Is the Chief Marketing Officer the future of financial services? Is the Chief Marketing Officer the future of financial services?

Authors
Pamela J. Delaney

EY Americas Financial Services Marketing Transformation Leader

Passionate customer advocate. Sales and marketing Excellence Executive. Former CMO. Innovation champion. Servant Leader and eternal student of life.

Bernhard Klein Wassink

EY Global Insurance Customer and Growth Offering Leader

Experienced financial services professional. Digital strategy enthusiast.

Avril Castagnetta

EY Americas Insurance Marketing Transformation Leader

Experienced financial services professional. Digital marketing enthusiast.

Fabrice Albizzati

EY Americas Financial Services Strategy & Business Transformation Principal, Ernst & Young LLP

Recognized leader managing the EY Strategy, Customer and Growth team in the Banking & Capital Markets sector. Raised in Paris and adopted by New York, where I live with my wife and two sons.

7 minute read 24 Mar 2020

EY surveyed marketing leaders in financial services to gain insights on the evolution of the 2020 CMO.

Marketers are racing to keep up with the dizzying pace of innovation in technology: AI is enabling autonomous everything, whether services or self-driving vehicles. Marketing technology (MarTech) has yielded increasingly powerful predictive models of consumer behavior based on accelerated analysis of large data sets. Real-time 5G data will soon enable faster and higher-bandwidth service delivery to the end consumer. These innovations, among others, are transforming how consumers interact with brands.

 To assess the current state of ongoing innovation, EY surveyed 150 chief marketing officers (CMOs) and senior marketing executives at leading financial services institutions. These successful leaders shared their insights about how digital demands have changed the role of the CMO to encompass a renewed focus on customer experience as well as responsibilities and challenges centered on continuous change and invention.

This report shares findings from the survey, supplemented by learnings from client engagements and conversations with CMOs and marketing leaders at leading financial services companies across the United States.

Our main finding: CMOs are taking on five new roles that promise to improve the inventive capacity of the marketing department. Through greater collaboration, a focus on customer experience, increased MarTech investments and capabilities in change management, marketing teams are, quite deliberately, positioning themselves to invent the future of financial services. The five new roles for the financial services CMO are:

  • The CMO as chief collaboration officer
  • The CMO as customer experience officer
  • The CMO as MarTech chief information officer
  • The CMO as change leader
  • The CMO as inventor

In your view, how is the role of the CMO changing? 

Results-driven

32%

feel the role of the CMO is becoming more results-driven.

Tech

23%

feel the role of the CMO is becoming more technology driven.

Collaboration

26%

feel the role of the CMO is becoming more collaboration driven.

Strategy

17%

feel the role of the CMO is critical to overall strategy.

Eight man rowing team on the water
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1

Chapter 1

The CMO as chief collaboration officer

Innovative marketing executives are now influencing strategic transformation in coordination with other enterprise functions.

Illustrating this trend, 40 percent of CMOs listed the Chief Digital Officer or Chief Technology Officer as their top ally.

From within the C-suite, who are your most important strategic partners?

Most important strategic partners

CMOs are finding that the most effective way to ensure great results is to collaborate throughout the enterprise to invent new ways to make use of emerging technologies and channels. This demand for collaboration places CMOs squarely in the crossroads between disparate divisions of the enterprise, giving the marketing function primary oversight for how the enterprise touches the customer, along with the highest level of responsibility for safeguarding the brand.

Mother looking at her mobile with her children
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2

Chapter 2

The CMO as customer experience officer

Eighty percent of all marketing executives have committed to a customer-focused strategy.

What actions are you taking to improve your brand’s customer experience?

Actions you are taking to improve brand’s customer experience

Financial services CMOs are no longer primarily focused on outbound messaging through marketing campaigns. Instead, they are now responsible for advocating for the customer at all points of the customer lifecycle, while also controlling every facet of how their brand is perceived in the marketplace. Digital technology has completely changed the customer experience. Customers can access a full range of services through their mobile devices, conduct easy transactions via voice, and open new accounts by clicking on a social media post. Yet many financial marketers are stuck using new approaches (e.g. social media campaigns) to achieve old objectives (e.g. drive customers to the branch or online), which is an insufficient role for marketing given the centrality of digital to the customer experience.

By taking a more active role in guiding the customer-facing aspects of digital channels, marketing professionals will increase the strategic value of their contributions. Using real-time capabilities, marketers can position themselves to integrate customer-focused personalization into the customer experience in ways that reinforce the value of the brand, thereby creating an emotional connection with the customer. 

