Here's What Will Command CMOs' Attention In 2017

Here’s What Will Command CMOs’ Attention In 2017

by ForbesDecember 21, 2016

As 2016 winds down and we look to the new year, I took a single, simple question to CMOs at major companies: What will be the biggest breakthrough in marketing in 2017, the thing that will command your greatest attention and, yes, your investment?

Below, their responses.

Steve Fund, CMO, Intel:

“Two trends that will be commanding our attention this year: content and data. We will start to see content that engages people in new and different ways. We know that authentic brand stories don’t have to be told in 30 seconds or less. We have so many stories at Intel that we created an internal agency (i.e. “Agency Inside”) to help us tell them all, and we see this investment continuing. Also looking ahead, we think there will be more branded content that is VR-enabled. At Intel we are pioneering a type of VR we call ‘Merged Reality,’ where we blend physical and virtual environments in such a way that allows people to manipulate both of them. This breakthrough could have endless possibilities. We are planning to open up a production studio that will be dedicated to creating new forms of content utilizing a number of Intel’s technology (e.g. VR, Drones, RealSense depth sensing cameras, etc.) I think we will see VR content used in television ads, experiential marketing and way more in 2017 than we’ve seen previously. On data…data is becoming the currency of marketing, and marketers will now have access to more data than ever. As new technologies such as VR, autonomous driving, wireless communications, cloud computing, digitized sports, and AI advance, marketers will be able to use data to create more personalized and targeted products, messages, and customer engagements than ever before.”

Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Mastercard:

“Chatbots are the next frontier. The most popular messaging apps already have over 4 billion monthly active users, and chatbots have the potential to literally change the conversation for brands. The opportunity for marketers to play a role in this space is tremendous. We’re always striving to be present at that critical moment of truth and this technology enables us to be exactly right there.”

Maryam Banikarim, CMO, Hyatt:

“The biggest breakthrough in marketing in 2017 will be a focus on delivering authentic experiences. What is clear is that consumers value experiences over products, which is great news for us at Hyatt. We are focused on driving irrational loyalty with high end travelers, which is the market we serve. To do that we are going to be laser focused on our core customers, understanding them and exceeding their expectations. To that end, our attention and investment will go toward partnering to build and deliver authentic experiences that foster a community.”

Andrea Riley, CMO, Ally:

“For me at Ally our focus is on personalization of content creation, and that will command our attention and investment. That is, understanding, at a customer-level, personas, needs, wants and preferences and delivering them in a meaningful way through the channels they prefer to be communicated in. With the proliferation of marketing messaging, and the explosion of one-to-one capabilities from literally every digital and social media company as well as the explosion of mobile, it’s critical we focus on omnichannel messaging that resonates and captures the attention of inundated consumers. On a separate note, an area I believe will command a lot of attention, but not largest investment, next year is virtual reality and the use of VR to bring to life our brands, new experiences, and value propositions. The possibilities with VR are limitless and only hampered by low adoption rates of the product, but that will ramp [up] significantly with several entrants in the market and how the power of the tool is harnessed by balancing entertainment with information. This will be a fascinating medium for marketers to play with.”

Allie Kline, CMO, AOL: 

“The winners and losers will be divided by their ability to get access to differentiated data, and how deeply they leverage it to make better content and creative decisions. Data will explode creativity – not automate it – for those that use it to be more agile and aggressive.”

Barbara Martin Coppola, CMO, Grubhub:

“I believe in 2017 users will favor brands that move society forward, give hope and reassurance to consumers, and make us believe in the progress of humanity. The brands who live up to authentic values and who contribute to themes that are bigger than themselves will establish a lasting and meaningful connection with consumers.” 

Michael Sprague, Chief Operating Officer and Executive VP, Kia Motors America:

  • Breakthrough: I don’t believe that there will be a significant “breakthrough;” rather as marketers we will continue to make incremental improvements in how we go to market.
  • Attention: ROI and innovation.
  • Investment: Our investment will be flat [year-on-year], which will require more innovation and better ROI (see #2).


This article was written by Jennifer Rooney from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.