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19 Jul. 2019 | Comments (0)

Executives around the world seem to have finally embraced the thinking of Hewlett-Packard cofounder David Packard, who famously once said, “Marketing is far too important to be left only to the marketing department.”

In a recent global survey of more than 1,400 C-suite executives across functional areas conducted by business research group the Conference Board, 80 percent of respondents agreed that developing a more outward-looking, customer-centric culture will be a top priority in managing customers in the future. This is quite an advancement from the days when marketing was understood to be just a business function rather than a business philosophy.

But for customer-centered strategic planning to really work, top executives from all functions need to participate. Even seeming back-office departments — such as procurement, HR, finance, and legal — influence customers’ experiences. And because focusing on customers is the essence of marketing, chief marketing officers (CMOs) are in an excellent position to lead this cross-functional strategic planning process with their C-suite colleagues.

What caused the shift to a customer-first vision?

Digital capabilities have emboldened both customers and competitors, making it increasingly important for companies to deliver on customer needs and wants.

This op-ed was originally published by strategy + business. Continue reading here.

  • About the Author:Denise Dahlhoff, PhD

    Denise  Dahlhoff, PhD

    Denise Dahlhoff is the Senior Researcher for consumer research at The Conference Board, working in the Economy, Strategy & Finance and Marketing & Communications Centers. Previously, she was t…

    Full Bio | More from Denise Dahlhoff, PhD


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