CMO Survey Finds Consumers Want To Get Physical

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The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council has released a new survey report — The Responsiveness Requirement: How Agile Marketers Act on Consumer Feedback to Drive Growth — which investigates how organizations are faring when it comes to responding to customers to deliver the right experience in the right moment and through the channel of the customer’s choice, whether it is a digital or physical touchpoint.

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One key finding of the study is that, in order to present omnichannel experiences, marketers use a broad group of channels dominated by digital touchpoints like corporate websites, social media channels and digital advertising. “But notably,” says the report, “it is a series of key physical engagements that truly stand out as being part of an exceptional experience — specifically the in-store sales representative, traditional advertising, in-store promotions and product packaging. Most telling is that physical touchpoints like product packaging and in-store displays are seen as just as important, if not slightly more important, to the success of the overall experience as channels like email, direct mail and mobile apps … three digital channels that actually fail to crack the ‘Top 10 List’ of critical channels.”

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Other related and crucial findings of the report which draws on new research undertaken by the CMO Council in partnership with X-Rite, Pantone, Esko, MediaBeacon and AVT, who together are global innovators in the marketing and product packaging supply chains:

— 66% of marketing leaders reported that their end consumers were very sensitive or extremely sensitive to variations in packaging color and consistency.

— Responding quickly to consumer feedback and requests through physical touchpoints such as product packaging and other physical branded elements is a significant challenge for marketers, and marketers have not prioritized addressing this challenge. “If brands can’t respond quickly and with great control, they will be seen as irrelevant,” said Ron Voigt, President of X-Rite. “Responsiveness is the result of digitizing, automating and connecting processes in the color workflow such that instead of taking weeks, they take days or even hours.”

— 46 percent of respondents said that functional silos across the marketing landscape have separated teams into physical or digital groups, enabling specialization and functional focus but making alignment and cohesion across these channels even more difficult.