CMOs: Build Digital Relationships or Die

The term “digital disruption” sounds painful. The word disruption implies that things are going to get broken up. But for companies that take advantage of what digital can do, disruption will have the opposite effect. Even if business models, traditional processes, and long-standing industry practices are about to be broken up — and they are — when the dust settles one part of your business can and should be stronger than ever: the relationship you have with your customer.

Unfortunately, most organizations don’t know what it means to have a relationship with a customer, even though they have a customer list, an email database, or even a loyalty program. Sometimes these trappings of a customer relationship often mislead companies into thinking that they have the relationship thing down and that they don’t have to digitally disrupt their customer relationship.

But they do. If they fail to digitally rethink their customer relationship, it will be bad, possibly irreparably bad, for the business, and it will be the CMO’s fault. And it’s really a shame because the CMO holds the keys to the customer relationship and should know better.

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