CMOs must embrace ‘less is more to do more with less’

disciplinesJan2024-2Marketers are being urged to ditch the culture of adding ever more complexity to their customer experience efforts and stop bombarding consumers to embrace a “less is more approach” or risk falling behind the competition.

That is according to Gartner Marketing Practice senior director analyst Leah Leachman, in the first of a new series of exclusive articles for Decision Marketing from the consulting firm’s experts.

She contends that organisations that are stuck in a pattern of consistently adding to their CX not only end up adding more complexity, cost and effort, they often miss out on the unique value that comes from subtracting.

At a time when 75% of CMOs say they are under pressure to do more with less, Leachman argues that it is crucial for top marketers to stop adding needless complexity and adopt a “minus mindset”.

She adds: “Adding more complexity, costs and effort makes it harder for companies to prove that customer and company can exist symbiotically.

“Subtraction could mean removing a step or experience in the customer journey, reducing the amount of content and marketing messages or addressing the paradox of choice. CMOs should eschew the addictive culture of ‘more’ in favour of subtracting, simplifying and ultimately improving customer experience.”

Leachman’s advice coincides with the publication of Gartner’s Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Vision 2024 report, which explores marketers’ priorities, trends and strategic actions to focus on this year and beyond.

The report details how new AI technology, changing talent and customer acquisition strategies – plus the need to increase cross-functional collaboration – are shaping how the best organisations will lead marketing success in 2024.

In this context, Gartner maintains that CMOs’ top three priorities for 2024 should be building AI-enabled marketing teams; recasting marketing’s value for an evolving enterprise; and orchestrating profitable growth across functions.

The report follows Gartner’s recent warning that marketing chiefs face a make or break year, which is likely to determine whether they sit at the top table of business strategy or become increasingly sidelined, as executives from other departments ride the new wave of disruptive technology.

Based on a survey of over 400 cross-functional leaders (including marketing leaders), the study claimed that, as customer data systems and martech leadership shift to IT, business leaders are increasingly questioning marketing’s value. In fact, 55% of those surveyed feel marketing has an inflated view of its importance in cross-functional initiatives.

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