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3

Chapter 3

The CMO as MarTech chief information officer

CMOs have become responsible to support data-driven marketing that drives insights for omnichannel strategies.

What actions are you taking to improve your brand’s customer experience?

Marketing organizations need to access real-time processing resources, while cultivating the talent to create differentiation through creative uses of data. This requires CMOs to be capable of conveying the importance of the data-driven marketing vision to the rest of the executive team.

For data-driven marketing to succeed, financial services marketers will require a significant investment in tools, training, and process improvement. Core capabilities include real-time data collection and analysis, omnichannel delivery for personalized customer experiences, and highly granular data measurement to assess and evaluate real-time results. These capabilities are critical for gleaning insights into how customers behave across all channels, which then can inform future analysis and innovation efforts.

When asked about how they would like their companies to invest more resources, the top answer in asset management was “digital communication channels” (34%). In banking, the top choice was “data and advanced analytics” (24%), and in insurance, it was a tie between “digital communication channels and customer experience" (22% each). While these address different aspects of technology, all directly or closely pertain to improving the customer experience.

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4

Chapter 4

The CMO as change leader

Two-thirds of financial services marketing leaders agree that we’re in a period of unprecedented change, and we concur.

In the emerging environment of intelligent personalization and 5G, marketing leaders are in the ideal position to guide their organizations toward meaningful engagement in a real-time world.

Intelligent personalization, delivered with purposeful engagement that aligns sales through the appropriate customer channels, will not only transform how financial services are marketed and sold, but also how they are delivered and evaluated.

Role of the CMO is going through a period of unprecedented change

67%

of surveyed financial services marketing leaders agreed with this statement.

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5

Chapter 5

The CMO as inventor

Marketers need to break through the clutter with imaginative, innovative approaches to create an emotional connection with customers.

That explains why 46 percent of CMOs reported that their top priority for future investment would be to improve customer experience or enhance digital channels.

In addition to the multiple new roles and responsibilities being taken on by CMOs, there’s one key role that should be considered absolutely essential — Inventor.

By inventing ways of reaching, attracting, and retaining customers, organizations can create unique relationships that can survive disruption.

The other roles being taken on by CMOs will provide fertile soil for inventive thinking.

  • Chief collaboration officer: By collaborating across so many disparate areas of an enterprise, marketers will better recognize the untapped potential of the enterprise.
  • Customer experience officer: By closely observing and analyzing customer journeys at a highly granular level, marketers will uncover ways in which the customer experience can be improved.
  • MarTech chief information officer: By investing in the latest MarTech innovations, marketers will be in a position to execute upon innovative strategies that make new uses of emerging technology.
  • Change leader: By developing skills in leading change, marketers will have the clout to launch true innovation within their organizations.

By combining these insights and capabilities, CMOs will be positioned to come up with new thinking that has the best chance to succeed. In their new roles, marketing leaders will have the insights, expertise and relationships to be at the strategic center of the transformation of the financial services enterprise.

The future will belong to financial institutions that deliver large-scale, intelligent personalization in ways that highlight appropriate aspects of service quality, reputation, pricing, products, and technology.

The authors would like to recognize the following EY professionals for their support and contribution to this report: Rashmi Singh, Nancy Gordon, Alyssa Smith and Jennifer Younts.

Is the CMO the future of financial services?

Marketing teams are positioning themselves to reinvent financial services.

Download the full report

Summary

EY surveyed chief marketing officers and senior marketing executives at 150 banks, wealth and asset managers and insurers across the United States. We found that through collaboration, a focus on customer experience, MarTech investments and change management, marketing teams are positioning themselves to invent the future of financial services.

About this article

Authors
Pamela J. Delaney

EY Americas Financial Services Marketing Transformation Leader

Passionate customer advocate. Sales and marketing Excellence Executive. Former CMO. Innovation champion. Servant Leader and eternal student of life.

Bernhard Klein Wassink

EY Global Insurance Customer and Growth Offering Leader

Experienced financial services professional. Digital strategy enthusiast.

Avril Castagnetta

EY Americas Insurance Marketing Transformation Leader

Experienced financial services professional. Digital marketing enthusiast.

Fabrice Albizzati

EY Americas Financial Services Strategy & Business Transformation Principal, Ernst & Young LLP

Recognized leader managing the EY Strategy, Customer and Growth team in the Banking & Capital Markets sector. Raised in Paris and adopted by New York, where I live with my wife and two sons.