it takes to expand our reach and continually appeal to younger customers,” he shared. “And, we are becoming more relevant to them.” Deeply understanding what their customers want allows brands like Panera to engage in a personalized, highly-relevant way with them and, in turn, drive customer loyalty and growth. Not knowing what your customers or potential customers care about the most, on the other hand, opens the door for plugged-in, informed competitors to swoop in and deliver against unmet opportunities. Experience Innovators Put Marketers at the Helm of Cross-Functional, Integrated Efforts Focused on CX and Customer Loyalty A happy customer is a loyal customer. Loyal customers become proud stewards of the brand, advocating their experiences and going out of their way to spend more time and money with the brand. Smart brands know that to go from successfully converting customers to making them loyal ones, they must work closely with the many disparate parts of the organization that engage with customers at various touchpoints. And their marketing departments are increasingly taking the lead to bring together these various parts and—armed with a deep understanding of the customer—create a cohesive, seamless customer experience from discovery to loyalty. “It’s hard to provide customers with a unified experience without first having a holistic view of the customer,” Nestlé Waters’ Sciuto shared. “And, none of this is possible unless you unify your marketing teams.” 12
  14. 14. 13 Integration is key. Customers don’t care about silos. Customers simply choose brands that are present in their discovery process, and that offer relevant, value-added experiences throughout the customer journey. “To grow your business, everyone has to adopt a mindset focused on what the customer wants,” Karin Timpone, Marriot International global marketing officer, explains. “Our customer doesn’t care about how the organization is designed; they care about the experience they’re going to get. It’s really up to us to connect the dots to make sure that the experience for them is seamless and worthwhile.” At the most customer-centric brands, marketers and performance teams work together sharing data and ensuring all touchpoints play together. Once they do, technology becomes a powerful enabler of integrated, relevant, and value-added customer experiences. At Marriott International, for example, developing customer loyalty is a core strategy that touches every milestone of the customer journey. To define and strengthen the relationship with these loyal customers, however, the entire organization is involved. “Marketers can kick off the conversation, setting a course around a ‘Loyalty Mindset,’” Timpone explains. “But here’s the key: It is not only marketing; rather everyone has to join together to deliver what the customer wants.” At Marriott, that means delivering loyalty- centered experiences beyond the booking. “It’s important to consider the experience more than just getting somebody at that moment of booking,” Timpone emphasized. “We want [customers] to be thinking even more around their travel and the experience they’re going to have.” Her team has developed global partnerships in entertainment, sports, and culinary to create experiences for Marriott customers. They also launched a cutting-edge content studio that develops rich content to offer customers ideas for activities and attractions at their destination spots. “It’s all about showcasing destinations and inspiring someone with the potential experiences that can happen when they arrive. Every year, our ‘Moments’ platform offers more and more memorable ways to experience travel,” she said. Marriott has now reached over 110 million loyalty members. It’s clear that putting loyalty and their members at the center of everything has been transformative and a decisive factor in driving customer satisfaction and business growth. Timpone, like other leading executives in our research, believes that the marketing organization must take the lead in unifying customer experiences from discovery to loyalty. “Marketers can be great conveners in an organization,” she observed. That’s certainly the case at EA, where they integrated business-centric functions like sales, analytics, and insights under marketing “to constantly close the gap between what we make, the messages we create, and the players and their experience,” EA’s CMO Chris Bruzzo explained. By transforming the foundation of its marketing division, built upon data and insights, EA is driving innovation and growth through more meaningful and rewarding player experiences. At the most customer-centric brands, marketers and performance teams work together sharing data and ensuring all touchpoints play together.
