“The greatest single attribute of a CMO is fearlessness in the face of change,” says Bernard Salt, Futurist & Social Commentator. “What they learnt in the past may have worked then, but it is a completely different world today,” he believes.
Tell us about the “brand new consumers” in Australia.
There are new consumers in different segments. There are the Baby Boomers, aged over 60, who are moving beyond the workforce into the “lifestyle” stage of their lifecycle. The fact is, people are living longer and there is a gap between end of work and when their health starts to fade in their mid-70s. That is a window of opportunity for marketers, an extraordinary market not just for hip or knee replacements, but for looking good, keeping fit, dressing well, travelling and so on.
The Millennial generation is another market, individuals in their 20s and early 30s who are moving into household formation. Over the next decade they will drive the demand for apartments, suburban homes, larger motor vehicles to accommodate a family, white goods and furniture. It is quite a consumerist stage.
There are always new markets and consumers being driven just by demographic changes. In addition, there are new consumers who are very green conscious and increasingly concerned about the provenance of products, especially food. These behavioural and demographic shifts combined make life interesting for CMOs.
How will customers interact with businesses in the future?
I believe customers will change the way they shop. This has nothing to do with demographics or ethical values, but more about online shopping. For example, when it comes to motor vehicles, consumers do their research online or on social media, and discuss with friends before they turn up at the showroom. The purchase is just the confirmation of a long process.
Businesses, retailers and product manufacturers need to understand there is an information gathering phase that can go on for days or even months prior to the actual decision. The shop is only the point for sealing the deal and not for showcasing the product anymore.
What is key for gaining brand loyalty from these new consumers? What do they value the most and how can CMOs make sure to deliver them?
Consumers today value responsiveness, good websites, good social media interaction, nothing confusing or illogical, a product range that is continually refreshed and updated, transparency and a customer service that matches the promise made online. These help funnel consumers into the actual shop front.
What implications do they have on marketing activities? What advice do you have for CMOs?
My advice to CMOs is that the skills and experience they gathered over the years will not necessarily hold true into the future. The greatest skill set of a CMO is to actually understand that business, retail, selling and marketing are continually evolving and emerging. The greatest skill is to have a mindset that embraces and looks for change, and turns a changing market into an opportunity to expand market share. The greatest single attribute of a CMO is fearlessness in the face of change.
What global megatrends should CMOs plan for?
It is not always possible to scope the extent of future trends. Some trends are predictable such as ageing. But others seem to emerge out of nowhere. The issue for CMOs is to remain responsive and to adjust products, services, technology, staff training, to respond to these important shifts in social and consumer behaviour. The real skill of a CMO is to be able to recognise early the biggest and the most influential consumer trends.
Date: 5-7 August 2019
Venue: RACV Royal Pines, Gold Coast
For more information, click here
Contact: Shahlini, Senior Marketing Executive, marcus evans
For more information: https://events.marcusevans-events.com/cmo-anz-ami-pressrelease/
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