Stellar Loyalty recently had the pleasure of sponsoring the CMO Summit in St. Andrews, Scotland. The CMO Summit brought together 65 senior decision makers for three days of conversations at the highest level about the future of brand marketing.

One of the stand-out moments for me was the keynote speech given by BMW Group’s SVP of Brand Management and Marketing Services Steven Althaus at the Gala Dinner the first evening of the Summit. Althaus discussed ongoing innovation BMW is doing to create a “class” of happy test drivers for their hybrid concept car. His disruptive marketing ideas really “revved up” the audience for the subsequent days of the Summit.

When chatting about the issues Chief Marketing Officers are facing today, I noted many of the conversations centered around digital communications and the tremendous opportunities (and challenges) in connecting with consumers across the different channels offered today (e.g., social, mobile). Other topics of interest included how brands could continue driving an outstanding customer experience in a cost-effective manner, how to insert the customer’s “voice” into all aspects of a company’s marketing, and how to better leverage the 360-degree view of the customer. Summit attendees believe digital (including predictive analytics) continues to hold the greatest promise to engage customers, but even with the new opportunities digital presents, brands must still work strategically to manage and measure the customer experience to drive marketing and business decisions.  

The CMO Summit also gave me an opportunity to interact with senior marketing executives from companies including FIFA, Pirelli, Opel, Ferrero, Liverpool FC, Dixons Carphone, LastMinute.com, the Spanish clothing brand Desigual, and McArthurGlen Designer Outlets, among others. Nearly all of the CMOs I met agreed that when it comes to consumer experiences, their brand’s next big challenge is launching an engaging program that delivers value to consumers based on their behaviors and the interactions they have across all the channels available to them. Marketers are looking for loyalty programs that can link digital, social, and physical experiences, and store consumer data in a way that readily facilitates a valuable and personalized form of communication. It was a positive experience for me to hear their appreciation for what Stellar Loyalty has to offer within that framework.

Our final evening at the Summit offered a dose of local culture, thanks to a gala dinner that took place in a historic Scottish building and featured a local Scottish band — full kilt set included!

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Stellar Loyalty looks forward to sponsoring the upcoming CMO Summit in the U.S. in April, which will delve further into the challenges marketers face today and the impact of technology as it relates to measurement, marketing strategies, and consumer engagement. We look forward to seeing you April 4-6 in Austin, Texas!

CMO Summit U.S. – http://www.gdsinternational.com/events/cmo/us/