  15. 15. 14 Leading Brands Embrace Technology Innovation to Deliver Best-in-Class Customer Experiences and Amplify Growth The technology revolution is a never-ending story. Since the dawn of the Internet and e-commerce, it’s been unfolding chapter- by-chapter, from smartphones to wearables, from AI and machine learning to augmented and virtual reality. Technology has not only made customers more connected and informed, it has also made them more curious, demanding, and impatient. Customers are being conditioned to get what they want, where and when they want it. Smart brands are becoming technology companies, in their own way, to keep up with these shifting customer expectations. These brands embrace innovation at the highest level to deliver faster, intuitive, and personalized customer experiences, and to drive business growth and loyalty. Innovation and CX are at the core of how a 57-year-old pizza company became a leading e-commerce company. At Domino’s Pizza, customers once had only two choices for ordering a pizza: calling or walking into a store. In a mobile-driven world, those options had to evolve as customer expectations shifted. Today, 60 percent of all orders are placed online, and half of those come through via mobile devices. “People are ordering pizza, we have to make it, they then track it, we deliver it, and when you look at that entire experience, technology plays a really big role,” chief digital officer Dennis Maloney shared. “For us to get really good at it, we needed to change the way we were thinking about ourselves. If you started thinking about yourselves like an e-commerce company, you start asking the question, what makes a really good e-commerce company?” 14
  16. 16. 15 To ensure a seamless customer experience, Domino’s invested in process and service innovation along with technology, especially best-in-class mobile innovation. Product information, number of clicks to order, payments—anything that can slow down the ordering process can jeopardize the transaction or worse, lead to lost customers altogether. As Maloney shared, “Friction burns customers.”4 Some of the questions that Maloney and his team sought to answer, for example, were how to remove that friction and make ordering as effortless as possible. “We have a zero-click ordering app now,” he exclaimed. “If you’re a loyal customer and you don’t have to do basically anything to get a Domino’s pizza, that’s great!” In fact, today there are over 15 ways to order Domino’s pizza, ranging from sending a pizza emoji over social media to a voice command on Google Home. This kind of innovation can revamp people’s perception of a brand and, more importantly, provide your most loyal customers with what they need — instantly. To get there, Maloney explained the importance of cultivating a culture of innovation and new organizational models. In this case, Domino’s formed a strategic partnership between IT and marketing to work together to build, test, and learn. "Honestly, I think that’s our secret sauce,” Maloney revealed. “Our marketing and IT groups actually work together. Everyone on both of those teams is trying to achieve the same goals. We win together; we fail together.” At the rapid and accelerating pace of technology and consumer evolution, innovation now needs to become part of every brand strategy aiming to compete. “Evolution is happening so fast that by the time you actually realize what they’re doing, it’s already a mass event and there’s tons of people that are doing something,” Maloney underscored. “We have to try and get ahead of them in the process, and that helps by having really good partners, by doing really good research, and honestly by being really good with the data and what you’re doing as a brand.” As a result of becoming a “technology and e-commerce company” and investing in innovative CX, Domino’s has made massive strides in business growth. Domino’s is now the largest pizza company in the world and the fastest-growing quick-service restaurant brand. The company has also doubled market share from 9% to 18% since 2009, the early days of the company’s digital transformation.
  17. 17. 16 NEXT STEPS Smart brands are delivering exceptional customer experiences by embracing disruptive technologies, organizing around data, and focusing on CX as a catalyst for driving business performance and growth. As a result, these experience innovators are also setting the standard for how brands should engage customers in every touchpoint throughout their journey and lifecycle. Here are a few things you can do to keep up and avoid ending up on the wrong side of disruption: Modernize the Role of Marketing Around Total CX: In an era of abundant data, AI, and machine-learning platforms, the role of marketing can finally deliver customer experiences that meet or exceed modern customer expectations while also contributing to the bottom line. Create a cross-functional group led by marketing that maps the customer journey, assembles data across touchpoints, studies industry best practices, and organizes around journey renovation and innovation. Invest and Organize Around Data: Prioritizing clean, comprehensive, and up- to-the-minute data is critical, as it is the source of relevant and in-the-moment customer insights. Data and analytics become key functions as they provide real- time and eventually predictive service to an integrated, cross-functional marketing organization that can test, learn, and grow. Make Data “Storytelling” Part of the Process: Real-time data and insights can help sell purposeful digital transformation to the entire organization. The C-suite and other critical business functions, however, need to hear customer data and insights in personalized, compelling, and hyper-relevant ways to create a sense of urgency. Become the Standout, “Mentally Available” Brand: Study smart signals to become discoverable in every micro- moment. Then introduce relevant content in relevant channels to win customers’ consideration and preference early in the customer journey. Engage the Entire Organization Around Fostering Loyalty: Like in life, business success comes down to relationships. To drive customer loyalty, you must deliver a relevant and seamless experience that becomes the new standard for engagement. That means every part of the organization that touches the customer journey must work in unison to identify customers’ needs and preferences and focus on real-time customer personalization. Become a Tech Innovator: The only way to thwart disruption is to become a disruptor. To disrupt you must make technology investments that create new value for customers through relevant products and services that align with their decision- making and desired experiences. Don’t Forget Customer-Centric Metrics When Measuring Performance: Many companies focus on financial metrics, units sold, or revenue growth. But putting the customer at the center of your business operations and measuring CX at the highest level is critically important to changing the way your company operates. Measuring business performance along with customer- centric KPIs, such as customer lifetime value, also moves the purview of marketing beyond the top of the funnel and positions it as an enabler for total CX.
