C-Suite Perspectives: New Year, New Focus

Every new year brings predictions on the top trends and areas of focus for the C-Suite.  We recently spoke with a number of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and they shared the top three areas they will be focusing on in 2017.  Overall they noted that similar to last year, in 2017 businesses will continue to face disruption and rapid change, and marketers will look for the best practices and approaches available to navigate through these turbulent times.

Digital Transformation

The CMOs we spoke with continue to focus on digital transformation including evolving their digital strategy and creating a digital presence.  Some in banking noted when it comes to digital, they are looking at the future of retail banking and creating online banks which require completely different business models than traditional physical branches.

Talent and Skills

This era of digital business requires new and different skills.  CMO organizations are examining their talent pools, specifically how and where to invest to enable speed and scale.  “A big focus for 2017 is people and processes.  How do we invest in people and optimize processes so we can scale?”  Some shared that they are looking to re-educate and refresh their workforce, “We have many great people. I cannot replace them all, so we are making an enormous investment to get them trained in new processes.”  Re-skilling, replenishment, and rotation of teams were also mentioned as critical factors in building successful agile teams.

Regulatory Focus

Those in highly regulated industries such as banking, healthcare and insurance discussed how regulatory challenges have increased and will continue to do so in 2017.  This will be particularly evident in the U.S. where a new government administration will be coming into power, creating uncertainty around major policies and regulations that have been under development for many years.  This uncertainty brings with it challenges for marketers as they try to determine how to guide the business into the future and invest in places that will create growth.

2017 promises to bring great change domestically and across the globe and those marketers that have an agile approach to planning and investment believed they were best suited to succeed in the long term.

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