  18. 18. 17 ENDNOTES 1 shopping-customer-journey/ 2 influential-cmos-report/#39be1e2b7125 3 4 customer-expectations-mobile-experience/ METHODOLOGY This document was developed based upon secondary research, and in-person conversations with nine experts from leading brands. Our deepest gratitude to the following: Brand Leaders (9) Julie Rieger, President, Chief Data Strategist & Head of Media at 20th Century Fox Film Kathy Mayor, CMO at Carnival Cruise Line Dennis Maloney, CDO at Domino’s Chris Bruzzo, CMO at Electronic Arts David Baekholm, SVP Growth Marketing at HomeAway Dean Evans, CMO at Hyundai Motor America Karin Timpone, Global Marketing Manager at Marriott International Antonio Sciuto, EVP & CMO at Nestle Waters N.A. Daniel Wegiel, Chief Growth and Strategy Officer at Panera Open Research This report is published under the principle of Open Research and is intended to advance the industry at no cost. It is intended for you to read, utilize, and share with others; if you do so, please provide attribution to Altimeter, a Prophet Company. Permissions The Creative Commons License is Attribution-NoncommercialShareAlike 3.0 United States, which can be found at Disclaimer ALTHOUGH THE INFORMATION AND DATA USED IN THIS REPORT HAVE BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED IS MADE REGARDING THE COMPLETENESS, ACCURACY, ADEQUACY, OR USE OF THE INFORMATION. THE AUTHORS AND CONTRIBUTORS OF THE INFORMATION AND DATA SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS CONTAINED HEREIN OR FOR INTERPRETATIONS THEREOF. REFERENCE HEREIN TO ANY SPECIFIC PRODUCT OR VENDOR BY TRADE NAME, TRADEMARK, OR OTHERWISE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OR IMPLY ITS ENDORSEMENT, RECOMMENDATION, OR FAVORING BY THE AUTHORS OR CONTRIBUTORS AND SHALL NOT BE USED FOR ADVERTISING OR PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT PURPOSES. THE OPIN- IONS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.
  19. 19. 18 ABOUT US About Brian Solis, Principal Analyst and Futurist Brian Solis is Principal Analyst and Futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet. He studies disruptive technology and its impact on business. He is also a digital anthropologist who seeks to better understand how technology affects and shapes behaviors, norms, and society. Through his research and published work, he humanizes disruptive trends to help leaders understand how technology, markets, and people are evolving and how to drive innovation and growth. In addition, Brian is an award-winning author and world-renowned keynote speaker who is consistently recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation, innovation, experience design and digital humanities. Brian has authored several best-selling books including X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, What’s the Future of Business (WTF), The End of Business as Usual and Engage! Brian’s latest book is entitled Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life. With a loyal online audience of over 700,000 people, his work makes him a sought-after thought-leader to leading brands, celebrities such as Oprah, Shaq, and Ashton Kutcher and over 1,000 startups. HOW TO WORK WITH US Altimeter research is applied and brought to life in our client engagements. We help organizations understand and take advantage of digital disruption. There are several ways Altimeter can help you with your business initiatives: Strategy Consulting. Altimeter creates strategies and plans to help companies act on business and technology trends, including AI and data strategy. Our team of analysts and consultants work with global organizations on ideation and priority-setting, needs assessments, strategy roadmaps, and pragmatic recommendations to address a range of strategic challenges and opportunities. Education and Workshops. Engage an Altimeter speaker to help make the business case to executives or arm practitioners with new knowledge and skills. Advisory. Retain Altimeter for ongoing research-based advisory: Conduct an ad hoc session to address an immediate challenge or gain deeper access to research and strategy counsel. To learn more about Altimeter’s offerings, please contact Altimeter, a Prophet Company One Bush Street, 7th Floor San Francisco, CA 94104 @altimetergroup 415-363-0004